For those of us who spent far too many hours playing Revolution Software games such as Broken Sword or Beneath a Steel Sky on our Amigas and PCs way back when, the resurgence and reinvention of such classic point-and-click adventures for a whole new generation is a joy to behold.
Alongside the likes of Telltale Games, Revolution has ensured that the genre continues to thrive, with its revamped Broken Sword series proving to be phenomenally successful on iOS and other mobile platforms, as well as PC and Mac.
The fifth game in the epic series, Broken Sword: The Serpentâ€™s Curse, has now been released on iOS as a two-part adventure, and having spent most of this weekend playing the first episode, I can confirm that the series continues to delight and enthrall.
The plot sees the return of the gameâ€™s main heroes, George Stobbart and Nico Collard, and itâ€™s so great to hear those familiar tones again with the original voice actors, 15 years on from the original!
The action kicks into gear right away, with George and Nico embroiled in a violent robbery in a Parisian art gallery, which they then must investigate. And as ever with Broken Sword games, the plot turns out to be much more involved than it would first appear and with many more layers than just a simple art robbery by a thug.
The story keeps you absorbed hour after hour, as you try and solve the various puzzles and follow the sinuous twists and turns of the plotline, as mystical, dark forces from ancient times are awakened by George and Nicoâ€™s investigations. Fascinating and gripping stuff!
In terms of gameplay, the controls couldnâ€™t be simpler, involving more slide, point, and click action than the old fashioned point-and-click system, as you slide your finger around the screen looking for hot-spots, which will then reveal various actions, such as speak, or investigate, using icons such as lips or a magnifying glass, respectively. It all works really smoothly, and keeps you suitably involved in the plot without getting frustrated.
As always with point-and-click adventures, the trick is to make the clues and puzzles hard enough to be genuinely challenging, but not so hard that you get frustrated or turn to often to the â€œHintsâ€ screen, and Broken Sword: The Serpentâ€™s Curse gets the balance perfect here as well.
In terms of how the game looks, as we follow George and Nico and some new (and familiar) faces on their journey from the gorgeous streets of Paris, onto London, and beyond, this could well be the most beautiful Broken Sword yet, the wonderfully detailed, classically drawn HD locations positively sparkling on your iPhone or iPad screen, so rich and vibrantly colourful. Apparently the design team includes key members from the old Broken Sword team, including layout artists from Disney, Aardman, and Universal animation studios.
And as for another favourite element of the Broken Sword series, the quirky humour is also back, with trademark witty dialog and running gags, as well as certain moments that once again have you feeling that Revolution loves teasing Broken Sword fans. One such example is when George enters a dark room and you try and figure out how to keep the matches in your inventory lit for longer than a few seconds so that you can search the room, only to find a light switch right next to the doorway that does the job just fine!
Overall, a delight to play, and you donâ€™t have to have played any of the previous games to enjoy it, although if you have, youâ€™re certainly going to revel in reuniting with George and Nico once again and following them on their travels. Bring on Episode 2, I canâ€™t wait to see what happens next!
Click here to download Episode 1 for Â£4.99: Broken Sword 5: The Serpent's Curse, Episode 1