Mystery Trackers 3: Black Isle
Abandon logic, ye who enter here. Early on I learned that this would be a game filled with "game logic", threw up my hands and just embraced the madness.
Usually I like clicking on the environment to see what our character's observations are, but apparently, in this game we're clairvoyant. Clicking on an item will get you something like, "I'll need to find the missing puzzle pieces before I can open the false bottom." The black bar hints are present even in Hardcore Mode.
So why am I recommending this game? Read on stalwart gamer, read on!
Options include four sliders for sounds, a Gamma slider, Full-screen (auto-widescreen) and Custom Cursor. Choice of three difficulties, which can be changed at any time.Story
A reporter has been abducted whilst filming on a supposedly-abandoned island. It's up to you to find her and discover why she was taken and by whom. There is a surprising depth to the story, so it's one of the things I really enjoyed about the game.
We have NO Journal
, so any clues that you find will remain where you find them. The story is easy enough to track, with semi-frequent cutscenes and notes (the aforementioned clues) that we discover during our journey.
For fans of the series, this is the installment where we first meet our adorable helper, Elf.Gameplay
Be on the lookout for OWLS
as you play. There are 50 of them hidden across the main game, and they can be found anywhere, including zoom-ins and on HOS.
is interactive, and has an insta-transport option... Good thing, too, as there is a LOT of to-ing and fro-ing in this one!
If you use a HINT
during the adventure portion of the game, you will be told EXACTLY what you should be doing next, including the outcome of that action. Things like, "You could use x-item to do x-thing in the lobby, and then you should find x-item hidden there." (There's that clairvoyance again!)
The Hidden Object Scenes
have a technique that I've never seen used before. Having a separate tabs for your to-find list and your inventory is nothing new, but using an item from your inventory that you found somewhere else
is entirely new to me. Items listed in purple need some kind of interaction (or an inventory item) before you can find/collect them.
There were a couple of really long Mini-games
, but they were really interesting, so I wanted to finish them. For the most part, the puzzles were fun to do.
There's a great balance between adventuring and hidden objects. HOS do not repeat, so if you're collecting owls, be sure to check scenes over carefully before finding that last item!Sights and Sounds
One of the first things I noticed about the game is that they use live actors. The acting is surprisingly good, though I would have liked to see their images integrated into the artwork a little better. The graphics are ovreall non-remarkable, and the HOS are your standard junkpiles.
The music was fitting, and the storm sound effects set the tone nicely. I would've liked to turn off the sound for the achievements, though as that SFX was really annoying!CE Content
- 50 Collectible Owls
- Integrated Strategy Guide
- Bonus Chapter
- 20 In-game Achievements
- 8 Wallpapers
- 4 Music Tracks
- 8 Concept Art
- Bonus Videos
The Bonus Videos are pretty fun to watch. They show some short outtakes, original casting, original/test intros for the game and... Something else which made me giggle - I won't spoil it for you. ;DBonus Chapter
The way the main game ends leaves you with closure, but also a promise of something to happen in the future. That "something" can be found in the bonus chapter, which starts "years" later on the same island. Something's gone wrong and your help has been urgently requested.
The logic is even more skewed in the bonus than it was in the main game, but I can say that it was still fun, and that I liked the change to the environment/graphics.Verdict
Despite its many flaws, Black Isle is an entertaining game with some fun gameplay and interesting puzzles. They managed to surprise me with direction the story took, which I definitely liked, and I really enjoyed the twist they added to the hidden object scenes. Recommended to IHOG fans and to those who want to see just how crazy game logic can be. Really, that's part of the fun! ;D