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1112 Episodes 1 and 2 Review

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There are generally two classes of iPhone games: games that are pleasant, but small diversions and games that feel like full-blown productions. The latter category is harder to find, but developers pouring both time and money into iPhone development should be rewarded, especially when the achievement is something as stunning as theĀ 1112 series, the most recent addition of which, 1112 Episode 2 is now available for purchase in the iTunes App Store.

1112 is an episodic point-and-click game featuring stunning, hand-drawn graphics and animation, but what really sets it apart is the mood and feel that the game creates using relatively simple elements. Music, animation and story are all integrated to give the player a full, immersive feel.

Created by French developerĀ Agharta Studio, the game feels European and urbane. The game follows the mysterious journey of Louis Everett, an New Jersey antique shop owner with a flair for the expensive and exotic. Art adorns the walls of his home as moody piano music plays in the background. The game’s primary mode is that of exploration, and the creators have packed plenty of distractions and objects to be examined in the home.

Everything lends to an air of mystery, from the paint markings outside the bedroom, to the scrawled combination for his wall-safe on the bathroom mirror. Each little hint about the outer world and Louis’ private life betrays a story filled with intrigue. Through the superb writing in the game, characters hint at past conversations, or stark realities without lecturing the player. Along the way, you will catch wisps of conversation about cigarettes or alcohol being banned, or about not being able to know what pharmaceutical companies are really selling consumers, but they are told so naturally that the player is left begging for more details.

Graphical differences between the two versions are stark and pleasant. Episode 1 relies on static backgrounds and a constant overlay for controls on the right. It is not a poor design, but Episode 2’s design is much less obtrusive, allowing the beautiful hand-drawn environments to take center stage. Additionally, the layered backgrounds in Episode 2 (allowing parallax scrolling) are a very nice touch.

1112 relies on exploration, and this occurs primarily through examining environments to find clues to move on to the next part of the story. 1112 can be frustratingly linear in this way, relying on the player to piece together some pretty obscure hints, though this eases up in Episode 2. As you collect objects along the way, you can rotate and examine them in full 3D to find other clues that push the story along, combine objects to create new ones, and give objects to characters or use them on the game screen (for instance, using your keys with the car is required to drive from one location to the next).

While many of the more frustrating design elements with the 1112 series occur in the first game, it’s (almost) necessary to play it to get a feel for the characters and world they inhabit before you move on to 1112 Episode 2. The dystopian world, hints at a larger story to come, gorgeous animation and immersive environments are head and shoulders above the standard fare on the iPhone. The improvements made between Episodes 1 and 2 hint at a lot of promise from the 1112 series. Episode 3 cannot come soon enough.

Download 1112 Episode 1 Lite from the iTunes App Store (Free)!

Download 1112 Episode 1 from the iTunes App Store ($4.99)!

Download 1112 Episode 2 from the iTunes App Store ($4.99)!

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  1. Alex
    May 7th, 2012 at 13:36 | #1

    This is a great post. Thank you and Google for chance to read it.

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