Moebius: Empire Rising is a contemporary adventure that merges classic point-and-click puzzle solving with Jane Jensen’s sophisticated storytelling. Travel the world using Malachi’s unique deductive powers to analyze suspects, make historical connections, and uncover the truth behind a theory of space and time the government will defend...
User reviews:
Overall:
Mostly Positive (120 reviews) - 75% of the 120 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Apr 15, 2014

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About This Game

This thrilling new adventure game from master storyteller Jane Jensen (Gabriel Knight, Gray Matter) and Phoenix Online Studios (Cognition, The Silver Lining) introduces Malachi Rector, an expert in antiquities whose photographic memory and eye for detail transform people and clues into interactive puzzles.

When a secretive government agency enlists him to determine whether a murdered woman in Venice resembles any particular historical figure, Malachi is left with only questions. Why would the U.S. government hire him -- a dealer of high-end antiques -- to look into a foreign murder? Why does David Walker, a former Special Forces operative he meets in his travels, feel like someone Malachi’s known all his life? And how come every time Malachi lets his guard down, someone tries to kill him?

Moebius: Empire Rising is a contemporary adventure that merges classic point-and-click puzzle solving with Jane Jensen’s sophisticated storytelling. Travel the world using Malachi’s unique deductive powers to analyze suspects, make historical connections, and uncover the truth behind a theory of space and time the government will defend at any cost.

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI or NVidia with 512 MB RAM**
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: ** - Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory
    Recommended:
    • OS: XP/Vista/7
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI or NVidia with 1 GB RAM**
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: ** - Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory
    Minimum:
    • OS: Snow Leopard (10.6.X)
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz*
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI or NVidia with 512 MB RAM**
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: * - For Mac systems, an Intel-based processor is required., ** - Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory
    Recommended:
    • OS: Snow Leopard (10.6.X)
    • Processor: 2.0 GHz*
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI or NVidia with 1 GB RAM**
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: * - For Mac systems, an Intel-based processor is required., ** - Not recommended for play on Intel systems with integrated/shared video memory
Helpful customer reviews
27 of 27 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
20.3 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
Moebius: Empire Rising is a (relatively) new adventure game by Jane Jensen. If you've played Jensen's previous games (e.g. Gabriel Knight, Gray Matter), then you might have certain (high) expectations.

If you are a Jane Jensen fan, you probably won't be (too) disappointed. Her signature strengths are mostly here. The game has many flaws, but they will likely be tolerated by most.

Additionally, if you are a Sherlock Holmes fan, you are even more likely to appreciate this, as there are numerous similarities (e.g. likable antisocial lead with high intelligence and observational prowess, awkward bromance with sidekick).

If you are unfamiliar with Jane Jensen but like adventure games, then (assuming you even exist) this might not be the best place to start unless you can get it cheap. Also, you should be aware that this, like other Jensen stories, are, uh, somewhat "metaphysical" in nature. If you need a game to be squarely constrained by generally accepted physical laws of reality, then you might want to pass on this.

GOOD
* Good writing
* Clever blend of real and fake history and current events
* Great voice acting
* Good music (though seems a bit inappropriate at times to me)
* Great concept
* Good story
* (mostly) Good art (somewhat inconsistent)
* Interesting 'analysis' puzzle concepts (but, can be frustrating sometimes)

NEUTRAL
* Old school point system
* Mostly easy and straightforward, but some rough points
* Mostly unoriginal puzzles
* Hotkey to reveal interactive objects in scenes (except in the maze at the end) with intuitive radial interface
* Hint system exists, but I haven't tried it
* Low budget CG cutscenes, 3D models
* Many "missable" achievements

BAD
* Weak, inconsistent writing in places
* Some terrible animations (e.g. Malachi's walking)
* Needlessly frustrating maze puzzle at the end
* Glitchy scripting, including some game breaking bugs (save often!)
* Some interface glitches
* Aforementioned bugs have gone unresolved for over a year, new bugs were added with post-release updates
* At least one broken achievement

Parting thought - I can't help feel that this could have been a much better game. But, I enjoyed it. There is also hope for the future as this seems quite open for additional titles in a series (though this title is quite self-contained).

