Escape the room genre is one of those casual spin-offs of full scale adventure games, born with the rise of Flash-based games. Since then it has become a beloved pastime for many office employees and after a while, found its way to the App Store as well. Unfortunately the quality of these titles on the iDevice differs wildly (remember Escape the Room: Magician’s WC (TMA Review)?) But Escape the room 2 is a whole other kettle of fish, having some serious muscle behind it from Tate Games, the dev team responsible for the excellent RPG Crimson Gem Saga (TMA Review).
A couple of months ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Nostradamus The Last Prophecy – Part 1 (TMA Review) – the latest adventure by the Tetraedge games team, released under the watchful eye of Anuman Interactive. You play the role of Madeline, Nostradamus’ daughter, who has to unravel the enigmatic series of murders in the court of Catherine de’ Medici. Not everyone, however, has the same trust in her abilities as the great prophet and so Madeline has to disguise herself as her brother Cesar, who is out travelling.
I felt the story was off to a great start and had a nice balance of puzzles and narrative. The second part that has just been released offers even more puzzles centered around the mystic arts of Astrology, Alchemy, Pharmacy and runic symbols. Can you change the future and defeat Nostradamus’ last prophecy?
When I reviewed the port of The 7th Guest, the legendary PC adventure, I noted that some of the puzzles there can be quite tricky. And that even despite the built-in hint system in the game. Apparently I was not the only one thinking this and due to popular demand Trilobyte released an official walkthrough app for this excellent game – The 7th Guest: Book of Secrets.
One might argue whether it is actually fair to charge an additional $0.99 for the information, already freely available on the internet for anyone who cares to look. But then again, those web-savvy people probably won’t buy this app. For those who are stuck, however, and don’t wish to burden themselves the Book of Secrets presents a great way out of the conundrum.
Trilobyte, The 7th Guest: Book of Secrets, 11.10MB – $0.99
When Hysteria Project (TMA Review) appeared on the App Store back in 2009, it created quite a buzz. As one of the few interactive movies on the platform and the first originally created for the iDevice, it offered a unique experience, both technically and in terms of gameplay. Putting you in the shoes of a careless victim desperately trying to escape the hooded maniac that seems to be in multiple places at the same time, it was a revelation for many thrill seekers on the iOS. The latter can get ready for their second dose as the eagerly awaited Hysteria Project 2 has just been released.
The App Store model has certainly revolutionized software development as a whole and games development in particular. Thanks to the extremely low entry cost and a centralized distribution system, it has become a launch pad for many new indie developers both successful and not so much. But that isn’t much of a surprise to anyone remotely familiar with the market. What’s more interesting is that this new platform actually allowed some veteran companies many thought long gone to get back together as well.
And of such phoenixes, born again from the flames of App Store, is Trilobyte Games – the company behind the legendary PC adventure – The 7th Guest (TMA Review), recently re-released for the iOS. Today I’m joined by Charlie McHenry, the current COO of Trilobyte, to talk about their resurrection, work on The 7th Guest, future plans, and more.
I still remember the awe I felt on first booting up Myst (TMA Review) for the iPhone. This legendary game, one of the first in the genre to promote the sales of CD-ROMs all those years ago, as well opening up a whole new age in PC adventure gaming, was surprisingly well suited for the modern iDevices. And when I was offered a chance to review Riven: The Sequel to Myst, naturally I jumped at the chance.
In the 90’s adventure games came to a crossroad. On one hand there were the golden age point-and-click adventure games that defined the genre. But a new subgenre, born with the arrival of CDs, was gaining more and more traction. I’m talking, of course, about the first person Myst-like games with heavy usage of FMV cutscenes to convey the story. And of the most well-known, as well as having the distinction of being the first game that came exclusively on CDs, was The 7th Guest.
It seems I’m on a roll this week! It’s time for yet another review of a new adventure game. Following the superb Broken Sword – The Smoking Mirror: Remastered (TMA Review) and frustrating but promising The Train episode 01 (TMA Review) I’m going to examine another recent entry to the genre on the App Store, which also happens to be an iDevice exclusive as well – Cop – the case of the cloned beauty queen. Will this one prove to be worthy of our The App Store’s Best Adventure?
Even with such adventures as HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review), 1112 episode 01, episode 02 (TMA Review) having great success on the App Store and earning a well-deserved place in iTunes’ featured section, one originally designed for the iDevice is still a rare guest on my iPhone. Of course there are many reasons for this, both financial and not, but it still pains my heart to see this happen. Nevertheless as the platform matures, we are starting to see more and more developers stepping up to fill the void and who knows, maybe some will earn the right to join our The App Store’s Best Adventure. Tonight’s contender is The Train episode 01, so let’s see if it stands up to the challenge.
In my interview with Charles Cecil (creator of Broken Sword: Director’s Cut) I asked him about the chance of other BS games coming to the iDevice. At that point he was still uncertain, but with the success and acclaim for his superb ports, it’s no wonder he followed through. And while Broken Sword – The Smoking Mirror does not boast the additional content of the first, the sequel has enough neat tricks, tweaks and updates to make it shine anew on the iDevice platform.