Friday, 8 October 2010

Featured Game - Lost in Blue 2

Title: Lost in Blue 2
Format: Nintendo DS

Lost in Blue 2 follows a similar story to the first game, Lost in Blue. Two teenagers are stranded on an island and need to survive and escape. It is certainly different to its predecessor, but not always better.

There are more things to do: a wider range of mini-games and more resources and items to make. It is possible to set up several bases and traverse the world, which is much larger. The island itself has slopes and odd angles, no longer the squared off edges of Keith and Skye's marooning, and the graphics and sound have improved.

The characters, however, are far less likeable. You can play as either, but your companion will be of limited intelligence and resents being asked to contribute to their own survival unless bribed. While Skye's helplessness is excusable - she's effectively blind - it's less forgiveable in an able-bodied adult.

Once again however, multiple endings and a lot of mini-games make this one fun to play and the additional of dangerous animals and natural disasters give it a whole new angle.

Friday, 1 October 2010

Featured Game - The ABC murders (DS)

Title: Agatha Christie: The ABC Murders (Nintendo DS)
Format: Nintendo DS

This is one of the few games that I am lukewarm about, but will highlight anyway because it may be good for its target audience.

Based on Agatha Christie's The ABC murders, the idea of solving the case as Poirot is delightful. Unfortunately this game does not live up to that promise, as the game is extremely linear. Rather than gathering clues and deducing information, the game is simply a series of interviews, with puzzles which have been worked in rather artifically. Nearly every witness asked you to work out a math or logic problem before they'll co-operate. The other issue is the touchpad which makes putting the right answer in trickier than working it out.

I have to admit I abandoned this when I got bored hlafway through. However for a younger age group or inexperienced gamers, this could be fun. The problems are of the level of standard school maths ("If two trains leave x at y o'clock at b speed, which train gets there first?") and the story is gripping.

If you can get past the touchpad issue, this might be one to keep younger kids amused for a while - just keep pad and paper handy for your workings!

(For adult gamers, the Adventure Company's Agatha Christie Series on PC and console give a beter experience.)