Return to Mysterious Island


by Ruth
author awarded score: 75/100

Return to Mysterious Island Review
Published by: The Adventure Company
Developed by: Kheops Studio
Format Reviewed: PC
Review by:
Ruth

The tale behind Return to Mysterious Island is quite simple really, but with a twist. You are the survivor, washed up on the shores of said mysterious island after your lone ‘round the world attempt went a bit off and you went a bit squiffy in a storm, after a few too many Bacardi Breezers probably and just plain fell overboard. Well then comes the whole exploring and survival bit, to get enough food and to light a fire. Then as you search a bit more around the island (when your strength is back to full), you find ruins and there are those strange sounds of machinery which come intermittently from underground to find out about as well.. Apparently its all based on Jules Verne’s novel of the same name, so maybe it’d help to read it first, but basically it’s a brain-juice, pointy-clicky application somewhere between Myst and the more playable ‘older’ pointy clicky’s, but with very nice graphics and a slightly easier learning curve.


Return to Mysterious Island Review

Graphics:
All top stuff here, from the fully rendered main character to the in-game island pieces etc. It’s all very nice indeed, some might say beautiful even, and there’s a lot of interaction with the background. Most places wouldn’t need to be visited again once you’ve solved the puzzle(s) or taken the items in that area, so it doesn’t get visually boring , unless you wander around in circles or whatever you wanna do. It’s little things which made the whole game worth looking at graphically as well, like the little hummingbird which comes to take a look at you when you wanna go visit the islands resident monkey, biker gang.

Sound:
Very nice, clear sound, there are lots of background noises you can listen for, like the monkeys in the jungle and there’s a few other sounds there too. When your character does things there are appropriate sounds too, like eating stuff like the eggs you find etc.

Gameplay:
Joystick twitchers and gung ho types should perhaps look elsewhere as this game is about using your brain to survive rather than mowing down all forms of life. It’s somewhere between the graphically excellent Myst series of games and the previous outings of pointy-clicky Indiana Jones and the sword of the templar in Kyrandia Discworld Monkey Islands, um all them type of games anyway, but its so much better than quite a few. It’s more interesting than Myst as there’s a bit more freedom in all the areas, so I didn’t feel that it was quite so pointless being somewhere, though I did get the frustrating moments of ‘what do I do next?’, like the creation of a battery, I never guessed you could use lemons, but its acid all the same I suppose? So it leads to the usual ‘try every item with every other item’ moments, but thankfully they’re less than in some other games of the previous listed types, and you can de-construct items as well, and in fact need to at some points in order to make new tools. The whole following the story didn’t get tired while I was playing it, and there was always the want to progress rather than give up, but an overheating PC put paid to that.


Return to Mysterious Island Review

Multi-Player:
Well the whole plot kind of puts paid to the multi-player option for this game, but it would be nice to see a game one day which just supports a group of people being washed up at once and where they all help each other out with their different skills etc. Would be a very nice version of ‘Return to Mysterious Island’ MMORPG maybe? With lots of character interaction and things. But unfortunately it’s not here just yet, have to wait a while longer.

Female Gamer Angle:
Well, this game is quite the exception to the rule, the main character is female, which is so refreshing to find for a change, and many of the goals aren’t violence orientated either, use some thinky juice rather than just batter endless hoards of cyber zombies or whatever. Its all really cool and I can see myself playing this game for a many hours (as long as my PC doesn’t catch on fire as my graphics card melts or something..)


Return to Mysterious Island Review

Conclusion:
Yay! Cool game, now all they need is the multi-player version as above, it’d make it so much more wunnerful then. But seriously, its got graphics, its got game play, its got plot, it’s a more thoughtful kind of game, it's even got captain Nemo too and the Nautilus, which is cool in its own right. So all this combined, definitely makes me want to recommend this to my friends, and to you who read this too. Go out on November 12th, buy this game, you probably wont be disappointed, unless you’ve only got an Atari ST computer or something, then I wouldn’t recommend it really, other than to look at the cool artwork on the box.