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iPhone Game Review: Secret of the Lost Cavern
      11/30/09 10:03 AM

iPhone Game Review: Secret of the Lost Cavern
Reviewed by JadeDragon

Secret of the Lost Cavern is an adventure puzzle game that has desktop like graphics and sound. The game came out first on the PC and then Coladia ported it to the Mac and now to the iPhone and iPod touch. The game kept the story and most of visual and audio from the desktop version but the iPhone and iPod touch version breaks the adventure into 4 episodes.

Secret of the Lost Cavern is based on real archeological facts and the story takes place during the Paleolithic period, about 15,000 years B.C. The game puts you in the role of Arok, a young man who was destined to explore the lost caverns where an old man, Klem, had told him about years before when he was still a boy. As Arok, you must solve the puzzles left behind by Klem and follow his footsteps venturing into the dark caves that hold magic and adventure. Secret of the Lost Cavern has the charm of Myst type games, but the desktop version was very short, and since the iPhone/iPod touch version break the entire journey into 4 installments, and the Episode one is incredibly short including only 2 caves.



Gameplay

Like any Myst type of game, Secret of the Lost Cavern has a story waiting for you to discover. The puzzles are the keys to advance your exploration, as you solve the puzzles you unlock the deep mountain path Klem has walked before you. The game supports touch control very well: anything you used mouse to click on in the desktop version you can touch in the iPhone/iPod touch version. You can pick up items such as sticks, wood piece, paint pigments and even an ice piece; all the items you collect will show up in your inventory and all have their purposes in solving puzzles. Each puzzle has its unique design and you don?t feel like solving the same puzzle over and over again.

Secret of the Lost Cavern offers clues preceding each puzzle, so you must pay attention to the story as well as items you can pick up. The story telling is through cut scenes with voice dubbing. And if you missed anything, the game has hints (turn on the light bulb on the upper right corner) for places you can go, items you can pick up and actions you can take when you are looking at a direction or an object. You can also get a journal in the inventory windows that shows your current objective. Once you have taken the correct actions to solve a puzzle, the game will automatically offer more hints or cut scenes for the next sequence.



Graphics
Graphics look gorgeous in Secret of the Lost Cavern and the cut scenes are stylish. In a game that relies on looking for objects and signs in the wild, Secret of the Lost Cavern offers sharp graphics and photorealistic environment. The game interface has a nice design giving you easy access to all things necessary. The journey might be short, but it?s a beautiful one.

Sound

Secret of the Lost Cavern has both background music and sound FX. BGM fits the theme of the game and sounds interesting. The sound effects correspond to the actions when you light a fire or move a rock. There are also background sound FX that help create a realistic environment, like water dripping sound in the caves, the lion?s growl when it?s nearby? even when you don?t see them, the audio helps orient yourself in the dark caves. There are some voice over pieces throughout the game and they helps tell the story and give hints.

Conclusion

Secret of the Lost Cavern has the realistic graphics and the excellent audio a Myst type of game should possess. It offers smooth touch controls for the iPhone and iPod touch. Graphics and cut scenes will turn some heads and the puzzles are all very interesting. We only wish that Coladia had waited to release the entire game as it?s not that long. Let?s just hope that the current 4-episode set up will hold players interest long enough to bother finishing the entire journey.



Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):

Graphics: -5- Though no 3D action, the graphics and cut scenes look really good.
Sound: - 4.5 - Good audio with appropriate sound FX.
Controls: - 4.5 - Very smooth controls and easy to use interface.
Gameplay: - 3 - Interesting puzzle solving gameplay, but breaking into 4 installments making each episode incredibly short.

Playing Hints and Tips:

-Pay attention to the story telling: the cut scenes and the voice over.

-Everything in your inventory has its use. So check the items when you need to take actions.

-If you get stuck, just turn on the light bulb for hints. The game usually tells you where you can go and what you can pick up or actions you can take.

App Facts:
Developer: Coladia
Release Date: Nov 20, 2009
Price: $1.99 (currently on sale for $0.99)
Buy App: iTunes App Store

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