Lost Horizon brings back memories, great memories. Cold nights playing Escape from Monkey Islands with my brother in a Pentium 4 computer. Spending countless hours trying to figure out the solutions using only our wits since the dial-up internet was useless, man, those were the times.
Gone are those days now. That computer is long dead, brother is 1500 Km away and point and click games, the special ones, are too hard to find nowadays. So a game like Lost Horizon fully packed running smoothly on an iPhone is more than a pleasant surprise. Taking control of former British Air Force officer Fenton Paddock, you will travel to uncharted lands fighting the Triads, Nazis and other-worldly beings uncovering deep dark secrets once thought lost.
The story while it has a similar premise and overall vibe with Indiana Jones, I do not want to undermine it as it has enough chops to stand on it’s own. The main character is funny and the exchanges he has with the other characters, although cheesy, are well written and well acted by the voice actors.
Being a point and click adventure game you will get what you pretty much expect. Move around by clicking or tapping, interact with object by tapping or drag and drop, the usual. Some legacy problems however persist and can dampen the overall experience especially when you play the game on a smaller device like the iPhone 6. The UI while it does its job, could have been better, more optimised especially for the smaller devices.
As for the puzzle design, for the most part they work, kinda. See, the solution to the puzzles in old school point and click adventure games was mostly a convoluted think outside the box process. Basically most of the stuff didn’t make any sense, there was no logical followup, you had to embrace the “crazy” to find the solution. Lost Horizon’s puzzles feel and play out the same, so if you are expecting a 1+1=2 logic like The Room 3 or Agent A offer when it comes to puzzle solving, you will not find it here.
But this in itself has a charm, a special one. It requires you to think more, it requires more experimentation so the level of satisfaction in the end is greater. The magnifying glass or as I like to call it “easy mode” makes things way easier as by tapping it you will see every object you can interact with in the level. Or you can use your old buddy, the internet, for detailed walkthroughs, but where is the fun in that?
Jumping from a cut-scene to a conversation to a puzzle and so on, the game has a great pacing with something cool to see, hear or do in each scene. The same attention to detail has gone into the presentation. It looks really good, each location is very detailed, the lighting is great and the overall artstyle is gorgeous beautifully rendering the 1930’s atmosphere.
So should you get Lost Horizon on your iDevice? Probably, if you are into point and click adventure games it is well worth your 6 bucks, 3 gigs on your device and a couple of hours from your life. I did not expect to like it as much as I did and while taking in consideration its faults, it was a great trip down memory lane. Thanks for reading!