Beneath a Steel Sky – Review

Point and clicks aren’t for everyone. Some find them sleep inducing when what they really want is a high tempo adrenaline fuelled experience. However, even though some of us might enjoy a more relaxed experience from time to time, point and clicks can still be incredibly fun. You are basically taking control of an interactive movie. It still takes a lot of work though. There are puzzles to be solved after all, and they won’t solve themselves!

Beneath a Steel Sky is a point and click adventure game developed by Revolution Software and was published by Virgin Interactive Entertainment in 1994. Originally for MS-DOS and Amiga computers, it would be released for iOS in 2009, Apple Arcade and Steam in 2020, and in 2022. For this review, I played the version downloaded from Steam.

Gotta love those early 1990s SCUMM graphics (screenshot taken by the author)


Beneath a Steel Sky is based in a cyberpunk-themed dystopian future. The Earth is a very different place. Set in Australia and against the backdrop of an economic war, a young boy called Robert is the only survivor of a helicopter crash that occurred in ‘The Gap’, an area outside of Union City. Robert is found and adopted by some of the locals who protect him and teach him the necessary skills to survive in The Gap. Over the years, he learns engineering and robotics, and builds a sentient robotic friend called Joey. Joey’s memories and personality are stored on a microchip and can be installed into other robot bodies to utilise them.

One day, a group of soldiers arrive from Union City. They have been sent by LINC (Logical Inter-Neural Connection), a computer system that runs the city, with orders to take Robert into custody without an explanation as to why. As they fly back to Union City, their helicopter malfunctions, and crashes on the city’s upper level. Robert survives and flees into a recycling plant where he hides from his captors.


Played from a third-person perspective, Beneath a Steel Sky is a standard point and click game with simple controls. Using the cursor, you click on parts of the screen move Robert around the environment, or to look at, or interact with people and items. To progress in the game, you must solve puzzles which involve finding objects that can be combined with one another or part of the environment. When conversing with another character, you can ask questions or make statements using a dialogue tree which either furthers the plot or gives you hints as to how to progress in the game.

Using the mouse, the left button looks at the object or part of environment, and the right button allows you to interact with it. By moving your cursor to the top of the screen, the items in your inventory appear. Again, you can use the right mouse button to select the use of an item and drag it to where or who you wish to us it on.

Like other point and clicks of this era, there are plenty of whacky characters to interact with (screenshot taken by the author)

How Does It Handle?

The game is simple to learn and to control, so you are able to dive straight in. One aspect of the controls I found annoying was that the “looking” button was the left mouse button, and the “action” button was on the right. I would have preferred this to be the other way around as it feels more intuitive for me.

Interestingly, you can actually die in this game, a rarity for point and clicks. Luckily you have infinite lives and you are simply taken back to your last save, so remember to save often.


Firstly, I love the comic book style introduction (and ending). It is a great way to start the game and engages you instantly with the background story. The in-game graphics have that typical SCUMM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion) game look to them, which I love. The characters are all unique and the backgrounds are well designed and really give a sense of what a futuristic dystopian city might look like.

Music and SFX

For the most part, the music in many point and clicks are subtle and atmospheric, and at times, completely forgotten. However, in Beneath a Steel Sky, the music is a prominent feature and is very noticeable throughout. It feels like it is constantly changing from scene to scene to stop it from getting monotonous and there is a good mix of dramatic and playful. I found myself rather enjoying it.

This game has excellent dialogue with an array of accents. It is easy to see why it won an award for its dialogue. I really enjoyed the conversations, especially between Robert and Joey. The SFX in general, as I sit here and write this, I don’t really remember much. There are background noises like when you are walking through the factories, and sliding doors opening and closing but apart from that, I don’t seem to be able to remember much about them.

Inside LINC (screenshot take by the author)

Replay Value

There are two endings to this game. A good one and a bad one. However, both endings were disappointing in my opinion. Although I enjoyed the game, it didn’t make me want to play through it again.

Did I Complete The Game?

Yes, I completed the game but had to use a walkthrough to assist me several times.

What The Critics Said:

PC Gamer Online: “A slick, funny, and absorbing adventure that will appeal to a wide variety of gamers–two thumbs up! Overall 91%”.[1]


1995 Best Dialogue – PG Gamer[2]

1995 Best Adventure – The Golden Joystick Awards 1995[3]


“In my head, I imaged Beneath a Steel Sky to be a serious point and click. I didn’t expect the humour and quirky characters. The game looks great too, has memorable music and excellent dialogue. Not much in the way of replay value, but if you like point and clicks, you can’t go wrong.”


What are your memories of Beneath a Steel Sky? I would love to hear your thoughts, and don’t for get to follow and subscribe so that you don’t miss my latest reviews! You can also find me on Instagram: @nicklovestogame

[1] Poole, S., (December 1994). ‘Beneath a Steel Sky’. PC Gamer Online. ( accessed on 13th January 2023).

[2] Petitte, O., (September 24, 2012). ‘Return to Rust: Beneath a Steel Sky 2 Confirmed’. ( accessed 13th January 2023).

[3] Chalk, A., (24 September 2012). ‘Revolution Confirms Beneath the Sky a Steel Sky 2’. The Escapist.  ( accessed 13th January 2023).


