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$9.95 (Win95/98/Me/XP) (Jewel Case) (CRACKCONPJ)

The Pixel Shop


4/5 from  Adventure Gamer


A Long Lost Friend ...
A Mysterious Message ...
A Lie that Extends Beyond Time Itself ...

Lucky you, an old friend needs your help. One you haven't seen in years, no less. That would be one Kelsey Hart, long time friend and one time lover. She vanished some years ago, leaving to do research on emerging viruses in some God forsaken corner of the planet. Or so the story went... A knock on the door. A package arrives. And you're holding a top-secret Air Force communications device, once owned by Kelsey and now bestowed upon you. Inside the device are seven classified documents that could literally blow open the most diabolical conspiracy in history. Now it's up to you to get the communicator, and the documents therein, safely to Kelsey's location. And that's not the hitch... All seven of the documents in the communicator are passcode protected, and only by breaking into the infamous Area 51 will you be able to learn the codes. Only by breaking into Area 51 will you be able to save Kelsey and the world.

Cracking the Conspiracy is a pre-rendered, 3D adventure game that will test you to your wits end. You move through a huge world, consisting of almost 3000 still images, 358 animations, and various characters that you can converse with. You navigate this world using your mouse, all the time being on the lookout for clues to the diabolically hard puzzles.

And many puzzles there are. Some are like board games you might have played while others will require careful planning to execute a sequence of events in the correct order. You'll talk to various characters and meet some that don't want to talk at all to a lowly janitor, like you. Just pay attention and you might have a chance.

Contains 358 QuickTime movies comprising almost 40 minutes of 3D animation

Easy to navigate, fully explorable 3D environments (3D card not required)


Windows 95/98 or NT 4.0, 60MHz Pentium(R) or faster, 16MB RAM, Minimum 4x CD-ROM drive (8x or better recommended), 640x480 High Color video card and color monitor, Windows compatible sound device, Mouse.

Tested OK on Windows XP.


Adventure Gamer by Ray Ivey

"From the very first moments of this game, from the great-looking car you show up in, to the smart-assed ghost who guards the mine, to the details of the desert surroundings, this game creates a sassy, fun and compelling atmosphere. Once you're in the mine, the story if off and running, and you don't want to slow down until you've completely finished cracking the, uh, you-know-what."

"What CTC does have is a crackling story with a mystery that simply demands to be solved."

Mr. Bill's Game Reviews, July 1999 by Mr. Bill

A fascinating game for anyone interested in the UFO/alien conspiracy theory. Apparently well researched, the game takes place in the Top Secret Area 51. You play a young man who must infiltrate the area in order to discover certain code names necessary to open and reveal Top Secret government documents found by a friend of yours. Produced and developed independently by two brothers, the game is nevertheless impressive. A point-and-click first-person 3D adventure, the graphics are very good, the people and aliens that you encounter more realistic than usual, and the mix of historical and theoretical information is intriguing (with a built-in notebook for recording anything pertinent).

Just Adventure, Sept 1998 by Randy Sluganski

"CTC is not a game for those who are in awe of Grim Fandango and Half-Life. Instead, it is for the traditional gamer who remembers the days when a game came out and you knew nothing about it and there was no walkthrough that let you beat it in one day. It is a game to have fun with and know that while you are playing it if you get stuck you could call or e-mail the brothers who made the game and talk to them in person. It is a throwback to the days when you knew the names of the people who created the Infocom games."

"Every good puzzle you have ever seen in an adventure game is in CTC. Slider puzzles, math puzzles, riddles and even my all-time least favorite friggin' puzzle of all time--the maze. Two of them. Back to back! ... While you might think that so many different type of puzzles would not be conducive to a cohesive story that is not the case simply because the majority of the puzzles are easy enough that you never get so involved in their solutions to forget that there is also a plot."

"Sure it has its little faults--it's too easy at times, the occasional sound glitches--but it also showcases the talents of two brothers who have a bright future in the industry. I personally cannot think of anything more exciting than owning a game that no one knows about and feeling like I am the only world in the world who has discovered it! Is this game worth purchasing? For $19.95, yes it is."

Quandry Computer Game Reviews by Len Green, May 2000

"Cracking the Conspiracy (CtC) was developed, published, distributed and marketed towards the end of 1998 by the Pixel Shop. Amazingly, this company consists solely of two Wisconsin brothers, Brian and David Mennenoh, who worked on the game for 2¼ years ("with a little help from their friends"). As such you might imagine it to be a very amateur affair, but the exact opposite is the case. Although it has some rough edges it is well produced and can be compared with several other Quest/Adventures released during the past few years..."

"CtC does not attempt to provide any technical innovations such as 3Dfx, surround sound, snazzy camera angles, or the like. But considering that it was produced by only two individuals, it’s inspiring to find that it contains several admirable features which are lacking in most of the latest and most prestigious games. It is shipped on one CD-ROM only … so there is no disc swapping whatsoever. It plays directly from that CD so there is absolutely no installation and not one byte is taken up on your hard disk. Possibly due to this I have not heard of ANY incompatibility problems due to today’s multiplicity of audio or video cards, and no troubles with different drivers or different versions of DirectX, etc. Although a faster drive is preferable, it played pretty smoothly even on my oldish Pentium/100 with only a 4x CD-ROM drive."

"...As you would imagine, there’s LOTS of stuff on conspiracies. There’s also plenty on UFO’s, aliens, extra terrestrial manifestations, coincidences, astronomy, simple maths, technology, and whatever. There is even a homily on the legalization of cannabis, contrasted with the lethal potentials of (lawful & popular) roasted coffee. These guys have such fertile imaginations that it’s difficult to discern what’s truth and what’s their fiction. But fear not … you don’t need to be a whiz at maths or science to get through this game. In any case, most of the very extensive info is window dressing and is not required to solve puzzles or progress through the game. The trouble is, you never know whether some esoteric detail is essential or just a red herring!"

"CtC is a game which warrants playing by all devoted Q/A fans; particularly those who appreciate games of the first-person, sci-fi/conspiracy variety. There’s a whole scientific complex to explore accompanied by an assortment of hi-tech equipment and a good serving of information to feast on."


Windows 95/98/Me: Pentium 200 (P233 recommended), 32MB RAM, DirectX 6.0 compatible video card, Windows compatible sound card, 4x CD-ROM drive (8x recommended), mouse and keyboard, 150MB available hard drive space.

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