Developer: Bendroid
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★☆☆
Game Controls Rating: ★★★☆☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★½☆☆

Mystique: Chapter 1 is the first game to come to the iPhone platform after making its debut on Android (I think). The developer, when telling us about the game, talks about iPhone developers putting their iPhone apps onto the Android platform and having success. Because of this cross platform success, they decided that they would like to try the reverse, having their Android game brought to the iPhone. There were some interesting struggles coming this direction though. While they were working it out the transition out, they did come against and mentioned that there is no trackball on the iPhone (of course not, iPhone rocks and is minimal bliss) and so the way the game functioned had to be completely changed.

img_0792The game itself is an immersive 3d experience. You wake in a (locked) room and the idea is that it’s creepy and mysterious. You then search the room to solve the puzzles and move on to the next space.

The thing I liked most about the game wasn’t really about the game at all. I liked that this game was different to the types of games we are currently seeing in the app store. With the success of games like Flight Control and Toki Tori, there is an abundance of “happy jumpy” platform, time management, and retro games going around all our devices. So this was a bit of a different take and I was keen to try it.

Also in its favor was the great sound accompanying it. This is one saving factor on the game. The music does help you feel the mood, enjoy the chills and really improves the game a lot.

Before playing it, I had read some of the buyer reviews. I read that it was really scary, so I was pretty excited to give it a try. I waited until it was very late at night, dark outside and very dark inside. Then I got ready to be scared completely by the game…. couldn’t wait!

img_0793Disappointed. Well… Ok. I don’t know who is writing those reviews, saying that it is as scary as some other popular horror genre games, but… I just didn’t find it scary. It just didn’t do it for me. I think my problem was the graphics are just not smooth enough. It all looked really ‘choppy’ so I was reminded that it was a device rendering some pictures. Also, after spending ages finding all the tools and items, I unintentionally managed to turn off my only light source in the room.

Now, playing a game in a dark room, where the image is only a dark room = hardly anything to see, is a perfect recipe for both frustration and headaches. In the end I did just give up.

For me, iPhone apps need to mimic the iPhone aesthetic, the wonderful buttons, the ease of navigation, smooth edges… I don’t have experience with the Android platform, but I’m not sure the applications can so easily be ‘adjusted’ to ‘fit’ the iPhone. The iPhone is a unique device that when designing a game / application for, should be taken into account.

I just found the in-game buttons too unstyled, and the actual furnishings of the room too “un-rendered” looking.

It’s an Android video… but it retains the flavor of the game quite well.

Good effort to want to bring it to the iPhone platform and I hope the styling will get better, but this one is just not for me.

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