2004 Cos Russo
Designed by Cos Russo
Reviewed 2005 June 13

Rating +2 Linearity wide
Reasonability reasonable Connectivity moderate
Difficulty challenging Relevance moderate
Interface 1st paned simple Real-time none

You are sent to an island off the coast of Australia to find and retrieve a woman's husband. He was part of a pop band that struck it rich and built a huge guitar on the island, something of a theme park. It turns out the the "guitar" also holds four vaults filled with the treasures of the four band members, and each member designed one section to contain the clues and mechanisms needed to open the vaults.

It's all a rather pathetic excuse for making puzzles. The island itself is odd, since it's not really a theme park, or a least not one with much in the way of attractions, other than a big, functional guitar.

Once you get past the setting -- or, rather, the excuse for it -- you'll find a nicely designed puzzle game. The clues are often hidden in plain sight. They're also sometimes hidden in obscure sight: there's a bit of pixel hunting, so you have to look carefully at everything. Finding (recognising) the clues is the difficult part; the actual puzzles are usually easy enough once you understand the layout of the puzzles and what the clues are.

There's a little bit of backstory to pick up in a few journals and logs, explaining the success of the band, the creation of Alida (the island), and a bit about the band members.

The interface is primitive, almost identical to the original Myst, although the presentation has a bit more resolution (800 x 600, I think, versus Myst's 640 x 480). It's a stark, rocky island, so there's not much beauty to the place, but the images are clear and easy to "see". I wish there was a separate cursor for moving forward, so you wouldn't have to click all over just in case something can be advanced upon -- that's a big part of the previous pixel hunting complaint.

There are some small video segments starring (apparently) the developer and his friends. I guess they had no budget, and the script didn't require much acting-wise: the results were plenty good enough for me.

The game world is too artificial and the story too spare to make for an engrossing story-based adventure. The challenges are good, however, so it's an entertaining puzzle-adventure. It's very much a Myst clone, and should appeal to fans of Myst and Rhem.

David Tanguay's Game Reviews
Here's a description of all the gobbledygook in these reviews. It's also a bit of an essay on the nature of adventure games.