If you’re familiar with me, at least when it comes to my reviews, you know that I’m a big fan of Tin Man Games and their Gamebook Adventures. I remember this sort of thing when the books were actually printed and you had to use real dice for combat and pen and paper to keep track of your inventory. There are clearly so many advantages to an electronic version of this form of entertainment, and to date Tin Man Games has one of the best interfaces available. It doesn’t hurt any that their stories are generally quite interesting as well. So far The Forest of Doom has been no exception to the rule, though I will say that as a whole this one seems much harder than any of the ones I’ve played in the past. I guess that means I’ll just have to put more effort into beating it.
A good adventure game has a balanced story. It gives you enough to keep you interested but not so much that you have no reason to continue playing. The puzzles are fair and at least some of them should be challenging. There will be both inventory based challenges and riddles that simply challenge the mind. In a perfect world there would be NPC interaction as well, but sometimes the story might prohibit that. And even though you might have to do a lot of traipsing back and forth, you won’t mind because you’re too into the game. Vanished: The Island is a good adventure game.
Now that developers are comfortable with the iOS platform and have realized how well it works for adventure games we’re starting to see a lot more original content come to Apple’s mobile devices. One of the latest entries in the genre is The Silent Age, and it’s clear the folks behind this game know a thing or two about what made the old Sierra classics great. If I had to come up with a down side, it’s that the game was over just as it was reaching its peak. Thankfully the developers are already hard at work on a sequel, though, so even that little inconvenience will be rectified at some point.
I probably shouldn’t admit this, but there’s something about wandering around an asylum that’s always been oddly intriguing to me, which I think is why I tend to gravitate towards such games. It’s also a well visited subject, as I can recall games back as far as my Radio Shack color computer dealing with the topic (if you don’t know what that is, congrats on being a younger gamer). Forever Lost: Episode 1 HD is a more recent entry in the list, and it’s actually one of the best ones I’ve played in quite a while. I do miss the fact that there are no wacky inmates to converse with, but otherwise it has managed to nail the atmosphere pretty well, and has a nice balance of object puzzle solving and mini-games to complete. Now if I could just find the skip button for the puzzle I’m stuck on…
One sign that you’re getting older is when things you remember from your childhood start having their 30th anniversaries. Such is the case for me and the Fighting Fantasy gamebook series. Granted I was only 10 when the first one debuted, but you get my drift. In this year that marks the third decade of the series’ existence the man himself, Ian Livingstone, has penned a new entry called Blood of the Zombies. Thanks to Tin Man Games we can enjoy this milestone adventure on our iOS devices, and enjoy is being quite conservative. I’d say this is probably one of the best electronic gamebook adventures yet.
I first tasted of the intrigue that Phosphor Games could produce as I wandered the creepy halls of Dark Meadow. It had its issues, but overall it was a captivating game with wild creatures and a unique control scheme. That was, of course, until I played Infinity Blade and realized that I had suffered Déjà Vu in reverse. Now Phosphor Games has released Horn, and while the fantasy theme is reminiscent of Infinity Blade, it actually has a lot more to it then either of the aforementioned games in terms of things to do besides combat. At first I was a bit skeptical about it just because I was afraid it would be a clone of the Chair Entertainment Group’s franchise, but every time I load up Horn I manage to get lost in its mystery and grandeur.
I remember fondly spending a lot of time with adventure games back in the 80s and early 90s when the likes of Sierra Online and LucasArts reigned supreme. TellTale Games has done a good job of recapturing that magic, as has Bulkypix with their recent release of Yesterday. Now you can add Daedalic Entertainment to that list with Edna & Harvey: The Breakout. This adventure game about a young lady and her bunny has humor to rival the best Sam & Max installment, artwork that is quite delightful and some great voice acting. There is plenty of game play as well, which oddly enough might be its biggest detractor – there’s almost too much to do. Still, this is one nuthouse I don’t mind visiting.
I think few franchises have ever captured the imagination of the public like the famous Jurassic Park trilogy by Steven Spielberg. Books, toys, even theme parks – the world has seen it all. And even a couple of video-games, though they weren’t really worth mentioning. Until now that is! Telltale has struck again, taking an age-old intellectual property and twisting it in new and interesting ways. As a serialized interactive movie adventure none-the-less.
One of the staples of my game playing diet growing up was the adventure game, whether it entailed a text only affair like Zork or a sprawling 16 color extravaganza such as King’s Quest. Sadly, it seems as technology has gotten better the gamers’ taste for epic narratives and thoughtful puzzle solving has diminished, or so the folks in charge would have you believe. Thankfully the mobile renaissance has rekindled the spark for puzzle games, and amazingly enough it seems even for the full fledged adventure game. One of my favorite original IPs in this genre where iOS devices are concerned has always been The Secret of Grisly Manor, and after playing through its spiritual sequel – The Lost City – I can’t wait to see what this developer offers up next.
In the beginning it seemed like most of the adventure games popping up on the App Store were ports, but now we’re seeing more and more original IP make its way to the iOS platform. About To Blow Up Part 1 is one such game, and it’s clear the developers have a heart for the genre they’ve embraced. The game is quirky, interesting and above all fun. Unfortunately, it’s also a tad on the short side. Thankfully it leaves you wanting more in a good way.