I know I'm on a game kick here at iOS Affairs, but it's not apt to end anytime soon, I'm afraid. In addition to today's review, I'm planning on reviewing a recent next-to-perfect hidden object game by Big Fish called Surface: Mystery of Another World and another Big Fish game released Monday that is a sequel to the Sherlock Holmes game. It is completely adventure driven with no hidden object scenes and will knock your socks off. I'll try to throw in a few reviews that are not about games, but I've been playing a lot of great games and I want to let you know about them.
A game by G5 Entertainment that was released in the App Store today called Inbetween Land (links below) is really a perfect joining of different genres. It has an enormous variety of puzzles, some very unique hidden object scenes, a great story, logical sleuthing, and amazing graphics.
Inbetween Land HD for the iPad and Inbetween Land for the iPhone is almost perfect. The only flaw in this wonderful game is that it is too short. However, I equate it to playing The Room (reviewed by me here), which was Apple's Game of the Year for 2012. The Room was very short, but it had me gasping with glee and surprise, and made me think in new ways.
Inbetween Land may not be exactly a Game of the Year contender like The Room, but it also made me gasp on more than 1 occasion over the amazing sights and clever puzzle mechanics. So, I'll forgive the shortness of the game in exchange for the fact that it made my brain twist and bend in ways it rarely has to.
The story of Inbetween Land takes places on an Earth that has a floating island that mysteriously arrived above the Earth 2 years ago. The island appears uninhabited but is full of towers, temples, and tons of tunnels and such. It has become a tourist attraction and a place for looters to steal from. Your best friend is obsessed with it but has suddenly gone missing.
As you investigate, you end up on the island yourself. In the course of finding your best friend, you must solve many, many puzzles, a few extremely unique hidden object scenes, and figure out the mystery behind the island.
The styling of every single detail surrounding the game and in the game itself is best described as steampunk, which you may know is my absolute favorite. Inbetween Land does steampunk the way it should be done: beautifully and practically.
Now, let's take a look at some of the fascinating parts of Inbetween Land.
Hidden object scenes (like the 1 above) are different in Inbetween Land. Instead of finding full objects, you must find parts of objects. For instance, instead of finding a clock, you would find the clock face, hands, gears, etc. In each scene, you find the parts to 5 items. I have seen this type of hidden object scenario before, but it is far from common.
What is really neat is what happens as you find full objects. Rather than using the objects in the game or not using them at all, the objects must be placed within the scene that you are finding the pieces of the objects in. So, as you find all the parts to 1 object, you place it (or you might have to wait), and it might help you find another piece of an object in doing so.
For instance, in the 1st picture of the hidden object scene just above, you see all the pieces you must find in for this very steampunk engine. The 2nd picture shows the scene after all the objects have been placed and the engine is working. The engine working uncovers a key, which is what goes in your inventory to use in the game iself.
I really like this many layered approach to hidden object scenes. Rather than telling you to find a goat, umbrella, and palm tree in a game about pirates, this type of hidden object scene both makes sense and is a great deal of fun to play.
The best thing about Inbetween Land is definitely the variety of puzzles that make up the bulk of the game. Unfortunately, I was having so much fun figuring out the puzzles, I didn't take any photos of them except for the 1 right above, which is by far 1 of the most normal and easiest to solve puzzles in the game.
Puzzles range from doing chemistry (figuring out what to feed a jelly fish to get certain types of venom), to math (all the squares must add up to 1 certain number), to logical sequences (1 of my favorites and very complex), to so many more. Some are very difficult and will take you awhile just to figure out how to do them in the first place, and some are a bit easier. The instructions for puzzles are found by tapping the bottom of the screen.
The game ends with 1 of the toughest tangram puzzles I've ever done. That's the type of puzzle where you have a bunch of specific shaped pieces that have to fit into a certain amount of space, and there's only 1 way it will work.
In-between puzzles and hidden object scenes, you will have to gather inventory items, figure out where to go next and what to do, and then apply your inventory items to further the game along. You get a little help on focusing on your next task with the taskbar at the top of the screen.
You can play Inbetween Land in easy, medium, or expert mode. Each mode is explained, which helps you choose which is most appropriate for your level of experience with these types of games. I'll warn you though that I finished in expert mode in about 3 hours. So, pick the hardest mode you think you can do. It won't affect the content of the game. It just affects how much help you get.
Inbetween Land is FREE to try. It is currently on sale for $4.99 after the trial portion ends. I assume it will jump up to $6.99 after that, like many new G5 games.
That's it for me today. Until later, …
P.S. I know that I usually publish posts around 8 pm to midnight U.S. time. After reading an article on the best times to post, I decided to change to 4 to 8 am U.S. time. I'd like your opinion, though. Does this work for everyone? Is this the best time for you to read iOS Affairs? Please let me know if you can.