Point and click adventures have always been one of my favorite genres. As I’ve mentioned numerous times on this site before, I cut my gaming teeth on the entire lineup of Sierra Online and Lucas Art games for the Apple and PC. So whenever I have an opportunity to get my hands on a new point and click adventure game (can I still call them that when I’m not using a mouse?) I jump on it.
To remain spoiler free, I’ll lay out the plot of Forever Lost in fairly broad strokes. Basically you wake up in a strange place and you cannot remember why you are there. You have random flashes of memories, or perhaps they are nightmares, you really can’t be sure. You soon realize that you are in the seemingly abandoned Hawthorn Asylum, but have no memory why. By reading notes hastily scribbled on walls and entries in scattered journals you start to get a picture of what’s going on and you set off through the haunted eerily empty halls of this desolate facility, frantically trying to find both answers and maybe even a way out.
The game’s detailed graphics, haunting soundtrack, sound effects and occasional voice-work come together brilliantly to make the player really feel like he or she is in the desperate shoes of the main character. Navigation of your surroundings is accomplished via simple tapping motions and there is a “go back” arrow button that allows you to back out of your current location. As you make your way around you will discover objects which are added to your inventory. Some will be useful, others will just be red herrings, and you’ve got to figure out the right time and place to use them.
< span="">< span=""> href=”http://adct.me/VOZ296″ target=”_blank”>Forever Lost’s puzzles offer up a nice mix of logic challenges, math, memory and creative thinking. There are meta puzzles and puzzle within puzzles. Some of the puzzles are fairly straight forward and easy, others will require a bit more thought and perhaps even a moment or two away from the game to let your brain do a little offline processing. For those who get really stuck, there is an integrated hint system.
In general, the point and click genre tends to offer a slightly longer gaming experience than your usual Casual fare. If I had to guess It think it took me somewhere around 3 hours to complete the game and that was without using ANY hints, and taking my time to enjoy the ambiance and creepy world that the Glitch Games team so deftly constructed. Because of my experience with this style of gameplay, I say that for me Forever Lost trended more toward the easier side, but it was still thoroughly enjoyable. Depending on your familiarity with this style of game, you may be able to finish it in more or less time especially if you use the hints, but I can think of at least a couple of puzzle in particular which will most certainly trip up more novice players unless they do a little outside of the box thinking.
If you’ve ever played a point and click adventure game then you’ll know that you often spend much of your time backtracking between two or more locations trying to remember some code or combination, hoping that no one walks into the room and asks you a question or starts talking to you, blowing your concentration before you can enter this data in a a puzzle that is like 5 moves away from your current location.
That’s where the in-game camera comes in. This cool little “why didn’t anyone think of doing this before” feature makes a HUGE difference and has probably ruined me for future adventure games. Now instead of wasting time going back and forth between multiple locations as you try to remember a phone number (3 or four digits at a time), you can just take a snapshot of the number and call it back up while you are standing right in front of the location where you need it. You also have the ability to scribble notes on any picture for later reference. The images are stored within the game, not on your iDevice’s Camera Roll. Pro tip: if you want to be successful and save yourself from spending a lot of unnecessary time backtracking to verify a clue, read everything carefully and make sure to take lots and lots of pictures.
Usually this genre of game commands a larger price tag due to its extended content, so whatever you do, do not be fooled by Forever Lost’s 99¢ price tag (temp down from $2.99), this game is NOT just another one of those dime a dozen, cheap “Room Escape” titles that pretend to be a true point and click adventure. Forever Lost is a well thought out, and sometimes very crafty point and click adventure game by a team of developers who obviously have a lot of love for this genre. I’ve been told by the development team that at least two more episodes will be coming (as separate apps) and carry on the storyline of this first episode “but if people wanted to they could still enjoy the puzzles of an episode without playing the previous one”. This is just the begging of a great new series, I cannot wait to get my hands on more episodes.