Nov 7, 2013
There has to be some science behind the way certain games force you to stop playing and instead ‘come back later’. I’ll happily admit I’m no expert in the economics of designing free-to-play games, but I always thought turning people away was a dangerous idea.
They just might not come back.
It’s with this in mind that we talk about Lost Chapters HD. It’s a game all about exploration of an island, completing tasks to unlock new buildings and discovering treasure along the way.
The game gives you 4 explorers to control, though the term ‘control’ might be pushing it a little far. All you have to do is tap parts of the island to carry out a relevant task. Tapping on trees causes you to chop them down whilst tapping on wild animals has you attack them.
Again, whilst this may sound exciting, in real terms this means you get to watch a bar tick down as each task requires a certain amount of time for it to complete. No interaction is required from you. All the game wants you to do is wait.
The progress through the island is painfully slow thanks to the game’s desire to stop you playing for more than a couple of minutes at a time.
How it does this is by making every task cost resources. Once you get past the initial tutorial quests, progression grinds to a near halt. There aren’t enough resources in the game for you to really make any inroads into in the quests and one resource in particular (water) becomes incredibly scarce.
Whilst it’s true that over time you can build new objects that dish out more water, you’re never going to build something that removes this problem entirely. The best I could manage was a well that spat out extra water every 24 hours. It’s incredibly slow and truthfully, it’s hard to see the point in grinding through this title.
Other games of this nature have you visiting other people’s places or battling other people’s armies. It’s this need to show off how much better you are than everyone else that keeps people coming back to their virtual worlds. A modern-age keeping up with the Joneses.
In Lost Chapters HD, this isn’t even a factor. You don’t interact with other players and instead the one single draw is the supposed desire to explore the rest of the island. Whilst some may be intrigued by the island and may happily check in on their explorers everyday, I find it hard to believe this will be the case for most.
Lost Chapters HD is a good looking resource collecting game that simply doesn’t want you to progress, making playing the game for more than 10 minutes at a time impossible. This wouldn’t be such a bad thing if there were suitable hooks to drag you back into the game day after day, but for me, there weren’t.
Lost Chapters HD Review Rundown
Download: App available at the Google Play Store »