for QVGA Windows Mobile 2003/Windows Mobile 5 Smartphones
(also available for Pocket PC)
tetraedge.JPG 6.24KB 70 downloadsFrom developer Tetraedge comes an epic adventure game that seems to combine so many of the things Smartphone users have been crying out for. On first run the user is greeted by superb graphics (including an impressive 3D animated intro sequence), atmospheric music, voiceover narration and an intriguing storylineÖ
On a round-the-world sailing expedition, adventurous Mina, (sic) becomes stranded on the shores of a wild and apparently uninhabited island. Travel beyond the Jules Verne classic... Your quest for survival begins...
intro___sky.JPG 6.06KB 61 downloadsThis game sets out to provide the kind of puzzle-solving adventure that can keep a player coming back time and again in their quest finally to complete the game. Indeed, the Pocket PC version was nominated for Best Adventure Game 2005 by PDAGround.com. So does the QVGA Smartphone version live up to the initial promise? Read on to find outÖ
intro___closeup.JPG 7.78KB 59 downloadsReturn To Mysterious Island (or RTMI as Iíll refer to it from now on) is an adventure game that focuses on object/inventory manipulation. At the beginning of the game the main character that the user controls, Mina, awakes shipwrecked on the beach and you must set about catering for her needs: the first task being to regain her strength. How do you do this? By gathering food of course! Problem is, most of the items youíll gather on the beach, be they birdsí eggs, turtle eggs, crabs, coconuts and oysters arenít readily edible. They either need cooking, peeling, breaking open or similar. And so the object-oriented fun begins!
oyster.JPG 20.63KB 60 downloadsThe game is viewed in first-person perspective, with the user controlling the view using a central cursor which changes to indicate where it is possible to interact with an object or move (think of the Myst/Riven games of old). Control of the game is by means of the joystick and left and right soft keys. The keypad buttons meanwhile provide shortcuts to objects and, for those who want a little help along the way, button Ď0í activates highlighting of all objects and scenery in the area that can be interacted with (very useful when you canít work out what youíve missed in a location!).
seeing_things.JPG 21.9KB 68 downloadsAs you explore the varied scenes of the game you have the opportunity to pick up items which are added to your inventory. Once in your inventory you are able to combine items to create new items or alternatively use items together to achieve a goal. A perfect example of this is using a stone to break open a coconut so you can provide much-needed sustenance for our main character. In this case use of two objects together removes one of the objects (the coconut) from your inventory for good (itís been eaten so is unlikely to make a reappearance!). Where using two objects together has created another object, for example using a stick and a knife to create a spear, the option is still there to separate the object into its original components, should the need arise.
coconut.JPG 21.45KB 60 downloadsAt the start of the game you will need to light a fire in order to cook some of the aforementioned food items you have gathered. No problem! Take the knife you earlier constructed (I canít do it all for you, you know!) and combine it with the silex and youíve got an instant lighter. Now whereís that kindlingÖ
ranch.JPG 19.64KB 61 downloadsInterestingly it is also the case in RTMI that there is more then one way of skinning a cat! What I mean is that there is often a duplication of objects to the extent that should you need to achieve a goal you may have a choice of objects you can use or combine to achieve the goal. An example is at one point in the game you need to incapacitate a snake in order to progress and this can be done EITHER using a forked stick or a pitchfork, both of which you might have in your inventory depending on where you have been and what you have picked up. This more flexible, non linear approach is commendable BUT one result of this is that it is possible to have a very large number of items in your inventory!
stick___string__.JPG 24.17KB 64 downloadsWhich brings me on to my main criticism of what is undoubtedly a superior game. As you progress through the game it is possible to become too focused on an increasingly large inventory and on combining objects. The inventory screen displays formulae to represent combined items (coconut + stone = food + stone). This is fine until you find formulae requiring more then two objects which makes you frustrated at being unable to work out what the missing item is: for example stick + worms + ? + string - the missing item is hook, right? Great but where is it!!! Then you might find youíre no longer focused on solving tasks in the locations of the game itself but instead trying to remember which objects youíve already attempted to combine...
inventory.JPG 22.5KB 72 downloadsThe game features a wide variety of graphically-detailed locations. Indeed the mid stage of the game is sprawling enough to be disorientating which requires spending some time before youíre able to remember what lies down which path. This does of course bode well for the longevity of the game. Itís quite telling that after days of playing the game I suspect Iím only half way through!
scenery.JPG 22.12KB 74 downloadsThose that like to put some thought into a game will find RTMI well meets their needs. The graphics are polished, music good, sound effects crisp and clear and the atmosphere involving. Those who are after lighter entertainment, however, may find it a little too involving. This isnít really a game which you can just pick up and play for the odd five minutes here or there.
To conclude, Iíd definitely recommend RTMI to all hardened adventure-game players and those people seeking more involving and time consuming software for their QVGA Smartphone.
English and French versions available from www.tetraedge.com
Cost is $14.99