App Reviewed on: iPad 2
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In the 1990s, first person point-and-click games were all the rage. With successful titles such as Myst and The 7th Guest, the genre exploded on computers during the era of Nirvana and snap bracelets. Amongst the lesser known but equally amazing games from that era was the Microids-produced title Amerzone: The Explorer’s Legacy.
The version for iPhone and iPad isn't very different from the title that launched on PC in 1999. It almost feels like a digital time capsule: the graphics, gameplay, and sound recordings are reminiscent from the time period. Players shouldn't expect updated HD graphics, nor any spectacular re-imagination of this title; it’s the port of the original.
Unfortunately, many of the issues from the original title also carry over to iOS. Amerzone is an incredibly short title in comparison to many other games in the genre, with players possibly being able to complete it in a day or two. There are also certain points where it becomes rather difficult to see what is going on, though this may be a style choice rather than poor gamma correction. Likewise, the interface and how one interacts with the game becomes awkward at times. Some objects can be manipulated by the player, though the end result doesn't add much to game or playing experience.
However, given that this is an almost 15 year-old game, it plays swimmingly on an iPad. Amerzone requires players to utilize the touch screen in unique ways, especially when looking around a room. Rather than simply facing one direction, one can get a panoramic view of their surroundings by swiping their finger about the screen. This allows players to discover all sorts of objects to pick up or intermingle with.
While there were some complaints about the puzzles in the original version of Amerzone, they can actually be quite enjoyable for the right player. The difficulty curve is not as high as Myst, but is still challenging enough for everyone to enjoy. There is also a considerable amount of searching one has to do in order to come to the solution for the puzzles within Amerzone.
Amerzone's price point may scare away some players. For a title that is so short and has done nothing in terms of updating the graphics, the developer nonetheless is asking $3 for this in the app store.
If players long for that quirky genre that was so popular in the 1990s, Amerzone is going to be a title for them. It works beautifully on the iPad and the updates made to the UI of Amerzone to work on the iOS device were done phenomenally. However, little else was done to revamp this game for users, making Amerzone a perfectly preserved title in digital amber that gives players of all ages a chance to relive one of the better fads in gaming.