Have you ever wondered what doodles do when their creators walk away? They don’t jump, that’s for sure (at least not in an infinite manner). The come to life and go on exciting adventures throughout time – or at least that’s what The Deskplorers – Episode One: “Knights” would like you to believe. This new series from Happy Blue Fish has a lot in common with such kids’ favorites as Dora The Explorer and Little Einsteins, which unfortunately includes a relatively short running time. Still, I think they have a good thing going here, and for younger kids who are okay with repetitive things they could get quite a lot of use out of this game.
Every so often, a top-notch title springs up out of the blue. Late 2009 one such game was Call of Duty: Zombies (TMA Review); in 2010 we had a number of surprise releases, and now in 2011, that distinction belongs to City of Secrets. This superb adventure game featuring the famous duo – Rex and Moles the Mole – has been waltzing across European TV shows for years and recently picked the iOS as their foothold for global stardom.
I know I’ve been touting in my last few hidden object game reviews about how I like the fact that this style of game is becoming more adventure game like as time passes. However, it’s still good to play a hidden object game every once in a while where the focus is on finding objects. That’s not to say that Romance of Rome doesn’t have any additional elements going for it, of course. I just appreciate the fact that the game remembers what it is like to be simpler in nature, without a mini-game lurking around every turn. Romance Of Rome is lots of fun, and despite the name isn’t very “girly” at all (okay, maybe just a little with the romance).
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.
There is luck, and then again – there is hard work. The App Store has been a place where many a developer has tried to find his fortune, though quite few have really succeeded. And while not a lot of folks can boast the millions of dollars made like Doodle Jump – BE WARNED: Insanely Addictive! or Angry Birds, some get their break in a different way. We’ve seen a number of iOS dev teams gobbled up by big-time names, with Chillingo being one of the more recent celebrated acquisitions. Others get a well-deserved deal and partner up with big-names to reach new heights in their endeavours.
And I’m happy to announce that one such deal has just been made public. Straandlooper, developer of the superb HECTOR: Badge of Carnage Ep1 (TMA Review), have teamed up with one of the leaders in the adventure games market – Telltale Games – to bring their adventure from the iOS to PC and Mac. Even better, episodes 2 and 3 are already in production and will be released later this year along with the re-release of episode 1 for the medium screen.
I will try and secure the interview with Straandlooper soon, meanwhile, make sure you read the hilarious semi-official press-release from the guys after the gap.
If you were in any way connected or even remotely familiar with the video gaming industry in the 90’s, you couldn’t have missed Myst (TMA Review). This bestselling game of all time (at least until the dreaded ‘The Sims’ came along in 2002) has seen a superb re-release on the iOS about a year and a half ago and nabbed a special mention in our The App Store’s Best Adventure. And with the recent release of the Riven: The Sequel to Myst (TMA Review) I personally couldn’t pass up the unique opportunity to interview one of the leading minds behind the scenes – Mark DeForest, the CTO of Cyan Worlds.
Not sure how many of our readers remember the Choose Your Own Adventure-type books, but I certainly have fond memories of them. Leveraging the power of imagination back when a computer would take up about a football stadium just to match the processing power of the current iPhone, they provided hours of fun and enjoyment for kids all around the world. And the fact that this seemingly obsolete genre has found a home on the iDevice warms my heart and fills my soul with optimism. Especially with the release of fresh and original titles developed specifically for the iOS, like the latest creation by Tin Man Games – Gamebook Adventures 4: Revenant Rising.
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