Written by Jack Allin — September 8, 2016 at 12:00
Remember Dark City? The cult favourite sci-fi movie featured a place called Shell Beach that everyone wanted to visit but no one actually seemed able to reach. Well, Isoland may not quite be Shell Beach, but it's certainly inspired by it, and now anyone with an iOS device can book passage there.
Isoland, as its title suggests, is set on an isolated island whose inhabitants can't actually remember "how they got there or why they stay." Players assume the role of a researcher responding to a request for help from a friend. Upon your arrival, however, you "realize all too late that you, too, are now trapped." Although beautiful and seemingly peaceful from afar, the island conceals many secrets it doesn't want exposed. To piece together the truth behind the island, you will need to keep your wits about you and solve the many complex obstacles you encounter in your investigation.
Although described by indie Chinese developer RedFish Game Studio as being "in the vein of the original Myst", Isoland's aesthetic is anything but Myst-like, with hand-drawn graphics "made of crooked lines, off-kilter perspectives, and a muted color palette." The similarity comes in the form of its first-person perspective and varied puzzles that promise to be "often quite difficult" – so potentially difficult, in fact, that while hints will be "free after watching a short ad", actual puzzle solutions will be offered as in-app purchases.
All this brain teasing goodness is available only to iOS platform owners for now, as Isoland releases today exclusively on the App Store.