Space Quest IV is a 1991 point-and-click adventure game developed and published by Sierra On-Line. It is the fourth game in the Space Quest series, and stars janitor turned hero, Roger Wilco.
On March 4, 1991, Space Quest IV was released on six high-density floppy disks. In December 1992, Space Quest IV was re-released on CD-ROM with full speech. The game cost more than $1,000,000 to produce; fortunately, the game was quite successful and sold more copies than the three previous Space Quest games combined.
Space Quest IV was the first game in the Space Quest series to both come with a CD and include full audio dialog, which was voiced by Gary Owens of Laugh-In fame. The game had 256-color hand-painted VGA graphics, unlike the 16-color EGA graphics of previous Space Quests (although EGA was still an option for players with older systems). Additionally, it was one of the first games to use video-captured animation.
The game engine employed the next generation of the Sierra Creative Interface (SCI), first used in the development of Space Quest III. However, this game did not feature a parser interface; instead, Space Quest IV was a point-and-click adventure game in its entirety.
Space Quest IV is also notable for being the last Space Quest game to be designed and programmed by both of the series' creators, The Two Guys from Andromeda (Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy).
In Space Quest IV, Roger must travel to to the future and the past (noted by the game sequel or prequel in which our faithful hero happens to find himself) and influence characters and events in order to prevent his untimely demise in the future by the order of the evil Sludge Vohaul. In the game's non-playable introduction, Roger is taken outside by the so-called "Sequel Police" for a holo-message from Vohaul. Following the message, the Sequel Police attempt to execute our protagonist, but Roger is saved in the nick of time by two mysterious men (one of whom being Roger Wilco's son), who open a portal and thus begin his time-traveling adventure.
Along the way, Roger visits many locations - including Space Quest X: Latex Babes of Estros and Space Quest I - The Sarien Encounter. The graphics and music change in order to reflect the period in which Roger finds himself. For instance, in the Space Quest I portion of the game, Roger is a handsomely-drawn 256-color VGA character in a CGA world.
There are plenty of easter eggs and minigames along the way, including the ability to play Ms. Astro Chicken (the sequel to Space Quest III's Astro Chicken playable minigame) in an arcade. Some of the game's most beloved moments are found by using the icons, a set of tools for getting around in the game, in unusual ways to generate unusual reactions. For example, if you clicked on Roger with the hand icon the narrator would say: "Hey, this is a family game!"