148Apps Network Post
Developer: Chillingo
Price: $2.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★½
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★½☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

The Act is a game that won’t take long to complete but offers an experience that will stick in the mind for a while to come. Essentially, it’s an interactive silent movie with romance and situations akin to a Charlie Chaplin movie. Sure it’s not quite as smart but it’s great fun to play through.

The game was previously conceived back in 2007 but has eventually found its way to iOS rather than its original target of the Arcades. Players take the role of Edgar, a hapless window cleaner for a large hospital. He’s a bit of a loser but a kind hearted soul, nonetheless. The story follows him as he inadvertantly ends up pretending to be a doctor in order to woo the love of his life and save his idiotic brother who is about to have a brain transplant.

It’s typical farcial humor but the fun comes in how the player controls the action. Swipes to the left or right are all that the player needs to remember, technically, but it’s much more subtle than that. For instance, during one scene Edgar tries to flirt with Sylvia, the nurse. Act too bold and she’s scared off, too timid and she becomes bored. It’s a careful matter of sliding to the left or right accurately in order to charm her. Reading her reactions is vital as she reacts very differently each time.

It’s a careful balancing act and there’s a certain amount of trial and error involved in getting things right, much like other interactive story classics such as Dragon’s Lair. It doesn’t always work, sometimes feeling a little obtuse and irritating, but there’s always that drive to improve on the last time. The Act offers unlimited lives so there’s nothing really to be lost in persevering. Tackling the finer nuances of such a relatively simple system is fun.

Perfecting a scene is just glorious to experience. Not just out of typical gaming satisfaction but in seeing what happens to Edgar next. There’s a slapstick style humor to the mistakes that occur, also, making even failure entertaining. Sure, it might only be a one play kind of game but with quality like this, it doesn’t really matter. The Act is a great example of interactive storytelling.

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