The Space Bar Developed by Boffo Games and published by Rocket Science Games was release for PC June 30th 1997. From the mind of designers Steve Meretzky, Tom Bok and Ron Cobb The Space Bar is a humorous adventure game about a detective in an outer space multi-species alien frequented Space Bar.
The player becomes Alias Node, a private investigator for an alien corporation and the only human on the planet Armpit VI. Late one night while on patrol with his partner Maksh, Alias is surprised by a fellow investigator who has just died on right on top of his car. Alias catches a look at the assassin as he/she/it ducks into a local dive bar/gambling hall called the Thirsty Tentacle. Unfortunately for Mr. Node, the assassin is a shape shifter who can take the shape of any alien life form. On top of all that, Alias' partner is abducted and the killer/kidnapper goads him with taunts over his PDA's radio.
As the only PI who can do anything about it, Alias Node has to question the natives, search the bar for clues and finally figure out just who the culprit is, but he'll have to work fast, and every mouse click ticks away from the clock, take too long and the bad guy is going to escape via spaceship off of Armpit VI.
Traditional point and click adventure game game play abounds, point to point animated movement is used through the rooms of the bar. The camera, unlike most adventure games, is 360-degree rotating giving the player full control.
Alias' PDA has several tools at his disposal to help in the hunt dialog and object interaction is handled via on screen context sensitive menus with options like: take, stash, examine, greet. Asking about something will lead into branching conversation with the character Alias is speaking to.
While most of the game is traditional, Alias does have a special ability. He can mind-meld with some of the characters he meets, which takes him on short adventures into the mind or persona of the alien. Alias becomes the alien in question and relives a memory of some trial or tribulation from their life, solving these puzzles just might help unlock the big mystery.
The game received positive reviews, despite it being developed and released at the end of the mainstream lifespan of the adventure game genre. The positive reviews talked about it's innovative gameplay and outstanding graphics at it's time of release. Despite the positive reviews, the game was criticized for it's difficulty of it's gameplay and several annoying bugs that were in the final version of the game.
The Space Bar was famous for being the last game to be produced by Rocked Science Games or Boffo Games, two once-promising game developers. Over the years, the game has developed a small cult following. When the game was released, the Sci-Fi Channel held a giveaway on its website to win a brand new copy of the game. By finding and clicking on certain scattered throughout the site, the visitor was able to enter the drawing to win the game.
Originally, Rocket Science Games was to be the one to publish The Space Bar. But when their previous games had sold poorly, Rocket Science looked to outside publishers for the needed cash to keep developing the game, SegaSoft then became Rocket Science's sole publisher. After publishing two titles for Rocket Science, they released the Space Bar. By the time the game was finished, SegaSoft was shutting Rocket Science to cut their losses after the financial failure of the previous two titles and gave the game only a limited marketing push.