Added to the lair: 10/26/18
Genre: Point-And-Click Adventure / 1st person
Developer: Trip Media
Platform: Windows 3.1
Emulator: DOSBox Daum
Use your brain or lose your mind.
Do you like the movie Johnny Mnemonic? I love Johnny Mnemonic. It's the kind of campy, excruciatingly 90s, over-the-top schlocky vision of THE FUTURE™ that I just adore. It would seem that Trip Media were big fans as well, because despite what the back of the box says, Burn:Cycle finds itself much more closely resembling ol' Johnny than Blade Runner. Somebody pass me the club sandwich, the cold Mexican beer and the $10,000-a-night hooker. I'll take one of those laser-whip fingernails while you're at it.
You play as Sol Cutter, a data thief. The game begins with a job-gone-bad and Sol finding himself on the bad side of a nasty virus that leaves him with two hours to get it out of his head before his noggin pops. Sound familiar?
Gameplay is a mix of puzzle solving and rail shooting segments. You should make it a habit to save often as there are some difficult segments and you will die at some point. You'll want to make separate saves as well given the ever present specter of the 2-hour time limit; you can complete the game with a good deal of time to spare though.
The music is quite solid, with a mix of ambient, industrial, and techno tracks. No real complaints there.
The characters and acting are actually fairly charming, albeit turbo-mega-90s. The writing is super cheesy but it works within the context of the game.
It's been well-established by this point that I have a soft-spot for FMV games. You can tell that they really tried to make Burn:Cycle this grandiose "cinematic" spectacle, but unfortunately they reached a little too far for the technology of the day. Time has not been kind. When things are sitting still it looks fine, but in transitions from one position to another (you click various points on screen to turn, move forward, etc.) things often turn into a bit of an abstract mess. This is particularly problematic when they use big sweeping, spinning, flying animations... which, unfortunately, is fairly frequently. It doesn't look terrible, but honestly there are quite a few better-looking games from this period; games that I'd be willing to bet cost a lot less to produce than Burn:Cycle. Despite this, I respect Trip Media for aiming high, even if it didn't quite pan out.
I enjoyed Burn:Cycle, but I'm a cyberpunk junkie and an FMV game apologist, so take that with a grain of salt.