rtmi_coverChillingo / Tetraedge recently released an iPhone port of the well reviewed island adventure Jules Verne's Return to Mysterious Island [App Store], based on the 1874 novel by the noted French science fiction author.

While not a first-person adventure in the strictest sense of the term, the game features point to point "motion" with a look-anywhere view mechanic reminiscent of Zork Nemesis and Myst III: Exile.  In fact, the swipe-to-view control offers smoother view motion than either of the aforementioned PC classics.  When examining the surroundings in a given position, key items are marked with either an arrow for the option of moving to the designated location or a gear-wheel which indicates that action of some sort can be carried out on the object in question. Well integrated into the surrounding view are animated sequences (birds flying above a cliff, crabs crawling about the sand, etc.) that add to the game's overall sense of setting.

rtmi 1Certain marked items can be picked up and added to the inventory straight away, while others require a key item to be equipped (held in hand) to successfully negotiate (example: a vine can be cut and obtained only if a knife is held in hand).  Adding greatly to the compexitiy of the game is the need to combine certain items in order to get a task done.  I don't want to give away any specifics to spoil the challenge but, for example, one might need to combine a rubber cord with a forked twig to form a slingshot in order to defend against an aggressive island animal.  And such combinations are, often, not particularly obvious.

The iPhone version, weighing in at just under 300 MB, is a somewhat cut-down version of the 1 GB PC original.  As such, some of the story elements have been omitted, along with certain other details such as ambient island sounds (wave lapping on the shore, birds chirping, etc.).  But the core gameplay elements are certainly represented.

rtmi screenI greatly enjoyed adventures of this sort on the PC through the years and am very pleased to see the genre so well represented on the iPhone platform.  Return to Mysterious Island is a well-evolved take on the formula.  The island game world is rich with detail and draws the player into the game world with ease.  It's a welcome alternative to so many pick-up action / adventure titles in the App Store.

If there's an adventurer buried somewhere inside you, Return to Mysterious Island is a game not to be missed.


[ Full HD version | Low Bandwidth version ]

App Store Link: Return to Mysterious Island, $4.99

TouchArcade Rating

  • DoctorDED

    Great game if it would stop crashing! I can get off the beach with out a crash. Rebooted, removed re-installed still bombs out. Hopeful they fix these is for ipod touch 2G owners. Other wise great game!

  • http://www.fftrealm.com Noah

    Is your device jailbroken by chance?

  • xood

    nice example of an annoying tutorial :-)

  • Doctorded

    Jailbroken- NO! plain ol' 2G with 2.2.1, i will have to redownload tonight. Has to be a bum D/L, or my MacBook is sick?

  • Synergistic Ideologue

    Seems a little lame to have icons all over the pretty backgrounds and lamer still to have icons littering the landscape showing you what to touch and interact with. Part of the fun of games like this, for me a least, is the mystery of what I can interact with.

    • Eastern Bloc Party

      Apparently you can switch those icons off.

      I will purchase this game when they add in the ambient sounds. Otherwise i won't buy it. It may seem like a little thing, but to me the sound makes or breaks a game. I don't wanna be on the beach and hearing nothing.

  • http://www.silentrocco.com Rocco

    Tried the game. The lack of ambient sounds is a huge MINUS.
    And the game feels way to random to me. This makes it boring.
    Myst is another level! The only advantage are the very beautiful graphics.

  • K

    Bought it but haven't played it yet. Shame about the lack of ambient sounds- Myst is 800mb, so I don't really see a problem in including ambient sounds for this game which is so far only 300mb....?

  • Magnus

    The reason why I loved the Myst games was that you played the role of yourself.

    While the game looks pretty awesome, I'm a bit "let down" (I'm not expecting it to be like Myst, but it's what I compare it to) by that fact.

    I don't like it that she comments on stuff that I can or can't do.

    But looks awesome nonetheless.

  • bitjokey

    Is it me or is there anybody else who thinks this Mina character looks like Michael Jackson :)

  • Joanne

    Could someone tell me on the itouch, how do I disassembe something, ie. the knife. I needed the forked stick to catch the snake but I don't have it anymore.

  • Steve

    As well as knowing how to disassemble combined items, can someone tell me if there a way to return an item held by the monkey, to stock?

  • derek

    for the crashing. I have had that problem with other apps crashing. Someone suggested a hard reboot (?) i think thats what is called (holding both buttons until you get the white apple icon) and that solved it. But I have a question. Apparently my inventory is full 27 items. pressing the auto wont put the collected items in my inventory. From the looks of it, I should be able to carry more. I see a series of little dots going vertically down on the far left of my inventory screen. The dot at the top is lit. I am thinking this shows that there should be more inventory spaces but I cant seem to scroll down to them. Maybe a glitch? Or do I really have only 27 inventory spaces?

  • derek

    I have to start all over again because I hit a dead end. I had to reluctantly look at a walkthrough to solve my dilemma. I had used items for some things (like eating) and cant get them back and apparently they are needed to move forward in the game. Everything I read was that there were no dead ends- well thats wrong because i actually hit three. couldnt fish, bake, or retrieve something because the items needed for them are now gone (not combined with somethin else so that I only have to break them to get them back- they are gonzo) thats frustrating...

  • http://www.insegment.com sem

    Not the biggest fan of this game. Everything just seems a little weird about it. And I agree with many of the above posts, the lack of sound really just is annoying.

  • http://www.watchgy.com/ rolex replica

    Not the biggest fan of this game. Everything just seems a little weird about it. And I agree with many of the above posts, the lack of sound really just is annoying.

  • Nausicaa

    One of the main complaints when it came out was a lack of ambient sound effects. This was personally a deal breaker for me - trite as it may be. I've noticed they now mention ambient sounds in the app description, and as a 3GS owner my phone should be more than capable of handling it. Have they included ambient sounds in the latest update?