The Last Express iOS giveaway contest
Riddle: What was built in 1997, traveled from Paris to Constantinople just before the outbreak of World War I, and today runs on apples?
Answer: Jordan Mechner's The Last Express.
Okay, technically that should be "Apples", as the highly acclaimed but dismally-selling cult classic set aboard the Orient Express has now opened up to a whole new audience at the App Store. It's one of the genre's great tragedies that it didn't fare better originally, the ambitious adventure from Smoking Car Productions reportedly costing about $6 million to make for only 100,000 copies sold. Its commercial derailment meant the end of the line for both developer and publisher, and even the famous train itself has (entirely coincidentally) since shut down. If you missed Mechner's opus the first time around, as so many did, you now have a second chance for the ride of your life on iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.
On the eve of WWI, American fugitive Robert Cath arrives aboard the Orient Express to find his contact murdered, sparking an international high stakes game of political intrigue and personal vendettas. Everyone has secrets... and their own individual agendas, which they'll carry out whether you discover them or not. The Last Express plays out in pseudo-real time, and you can't be everywhere at once, so you must think quickly and choose wisely based on what you learn. Do you spy on the German arms dealer, follow the Russian anarchist, eavesdrop on an exiled prince, investigate the Serbian nationalists, or flirt with the beautiful Austrian violinist? And can you do it all without revealing your true identity as a man wanted for murder?
This game is so good (hey, not just any title cracks the final 10 of our Top 100 All-Time Adventure Games list) that we're pleased to offer a free iOS copy of The Last Express to three lucky winners, courtesy of DotEmu. If you've got a mobile Apple device, you can even play it on the train! (But we don't recommend using the same tactics in real life.) To be eligible, all you need to do is correctly answer the three quiz questions below. But in keeping with the main theme, we've carelessly left all the answers out for snooping in our review of the game and the App Store product page.
The contest will run for roughly the same time the 1914 Orient Express would have taken to make a round trip, ending Wednesday, October 24th. So don't delay; get your ticket in today!