Posts Tagged ‘Graphic adventure game’

Having moved house this week it would be a fair statement to say that I have been stressed out! Hella stressed out! What with shelves breaking on me, earrings getting lodged in my foot and splinters tearing my hand apart it’s been a harrowing experience. Thank the powers that be then for the stress relieving Mayan powers of Vanished: The Island.

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A short, but nonetheless lovingly designed and surprisingly beautifully scored, IOS game that was released this week VTI has been the tonic that I desperately needed to put my mind off those moving blues.

Bought to us by those fine people at Skyhorse Interactive, VTI is a first person point and click adventure game. Think of classics in the genre such as Myst and Riven and you’ll get the idea.

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You start the game by receiving an invitation to a mysterious island where your aunt (whom has vanished) was working on excavating some Mayan ruins. It becomes apparent quite quickly that this is no ordinary disappearance as events take a turn toward the paranormal as you start coming across strange and unexplained phenomena.

The game itself is powered by Unity and as such all the pre rendered backgrounds look very swish indeed. Special mention has to be made to the lighting effects, the lens glare used often would give JJ Abrams cause to stop and admire. And the water effects, although used sparingly, look absolutely beautiful and definitely fill you with a relaxing calm whenever you come across a babbling brook or glistening stream.

The music in this game caught me off guard as well with just how well produced it sounded. It strides confidently between spooky and mysteriously atmospheric where appropriate and really adds some depth and emotion sorely lacking in other IOS games in the same genre.

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I only have two very minor complaints with the overall product. The first is that there were only a couple of points in the game where the puzzles felt genuinely challenging. DAMN YOU TILE SLIDING PUZZLES! THOU SHALL EVER BE THE BANE OF MY LIFE! Most solutions were very obvious and only required the dragging of an item onto the interactive object. This brings me onto my second niggle, and that is due to the puzzles being quite easy I flew through the game in about an hour.

HOWEVER even with these complaints I truly madly and deeply enjoyed my time on the island. I loved exploring it, and taking in all the stunning backgrounds was a genuine visual treat (I even screen captured some to use as wallpaper on my phone they were that tasty) and as I said it was a perfect game to unwind with and forget about all the stress and hassle that comes with moving house.

Now the game does leave itself open for a sequel and I am getting married in august. This too, I imagine, will give me my fair share of grey hairs so, Skyhorse, do you think you could release VTI2 by then? Cheers! And thank you once more!

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Sometimes you have to sit back and appreciate the small things in life. Wise words. And never have I felt them more appropriate than when playing The Silent Age on my iPhone.

Yesterday I received a text from my brother informing me of a free (that’s right FREE) game he had downloaded from the app store. He said it was an old school point and click adventure game in the same vein as Grim Fandango and Beneath a Steel Sky. So I did what I usually do when my brother texts me. I ignored it. No I’m joking of course. Dom! DOM! I WAS JOKING! I WROTE THAT FOR COMEDY VALUE! I downloaded the game instantly but was spending the day out with the family so I didn’t get a chance to play it.

Fast forward to 4:00 am this morning and after a lot of tossing (calm down) and turning I figure that now is the time to start playing. And I couldn’t put it down. You can almost feel the love and dedication from the team at House on Fire pouring and oozing off each and every sharp and beautifully illustrated screen.

The year is 1972 and you play as a janitor literally named Joe Average. You work in a large sinister tower block with a colleague whose duties you take on board after he mysteriously disappears. After a chain of events you end up on the run from the law with a solar powered device which lets Joe switch between the present and the post-apocalyptic future of 2012.

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This is the crux of the puzzle solving in the game. Joe can pick items up in one time period and transport them to the other in the blink of an eye. For example on set piece sees Joe needing to get rid of a swarm of hornets from outside a hospital in the future. So using a syringe he finds in the past he can carry some turpentine in it back to the future to use as the fuel for a fire to get rid of the vermin. It all melds together effortlessly and you’ll be zipping all over the place all the while being bolstered along by the games expertly written narrative.

Like most classic point and click adventure games Joe is constantly talking to himself in a suitably sarcastic and humorous manner, think Guybrush Threepwood or Manny Calavera. This nicely balances out the games main plot which is all together a bit more serious and dark.

All in all this is a great little hidden gem. As I mentioned the first part is free whilst the fate of seeing an episode two rests in the hands of donations from people who want to see more. donations can be made through House On Fire’s website which can be found here http://thesilentage.com/blog/episode-two/. So I strongly urge you to at least download the first part. It’s very rare in this day and age that such unique and interesting games get some spotlight. And who knows, maybe this could be the start of something very special indeed!

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