The Lost Treasure Review

The Lost Treasure Review

Sep 28, 2015

It all starts out with a cryptic letter from Uncle Henry, letting the player know that after studying the map that he (the player) found; Uncle Henry’s recommended course of action is to go on and find the pirates hidden treasure both suspect the map points to.

With this modest beginning, our adventure is launched, and one gets to be immersed in the digital caper known as The Lost Treasure.

Right from the onset, the game is fairly easy to navigate. It uses still images to advance the gameplay, and the imagery does reflect the jungle environment one expects from the opening letter. The perspective is first person, and to move around, one simply touches the screen intuitively in the rough direction one wants to go; in this way, one can move from scene to scene, or get a closer look at an area within the scene. Thus, this also how ones investigates objects, which makes up a pretty big part of the game.

So, exploration is the name of the game. The basic idea is to collect items and figure out puzzles, and then progress. The puzzles are interesting enough, but not too juvenile; one might have to collect a key, or solve a puzzle, or open up an object to collect another object that is utilized by doubling back along the path already traveled.


The creativity injected into the flow of the game is what makes the whole thing fun. One is able to use hints when needed, and the elements are not so fantastic as to be silly. Vivid graphics are engaging but not too distracting, and the self-contained nature are to be lauded.

For a simple diversion that works well on the go, it’s pretty easy to fall in love with The Lost Treasure. It feels like a short ride, but pleasantly so.

Dexter: Hidden Darkness Review

Dexter: Hidden Darkness Review

Aug 24, 2015

Weirdly enough, I was one of those that picked up on Dexter fairly late in the show’s life. The series about a serial killer that gets his rocks off by hunting gruesome murders is quite a draw. Now, after the series wrap-up, it’s possible to relive it — somewhat — with Dexter: Hidden Darkness.

The gameplay starts out with cutscene images and text boxes; Debra summons Dexter to check out a body, and we get right into it. During cutscenes, it allows the player to pick scenarios, and then leads to its biggest element: finding hidden objects.

The hidden object sequences are interesting, not overly logical, and generate a point system that leads to energy gains, leveling and more. One basic idea is to gain enough energy to keep on going; if one fails, one can use real cash or allow time to run its replenishment course.

The game does get credit for going beyond being Just Another Hidden Object Game, as it packs in other elements that help create a full-fledged mystery that needs solving. It lands on the source series heavily, and as such, will be fun for fans of the franchise. Within the game itself, one gets to really do research, and the mini-games are fairly creative, if far and few between. The characters are familiar, and one does have to give a shout-out to Harry’s Code.


In some aspects though, the gameplay feels like it trips over itself. The cutscenes do feel a bit, well, rigid after a while, and the navigation feels suspiciously unneeded. While the hidden object sets are interesting, they are repetitive. The dialogue is salty in places, but hey… this is a serial killer’s killer here.

Then there is the energy requirement. The cash/credits/energy/leveling up relationship send convoluted, but to be fair, it isn’t too difficult to keep going for a good while. At points, the energy will be consumed faster than one can replenish through action, and it’s cool that time can be used in lieu of real money.

It’s a relatively self-contained experience that has the advantage of being sourced from a hit show. It doesn’t get boring soon, and is only really slowed by the energy requirement.

Fans of lovable psychopaths can do much, much worse.

Lifeline Review

Lifeline Review

Jun 15, 2015

Lifeline is not your typical survival game. That much is clear right from the beginning.

Our protagonist is called Taylor, and is a student on a space project on the starship Varia. Unfortunately, for reasons initially unknown, Varia goes down, leaving Taylor as the lone survivor on a desolate rock in space.

Fortunately, he’s able to get a radio calling, and the resultant SOS transmission makes it to you, the player.

The task? Keep Taylor alive.

The game interface is simple, and radio communication between the player and Taylor is reflected via text conversation; life2Taylor generally goes through scenarios and probabilities with regards to happenings on the ground, and the player looks to advise — more like direct — our scared survivor in a course of action. So, one gets a bunch of information from Taylor, and then a dual choice opportunity invariably becomes available, and at these points, the player selects one of the options. In this, the game kind of feels like a optioned Choose Your Own Adventure type of deal.

