Number of Results: 4
If you’ve been reading the reviewers here at TAS for a while, you’ve come to know that Point & Click games were have never really been a favorite of mine. That is, until I had the extreme pleasure of playing Machinarium, Yesterday, and Myst. And now I can add one more title to that very short list of P&C games that I’ve come to love; Telltale’s Walking Dead: The Game. A survival/horror adventure game, originally released for PC and MAC, ported over to the iOS.
Now, I haven’t had the pleasure of playing the PC version of Walking Dead, and I don’t watch the TV show, mainly because my wife hates any sort of horror entertainment. I do, however, read the comics, and have come to really enjoy them. But when I heard that Telltale was going to be the team releasing the game on iOS, I was pretty skeptical. Their previous releases have been kind of hit or miss; Back to the Future – blah, Sam & Max – loved it, Law & Order – meh, Puzzle Agent – great. But after seeing the trailer, I was ready to be impressed, and after playing the first episode of Walking Dead: The Game; I am.
For those of you familiar with The Walking Dead, the game does not follow Rick his group of survivors. Instead, an entirely new storyline has been done for the game. You follow a convict, Lee, convicted of murder, as he tries to make his way to Mason, Georgia to find his family after being in a car crash that freed him from incarceration. On his way, he runs across a little girl, Clementine, who’s parents are somewhere in Savannah, GA, and whom you try to protect, as well as others who eventually make up the group of survivors that you’ll be following.
Controlling Lee is what really makes the game stand out as one of the best Telltale games to hit the AppStore. As you meet people, and get thrown into situations with zombies, you’ll need to make quick decisions regarding dialogue and actions. Instead of feeling like the game is controlling what you do, it’s more like you’re controlling the game, having an impact over what the other characters think of you, as well as who lives and who dies. What’s even better? These choices are apparently carried over across all of the episodes, so they stick with you throughout the entire game.
The graphics and animations are extremely well done, and incredibly reminiscent of the comics. The environments and objects are very well crafted, and create an incredible atmosphere. There have been times when I encountered some slowdown and general jerkiness, even while playing on my iPad 2, though not enough to really take away from the games fantastic immersive quality. The voice acting is another aspect which I found myself consistently being impressed by. All-n-all, it’s extremely well put-together.
Priced at $4.99 for the first episode, and giving players the option to purchase the next 4 episodes for $14.99, it is a bit pricy. Especially considering there’s only about 3 hours of gameplay in the first episode. But if you’re a fan of the series (comic, TV, or both), this is definitely a game you should check out. Even if you’ve never seen an episode of the show, or read one comic, it’s still a fantastic Point & Click adventure game that deserves to be experienced. Once you complete the first episode, it definitely leaves you wanting more. Walking Dead: The Game has set a new standard for Telltale games, and one that I hope they live up to in the future.
Point & Click Adventure games have never really been a favorite of mine. Until lately. Bulkypix release, Yesterday and Cyan World’s realMyst definitely peaked my interest. But not until I had the extreme pleasure of experiencing Amanita Design’s amazing game, Machinarium, did I actually think that I could become a huge fan of Point n Click titles.
The first thing I noticed when starting up the game, was the fantastic graphics. The beautiful, amazing, mind-blowing, hand-drawn graphics are outstanding. And the way that the movable objects and computer graphics interact with the hand-drawn graphics is simply stunning. The animations are spectacular, and coupled with the music and sound effects, it all creates one incredible atmosphere, and portrays a great deal of emotion throughout the game. If you’re curious, the game is an exact port of the PC/MAC and PS 3 versions.
Starting off, your character, Josef, is tossed into a dump. You’ll need to collect pieces of your body before you can move on. As you’ll quickly realize, there is no dialogue, or long text to read through. Everything is portrayed in thought bubbles with action sequences. This leaves basically all of your gameplay time free for solving puzzles and exploring the environments, which you will do a lot of. Machinarium has your typical search and collect mechanics, but also has you solving puzzles across environmental areas, as well as combining inventory items and mini-games. But it’s all brought together in such an incredibly flowing motion, that you’re never taken out of the immersion of the game.