Star Trek: 25th Anniversary – Review

“Space…the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. Its five-year mission to explore strange new worlds; to seek out new life and new civilisations; to boldly go where no man has gone before.”

Title screen (screenshot taken by the author)

Star Trek: 25th Anniversary is a single-player adventure video game in the point and click format. It was developed and published by Interplay for DOS in 1992, Amiga in 1994, MacOS in 1995 and OSX and Linux in 2015. For this review, I played the Enhanced CD version.


Based on Star Trek: The Original Series, the game sees you take control of the crew of the starship USS Enterprise. There are seven missions to complete, with each mission styled like an episode of the series. During these missions you encounter strange new species, as well as run-ins with more familiar alien races such as the Klingons and Romulans. There is even an encounter with notorious con-artist Harry Mudd. However, the game isn’t just point and click based. There are also opportunities for space battles too when dealing with the Elasi pirates.

On the bridge of the USS Enterprise (screenshot taken by the author)


The gameplay is mostly point and click based. You can select whether to walk, look, speak to, or interact with; scenery, people, and items. Your inventory is available at the top left of the screen where you can choose to wield weapons or items when interacting with your surroundings. You also have the ability to select characters to interact with your environment which adds to the realism of the game…you wouldn’t ask Bones to decipher a computer lock would you…”Damn it Jim I’m a doctor, not a locksmith!!”.

When talking to the many characters you encounter, you sometimes have several options of how to interact. Only one is the correct way to reply or ask a question. The others are considered too hostile for Federation standards and affect how the other character reacts and, ultimately, your end of mission score.

Occasionally, you may be called upon to use your phasers against an enemy. You will have the option not to fire, fire on stun setting, or set your phasers to kill. Again, your decision affects not only the safety of your crew, but also your end of mission score.

It’s the Klingons!!! (screenshot taken by the author)

How Does It Handle?

This game is a bit more complex than most point and clicks of its time. The main point and click parts of the game are straight forward. However, the starship battles take practice as you need to learn to fix your ships damage whilst flying your starship.

The puzzles have varying degress of difficulty. Most are simple enough, but some of the missions allow for more than one outcome which greatly affects your end of mission score. One mission however, is very tough, especially if you find maths difficult. I don’t know anyone who worked it out without using a walkrthough.

A particularly nice touch is that before you beam to your destination, you are able to access the ship’s computer and type in keywords from your mission brief. A computer voice will then read out the relevant information and then, like Wikipedia, you find yourself scribbling down keywords and going down a rabbit hole gaining more and more information about the mission ahead.

Be advised, if you buy this game online, you will need to Google for the star map which came with the original instruction manual wise you won’t know which solar systems to navigate to and will end up in counties space battles with Klingons, Romulans or Elasi Pirates.


Graphics wise, the game looks brilliant. The sprites are bright, colourful and clearly defined. The backgrounds are incredibly detailed and well-illustrated. The only downside to the graphics are the pixalated look of the starships and planets during the intro and beginning of each mission. During battles, the starships are designed to give the illusion of the ships being 3D but they clearly are not, and at times look less than smooth.


What makes this game particularly great, is that it contains the actual voices of the original crew, with authentic music from the show (albeit an 8-bit version). The background sound FX, especially when you are on the bridge of the Enterprise, are very reminiscent of the TV show and really immerses you in the game. Additionaly, what brings this game to life is the interactions between the characters which makes you feel as if you are watching an episode of Star Trek.

“Fascinating” (screenshot taken by the author)

Spoiler Alert!!!

Beware on the last mission. There seems to be a bug which leads you to a dead end. I spent a lot of time revisiting rooms before looking online to see where I’d gone wrong. This was where I read some walkthroughs and realised, I’d gone wrong. I only used the walkthrough to help progress on Mission six where some advanced mathematical skills are needed to find a code.

Did I Compete The Game?

Yes, many years ago, but I did need help for mission six when you need to work out a code for a door lock.

What The Critics Said:

Computer & Video Games: Frank O’Connor “The graphics are in super mega VGA-o-Vision and look dreamy. The sprites are excellent, right down to the high-heeled boots for the male characters. The music is a spot-on rendition of the TV themes, with a smattering of groovy sound effects for good measure. Overall 93%.[1]

ACE: “The only real problem is the overall longevity, as defined by the number of missions – with only eight of them, seasoned adventurers may find the challenge distressingly short-lived. Those new to the genre, however, would be hard pushed to find a friendlier, more enjoyable and absorbing experience. Overall 960/1000.[2]

My Verdict:

“Authentic, fun, challenging…one of the best Star Trek games ever made. Point and click fans should also enjoy the game, even if they’re not Star Trek fans.”


What are your memories of Star Trek: 25th Anniversary? I would love to hear your thoughts, and don’t for get to follow and subscribe so that you don’t miss my latest reviews! You can also find me on Instagram: @nicklovestogame.

[1] O’Connor, F., ‘Review: PC – Star Trek: 25th Anniversary’. Computer & Video Games Magazine. (April 1992). Issue 125:60-1.

[2] ‘Screentest – Star Trek: 25th Anniversary’. ACE. (April 1992). Issue 55:60-5.