In my interview with the creators of Rogue Planet (TMA Review), Agharta Studio hinted at the sequel to their highly acclaimed adventure game – 1112 episode 01 – the first adventure game originally and exclusively designed for the iDevice and it’s unique capabilities. Following our sneak peak at the beta version a couple of weeks ago, 1112 episode 02 has now been released, so it’s time to give it a thorough run-down and sum up what we’ve got. Can the sequel to an excellent adventure that received an honorable mention in our The App Store’s Best Adventure hold its ground against the fierce competition of the App Store?
1112 episode 02 follows the traditions of its predecessor and is a true 1st-person adventure game. The story continues from where you left off in part 1 – Louis, the owner of an antique store, plagued by severe headaches and visions the last few years, unexpectedly finds himself in a hotel room with no memories of how he got there, or where exactly “there” is. Now it’s time to find out what the hell is going on. Without divulging too much info on the storyline (aka spoilers), I can say that his investigations will lead him into strange and unexpected places.
Gameplay-wise 1112 episode 02 is full of adventure gaming goodness, complete with both its pros and cons. You wander around different places, collect items, talk to folks and solve puzzles. The item-based puzzles are quite logical, though finding the right ones can sometimes be a challenge. 1112 ep 02 is quite heavy on the item/pixel hunting, so it’s advisable to check each area carefully. The inventory, on the other hand, is a beauty. Each item is represented in full 3d and you can spin it around anyway you like, with Louis commenting differently depending on the area you tap on.
The dialogue system combines both fixed dialogue options and free-typing (where you can enter your own question), so you can try to ask just about anything. Every once in a while, you’ll see words highlighted in green when talking to the characters – make sure to tap them to augment the fixed dialogue options and open up new dialogue trees. And the free-typing is a source of pure joy, with characters dishing out comical answers to questions about life, the universe and everything. Granted there aren’t that many keywords now, but the devs have promised to add more in the update. The only real quirk I have with the free-typing is the alphabetic keyboard layout – a standard QWERTY would have been more intuitive.
To keep you from boredom, the item-hunting and the dialogues are punctuated by various mini-game like puzzles. They range from plain old Sudoku and wire-pairing, to using the accelerometer to hit stuff with a crowbar and unscrewing box lids. The additional challenge brings variety to the game, though some may pose a problem for the more casual minded players, forcing them to seek help online.
The graphics in 1112 episode 02 are simply gorgeous – there is no other way to describe it. All of the environments and the characters are stylishly hand-drawn with careful attention to detail. The scenes offer multi-plane views with some objects seen only from a certain perspective. The game fluidly blurs the background upon activating the inventory screen or engaging a character in a conversation. The music features an original soundtrack and does an excellent job of conveying the atmosphere. Yes, there aren’t any voiceovers, but would be it be fair to expect them from a dev team of only 3?
The interface takes full advantage of the iPhone multitouch capabilities, with such supported gestures as close examining of the environment (tap-and-hold) working seamlessly along with pinch-to-zoom and two-finger scrolling. And the way to activate your cell phone by rotating the iPhone into portrait is pure genius.
1112 Episode 02 is a benchmark of how a sequel to an adventure game should be made on the iDevice platform. The developers invested in a complete overhaul of the interface and game-design and fully embraced the device’s capabilities. Add to this the gorgeous hand-drawn graphics, the atmospheric interface and the gripping story on par with the hit TV-series LOST and you end up with a game that will head the iPhone’s Best Adventure games for a long time (at least the 1st person category).
With this I declare 1112 Episode 02 officially touched!
|Title:||1112 episode 02||Developer:||Agharta Studio|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0.0||Min OS Req:||2.2.1|
|Price:||$4.99||App Size:||91.8 MB|
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