I have no idea how to make a
game and I admire people who can. Whether it’s a major commercial
production or a minimal labour of love, it’s so much more than I could
Nonetheless, if you decide to
sell it, and notwithstanding the price, it needs to be entertaining and
Black Island is unfortunately a
According to Steam, I played for
36 minutes to get to the end. That is indicative of the benign nature of
the puzzles and the puzzling, even allowing for the “simon says” lights
puzzle at the end.
Black Island is, as the name
suggests, an island, perhaps a little like the one Dr. Moreau had.
Strange goings-on are revealed, but we start in a tent with no memories
and a headache. You will find out later the reason for the headache.
Finding the map will allow you
to leave the first location and visit three other places on the island.
A fourth will became available once you have completed a few conundrums.
Each location is made up of a couple of separate static scenes, with
some searching to be done. You don’t get hotspots, but you get the odd
sparkle here and there suggesting something to look at. Otherwise just
click on things and see what happens. There will generally be a few
things to find in each location.
It plays in the first person,
and the inventory is a big rucksack that sits bottom left. Items can be
combined, and are dragged into the game world to use them. The map sits
bottom right, and the menu is accessed top right. You can get hints in
the menu, access the videos, and continue or exit the game.
There is some sparse ambient
sound and a vision or two, and some objects that open and close, but
it's by and large a fairly “still” game. Photorealistic environments are
something that I enjoy, but these were somewhat flat and sterile.
Four videos provide the movement
and the emotion, and apart from the cheesy doctor they weren’t too bad.
They provided the only real atmosphere there was, and for me, the game
seemed to be a means to watch them. By comparison with the game, they
also seemed a little stuck on.
All of which meant the story
didn’t resonate, but it did remind me of Flowers for Algernon.
It was “to be continued”, and
while it wasn’t bad, its ordinariness won’t be compelling me to come
Grade: C minus
I played on:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz
Video card: AMD Radeon
HD 7800 2048MB
GameBoomers Review Guidelines