One element that helps make it interesting is the notification process. There are times Taylor is busy, like when he’s performing an advised task or resting. When it’s done and there is more feedback from him, the game notifies the player via Android notification system. Thus, as one gets more involved in the game, it does breed a sort of impatience that can make folks continually look for notifications. To make things easy, the developer does give the option to get notifications singly or in bunches.

If I could be picky, I’d like some of the dialogue to have more depth; the tone leaves some things lacking at a few points. A few more action cutscenes would also help move stuff along methinks.

Lifeline does a good job of sucking players in, and all but forcing them to feel for Taylor. As the story unfolds, one does feel like part of the solution, and this is a compelling hook. Different choices have different outcomes, and the real-time nature give it an authentic flavor. The one-time purchase price is definitely something to appreciate.

It gets high marks for simplicity and for daring to be a bit different. It can be improved, yes, but the starting salvo is pretty easy to fall in love with.

Sorcery! 3 Review

Sorcery! 3 Review

Apr 29, 2015

Sorcery! 3 is a continuation of an adventure game franchise from Steve Jackson, who is kind of a big deal. For those not familiar, Steve Jackson is a US tabletop game designer (not to be confused with Steve Jackson, a UK tabletop game designer – I wish this was a joke), who, among other great things, created a tabletop RPG system GURPS, and the bane of all geek friendships, Munchkin. He is basically neck-deep in the geek world. This should add credibility to the following statement: Sorcery! is one of the best, most immersive games, I’ve ever played.

It’s really difficult to explain Sorcery! 3 to a person that’s never played anything resembling a tabletop role-playing game. Because Sorcery! is basically that. It’s a digital tabletop campaign for one person. It’s not really an RPG in its purest sense, but it certainly feels like it. The player character is on a quest to defeat seven evil serpents that are controlled by a powerful warlock. The player must embark into a land, filled with magic, secrets, and time and space distortions, to find the ways to destroy the serpents – and to find the serpents themselves. The story is as rich and multilayered as one would expect from an RPG campaign, and describing it would take forever, so let’s not bother. Suffice to say, if Sorcery! 3 was a book, its page count would go far into the thousands.

The gameplay of Sorcery! 3 is a weird beast to describe, since it’s a mix of different elements without any anchor in established genres. At its core, it’s a really complex text adventure. But on top of that, you have a unique magic system with a couple of dozen of unique spells, a huge – and I mean, freaking huge – map with hundreds of points of interests, which change based on the circumstances, an endless amount of random encounters, and a whole lot of quests to complete on the way towards the serpents. I can’t describe how much stuff there is in the game. I’ve played it for hours, and I’m still well in the first quarter.

To be fair, while Sorcery! 3 is an incredibly great game, it’s not without some issues. The two biggest ones are the weird magicSorcery! 3 3 system and the weird battle system. The magic system could be made a lot more comfortable by removing the long transition and letter-picking mechanic, boiling it down to a simple list of castable spells. The battle system is just somewhat unintuitive. I’ve played a great number of fights, and still basically go with my instincts, rather than knowledge. The fights could also be a little more varied in terms of gameplay. Reading out the descriptions of the attacks is great, but it could very well be replaced with a more traditional turn-based system.

Overall, Sorcery! 3 is the best mobile game out there for people who like tabletop RPGs. If the thought of reading for an hour about how your character navigates through a magical forest, makes you dizzy, then it’s probably not the game for you. But, if you’re one of those people who want to try out a great tabletop RPG, but never seem to have the time, or people for that, then spending five bucks on Sorcery! is a no-brainer.

Adventures of Poco Eco Review

Adventures of Poco Eco Review

Apr 28, 2015

I must admit, it’s been a while since I’ve last encountered an artsy game that wasn’t all just the looks, so Adventures of Poco Eco was a pleasant surprise, albeit a rather short one. Music-themed games have a special place in my heart, as well as simply games with great soundtracks, so I may be somewhat biased with my opinion. I hope it’s obvious that I absolutely loved the game, however short it was.

Adventures of Poco Eco is a story of a little creature that was sent to retrieve the long-lost sounds, in order to cancel the noise that’s doing I don’t know what, exactly, but probably nothing nice. He needs to use the magic cassette player to call out to the gods of rhythm and use their guidance in his quest. So, yeah, it’s that kind of game. However, there’s a good part: it does behave like a game – a puzzle game, to be exact. It’s not just a colorful railroad, since the player is supposed to use the brain to navigate through the fantastical landscapes on the way to his goal. It’s not very challenging, and plays out like something out of Mario 64, but even more weird-looking.

