iPad Game Review: Great Adventures HD: Lost in the Mountains Reviewed by Abisco
Great Adventures HD: Lost in the Mountains is an adventure-point and click game with hints of SIM elements within it. Previously released on PC for $6.99 by Big Fish Games, it now available for the iPad. The game features 2 characters of opposing gender (you choose in the beginning based on 3 possible characters for each gender), who then get stuck in a mountain while searching for one of the characters father, a renowned scientist. Together with their dog, they try to find food, shelter, and figure out just what the heck is going on within the hotel.
The game features a "Sim" style of gameplay, where you are able to control a character?s actions from a top down perspective. The fun part of the gameplay is that you get to control both characters and use both of their abilities to solve the many, many puzzles in the game. Along the way, you will find collectibles, tapes regarding what is going on, as well as eat food and sleep. The game really comes along well within the beginning, each set of mission goals are divided into Objectives, which generally contain 3 missions. Each mission is pretty clearly defined, so when the game tells you "Open The Hotel Door" you pretty much know what you have to do, the sometimes-confusing part is trying to figure out WHERE you have to do it.
The map isn?t necessarily big, but it does have a lot of doors and items within it, so although the beginning of the game is really quite simple and rudimentary, later on you will be scratching your head on where the heck you need to go. One great aspect of the game is that when it tells you to do something, if there is item you need, it generally shows silhouettes of the pictures underneath the mission goals. This at least gives you some idea on what to do.
Fortunately for us, included within the game is a hint system in the form of doggie biscuits/bones. When you find 5 bones, the game gives you a hint, which you can then use to have your dog show you exactly what you have to do. Now this is a really good system when it is available, and the amount of doggy biscuits are by no means small, having 5 biscuits for each hint is pretty steep. Later on in the game, when everything is pretty difficult to figure out, I felt my self randomly clicking all over the screen just to find something for my character to interact with.
Another key aspect of the gameplay is the collections, although the game doesn't really have achievements per say, it does have extra goals on collecting any butterflies, lanterns, ladybugs and more random items. The items would then go to the main lobby of the hotel to give a more aesthetic look to it. Now this was pretty fun to do in the beginning. It isn't hard to find the objects since you have everything scattered all over the floor but the tricky part is collecting them. The game makes you walk up to each piece to collect, and if you have 20 pieces insight, that?s a lot of walking around. To add to this tedious job, when you collect an item you will need to wait for a progress meter to fill up which can take up to 10 seconds. Wish there were a faster way to do this.
Finally the whole SIM style of the gameplay comes into play. Similar to The Sims, your characters have bars representing their tiredness, fun levels, and hunger. Doing actions brings these bars down, and watching TV, sleeping or eating food from the fridge help bring it back up. This sounds like a lot of fun for Sim?s type of game, it doesn?t fit with this point-and-click adventure game. When you are engaged in the gameplay, trying to figure out puzzles and go from one objective to another when suddenly your character tells me they are tired. It not interrupts the gameplay, but also tires the player out. Two type of genres require different types of concentration and train of thoughts, mixing them together this way just doesn?t work.
Included within every action though is points, so getting these points can feel a little rewarding (though by the end, it seems as though EVERYTHING you do gives you points). The points are then tallied up and how fast you did things, as well as optional things and put on the Crystal leader board to show how well you did.
Great Adventures HD: Lost in the Mountains has some great graphics and controls. The color scheme really feels warm and pleasant and is very inviting. Everything also feels alive within the game world, butterflies are flapping their wings, electricity on cables are showing that there is electricity coming from them, it all comes together pretty well and is easily the games most redeeming factor. As for the controls, it?s good to know everything is spot on here, for a port of a PC game, it?s understandable that translating the controls from mouse and keyboard over to touch screen is no easy task, but this game manages to do it well.
Music within this game isn't really something to write home about. It's there and provides a nice relaxing tune to go with the game, but it isn't anything special. I feel as though it?s some lobby music, it does help sooth you for a while. The sound effects are pretty much spot on and get their job down, when something opens, you hear it open, when something sparkles, you get a nice cheery celebration music. In the end, the sound of the game is something which isn't really going to WOW you, but you know that effort was put into it to match the games style, which is definitely a plus.
If you don't mind doing really repetitive tasks, and using a walkthrough online, then by all means pick up this game. The art style is soothing, while the controls are spot on. If you can get past some poor choices in gameplay design such as the Sim?s gameplay, unnecessary waiting for actions and lack of hints, then you will have fun with solving endless puzzles in this game.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4.5 - Graphics complement the gameplay quite well, and always have something new to show you. You can tell a lot of love went into carving this world. Sound: - 3.5 - Nothing really to go GAGA over, but enjoyable to listen to. Helps get you into the mood of playing, although can be annoying after a while. Controls: - 5 - The controls are spot on, clicking somewhere moves the character, clicking on the portrait switches characters, everything just works RIGHT. Gameplay: - 2.5 - What starts out promising ends in a horrible blend of many different gameplay choices, it's clear the developers weren't sure what to do with it, and although got some things right, throw way too much into it to digest without an upset stomach.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Doggy bones are key. Pick any and all of them you see, they constantly refresh, so be sure to walk into rooms you may have already been into. Also stick to one character and be sure to pick them up and drop them with your finger to ensure time is cut down to beat the high scores.