The Lost City [iOS Review]

The Lost City screenshotBack in 1993, a game called Myst came out that totally changed my idea of what could be achieved in video games. This was a time of poor graphics (although we thought they were excellent) and bleepy sound effects. It was the heyday of Sonic the Hedgehog and consoles like the Super Nintendo. Myst, with its beautifully rendered scenes and fiendishly difficult puzzles, was like a breath of fresh air. It looked amazing, and played like nothing else I had experienced.

Jump forward to the present day, and I recently downloaded The Lost City on my iPhone. It’s a puzzle game that places you in an ancient and abandoned city and has you solving puzzles to try and bring the area back to life. Just like Myst, the screens are pre-rendered and take on a beautiful, almost artistic look. The objects and elements within each screen comprise the puzzles and, believe me, you’ll resort to the hints and tips guide more than once!

The gameplay is a weird mix of linear and non-linear. The early puzzles felt like I was moving along a simple path to some (undefined) ultimate goal, but as I moved on I found I would have to go back and make changes to what I had already done. It felt sort of like I was moving in circles, or undoing perfectly good work, but the more I think about it the more I think it’s an interesting dynamic to introduce. It makes you think about the effects of your earlier actions, and not just put them out of your mind as soon as you complete each puzzle.

The Lost City is a beautiful little game, taxing on the mind but very satisfying when you work out how to get past a particularly tricky section. If you resort to using the hints and tips you should get through it in a few hours – more if you’re determined to work it out all by yourself.

The Lost City costs 69 pence and is available from the App Store for iOS devices.

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