Last Voyage Review
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Last Voyage Review

Our Review by Campbell Bird on April 13th, 2015
Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar :: OUT THERE
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This abstract puzzle game is at its best when it's introducing crazy ideas and when it's not frustratingly repetitive.

Developer: Semidome
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.0.45
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5

Graphics / Sound Rating: starstarstarstarhalfstar 
User Interface Rating: starstarstarstarblankstar
Gameplay Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: starblankstarblankstarblankstarblankstar

Overall Rating: starstarstarhalfstarblankstar

Last Voyage is a game that reminds me of Rez, but without the rhythm elements and with even less structure. It's a puzzle game, but one that doesn't really tell players what it's about. Instead, players are presented with extremely abstracted scenes that they need to poke and prod at to understand how to move forward. Although this allows Last Voyage to have quite a few fun moments of discovery they all combine into a short lived experienced that, unfortunately, is not as appealing the second time around.

Describing how to play Last Voyage is a somewhat pointless exercise. There are times when itcontrols like a minimalist runner, other times where it asks players to manipulate Escher-like perspective puzzles, and even others that ask them to use their sense of color to continue on their way. Last Voyage is divided up into five chapters, all of which share a set of mechanics or gimmicks, but every puzzle introduces a new twist that keeps the puzzle solving from growing too stale.

The only timesLast Voyage really bogs down are when players find themselves replaying a level over and over again. This doesn't typically happen with puzzle games, but sections of Last Voyage depend on timing and accuracy that result in fail states if players are a little slow or off-target.Not even the game's excellently ominous and swelling soundtrack can prevent the fun from being sucked out of the experience when this happens.

Although Last Voyage is at its best when players are cruising through it, the trip unfortunately doesn't last that long. If I had to (generously) estimate my playtime, I think it took me a little over an hour to finish - including all of the restarts on the frustratingly difficult later levels. I'm not one to take playtime too much into account, but it's worth pointing out when a game can be finished within a lunch hour. As of this writing the developers have also sent out an update that promises future chapters in future updates, so players might have more to look forward to later.

The entire package that Last Voyage puts forth is completely beautiful and fun to discover - at least, it is the first time. Each new puzzle introduces new mechanics that feel familiar, yet also bizarre and alien at the same time. Although not a particularly long experience, Last Voyage does avoid overstaying its welcome. Considering that replaying levels doesn't feel like it has much value, I am grateful that itisn't padded out with meaningless iterations of the same puzzle. It's a completely enjoyable - though slightly flawed - abstract puzzle experience.

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