The majority of the time, the player simply needs to place Poco on different buttons in correct order, or press them himself,Adventures of Poco Eco 3 but there are some bits where timing is required. Which leads me to the single issue I have with Adventures of Poco Eco, the controls. Mario 64 comparison would suit here too, since this game would be a lot better with traditional arrow controls, instead of adventure-style click-and-go system. The player’s finger obstructs a huge part of the screen, and it’s uncomfortable to try and press on the small square you want Poco to go to – especially when the square moves around.

Overall, I’d highly suggest Adventures of Poco Eco to the people who like artsy games with unusual style in graphics and music. Of course, you also have to like the future electronica genre, otherwise there’s no reason to play this game. Personally, I’d just like it to be longer. I’ve completed it in about an hour, and it certainly didn’t feel enough. Otherwise, it’s a very interesting little game.

LIMBO Review

LIMBO Review

Mar 9, 2015

LIMBO is an interesting adventure game from Playdead that looks to prove that the slightly creepy can be infinitely entertaining.

The backstory is simple: boy in search of lost sister, a young boys wanders into LIMBO, a gloomy, foreboding land that would give most people pause.

The environment is a huge element in the game; the stark coloring is curiously intriguing, with different shades of white and black blending in and out to create a delightfully murky 2D environment. The dark colors are pervasive, and hide all sorts of hindrances and helpers in their depths. The animations are smooth, and convey action themes in a reasonable matter.

The gameplay itself is easy to understand; in a nutshell, one guides the character (using virtual controls) from left to right. This is, of course, easier said than done, because there are times one has think how to get through an obstacle to clear egress — and at other times, one needs to avoid lethal traps that end the run. The game gently gets one going with simple puzzles, and it’s not hard to glean the basics of advancement/survival.


Being vigilant is a biggie, as, even at the onset, one has to look for a tool or two that can help our protagonist to get moving, even including upwards. As the game progresses, quick reactions become more important, and one has to be on the lookout for the unexpected.

As one progresses even further, the puzzles become more intricate. I like how the developer has looked to prevent an over-reliance on going the “right” way. Sometimes, going backwards a bit is needed. Also, the platform elements are welcome, as they further prevent monotony. There are ropes and such as well as bear traps.

When one considers how simple the LIMBO is, one might be surprised at how addictive it is. It comes together well, looks relatively good and manages to spooky without being scary. The premium, one-time price ($4.99) is a plus in my book; the developer also provides a demo version.

Well worth a look, I say.

Uncover Dark Secrets with Corto Maltese: Secrets of Venice Tomorrow

A few days ago Bulkypix announced that a new game known as Corto Maltese: Secrets of Venice will hit Android on December 11th.

This marks the first time that a character by the well known comic writer Hugo Pratt has featured in a any video game and it looks to be an old school point and clicker, a rather uncommon genre on the platform.

The plot seems to be a pretty Film Noir like tale. The central character has been poisoned by unknowns forces and he now must embark on a journey to find a cure for himself as well as the pieces of a mysterious artifact known as the Clavicule of Solomon that fits into the story as well.

Corto looks very striking and is said to pay homage to Hugo’s style. It certainly nails its comic bonk roots.

While details are light on Corto Maltese the game as said lands tomorrow and you can rely on Android Rundown to feature a review of this promising new tale.

Botanicula is Now Available on Android

Botanicula is Now Available on Android

Oct 14, 2014

Mark this one in the “splendid news” category…

Botanicula is now available for users of Android devices.

The game promises to be a video and audio feast, and the screenshots seem to confirm at least on of these premises. It focuses on the humorous adventures of five tree creaures who are trying to save their home tree from being overrun by enemy parasites. The game works via point-and-click gameplay, and incorporates a lot of different environments, bonuses and music by Dva.

The game has received plenty of praise, and was formerly exclusive to iOS. The developer goes as far as to suggest playing on phablets and tablets (as well as larger phones) with headphones usage to get the best experience.

