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Review of Return to Mysterious Island by emric

Stars - 20

Rating by emric posted on Jun 10, 2012 | edit | delete

only for lovers of puzzle-centric, 1st-person solitary exploration style adventures

I’m really not into 1st person perspective adventures. but i got this game as part of a 5 game bundle that i bought, so i thought i might as well give it a go.

initially i thought it was ok, so i’ll start with the good stuff. the character design for main character Mina was really really good. but because of the 1st person perspective, you almost never see her… only in the very few cutscenes and the credits and in illustrated form in little screens that pop up when Mina has solved a main puzzle. i did like the style of these illustrated sequences. and i liked how you move from location to location as if they were “screens” and it wasn’t just a huge “move anywhere” 3D world.

BUT it quickly became obvious that this was not really my kind of adventure. I prefer character and plot driven stuff. This game is almost completely puzzle-driven. There is a plot, but it’s quite secondary in focus to the puzzling. There are no extra characters in the whole game besides Mina—unless you count the occasional appearance of a ghost and a monkey that you later befriend—but I don’t count them.

Your inventory screen has over 200 slots for inventory items and many of the puzzles are solved by combining these items that you collect from all over the island. Many of these make sense, but there was also a fair number of them I don’t think I would’ve ever guessed. And there are so many items that it’s basically impossible to just “try” all the combinations until you get the right one (especially when some combined objects need up to 5 individual items!).

So from very early on, I just found an online walkthru and went thru the entire game just following it. Usually I’d never look at a walkthru unless I was quite stuck for a period of time and just not enjoying myself anymore. But I didn’t derive much pleasure from solving the puzzles in this game even initially without the walkthru.

So it was a pleasant enough experience to go thru it knowing exactly what to do. in this fashion, i think it still took me over 7 hours to play thru it. If you’re into inventory-puzzle based 1st person adventures, then you may enjoy this. But it’s not my thing.

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Time Played: 5-10 hours

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