iPhone/iPad Game Review: 1112 episode 1 and episode 2 Reviewed by JadeDragon
Interactive graphic novel or adventure game is one of the oldest game genres. When you play an adventure game, you're literally stepping in the story and taking a journey laid out for you by the storyteller and finding out your fate as you go. In these games, the puzzles are just as important as the stories. 1112 series follows this formula and spices it up with interesting characters and the use of iPhone's hardware as a part of the story and puzzle solving. Currently there are two episodes; episode 1 is available only on the iPhone and iPod touch while episode 2 is available also on the iPad.
Like in an old French movie, Louis Everett is a quiet and normal guy living in a quiet town in New Jersey. He goes about this daily routine yet something is very odd about him. He has chronic headaches and his wife warns him not to get addicted to the medicine he takes for the pain. He owns an antique shop yet you get a feeling that he?s up to more than just dealing old jars and paintings. His buyers are pushing him to get stuff quickly, and he has no idea how to achieve that. His wife too is odd: though very beautiful and hip, she religiously listens to her psychic friend?s advice and breaks the law by buying cigarettes. Oh, yeah. The world Louis lives in forbids sales of cigarettes. Intrigued?
The first two episodes play like the first two chapters of a mob or spy novel. You will search for save codes, buy cigarettes illegally though not for your wife but to trade for medicine, get abducted and transported to New York mysteriously. Then there is the drugging someone?s coffee part, or making use of a screwdriver and a crowbar, then there is a cryptic note from the ATM. While the story keeps you guessing, the most intriguing aspect of the game is perhaps the use of the iPhone?s hardware. You are asked to take pictures using your iPhone?s camera, you can actually save these in-game pictures to your photo album on the iPhone, and use these photos in the game to move the plot along. And you can also use your phone to make phone calls and check messages. If call the right person in the game, you will have a conversation by tapping that person?s picture. Pretty neat!
The developer of 1112 is a good writer, ending both episodes with cliffhangers. I won?t get into them here; nobody likes spoilers. But I will tell you that the second episode has more than one ending. The puzzles are very well placed and while subtle there is plenty of hints as to what to look for and where. Follow the clues you will always find your answers, one way or another. The game even stuffed in a soduko game in the second episode. There was quite a bit of time gap between the episode 1 and episode 2 releases, you can tell that the interface is more refined in episode two which is available also on the iPad.
Graphics & Sound
Stylish and sharp, the graphics in 1112 episodes provide the perfect backdrop for telling a moody yet occasionally funny story. The scenes are very well drawn and colored. Environment, furniture, d?cor and items all look sharp. Using touch control, you can explore the options for each location, item, or furniture. The controls are smooth and easy to use. It?s worth mentioning that the game offers a top-down area map view also, and it comes in very handy when you need to get somewhere or get out of a place fast. It helps eliminate the boredom caused by backtracking too much to get to the right place.
1112 episodes have a sophisticated audio package that includes background music, ambient sound and sound FX. The background music also has an old French movie soundtrack feel to it. It provides nice company throughout your adventure and helps create the right atmosphere. The game also has plenty of ambient sound and sound FX. They fit into with each scene, never too much or annoying. To fully appreciate the sound effects and music tracks, put headset on or play the game in a quiet place with volume turned up. In case you can?t do that, the game offers volume controls for all three category of sound.
Adventure games aren?t everyone?s cup of tea, but if you are a fan, 1112 won?t disappoint. The game has the right tone for an interesting story that doesn?t over sell but keeps you on the edge of the seat. Both episodes have very nice endings that make you want more. Let?s hope that this time it won?t take that long to see episode 3. You will like the graphics, and the touch controls (even some multi-touch controls) are very smooth. The episodes aren?t that cheap, but it takes a lot of time to draw the pictures and planting puzzles and clues in daily conversations and items laying around in the background.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Very stylishly created graphics, sharp and colorful. Sound: - 5 - Very moody music complete with ambient sound and sound FX. Controls: - 5 - Touch controls are smooth. Gameplay: - 5 - Well told story and nice puzzles.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- If you need some info from a mirror but you don?t see it, maybe some hot steam can help.
- Don?t be afraid to take pictures with your phone, like a painting or someone?s behind.