Let's pretend, just for a moment, that you had just woken in a dilapidated-looking hospital room. You have no memory as to how you got there, no clue as to where you are and no idea as to who the inhabitants in your quarters are. How would you respond? If you're the protagonist in 3F Interativo's point & click adventure Reversion: The Escape [$1.99], you would ask questions in a relatively calm and controlled manner. Er. Right.

Unlike many point & click adventures these days, Reversion: The Escape isn't big on the slap-stick humor. Set within a dystopian future, Reversion takes place in a ruined Buenos Aires. According to the somewhat shady-looking medical personnel you encounter upon consciousness, twenty years has passed and the government is in shambles. Your only clue as to what happened? A torn fragment of a photograph.

Naturally, given the nature of such things, you also find yourself imprisoned within the room under the surveillance of an even more suspicious-looking guard. With the prospect of interrogation by a mysterious Colonel looming over your head (and the very name of the game giving it away), you eventually find yourself endeavoring to seek escape.

By and large, Reversion: The Escape follows the traditional point & click adventure formula. There's a fair amount of dialogue to go through, inventory-based puzzles and a few unique challenges that will likely evoke some amount of frustration. The cast is likeable if somewhat cliched; a fiery-tempered redhead? We've definitely seen that one a few times before. For those concerned that Reversion: The Escape might be populated by obtuse puzzles, I'm happy to report that the game is relatively free of such things. If anything, it can occasionally feel a little too straightforward, something that may not be quite as appealing to Monkey Island veterans.

While the general presentation is attractive enough, Reversion: The Escape is unlikely to stun you from an audiovisual perspective. Music is simple and functional, sufficient to provide an auditory background to your activities but little else. Interestingly, the game does feature full voice-overs. Unfortunately, however, they're executed entirely in Spanish so if you can't speak the resident lingua franca, you're going to be flat-out of luck.

In spite of the occasional error messages that the game spits at you, I don't have too many complaints about Reversion: The Escape. Lag can occasionally surface, along with the odd grammatical error or two. Asides from those minute (if moderately annoying) issues, Reversion: The Escape is a largely competent affair.

Now, here comes the most important question: should you buy it? Maybe. If you're at home with the idea of investigating yet another amnesiac's quest for his memories, you might enjoy this. If you have no problems with the genre and can abide by the occasionally flat-sounding Spanish voice-overs, you might even adore this.

A worthy debut on the iOS app store, Reversion: The Escape is unlikely to be crowned 'Adventure Game of the Year' but it's certainly still worth escaping to.

TouchArcade Rating

StarStarStarStarNone
  • ducksFANjason

    This game looked ok and I probably would've bought it, if not for the audio entirely in Spanish... I speak Spanish decently but why isn't in English if it's on the US app store? Thr dev's response in the forums is that the game takes place in Buenos Aires so my guess is they claim it gives the game an authentic feel. I can't speak to that statement's validity but it just feels more like laziness than any conscious aesthetic decision. Plus, every time a game attempts to have dialogue in another language and is subtitled instead, it typically does more to break the 4th wall and pull me out of the experience than it does to lure me in.

    • Thaurin

      I don't know... do you ever watch foreign movies at all? I don't feel it that should be such a huge issue, really.

      • ducksFANjason

        Yes I do, but foreign language films utilize the native language of the place they were filmed. BulkyPix is an American company (I believe), though they may be French... Regardless, they're not Spanish and they've produced plently of English speaking games, so this was a design choice. It just feels strange to market it that way to an American audience who, by and large, don't speak Spanish.

      • Thaurin

        Well, to you, as an end user, what's the difference?

  • jez

    Well, movies are often hard to take seriously if they show residents of a country talking English without reason. They usually use the target language with subtitles, so why shouldn't games? It's a strange reason to avoid a purchase given that most iOS games have no voiceovers at all, and still require reading subtitles.

    I'll personally get it for the spanish listening practice :)

    One great thing about Steam for language learners is that (if the game supports it) it will download Spanish-audio versions of games just by setting Steam's language to Spanish. You don't need to re-purchase the game or buy from a different country's store (with a foreign billing address). Hours of immersion in a world is pretty great for language learners —I played Skyrim and Half-Life 2 this way.

    As far as I know this isn't possible on the App Store unless the developer bundles multiple copies of audio with the application (?), which can drastically increase the download size.

    • ducksFANjason

      Fair enough, I guess we just have a difference of opinion then. I don't have any trouble whatsoever taking a movie seriously if it's not spoken in the language native to its setting. As a matter of fact, that's equally distracting to me as it is in a game. That's not to say I dislike other languages. On the contrary, I have studied Spanish, Italian, some Japanese and have been interested in many others. I just don't want to "work" to decode and understand what is happening when I'm getting my entertainment. And that's exactly what games and movies are meant to be - entertainment.

      • Thaurin

        I guess I see having to "work" to understand what is happening as entertaining. I like learning languages.

    • Prab

      I think the difference is that this is a game. Not a movie.

      It feels "ok" for a game to have English audio even if the setting is supposed to be non-English because you don't feel any differently seeing the audio coming out of the characters in the game. In a movie, if its dubbed or you have non-English speakers trying to speak English, it stands out.

      Having subtitles in this game is just distracting. I don't think many players first thoughts in listening to the Spanish audio would be: "Wow, it's so authentic!". My guess is, it would instead be: "Why is it in Spanish?"

      • ducksFANjason

        That's EXACTLY the point I was going for! It leaves the user questioning the design choice more than it leaves them feeling like "Ooohh this dev did their homework!"

        And as I said, I could likely play this game through without the subtitles, I'm fairly decent with Spanish. I speak it nearly every day at work and I quite enjoy learning it, so it's not a question of whether I feel learning languages is fun. It's about forcing users to hear the dialogue in Spanish instead of offering an English alternative. THAT smacks of laziness.

    • Thaurin

      Hey, thanks for the tip. Actually, I was learning Spanish some months ago, but I stopped. This should be an entertaining way to start again.

  • Thaurin

    By the way, consider the games of old where they had subtitles and some sort of murmur made-up language, or, for example, in the Knights of the Old Republic game where the aliens spoke some weird language. I always thought those worked reasonably well. Tone of voice is more important than content.

    • http://www.AppUnwrapper.com App Unwrapper

      Or the original Infinity Blade. I'm not a big fan of the English voiceovers in IB2. It made it cheesier, IMO, after hearing them first talk in their own foreign language.

      • ducksFANjason

        IB was the first game I thought of as an example for yhat too but there's a reason they switched to English for IB2. It's better received by most folks. I suspect those of you who enjoy hearing other languages and them reading subtitles are in the minority, though I could be wrong. I'm just saying that the actual act of seeing words pop up on the screen and forcing the reader to read to get the info is more jarring than any authenticity value added from having the native language audio. it just constantly reminds that "Hey, you're playing a game, and this is dialogue you're reading!"

        And as for the old games that had no audio and just subtitles, that wasn't a case of authenticism, that was just devs making due with the technology/budget they were given. This is neither. There's a reason most games don't go this route nowadays...

  • WhiteWidow_D

    I've read in different forums that they had a low budget for this first chapter, maybe that's why it has only spanish voices. I've been following them on IndieDB, and BulkyPix is not who developed it. It's from an argentinian studio called soluciones 3f or something like that. I think the game is pretty well done to be an indie game.

Reversion - The Escape Reviewed by Cassandra Khaw on . Rating: 3.5