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A Crichton game

The ”Jurassic Park” author’s latest novel, ”Timeline,” has a PC game version

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Hollywood Jack-Of-All-Trades Michael Crichton is used to seeing his best-selling novels (Jurassic Park, Congo) spring to life on screen. But for his most recent chart-topper, Timeline (now in development at Paramount), he’s trying something new. Working with his production company, Timeline Computer Entertainment, Crichton helped craft an intricate PC game based on the book (it hits stores Nov. 13). Like the 1999 tale, this is about two students who travel back to 15th-century France to save their trapped professor. The game is refreshingly easy to maneuver, and the emphasis is more on mental — as opposed to physical — dexterity. Erudite players can indulge in an interactive history tutorial narrated by Crichton, then journey through his meticulously detailed Dordogne Valley, coming up against such perils as zombie knights and raging waterfalls. Still, don’t expect any Doom-style bloodshed — no killing is allowed in the game. ”I wanted to see what the game would look like without violence,” says Crichton.