Review: Return to Mysterious Island
Return to Mysterious Island - Chillingo
Price: $4.99 [App Store]
Played On: iPhone 3G
Discussion Thread: here
Today we'll be looking at Return to Mysterious Island from Chillingo. Don't ask me why it is a return because i dont know, but it sure makes the game sound alot cooler! I mean, which sounds better, Mysteious Island, or Return to Mysterious Island?....Ya, that's what i thought...Anyways, lets get into the review.
Gameplay: First of all, for those of you that are wondering, Return to Mysterious Island is a pretty unique game. I don't really know what genre it is, but I guess i would describe it as a point and click adventure with puzzles, sort of like Myst for those of you that have played it. The game opens with you, a girl, washing up on a tropical island and there is a creepy shadow of some creature cast over you before dissapearing when you wake up, setting the scene for a very mysterious plot. You're stranded on a "deserted" island and its your job to survive and find your way off of it. You do this by collecting tools, scavenging for food, and solving the puzzles and mysteries of the island. This is all done by looking around with a simple swipe of the finger and picking stuff up and interacting with objects with a simple tap. The gameplay is surprisingly deep and engaging. You'll find yourself drawn in and wanting to discover more of the island.
Graphics: The graphics are done in an unusual way in this game. There's not much movement but there are beautifully made 3d environments that you look around. The visuals are really beautiful and i never really felt that the lack of movement was an issue. It all works well with the theme of the game and it does so while looking very nice.
Sound: The sound of the game is also really nice. There some enjoyable music and some voice-over acting for your character. The music is very thematic and really sets the tone of the game. Some people have been clambering for ambient noise like waves and such but i dont feel its needed and the game does fine without it.
Controls: The controls for this game are like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde situation. For some parts, they work wonderfully, and for others they are horrible. For looking around and interacting with objects, a simple swipe and tap of the finger is all that is needed. This part of the controls is great and really streamline and smooth. However, when it comes to using you're inventory, the controls fall apart. It's not that it doesn't recognize what you're touching but rather that its such a slow and convoluted process to do anything in your inventory once you get a lot of items. You have to scroll back and forth to find things and its not made easy but the inventory control scheme just to name one issue. Despite the horribleness in the inventory and the frequency that you have to use it, its by no means a game breaker and all the other controls work well.
Replayabilty: Once you're done with the adventure, i dont know how much reason there is to come back. However, its a REALLY long adventure. They say it takes 15 hours to complete it and i think ive been playing longer and havent finished yet. Plus, the game is very addicting. Once you start to discover the mysteries of the island, you'll keep wanting to come back and discover more. The only issue is that the game lacks stability. On my iPhone 3G, despite restarting the phone every time I went to play, the game would crash or freeze up occasionally. Sometimes, it would take awhile to fix, and sometimes i would have to revert back to an old save and start the whole area over again. While this would put off many people, its not too big a deal and once fixed, you can get back to your adventuring without interruption for awhile again.
Overall: 8/10 (Not an average)
Overall, this is a very fun and addicting game. Perhaps its called Return to Mysterious Island because you'll be returning for more over and over again. Its tons of fun, only tarnished by the lack of stability and certain control issues. Overall, i recommend it to everyone, whether you are a casual gamer, or hardcore, you'll find something to like in this game. If the issues are fixed, this will be a real winner, and up to a 9 or 9.5.
Last edited by APPyhourreviews; 06-11-2009 at 09:12 AM..