Gamebytes and Bots
Gamebytes and Bots
GAMEBYTES AND BOTS
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LOOM
LOOM REVIEW
Date Played June 2011

Loom is another LucasArts point and click adventure. It takes place in the time of the great guilds and specific to our story, concentrates on the Guild of Weavers. The weavers weave patterns of life on a great loom, which also enables them to perform magical events. These patterns are in the form of musical notes.

Some seventeen years previous to the time of our story, our young Bobbin Threadbare, seems to have been woven on the great loom by his mother, Cygna. At about that same time, the Elders noticed that the patterns of life were starting to shift toward chaos and wrongly associated Bobbin's birth with these events. As a result, his mother was banished and her son, called "Loom child", was feared and prevented from weaving on the the great Loom. On the morning of his seventeenth birthday, he is summoned by the Elders who intend to do him harm. However, his mother has a friend named Hetchel who has raised and protected Bobbin and speaks in his defense. But time is running out and in fear of the pattern shift, the Elders weave a rift, transform into swans and fly to safety. Left alone on Loom Island, Bobbin must find a way to follow them.


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The problem is that he does not know how to create the notes on the loom, called drafts, that will enable this. Before Hetchel also follows the swans, she leaves him the Elder Atropos' distaff and tells him to practice the drafts on this till he learns the one that will allow him to join them. In the beginning, there are very few notes, and therefore drafts, available on the staff, but as Bobbin journeys to his destination and performs certain things, notes are added.

Bobbin believes his mother is dead and in the graveyard, written on her tombstone, is a riddle that tells him how to leave Loom Island. Soon he sets sail and during his travels, he learns of a certain Bishop Mandible who is preparing food and arms for an army of ten thousand strong. Eventually, it's revealed that he intends to open the graves and release the hordes of the dead to serve him. Much to the bishop's dismay, when he does cast the draft, he also releases Chaos who it turns out has her own plans regarding whom will serve who.

Loom is very short, but I actually found it more enjoyable than The Secret of Monkey Island. One of the main reasons for this is that in Loom you continually move forward and there is very little retracing of the same ground. It is, though, extremely easy. All you need to do is click on something and if it has a draft, the notes will play on the staff. Write these down and repeat the notes on something else to unravel another puzzle. Each draft does a particular thing and reversing the notes also reverses the action. So, if there is a draft for opening something, just reverse the notes in order to close something. Easy, peasy. It's just a matter of deciding which draft to use. You will never remember all of them though, so write them down.

What can I say about the graphics? They are typical of the time and game and are not hard on the eye as you can see by the screenshots. You need one control, which is your mouse. Just click and go. The menu is opened by F5, where you will find save and load. F9 toggles showing the text, ALT+enter toggles and diminshes full screen, spacebar pauses the game and Alt+F4 quits it.

There are a few others that didn't seem to work very well. These are period (.) to skip to next line, F7 to speed up or resume normal speed, ESC to skip sequences. You can click the icon in the title bar and will get a drop down menu, as well. The only way I found to take screenshots was to print screen and copy into the paint program, which was a pain in the you know what. Fraps did not work on this game and neither did Steam screenshots.

There is a program called ScummVM ( which also happens to be the name of the bar in The Secret of Monkey Island ) that allows you to run certain classic graphical point-and-click adventure games, provided you already have their data files. ScummVM just replaces the executables shipped with the games, allowing you to play them on systems for which they were never designed! See wikipedia.

Note: The system requirements are the ones listed for the Steam download version.

UPDATE Aug 2015: Loom recently celebrated its 25 year anniversary and at the 2015 Game Developer's Conference, the designer, Brian Moriarty, gave a heart-warming post-mortem on Loom. He stated that he regretted not pushing harder for a sequel and indicated that with the game on Steam that it may still be possible. He named three studios that he would entrust this to and would be willing to collaborate with; Telltale, Double Fine and Wadjet Eye. You can view his presentation through the YouTube link.

Forge is a fan-made sequel in the making to Loom, continuing the story from where Loom ended. Forge

Game Issues Experienced
None. Steam says that you need .NET Framework 3.5 SP 1 to run this game. You may already have this on your computer. Check in your control panel under Add/Remove programs to see what version of .NET you have.

For Microsoft update go here
Development Note
Loom was originally published for DOS on floppy disc in 1990. Shorty thereafter it was available for the Amiga, Atari ST and Macintosh. The original package included an illustrated notebook and a 30 minute audio drama explaining the world of Loom and the circumstances of Bobbin's birth. The game is a direct continuation of this story. The book also acted as a form of copy protection asking players for the notes of a particular draft at start-up.

The release was followed later by two versions; in 1991, an enhanced release in 256 color for the Japanese-made PC FM Towns and in 1992, for DOS on CD. However, due to technical contraints, the last version had to remove some features such as multiple puzzle solutions, conversation close-ups, and shortened cut-scenes. Through licensing agreements, the DOS CD version became unavailable until 2006 and only the floppy disc version was available from LucasArts. Now, all of these versions can be played on different platforms using ScummVM virtual machine. The PC CD version was released on Steam in 2009 and for Mac in 2010. Loom was vaguely conceived to be the first game of a trilogy, but by this time the developers at LucasFilms had moved on to other projects and none of them felt strongly enough about it to proceed with sequels.

LucasFilm Games was founded in 1982 by George Lucas. In 1990, the games division name was changed to LucasArts. In 2012, LucasFilms was acquired by the Walt Disney Company and LucasArts was subsequently closed down as a game developer. Most of the staff were let go, but it remained open in order to retain its function as a licensor. All future developments based on LucasFilm properties are assumed by Disney Interactive or licensed to third-party studios. For instance, Star Wars games are licensed to Electronic Arts.
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Other games in series: None
GAME INFORMATION
  • Genre: Adventure
  • Developer(s): Lucasfilm Games
  • Publisher(s): Lucasfilm Games
  • Platforms: Windows, DOS, Mac OS, Amiga, Atari ST, FM Towns - Gog Linux
  • Release: Jan 1990, re-release July 2009
  • Mode(s): Single-player
  • Media: Download, floppy, CD
  • DLC Available: No
  • OS: Windows XP/Vista
  • CPU: any 2002 era PC or better
  • RAM: 32 MB
  • Hard Drive: 290 MB free space
  • Video: 2 MB - PCI Graphics card
  • Sound: DirectX, 16bit sound card
  • Shader Model:
  • Input for PC: Keyboard & Mouse
  • DRM: Steam (Gog DRM free)
AROUND THE WEB
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Official Modding Tools
  • None
To indicate what kind of performance you may get, compare your specs to the system this game was played on. You can also try  Can You Run It
  • Version: Steam
  • OS: Windows XP SP3
  • CPU: Athlon 64x2 4200+ 2200MHz
  • Ram: 4GB
  • Disk Drive: DVD/CD
  • Video: ATI Radeon 4830
  • Shader Model: 4.1
  • DirectX: 9.0c
  • Input: Keyboard & Mouse
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