Disclosure: I received a copy of this game as a gift from a friend (thanks!)
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12 of 13 people (92%) found this review helpful
11.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 7
Jane Jensen is a master not just with intelligent plotlines (which sadly is rare in adventure games) but is also the master of storytelling and editing. Giving succinct but a lot of valuable information in various ways as to never be boring and, if you are like me, learn a lot while having a heap of fun at the same time.

The storyline background was art history and the unfolding plot was about Moebius Theory (there are the same patterns throughout history, everything repeats itself)

Your character is an antiques dealer who becomes involved with an organisation that wants his insight into a few people. You investigate each character which have information points, once you collect all the points you solve a puzzle by comparing these character's facts with historical figures. Along the way, we see how the Moebius Theory unfolds through him personally and the people he is investigating.

Each chapter is usually in a different country, but with only about 2-3 places to visit in each country, you don't get lost and it is very easy to go back and forth via a map if you miss something, thus minimising or eliminating the need for hints (which this game does have) or a walkthrough. There are a few puzzles but even with the obligatory maze at the end there are logical clues.

Now to the not so great:
- Artwork - sometimes is in the just OK range
- The multi-step inventory, I could have done without the 'envelope' icon and just use the interactive icon when I wanted to use an item.
- Couple of glitches and a couple of achievements that aren’t working but the devs say they will be fixed soon.
- Main character is plain 'I want to bonk him in the head' annoying.

He does improve a bit as gameplay progresses but not quickly enough to care about what happens to him till near the end, where there is a redeemable characteristic. In Gabriel Knight the main character was a sexist pig at times but he also was a lovable rogue. Sherlock Holmes was very loyal and really nice to people he found interesting. House M.D over time, was very loyal and cared in his own way to people in his life. This game isn't long enough to develop a "House" type character.

Overall I loved it, preferring the storyline and plot over GK and Grey Matter. Maybe if Jensen had more unlimited funding it would have been a longer more involved game in every way than GK and even Contradiction. But, it's still a really good game, good puzzles, great plot, dialogue and well worth playing. I really recommend it.
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6 of 6 people (100%) found this review helpful
18.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 30
Industry veteran Jane Jensen joins forces with Phoenix Online to deliver a new adventure. The result?

Contrived writing and formulaic characters (not exactly surprising if you've read that Jensen interview on Gamasutra...), mostly vapid ideas, some daft puzzles, but clearly the most eminent problem lies with the Holmes deduction process analogue mechanic: it probably sounded a great idea on paper, in practice the solution is either a) blatantly obvious, akin to compiling a simple form b) total guesswork: "what did they have in mind when putting together this trope-y character?"

The execution looks budget, with the usual issues stemming from the use of 3D characters; it's not intolerable, more like excusable, what with the KS campaign having raised slightly more than 400 grand, but definitely noticeable. At some point the game was updated to Unity 5, and it appears the job was likely done hurriedly, leaving behind very obvious bugs. There's also some blurry textures here and there.

Noteworthy: while the game is under most respects almost exactly what you would expect from a modern adventure in terms of general experience, it does bring back some old fashioned design decisions nobody really missed in the first place; in one instance, it combines them like inventory items to unleash maximum mayhem on the unsuspecting player: the Rubber Tree lesson went out of the window here in favor of a throwback to the heyday of Sierra, and there's no manner of autosaving or checkpointing, so it's definitely possible to be forced into replaying a whole chapter (or two). If you hated Resonance for not saving close enough to the ending, this one may elicit long strings of insults.

Nevertheless, I couldn't muster a real dislike for the game; it shares elements with Cognition, and indeed many Phoenix people have worked on this one as well; but past the opening and on to the second episode, that one already seemed a better game than Moebius.