Now, I’ll quickly admit that I haven’t had the pleasure of playing many Point & Click games, but from what I have played, the puzzles that you need to complete in Machinarium are incredibly creative, and at times, can be fairly difficult to figure out, and some of them can seem downright unfair. Even with other titles within the puzzle genre, I’ve never come across this level of difficulty. However, not once did it become difficult to the point that it was frustrating. If anything, the difficulty ended up driving my addiction and love for the game every step of the way.
If it does get frustrating, there are actually two different hint systems available. Tapping the question-mark in a bubble will give you a pop-up thought bubble nudging you towards the next item you’ll need to pick up. The other hint system is a sort of walkthrough. You’ll need to first complete the mini-game in order to open the walkthrough ‘book’, and then each move that you need to make in order to complete the game is drawn out for you. However, going through all of this to get to the walkthrough is enough to keep you from going to it, and it does kind of ruin the game if you keep going to it over and over again. But it’s there if you need it, so there’s not going to be one spot where you get stuck and just end up not completing the game, which is great.
The story isn’t immediately clear when you start up the game, but as you progress, and find out that you’re not alone, and that this machine world is full of quite a few different robots and machine-beings, all with different personalities of their own, all expressed and conveyed in a way that everyone and anyone, no matter their past, cultural background, or language, can completely understand and feel comfortable with knowing what it going on with all of them. And as you progress, and get to know and help these other robots throughout the world, the story opens up, and your main objective becomes clear.
I can not recommend Machinarium enough. Especially if you’re a fan of Adventure or Point & Click games, but even if you’re not. This is one title that has a very good potential of turning you into a fan of the genre. Priced at $4.99, it’s an incredible buy. Not many iOS games even come close to being on the same graphical level, and there’s very few titles that come close to being as immersive and entertaining as Machinarium. It’s a must-own game for everyone who has an iPad, and I hope that Amanita Design decides to port over more of their titles to the iOS. We’d be lucky to have them available to us.
Point & Click Adventure titles are a perfect fit for the iOS, and with more and more of these titles being ported over from other platforms, fans of the genre couldn’t be happier. The most recent addition to the genre is the PC title, Yesterday, developed by Pendulo (The Next Big Thing, the Runaway Series, Hollywood Monsters and Igor), and published by Bulkypix. It revolves around a non-governmental organization’s volunteer, Henry White, who’s trying to help find out who is behind a series of killings driven by a Satanic psycho.
Yesterday isn’t your typical Point & Click Adventure. Revolving around murder, Satanism, insanity, the homeless, and more, Yesterday is more of an adult-themed title, which definitely sets it apart from most titles within the genre.
Even though the atmosphere, environments, and story all revolves around darker subject matter, and looks like it might fit perfectly as a Velvet Acid Christ music video, the character models of Yesterday are fairly cartoony, looking like something you might find on Cartoon Network. Even though this is the case, it doesn’t detract from the amazing atmospheres. The characters, though seeming callow most of the time, provide a rich and immersive dialogue, creating a wonderful story to experience while solving the various puzzles and exploring the dark environments throughout the game.
The controls are typical of any other point & click title on the iOS. You’ll tap where you’d like to move your character, tap on objects or areas you’d like to check out more closely, and when the items in question are shown on the screen, you’re given a magnifying glass and hand icons, with the magnifying glass icon giving you more information about the objects, and the hand letting you interact with the objects.
If there are objects which you can interact with, they will be moved to the bar at the top of the screen, so that you can combine them with other found objects, or use them later on, while dragging them from the bar to an object in the environment lets you use them.
The puzzles contained in Yesterday can be pretty challenging, but helping out with what objects can be checked out is an icon in the lower left corner of the screen. Tapping on this icon lets you see what all objects and items can be looked at more closely in each screen. Checking out everything you can within the environment, combining multiple items and using them to activate various objects in the game is required to progress through the story. But like most point & click games, figuring out what goes with what, and where everything can be found and/or used is where the real challenge lies.
Mixed in with the game’s object matching mechanics are little parts within the dialogue which help add to the game. For instance, towards the beginning of the game, you’ll need to figure out certain chess moves in order to move on in the dialogue. Fortunately, if you’re not into chess, and answer wrong, you can keep tapping on the answers until you get it right. Even though this does sort of beg the question as to why these were included in the game, but they’re nice to see regardless.
