Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPhone 5
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Original and clever to boot comes Forever Lost: Episode 1, an intelligent adventure game that reminds us all of just what makes the genre so enjoyable. It's a somewhat surprising entry for Glitch Games, a developer more well known for their educational titles than spooky tales.
Forever Lost: Episode 1 is certainly creepy. Players are immediately disorientated as to what's going on, waking up in a room with no memory as to what's gone on before. This may have been done before but the atmosphere within Forever Lost: Episode 1 is quite unsettling with players thrown off course at regular junctures. Early on, it becomes apparent that the player is trapped in a mental asylum and, well, that's an immediately creepy proposition!
A wide variety of puzzles are between the player and their escape from this amnesiac hell. Help is provided through a hints system and, more originally, a camera. Players can take photos of things, add notes to them then consult the photo album later for reference. In hardly any time at all, this becomes a very useful tool. The puzzles themselves are an intriguing bunch. While some might just involve putting a jigsaw together, others require a hefty dash of lateral thinking. There's even space made for a Zelda style game within Forever Lost: Episode 1. It's very simply done but all tied in through the use of an iPad that has been left on a table in a waiting room. Such imagination keeps Forever Lost: Episode 1 consistently interesting.
As any game designed specifically for iOS should do, Glitch Games has embraced touch screen controls with enthusiasm. For instance, I found myself briefly confused as to why I couldn't slash a mattress open with a knife by tapping on it. Instead, I had to perform a brief slashing motion to do exactly what I requested. Similar uses of the touch screen were scattered around the rest of the episode. It's never to the point of being over the top, instead, it feels intuitive and natural. Much more natural than when other point and click adventures require simple taps.
This sense of imagination that flourishes throughout Forever Lost: Episode 1 ensures that it's a fascinating title. Its puzzles have been carefully designed so that they might always be one step away from frustrating, but they sidestep it just about, instead teasing the brain appropriately. Forever Lost: Episode 1 might not be the longest of titles but it leaves me keen to see what happens next.