Hype: The Time Quest is one of the few computer games to feature PLAYMOBIL characters. Published in 1999 by UbiSoft, Hype follows the adventures of a young knight who is turned into stone and sent into the distant past so that he does not hinder a dark knight's plans of conquest. This, of course, does not please Hype's girlfriend Vibe, who puts on a PLAYMOBIL frown when Hype is cursed.

When the alchemist Gogoud frees Hype from his curse of stone, the young PLAYMOBIL knight embarks on a journey to return to his own time and challenge the dark knight Barnak who imprisoned him. Along the way he visits his homeland of Torras as it has changed over the years and encounters several heroes and villains from his land's history - all of whom, it seems, have heard of the legendary deeds he accomplishes in the earlier eras. Hype continues to travel back and forth through time to collect the gems he needs to return to his own time.

The gameplay and perspective is similar to The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time - some might even say that it is a rip-off of Nintendo's game. While the concept of time travel is well-done within the game, there aren't as many neat gameplay options as there are in The Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages (such as manipulating an object in the past such that it alters its effect in the future). The game remains entertaining despite these deficiencies, and was well worth the $10 I spent on it.

While the English version of Hype is rare and somewhat difficult to locate, the game has sold quite a few copies in Germany, where PLAYMOBIL is perhaps more well-known.

More information on the game (including screenshots) can be found at http://hype.ubi.com.

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