Lost Horizon is brought to us by Deep
Silver, the same publishing team behind the acclaimed Secret Files
series. We are introduced to Fenton Paddock, disgraced former British
soldier, and willingly tag along with him across the continents as he
attempts not only to foil Nazi plans to infiltrate the mythical land of
Shambala with evil intent, but also to rescue a close friend and
ex-comrade who has disappeared in mysterious circumstances whilst on an
expedition in Tibet. Fenton must traverse through Hong Kong, Tibet,
Germany, Morocco, India and Shambala itself before his adventure may
point and click adventure games with a male protagonist at the helm seem
to be a relative rarity these days. Too often it seems we are put in
charge of a busty, scantily clad, twenty-something lass with an attitude
problem, and while hopefully the plot and puzzling have something better
to offer us, we have to do the best we can meanwhile with a tired
stereotype. Lost Horizon deals us a hefty rucksack full of Fenton
Paddock, rugged anti-hero, and we are refreshed and all the better for it.
I do not exaggerate when I say “hefty” -- for this is a long game. A fast
player could expect between 15-20 hours of play. If you like to ponder and
take your time, then you’ll be in Fenton’s world for considerably longer.
Horizon offers subtitles, a spacebar function to reveal all onscreen
hotspots, and an extremely useful pause feature. Double clicking on an
exit area will take the gamer immediately to the next screen. Dialogues
can be skipped by right clicking. There are some fairly long cut scenes
and lengthy dialogues throughout. In certain scenes it is possible to
toggle between different characters as you puzzle solve. There are
unlimited save slots.
are vibrant, richly coloured and detailed. I found Shambala to be
particularly breathtaking and imaginatively realised. The music is subtle,
never too intrusive or out of place. There are few things more annoying
than straining to catch critical dialogue over the infernal oompah of an
over enthusiastic brass and string section. Thankfully, Lost Horizon
never makes the fatal error of staggering headfirst into the orchestra
various secondary characters during the journey, all of whom are
satisfyingly fleshed out. Dialogue is for the most part entertaining,
although perhaps a little forced during the introductory Hong Kong
chapter. I found that Fenton’s constant wisecracking also palled at times.
Some occasional gravitas, if you please!
hear ye, oh fond lovers of inventory puzzles, for here is your paradise!
-- and it declares itself triumphantly as Lost Horizon. Not since
the heady, happy torment of Secret Files have I encountered such an
unrelenting onslaught of head scratching via inventory. The game may lull
you into a false sense of security early on, but becomes progressively
more fiendish as the chapters unfold. The thought processes are logical,
however, and are never so outlandish that you wonder as to the sanity of
the developer. I experimented, combined and cackled my way through Lost
Horizon’s brand of puzzling, and loved every moment.
standalone puzzles too, but they are very few. The player is given the
advance option of playing the Easy or Hard version of each, which I
thought was a nice feature. There are no sliders, sound puzzles or timed
sequences. There is one maze. I encountered no Game Over moments.
completing the game the player is advised of a special Bonus area now
accessible from the main menu. This area comprises the first ten minutes
of play of Lost Horizon’s prototype from 2008, and it is intriguing
to note the differences between this and the final polished version. There
is also a bonus jigsaw puzzle, and an opportunity to replay the end fight
key to a camel’s heart
some relatively dreadful accents during the opening Hong Kong chapter, and
occasionally the dialogue will creak like a hundred-year-old rocking
chair. If inventory puzzles aren’t remotely your preferred glass of tea
then I would suggest that it might be wiser to remain a safe distance from
not much of a carpet boy
Horizon installed without any problems and played flawlessly
Lost Horizon is nirvana-on-a-stick for inventory puzzle lovers, and
those venerable adventurers amongst us who enjoy rollicking, picturesque
travels (and saving the world while they’re about it).
I played on:
Media Center Edition SP3
T2050 @ 1.60GHz
2.00 GB of
NVIDIA GeForce 7500 LE, 512MB
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