I would only recommend this game to specific types of players: the indie adventure game renaissance train may have made a short stop at this station, however, it has also long left the platform.
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
11.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 25
While the story of this game isn't anywhere near Jane Jensen at her best compared to her other games it's still a good story and intruiging enough to keep you going till the end.

Graphically the game is fine, neither good nor bad, it gets the job done. Music is by Robert Holmes so you know it's gonna be good.

The puzzles are interisting although a bit on the very easy side of the spectrum which means you won't have much trouble progressing through the game which is either bad or good depending on the views of the player.

All in all I do recommend this game if you like adventure games.
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3 of 3 people (100%) found this review helpful
20.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 23
This is the latest game(2014) from Jane Jensen, creator of the Gabriel Knight series, a classic sierra's adventure game made in the 90s. She made very interesting puzzles at the time, and some terrible ones, but the end result always won.
Now, she comes back with a kickstarter project that begun in 2012 and came up in 2014, this time working independent, with little money of course, and a new small team of game devs called Phoenix online.

The truth be told, when i first tried the game, the first impression was pretty shocking, and not in a good way... Of course this is a small team working, with a tiny budget, but still there are some things that can't be justified just because having little money. What i mean is, the first impression was bad, and yes, i am talking about the graphics first, because that's one of the first things that you take from a game, but its not the only thing, also the game was bad (aparently) meaning the puzzles, and even the main character was bad, alltough this could be atributed to his akward way of walking (little joke there).

The thing is, the game starts to make some sense some time around the end of the third chapter (almost half of the whole game). The story starts to come around, there's this theory of moebius, of the pattern and these special persons (no spoilers here) and then the main character starts to develop, he becomes more interesting, he's having weird dreams and visions and it somehow relates to what is hapenning in the main story. The great music of Robert Holmes (creator of the gabriel knight soundtrack) comes in full force here, like in old times having some great moments, specially during the revelation moments. The puzzles, about analizing patterns and people starts to emerge and it's something interesting to try and adds to the game. The graphics, still ugly, get somehow much more better, in terms of finishing and polish. It's like the game almost changes around the second half, and then you arrive at the last part of the game and all that diminishes somehow and you encounter the same problems, and the samethings from the first half.

And that's the problem, right there, a double problem. First, you have no consistency. Because , i liked this game (in parts) , meaning at first i didn't like it, then yes, and then no. So, it's like i've been playing two different games in one. So you have great elements, interesting story, great music, some interesting puzzles, but not at first, and not at the end, so when the game starts you don't really want to play it that much, then if you have patience you reach the good part, and then...in the end, you are left with a bad impression, again.

The second problem with this game is that, ive played it because i like (and knew) about past jane jensen's adventures, and i know what she is able to do in a game, and that's why i even continued playing this one after the start (and i did get my reward, i like this game) but if i didn't knew jane jensen was behind it i've probably wouldn't have tried it, and i don't see how people who are new to her would get interested in an adventure like this.

It's a shame because i love adventure games, and i want to see the genre succeed (and it is coming back in these last years) but not with games like this. The genre has to move forward, have great production values have great game mechanics, be modern, be fun to everybody, played by everybody, not only hardcore adventure gamers (without stop being and adventure game), like for example the Sherlock Holmes games by frogwares.

I liked Moebius, but i don't think it will appeal to people outside those who played old adventures games (you can try fellow newcomer, but , you are warned)

It's a shame also, because to be honest, this game's story has great potential, and i see why jane jensen would like to continue it. In fact, her previous adventure game from 2010, Gray matter, didn't have as good a story as this , and funnily enough, that game had better graphics than this one. But Moebius has in fact a greater a story, one that it has certain moments that are more close in spirit to the 90s era with gabriel knight. Even the music is more close to the Gabriel knight series.
I have to say, in the end i liked moebius better than Gray matter. Moebius is a better game because it has heart in it, and it is more a jane jensen game than gray matter will ever be.

I can't recommend this game to everybody, but i like it, and that's why the positive thumbs up calification.
I would say that, from 2014, this was possibly the best story for and adventure game. but not the best game by far.
(see my other reviews for the best adventure from 2014)
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