Return to Mysterious Island 2

by Wencke Schuncken
author awarded score: 70/100

Return to Mysterious Island 2 Review
Developed By: Kheops Studio
Published by: Iceberg Interactive
Format Reviewed: PC
Reviewed By: Wencke Schuncken

Is mysterious island 2 still a mysterious island to Mina, the young and carefree navigator? Or does it contain new thrilling activities and discoveries? Perhaps it’s not all glory in Mina’s life, even when she thought that she was rescued from the island.

The first return to Mysterious Island ends with the unlocking of the shield which isolated the island from the world. It’s not necessarily required to have played the first part to understand the sequel and the story, the gameplay or the controlling. This sequel begins with the crash of the helicopter that came to rescue Mina, “thanks to” a sudden volcanic eruption that hit the aircraft. Mina survived but is once again trapped on the island. All of a sudden, under her very eyes, an unknown disease afflicts the plants, then the animal life. Mina is determined to explore the island to locate its source. To give you a rough idea of what can be explored on the island, here are some examples of places that Mina visits; she searches for Captain’s Nemo base in vain, then the ruins of an unknown civilization, and of course places to hide for wildlife creatures looking to stuff their belly. Finally she understands that it is the outside pollution that threatens the island and the only way to save it is to turn the shield back on which she shut down in the first place to be able to send out a SOS sign for the original rescue. By activating the shield again, Mina won’t be able to return to civilization but she will save the beauty of the island.

Mysterious Island 2 is a point & click controlling game which contains highly popular themes as survival, exploration, discovery, ecology, science and mystery, all in a fabulous tropical setting. Most of the time will be consumed by exploring the island and searching for food, tools and other items with some that can be assembled to new tools. And then we have the puzzles which need to be solved to make progress in the game, which also consume a lot of time as they can be quite difficult. Let’s give an example of an easy to complete puzzle / quest; As Mina is hurt after the helicopter crash, Jep (a little monkey and helpful companion of Mina) needs to help her but his energy level is too low. It’s up to the player to take control of Jep and to collect and eat all the useful, eatable items till he has enough energy. A much more complicated task is to activate a laser by repairing its electric circuit with bolts. First you need to locate and collect the bolts. Each bolt has a number of dots which needs to match with the surrounded installation spots. After completing it, it’s essential to make the electricity run through the machine to create a laser (another puzzle). While I’m writing and you’re reading this, it sounds easier than it is, believe me!

If a puzzle is too difficult, you can switch the difficulty mode to easy. But it’s going to cost a couple of points and that will slightly lower your final score. It’s your choice whether you prefer to ask for help or to maintain your pride. The questions probably raise on what you can do, or what impact those points have and how to earn more. Well, the scoring system gives points to each of the player’s actions. The more you explore and solve puzzles, the more points. But in my opinion it’s not a rewarding system, as it only is for your personal statistics (and to beat it if you play the game again) or to show off to someone else.

Another way to solve a puzzle, which is quite a cool feature, is the synchronizing of the Apple Ipod Touch or IPhone with your PC. It allows the player to complete some of the puzzles on their IPod or IPhone, and when succeeded you can synchronize your account with the PC game. The puzzle then is automatically solved and can continue the game on the PC. This is cool when there’s no more time left behind the PC and you can take it away and play it at work-, and school breaks for example, and when being at home, the adventure continues. When the puzzle is solved on the Apple Ipod Touch or IPhone, they can be played over and over again. But the application on the devices not only contains puzzles but also a bonus option to use game related art pictures as wallpapers. The option to buy the original game and, or the sequel is also included although it redirects to the website, which is hardly readable on the device and in my opinion a useless extra option.

From a female point of view, Mina is an excellent young and carefree navigator. Although the crash has taken its toll, she can count on Jep. He’s a cute, little monkey who becomes a character in its own right as he’s a second controllable character, to help Mina with her injury and to focus on the main goal in the game. She’s a tough girl with a creative mind, she loves Jep but isn’t afraid to tell him the truth when he’s filthy but wants to climb on her shoulders or give her a hug for example. She has to make a difficult decision; return to her original civilization or save the island’s environment. But it’s up to us, the players, to decide her fate.

Return to mysterious Island 2 is a game for players that love and have the time to explore the game bit by bit. The puzzles are challenging but also can be truly frustrating. The extra features to change the difficulty level at once and the possibility to solve it on the Apple Ipod Touch or IPhone are great. And if you still have problems solving the puzzles or don’t have the patience but want to experience how the story evolves, the internet always covers enough walkthroughs. The characters have great charisma and even Jep’s emotions are revealed during the game in words (intrigued, sympathetic, impatient, etc.). The graphics are beautiful, combined with cartoonlike pictures from time to time when special (good and bad) actions are performed. The game runs smoothly and exploring the environment is easy and without loading times. Although I didn’t have the chance to play the original game, I’m impressed with this point & click adventure and even hoping for another sequel!