Posted on April 10, 2013 AT 08:00pm
With the closing of LucasArts last week a lot of people and companies lamented on the loss of one of the most influential game makers of any generation. It is fortunate, though, that there are some out there that keep its traditional point-and-click gameplay alive and feeling anew, TellTale Games being the prime example. Some companies go even further, replicating the look and feel of those classic games.
Wadjet Eye Games has made a name for themselves by not just capturing the classic LucasArts look and feel, but also its spirit. Titles like Cognition, The Blackwell Deception, and the recently-released Primordia have been praised for its nostalgic take on adventure games. This week comes the rerelease of the game that first put them in the spotlight on iOS: Gemini Rue.
Taking place in the distant future Gemini Rue has you take control of two storylines. The first has you play as Azriel Odin, a former assassin who now stands behind the badge of the law who is on the search for his brother Daniel while trying to take down a mafia known as the Boryokudan. While searching for clues he rescues his friend Matthius, along with making a new ally in the form of Sayuri. Everyone wants to get their hands on a drug simply known as “Juice,” with the Boryokudan wanting to use it to control the people, and Azriel & Sayuri simply wishing to destroy it.
Meanwhile, in another part of the galaxy, a test subject known as Delta-Six is going through rehabilitation training, with the reward of being set free with a new identity. He soon comes across a woman named Giselle, who seeks to escape with him from the facility, along with a shy girl who simply goes by Epsilon-Five. However with cameras everywhere, along with a bully known as Balder, breaking out of the prison won’t be that easy. Later both storylines soon collide, revealing how closely connected these characters truly are.
Gemini Rue has players interacting in three areas: the planet Barracus, the rehab area known as Center-7, and a spaceship belonging to Azriel’s friend Kane. While there aren’t many places to travel both Barracus and Center-7 are very big, thanks to various hidden areas, stops, and rooms that have much to look at. Plus you’ll be having to re-track some of the points due to new tasks and objections being put into place.
Graphically the game take a noble nod to those old LucasArts games, very much looking like the adventure titles of Indiana Jones and Monkey Island. The worlds and characters are shown with such pixelated beauty, coming off at times like a sort of lost Blade Runner video game. The game’s score can sometimes be haunting, as if it’s foreshadowing a dark turn of events that may unfold. While the voice acting can be good in some places I did sort of notice a couple of characters coming off more wooden than genuine.
Porting Gemini Rue to the iPhone and iPad is a very good fit for point-and-click adventures. Simply tapping on your screen will send you character walking towards that specific area, while pointing on an object or person will give you the options of looking, talking, and interacting with them. It’s a great substitution to using a mouse and keyboard, but it’s not perfect. One thing I had trouble with in the game was trying to walk through doors, and because these openings would usually be right on the edge of the screen my character would mostly walk into the wall instead of exiting the room. (Perhaps in a future update they can have the option of playing the game with a Bluetooth keyboard in order to maneuver around better.)
Gemini Rue will take you roughly six hours to complete, which is not too bad of a gameplay time for a $4.99 point-and-click adventure. While there is not much to go back gameplay-wise, there is a nice little developer’s commentary that you can trigger while playing the game to see where the creators got their ideas for the final game.
- Classic adventure gameplay
- Story knows how to draw you in
- Beautiful score, some good voice acting…
- …but some characters sound a tad wooden
- Azriel likes walking into walls more than doors
Bringing Gemini Rue to the iOS was a smart move for Wadjet Eye Games, as it will open up the door to gamers who may not have experienced it the first time around. Those looking for a (somewhat) new game with that classic point-and-click feel will find much to love in Gemini Rue. Hopefully if this is successful we can see other games from Wadjet Eye’s lineup brought to our portable devices.
FINAL GRADE: 8.0 (out of ten)
Review copy provided by Wadjet Eye Games
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