XIII is one of the cult comic franchises originally inspired by the famous The Bourne Identity novel by Robert Ludlum. Of course, the craze of game adaptations could not leave it behind and a few years ago, an FPS based on the comic series had enjoyed reasonable success, touting cell shaded graphics as one of its main selling points. On the iOS however, this spy adventure recently materialized as a Hidden Object adventure in XIII – Lost Identity, thanks to the famous French publisher – Anuman.
XIII – Lost Identity is a traditional hidden object adventure (however it pains me to call the HdO genre an adventure). The events closely follow the narrative of the original comic book run. An amnesiac is found on a remote beach somewhere in the East US. A kind couple took him in and nurtured him back to health. But his past refuses to leave him be and he sets off to re-discover who he really is, which in turn plunges him into a conspiracy like no other.
Similar to other more enjoyable HdO titles, XIII takes the core gameplay and wraps it around a solid storyline. The object hunting will be available in the traditional name or silhouette modes. Every so often you’ll trigger a cutscene to move you along the story. I do like the clever use of the accelerometer on some locations, with the view angle shifting slightly as you twist your iDevice around. Also you have the option to zoom-in to study the area more closely. The tasks tie quite nicely into the narrative and you never feel like you’re looking for something irrelevant.
The HdO scenes are punctuated by minigames available in the traditional sliding puzzle and the less conventional shooting range varieties. The latter involves you tapping on the enemies on the screen while avoiding innocent bystanders to ramp up the score to a certain threshold. For the more inept casual gamers, after a certain time powerups become available to ease and even skip the minigames altogether. The same category of players will also enjoy the hint system for the HdO levels as well, as the game provides you almost limitless hints collected by tapping on stars, randomly appearing on the scene.
As with any solid HdO title, XIII has superb detailed graphics true to the classic comic book style. And even fully zoomed in, the background remains crisp on the iPhone 4′s Retina display. The controls are intuitive though I did wish the trigger areas for some objects were a bit bigger. On occasion, I tapped on the same spot dozens of times until it finally recognized that I actually found the object. Sounds are decent, though XIII does lack voiceovers for the cutscenes. On the other hand it serves to create a bit more comic book atmosphere.
As Hidden Object games go XIII is certainly a noteworthy title. Fully embracing the essence of the genre and backing it up by an excellent storyline true to the original comic book series and superb detailed graphics, it will captivate those who enjoy such games for hours. If you’re not a big fan of the genre however, there really isn’t that much in XIII – Lost Identity to make you one.
With this I declare XIII – Lost Identity officially touched!
|Title:||XIII – Lost Identity||Developer:||Microids|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0||Min OS Req:||4.3|