iPad Game Review: Elixir: The League of Immortality HD for iPad (iPhone version also available)
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
Elixir: The League of Immortality is a hidden object adventure game (with an emphasis on adventure) set in a turn-of-the-century steampunk world.
As with most hidden object adventure games, gameplay involves moving from one static location to another in search of clues, puzzle-solving equipment, mini-games or hidden objects. While there isn't really any one thing that sets Elixir apart from other similar offerings, I enjoyed it more than most, possibly because of the steampunk setting and the challenge level of the adventure puzzles. When the game begins, you are identified as a law enforcement detective attempting to solve a complicated murder of a public figure. As the story unfolds, you will combine objects to unlock new areas, play mini-games, and find hidden objects. While both the mini-games and hidden objects portions of the game were well done, I particularly enjoyed the adventure puzzles. They weren't too obvious or too obscure, and all made sense, meaning the solutions were logical. In case you find yourself stuck, however, the game incorporates a generous hint system that will keep you from getting frustrated. One particularly welcome feature of this is the fact that pressing the hint button in an area where there is nothing for you to do will not consume a hint, however, it will point you in the general direction of where you need to be to move the plot forward. Doing this repeatedly can often result in moving you across multiple locations, which can be a real time-saver if you are futilely butting your head against the wrong part of the game. This is important because the game is not linear, meaning unlocking a new area does not mean that you can ignore the previously cleared zones. Another nice feature is your journal, which automatically keeps copies of everything you see, hear, or read. It's features like these two that keep Elixir from becoming tedious like some other adventure games. The only quibble I have with it is that the in-game text often reads like it was written by somebody who natively speaks a different language and is translating in his/her head. Not a big deal but if you're a grammar bully it may wear on you after a while. Elixir offers a total of 62 locations, 21 mini-games, 3 game modes, and 12 achievements.
Elixir is a pretty game, even beautiful at times. In particular, I liked how it contained more animation than most games in the genre, which really helped me forget that I was essentially staring at a series of pictures. Elixir also supports retina displays on newer devices, which was actually noticeable during the hidden object portions of the game because images retained their crispness even when magnified.
The sound effects and music were every bit as good as similar games, possibly better, although not in an obtrusive in-your-face kind of way.
In-App Purchases (IAPs)
While Elixir is free to download, unlocking the full game requires a single in-app purchase of $4.99. As with all game unlocks, I recommend searching for a full-version to purchase from the App Store after you've taken the free one for a spin because with in-app purchases, you are at the mercy of the developer to support the game in the future if you ever need to reinstall it.
Elixir: The League of Immortality is a solid hidden object adventure game for fans of the genre.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 4 - A very pretty game with retina support for newer devices. Sound: - 3.5 - Good sound and music, although it doesn't really stand out from the crowd. Controls: - 5 - A well-organized interface that keeps track of everything you need to play, and is ready to offer assistance if you get stuck. Gameplay: - 4 - Good fun for fans of the genre, but doesn't push into new territory.
Playing Hints and Tips:
Look to your journal before you use a hint. It keeps track of all the little details for you. The hint system is designed to help you get where you need to be without consuming a hint. If you're stuck, keep pressing it until you find yourself at a location that you think there may be something useful. As long as you don't press it while you're on a screen with a possible action, you won't use it up. Be ready to go back to old locations to solve puzzles in new ones.