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.
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