iPhone Game Review: The Last King of Africa Reviewed by SpaZtrigger
For veteran adventure gamers, seeing the first iPhone game by Benoit Sokal has to be a big event! The creator of Amerzone, Paradise, Sinking Island and Syberia stories doesn't give you boring experience, and Last King of Africa for the iPhone is no exception. The story starts with Episode 1: Madargane. After a plane crash a young woman wakes up in a bed with no knowledge of getting there and she has no memory of who she was except for her name. With the help and guidance of a mysterious woman the young woman sets out to return to where she came from before the plane crash.
The Last King of Africa tells a mysterious story: you wake up in an unfamiliar place somewhere in Africa, and you don?t remember how you got there and why. A mysterious woman shows up and offers you a way out of Africa. As you overcome obstacles and make your way to the prince who can grant you the passage, you will need to use your wit and turn on your charm to wow strangers in this strange land. It?s fun to figure out what to do in certain situations, for example, in order to get through a door blocked by the guard, you will need to disguise yourself as one of the Prince?s favorite women. Every task involves thinking, gathering items and fitting every puzzle piece into the bigger picture.
Some puzzles in The Last King of Africa can be a bit difficult, but overall it?s very easy to figure out how to use the interface and go about your exploration. In addition to the main storyline, if you gather all 90 emerald gems when you finish the game, you unlock bonus content which I won?t spoil it for you. Though the game has been tested for iOS4, there are still occasional crashes and we hope future updates will fix them.
The Last King of Africa has awesome 3-D graphics that can compete with AAA titles like N.O.V.A.'s graphics. Did I mention that this game also has beautifully animated cutscenes that would leave your mouth catching flies? Character designs are epic and surroundings look great. Beautifully animated scenes are superb at storytelling and character building. The sharpness and colorful rendering make you feel you?ve stepped into a Myst game on the PC.
If you?ve played other adventure games like Hector: Badge of Carnage, you would immediately recognize the controls in Last King of Africa. It's pretty much the same as in other games in the same genre. You just tap at whatever seems suspicious and if you tap an item crucial to the game then you can either keep it in your inventory or use it right away. Non-playable items some times provide vital information. So tap on anything that?s tap-able. The control feels smoothly and effortless, and there are no glitches.
Music plays a big part in adventure games that take place on exotic locations like in The Last King of Africa. The background music in this game has accomplished the mission of creating an immersive environment that draws the players into the world of a faraway land. The music has a mysterious feel to it and African music style comes through the fog of mystery with middle eastern flare added for good measure. Both music tracks and sound FX are well placed and appropriate to the gameplay. The game doesn?t offer option to play your own iPod music.
An intriguing story with some very fun puzzles, The Last King of Africa starts out solid as an adventure game, and it?s a nice touch to add the unlockable bonus content. The graphics are something special, wait until you see the cutscenes. The game has a complete package with nice music and outstanding voice acting. If you are ever a fan of Benoit Sokal, you won?t be disappointed by the first iPhone title that told one of his stories.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Outstanding 3D scenes that very few titles can compete with. Sound: - 5 - Great music, lots of sound FX, excellent voice acting. Controls: - 5 - Simple to use, no glitches. Gameplay: - 5 - Good amount of gameplay, bonus content is cool.