Hamlet or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders and Product Placement in Review – None of the above, but a devilishly good puzzler

The adventure game genre has seen quite varied incarnations on the iDevice. From ports of the classic games like Broken Sword: Director’s Cut (TMA Review), to all original hardcore adventures in 1112 episode 02 or HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review), to more light hearted ones such as Mystery Mania (TMA Review), a good number have found their rightful spot in our App Store’s Best Adventure list. And it is this last genre that has just been updated with a title with the very long name of Hamlet or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders and Product Placement.

Hamlet is a light puzzle adventure game, closest to Mystery Mania or the famous Flash-games – Hapland and Samorost. The beautiful Ophelia has been taken captive, but Hamlet is already on his way to the rescue. Unfortunately he is run over by the clumsy landing of an unlikely time-traveller – our Hero. Now the only way to stop time and space from unraveling is to save Ophelia and reunite the loved ones.

Hamlet strays a bit from the classic point-and-click adventure gameplay. There is no inventory here and for the most part you won’t even be able to move your protagonist. Instead you’ll have to interact with the different objects on screen in an attempt to fulfill the end goal (which can usually be hinted at by your Hero’s thoughts).

The puzzles themselves range from rather straightforward ones, to much less obvious to downright devilishly hard. If after a bit of tampering you’re not able to discern what to do next, a hint option is available to help you. Unfortunately, the hint is often so obscure that it’s possible that you’ll understand it’s meaning only after solving the puzzle itself. And no, nothing more elaborate in terms of an in-game walkthrough.

The gameplay itself is quite satisfying, giving you a nice sense of progress as you go from one screen to the next and twist your brain inside out trying to solve the mystery. Unfortunately as you get farther in the game the puzzles become watered down, and instead of the almost fully interactive first few screens, you’ll often be faced with but a few hotspots on-screen. Most of the time you’ll spend simply trying to understand the mechanic of the scene instead of concentrating on getting to the end goal.

Visually Hamlet is done in a quirky style, found in many of the later Cartoon Network productions. Almost all objects are static themselves and move like paper cutouts. The story is told via comic-style strips between the acts. The interface is quite straightforward, but the inability to show all available hotspots will definitely make you tap all over the screen in slight frustration more often than not.

True to its name, Hamlet or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders and Product Placement does lack all of the above. What it has ample supply of are quirky visuals, a refreshing storyline and mind-mending puzzles. Shame that the latter gets somewhat watered down closer to end. But still, Hamlet is one of the best puzzle-centric adventure games on the App Store, up there with Mystery Mania and Puzzle Agent.

With this I declare Hamlet or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders and Product Placement officially touched!

Grab It Rating - 4/5

App Summary
Title: Hamlet or the Last Game without MMORPG Features, Shaders and Product PlacementDeveloper: Alawar Entertainment
Reviewed Ver:1.0Min OS Req:3.1.3
Price:$2.99App Size:62.88MB
  • An original spin on the Shakespeare classic
  • Mind-bending puzzles
  • Stylish graphics
  • Some puzzles are simply way too obscure
  • Often non-helpful hints
  • Decline in quality towards the end

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