Review by Cordia, Nov. 8, 2010 wrote:
Lost in the City was developed by the rather elusive Elephant Games studio. I say “elusive” because their website has not been updated since early 2009, and Gamezebo has the developer of this game listed as Big Fish Studios (they were the publisher) and likewise, they have Merscom listed as the developer for their more recent release, Masquerade Mysteries: The Case of the Copycat Curator. The development team a Elephant Games also gave us Bloom and Lost in the City: Post Scriptum.
Lost in the City is an Interactive Hidden Object game, and it was my first purchase in the genre. I love this game, but I am also aware of its flaws. It is heavily story driven and originated as an online Room Escape game, if I recall correctly. I have looked for another game that I like as much and only found some recently. This is not a game for everyone, but it seems to really resonate with those who do like it.
The production values, at least on the graphics, seem quite low. The graphics are just not incredibly clear, and even if they were top notch graphics, they have a grittiness to them that would likely be unappealing to some casual gamers. For me, they were a great backdrop to the hauntingly bleak story. I will say this for the graphics, though: The objects are all completely identifiable as what they are, and remain consistent in appearance throughout. This game also features a magnifying glass upon right clicking, which can prove to be very useful. I really enjoyed the music, but have heard from others that it was too repetitive. There is no voice acting, but I prefer that if the other choice is bad voice acting- and a lot of the voice-overs out there are really awful.
The story is deeply fleshed out, more so than any other of this genre that I have played. The characters are well developed and feel like they could be real people. One character’s name changes halfway through the story, and I am not really satisfied with the reason given for that. Still, the game has an exceptional number of levels to play through, as the story contains 48 chapters. The chapters usually consist of multiple scenes with puzzles to figure out in order to reach the next screen. I was fascinated with the entire story and completely drawn in by the end of my trial period.
The game can be played with a timer or without, but I was swayed to play the timed mode because it promised more money from the various mini-games. The money, I discovered much later, is used in a very intriguing manner. The game has various extras- concept art, excerpts of the story that had to be cut from the game, even a couple of the mini-games to replay- and all of them are considered “secrets” that can be purchased via the money earned in game. This made for a clever motivator.
The game play is not all that taxing, but the biggest upside to it for me was that all the object searches are related to the story, and everything I found went toward progressing the story. Some of the puzzles were beyond me, and they really overused the lock picking puzzle by the end of it, but there are skip buttons on each of them. There is a small time penalty for three wrong clicks in a row, so I learned to be really careful with clicking. I don’t know what happens in untimed, however. Also, for as sparse and bleak some of the scenes appear, the objects to find are incredibly well hidden. These are not junk piles at all. If anything, they are the opposite of junk piles.
Too Long; Did Not Read: I love this game. I even like the sub-par graphics and the repetitive but suitably atmospheric music. This game is heavy on the atmosphere and has a very intriguing story to go with it. It can be played in timed or untimed mode. There is a time penalty for three wrong clicks in a row, in timed mode. The puzzles can be skipped, and there are some that get repetitive. Responses to this game seem to be very polarized.
You may not enjoy this game if:
- You are not drawn in to the story, or do not care about following stories in games.
- The graphics are a deal-breaker for you.
- You don’t like to read the stories in games and prefer voice-acting.
- The trial period does not engage you.
If you’ve played or trialed Lost in the City, what did you think of it? If not, did this review effect your interest in the game?