The game looks interesting, and we look forward to reviewing it.

For folks who cannot wait for our review (understandable), the game is currently available for the upfront price of $4.99 on the Play Store.

Bik Review

Bik Review

Aug 29, 2014

Bik is a love letter to 1980’s adventure games. Taking control of a heroic boy and a couple of “heroic” aliens, the player works their way through an amusing plot and varied locations while grabbing random objects that come in handy for solving puzzles to work their way through a bunch of oddball situations.

Screenshot_2014-08-23-13-23-59Bik has great dialogue. Each character in the game, from the slightly bumbling Ammut to the resourceful Bik himself has a lot of personality and the strong, funny dialogue really encourages the player to play through to see what happens. There are countless funny dialogue options and indeed stalling characters is more than useful, it’s required.

Like any good adventure game featuring kleptomaniac heroes, Bik has lots of puzzles that involve the most unlikely items. Whether it’s fashioning a gliding boat from windmill sails and thorns, saving someone from a fire with a mop or using a rusty pipe to cave in a guard’s head, there is no shortage of creative and interesting uses for objects that make perfect sense when used the way they are in game.

Bik is just full of amusing moments too. From killer sock monsters, to finding a gun and accidentally blowing everyone up, as well as two spaceships and four planets Bik is always funny. The developers obviously know what adventure gamers are like and achievements are regularly handed out for doing something stupid, like killing Ammut by blowing a hole in an airlock wall or dropping a heavy crate on Bik’s own head.

Screenshot_2014-08-23-18-09-53Some hilarious puzzle solutions make the game a treat as well, like using the starship’s engines to cook a toasted sandwich and knocking out a guard with a badly made brownie. Bik has heaps of puzzles but they are always common sense and using your noodle to work them out is lots of fun. There are several gameplay styles in the game too; there are even a few action sequences and even a mini shoot em up, which is very pleasing.

Bik looks fantastic. A great pixel art style perfectly captures the feel of old adventure games. The game‘s art direction is also stellar. Many locations feature strong colours and stark landscapes that really make an impact. Bik has the kind of graphics that are just worth gawking at.

The sound is also extremely well done. The music is some of the best heard on mobile. It is full of feel and atmosphere, from the desolate theme as the player walks down a rainy, derelict street to the lofty notes of a farming village. Bik really nails its music and the player will stop just to listen.

Bik clocks in at about 10 hours and this is a very reasonable length. The game is very dense and packed with things to do and see. It is also very cheap considering the quality and amount of gameplay on offer.

Bik is a fantastic game that not only emulates classic adventure games, but improves on them and is a top notch game in its own right. Its excellent presentation and humour really are the icing on the cake. Play it today!

Point and click with Bik!

Point and click with Bik!

Aug 18, 2014

Bik a humorous, retro styled Space Quest homage has landed on Android. With a charmingly archaic graphical style and equal parts venerable point and clickery and aliens with baked bean shaped heads It looks like a winner. “I Can’t Do That Here” indeed.

Bik is set to become a walk down memory lane for long term gamers, and at 99c it wont break the bank. Look for a full review of this one very soon.

Tales of Dragon Mountain: The Strix, Attractive Redhead Simulator On Sale for $0.99

Tales of Dragon Mountain: The Strix, Attractive Redhead Simulator On Sale for $0.99

Aug 11, 2014

Tales of Dragon Mountain: The Strix a interesting puzzle/adventure game from G5 entertainment featuring an attractive redhead is currently on sale for 99 cents ($1.06au). This isn’t the first time G5’s epic has been on sale, but it is the first time it has dipped under a dollar.

For tight-fisted adventurers, or simply fans of attractive redheads there has never been a better time to suit up and go on a new adventure on the cheap. The sale runs until August 18th so put that brain to work and download it now!

Kickstarter for Project 13 Reaching Completion

Kickstarter for Project 13 Reaching Completion

Aug 8, 2014

Subject 13 4

Subject 13 is an upcoming adventure game from Microids, featuring a thrilling story, courtesy of Paul Cuisset, and beautiful visuals, courtesy of Unity engine. The game has already reached its starting goal and will be funded on the 8th of August. So, if you want to chip in and help it reach new milestone, or just want to check it out, head here: Project 13 on Kickstarter.