Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus: The CD-ROM Game
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus: The CD-ROM Game is a title hastily developed to take advantage of a pop culture phenomenon and, consequently, is not very good. Basically a question-and-answer game with annoying animated hosts, the game alternates between bizarre and boring. The questions asked during games essentially require common sense answers.
Adults of either sex who have experienced a romantic relationship with a member of the opposite sex will find the answers to the multiple-choice questions painfully clear. In fact, many questions feature three allegedly correct answers that are very similar and one ridiculous incorrect answer. This reviewer ran through all the quizzes without missing a beat and, as a result, now know exactly what women (Venusians) want at all times -- thus making me apparently the smartest man to have ever lived. My wife was quite surprised to hear this!
The game's party mode is even more ridiculous since there are no right or wrong answers. The only point to the game is to guess what the other team guessed, not whether their answer was correct or not. Your team will not score points if the opposing team consists of people who can't figure out the correct answers or if the opposing team is filled with practical jokers who purposefully pick the wrong answers each time.
Apparently, though, if you want to play multiplayer you'll need to gather a group of friends (or acquaintances) together since dozens of attempts to find an online host met with failure. In fact, after setting myself up as a host, no one responded, leading one to think that John Gray's series of books is the venue of choice for Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus activities. Certainly no one seems to be playing it online.
Multiplayer aside, the game offers a large number of quizzes and, if you can get into it, provides plenty of replay value -- initially. After all the quizzes have been taken, however, there is little left to do in single-player mode. It's possible that anyone who really enjoys playing the game could switch genders and retake the quizzes as a member of the opposite sex but that seems an artificial and meaningless way to extend gameplay.
Graphically, the game is equivalent to a low-budget horror movie. In addition to a brief animated opening, there are animated interludes featuring John Gray (the author) dressed in wacky costumes such as a knight, caveman and mechanic. All of the animation sequences, though, simply pound home his message about how men and women are different creatures and have different needs. Does this really surprise anyone?
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus: The CD-ROM Game features grainy video segments with men and women delivering small monologues about relationships. The acting is decent enough but the video quality is poor and the animated hosts, Mars and Venus, are annoying and remain so throughout the game. Whether dancing, adjusting hairstyles, putting on makeup or blurting out incoherent phrases, the noisy hosts add nothing to the game and you can't make them go away. Overall, the audio presentation is average and video clips sound horrible (lots of echo). The answering machine clips are silly, though they do have their place in the game. There is a great deal of ambient music, mostly upbeat and synthetic.
The game is boring, repetitive and annoying. That it was developed quickly and rushed to market to cash in on a fad that faded rather quickly is obvious. If you are looking for help in your relationships, avoid the game and spend time with your loved ones, a course of action that is bound to be much more productive. ~ Anthony Baize, All Game Guide
The game features poor animation and an overly weak visual presentation. ~ Anthony Baize, All Game Guide
Some of the audio is annoying and some scratchy -- but all of it is bad. ~ Anthony Baize, All Game Guide
This is not a trivia game; the idea is to choose the weakest answer that is most socially acceptable. There's no real requirement to think and even less of a chance to enjoy. ~ Anthony Baize, All Game Guide
If you can stomach the game, there is plenty of it to digest. Replay value is good but only an extreme minority of gamers will want to be bothered. ~ Anthony Baize, All Game Guide
The jewel case booklet is sufficient for understanding gameplay. ~ Anthony Baize, All Game Guide