Yesterday is Universal, and priced at $4.99. If you’re a fan of the Point & Click genre, it’s definitely one of the best titles available for the iOS, and since it’s published by Bulkypix, you can pretty much guarantee that if any issues arise, they’ll be fixed or dealt with in a timely manner. The only thing missing from the game is GameCenter integration with achievements. But non-the-less, Yesterday contains a fantastic story-line with incredibly immersive atmospheres, and characters that draw you into the story. It’s a title that I’m very pleased to have on my iDevice, and hope to see more titles from Pendulo ported over in the future.
Myst. For a lot of gamers the name conjures up great memories, fantastic gameplay, and one of the most innovative games of the 90’s. The first time I played Myst was in 1999 during my 3 free periods in High School. It took me about two weeks to complete the game, but it’s stuck with me after all these years. I had heard about a ‘realMyst’ which was done in a type of first-person gameplay incorporating free-roam, but I never got the chance to play it. Now, almost 20 years after it’s original release, realMyst has been ported over to the iOS, and I’ve been extremely excited to dive back into the game after all these years, being able to experience it in a new way.
If you’re new to Myst, it was originally a point and click puzzle adventure title done in a first person view that had you thrown onto an island and left the rest up to you. There was no tutorial, no one telling you where to go or what to do, you had to figure it all out on your own. There were clues left in notes around the island, and little clips found in books and strange machines that guide you along and give you backstory. It took me about 10 tries before I actually got into the game because I never knew what to do, until a friend told me where the first note was, and then I was off, totally immersed in the world, exploring the island through the different ‘ages’ solving puzzles, backtracking, gathering clues, and loving every minute of the gameplay.
The controls fit perfectly with the touch screen, dragging to look around, tapping and holding to move forward, doing a double tap and hold to sprint, and touching two fingers to the screen to move backwards. Everything within the game can be dragged or tapped to be activated, and like most other point & click games, feels like a perfect fit for the iDevice.
The graphics in realMyst are fantastic. The atmospheres and environments are beautifully crafted, and full of seemingly esoteric structures that eventually come to life before your eyes. Unfortunately, there are some notes within the game that are pretty blurry, and hard to read. There’s also some very noticeable drops in frame-rate and jitteriness while exploring the world. This does wind up knocking you out of the immersion a bit, but it doesn’t really harm the gameplay. Myst is not an action oriented game, no one is chasing you, and you’re not under a time limit to find clues so you’ll never die because you couldn’t move fast enough or because a couple frames were skipped. But it would be nice if there was a way to optimize the game, even at a drop in frame-rate, so that you’re not constantly reminded that you’re playing a game. But it’s easily one of the most graphically impressive games I’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing. The music, ambience and sound effects are also just as fantastic as the graphics, and fit in perfectly with the settings, adding immensely to the atmosphere and feeling of the environments throughout the entire game.
It might take a while to actually get into the game, and figure out what to do in some parts, but the main thing is to keep at it, keep exploring, keep looking at everything, switching levers, touching books, pictures, and knobs, and you’ll slowly progress through one of the most amazing games to date, and find out why some gamers call Myst an experience that borders on being referred to as art more than a game. realMyst is only available for the iPad 2 and 3rd Generation iPad, and priced at $6.99 for launch, with the price set to go up to $9.99 soon. There is no GameCenter integration, which is kind of disappointing, as achievements for Myst would have been a wonderful addition, and would have added to the drive to really explore every little inch and crevice throughout the entire game.
If you’ve experienced Myst in the past, realMyst’s gameplay and feeling is different enough that it’s worth checking out again. If you’re new to Myst, realMyst is quite possibly the best version you could check out, and even at the regular price of $9.99, is more than worth every single penny you’d spend on it, even with the couple of issues within the game. Being able to have Myst on my iDevice is still pretty surreal, and I’m going to fully enjoy every single minute I spend exploring and solving the puzzles all over again. It’s definitely one game that every person who calls themselves a gamer should experience, and with this iOS port, it’s yet another opportunity to do just that.