My personal story.
A long long time ago, the mid 1990's, I was a frequent watcher of the Duckman Tv show on the USA network and a devoted fan of adventure games. One day I saw on ad that Playmates was going to release an adventure game for the PC based on the Duckman show. Naturally I was very excited. So I waited, and waited and in 1997 I learned from an online website, which one I have forgotten, that Duckman was never completed and had been cancelled. So I vanished the game from my memory and moved on. 1997 saw the death of the adventure game genre. Soon the Duckman TV show followed. While some adventure games were selling well, most companies started chasing after perceived mega profits from 3D action games and dropped virtually all adventure game development. Only a handful were made since.
I heard several times that the rug was pulled out from the developers. The publisher stormed in and took all equipment and data for making the game at the end of a long week and that virtually all the employees had gone home. The game was anywhere from 30 to 50% complete. The game was horrible and we should be thankful that it was cancelled. Duckman was in development for every system under the sun. I heard it was really an action game with puzzle elements. One rumor I did not hear was that Duckman was
In late 1999 I learned that some adventure games were still being developed in Europe. While checking with importers I noticed that a Duckman game was once available. I figured this was a mistake and quickly pointed this out to them. Several dealers assured me that while they no longer had copies of the game still in inventory they did at one time sell a Duckman adventure game. After further pestering one bothered to look into they records and learned that Playmates in Germany had released it. I wrote them an email and to my surprised they replied back. The man said that the game did exist, and was released. I asked if I could buy a copy from them but he claim that legally he could not and I would have to contact Playmates USA. I've yet to hear from them. Towards winter I talked to someone who wrote a walk through for the game. The person claimed that the game was all in German. Dishearten I gave up the search for awhile. Then one day in Spring 2000 I read a message in a message in a atheist web board that someone had just bought the game from a bargain bin in the UK. I emailed the person but they never replied. On a lark I posted a message on the Duckman news group. I asked if anyone knew the game existed and if so where could I get a copy. I have done this before a year earlier when I first started the search. This time someone listened. Unfortunately as luck would have it I fell ill and didn't answer the message for a few weeks. The person quickly sent out a copy and on August 7th 2000, just a mere four years after the quest began, I had my game.
I know I will get email asking me how to get this game and more specifically how I got this game. All I can say is lets keep looking for some importer willing to sell the store bought version and has enough for everyone. If you find someone, drop me a line and I'll place a link right here on this page.
This is what everyone is waiting for. Duckman the adventure game is actually a good game. I'm not talking as some Duckman fan boy or some hopeless adventure gamer who loves everything. I'm a very cynical gamer who have been gaming since 1974 and feel that most games do in fact suck. Duckman does not suck. It should not come as any surprise but the game is very much like Leisure Suit Larry in its delivery. However it ends up being far better than any of the LLL games. The dialog is wonderfully witty and peppered with quips that are razor sharp. Its on par with some of the best episodes of the Duckman TV show. The story of the game has Duckman living the life of a pampered superstar only to learn he has been replaced by a new Duckman on his own TV show and in his own family. The goal is, of course, to get them back.
The biggest change from the series is that Jason Alexander is not doing the voice of Duckman. However the person who does is voice gets very close. When he gets very angry you can easily tell its not Jason but beyond that it's a good substitution. Here is a wave file of Duckman's voice in the game:
Oh the game is completely in English. Menus, in game graphics, and speech. However the subtitles are in fact in German.
The interface is very simple and easy to use. Most of the time you work the world between two icons with other icons coming up as you need them.
The graphics are nice. It is disappointing that they are in such a low resolution. However as I sit a top of my Pentium 3 550 with 128 megs of ram and super duper 3D card, I might be a little forgetful of the base line computer system that most users had in 1995 when the game began development. The game takes on an almost Lucas Arts quality for camera angles. Certainty not the boring single angle that are a trade mark of most Sierra and virtually all other companies' adventure games.
Speaking of Lucas Arts, the navigation map looks exactly like something from one of their games.
Thank you for stopping by my Duckman page. Good luck on finding a copy of the game, its worth it! Thanks!
- Rob Merritt