Verschollen auf Lost Island
(Missing on Lost Island)
This little gem of a game is from Ari-Data Germany and all type is in German, though the game is in English. I call it a gem for a couple of reasons. It cost me only $11.88 with shipping to order it from Germany, and it installed and ran without any system conflicts. It does require an available patch to progress past chapter 1, but it doesn't affect saved games and is easy to download.
Tim and Diana are walking home from a night out and run into trouble when they spy some aliens pilfering goods from a local business. After the gunfire and laser-fire die down, you find that Diana is wounded, then disappears. The fighting continues and you are hit as well. You are transported to a crater and start the game in your birthday clothes. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to find Diana and return to your previously happy life. There are 4 different chapters (the village, the ship, the island, the escape) in which to accomplish this. Although this is a linear game, there are alternate paths and actions that can be taken to complete the game. It also boasts at least four different endings.
This is a 3rd person, point and click, comic adventure game. It works with Win 95, 98, ME, XP and 2000, needs 64MB RAM and is Direct X compatable. There is only one CD, so no disc-swapping.
Inventory is easy to access, either click on the inventory option or use your right mouse button. You move Tim around the game by clicking on hot spot options located to the left, right or bottom of the screen. Interaction with your environment is through hotspots that react with an icon that symbolizes the action that can be taken
(i.e. - a grabbing hand icon to pick something up, an eyeball to look at something). Inventory items occationally need to be combined. This is done on the inventory screen by selecting an item and clicking it on another item. It is a very simplistic system but it makes playing the game very easy.
The puzzles are intergrated into the storyline and consist mostly of Tim having to perform a task to acquire another item or move an object by using an inventory item. This will probably be the point that hurts its popularity. Trying 20 different inventory items on 5 hotspots in one screen, that may or may not interact, trying to combine those 20 different items, can get just a tad bit annoying. I only got really stuck 3 separate times and that is good for me.
Graphics and Sound
I really liked the music in this game. It fluctuated between pirate ditties and modern. There is a music option to select either modern or pirate but I didn't use it. I found myself humming a tune or two on occasion.
The game has the same graphic design as The Dig but with better resolution. Each scene is static with an array of hotspots, some benign. When the game started, I felt dissappointment with the graphics as I really like beautifully rendered graphics. As the game progressed the graphics became secondary to the humor and the storyline and I started to enjoy the blocky look of my character. There are plenty of facial expressions and the body language of the character is not missing.
For the price, this was a very enjoyable game. This game is good for almost any age or experience of gamer (though there is one risque spot in the game). Think of this game as a vacation from the real deep thought provoking games that excersize your brain cells. If it is played with that frame of mind, then you just might like it.
PS: I would like to thank Syd posting the Alanna review so that I could steal her review outline.