Twinsen is a dreamer, and soon learns that dreams can change the world. He finds himself imprisoned in an asylum, but he can’t let the evil Dr FunFrock just rule the world. Escaping the asylum is the first steps in Little Big Adventure, [$4.99] and you will get to repeat this part a couple of times. Little Big Adventure was released back in 1994 for MS-DOS, and I fell in love with the whimsical world of Twinsun right away. I don’t remember if I ever completed it back then, or if I just enjoyed exploring the quite open game world. DotEmu has recreated the original, as close as I can remember it.

This is actually not all good though, as some things have changed. For one there is no clear checkpoint, or save system immediately apparent. The aim of the game, and how to progress is also extremely unclear. Little Big Adventure is a game where you kind of find your own adventure, and how you opt to tackle obstacles. No arrows show you where to go, and there is no quest log. These are some aspects that would have needed some reworking to accommodate the demands of today´s gamer.

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I remember having direct control over Twinsen on my PC using arrow keys for movement. On iOS the movement is indirect with you touching where you want Twinsen to go. This would be a suitable control method if Twinsen had any intelligent way to avoid obstacles. If something is in the way he simply walks, or runs into it. When just exploring this is a minor annoyance, but as soon as you are trying to escape an enemy it almost breaks the game. It tears on patience though, and having to restart in the asylum being caught by the fascist elephant guards is truly testing my patience.

The visuals feel a bit dated, but still manage to create a lush isometric world. The character models, albeit limited in detail, move about with fluid motion. The voice acting is the aspect of the presentation that holds up best, and I find it hard not to feel compassionate to the humble creature that is Twinsen.

Porting a classic isn’t all that easy to do, and sometimes it might be better to ponder remixing or at least remastering the original material. Little Big Adventure is a clear example of this where some core elements such as controls, lack of direction and confusion to when the game saves make it less than ideal for mobile gaming. Personally I really wanted to fall in love with Little Big Adventure again some twenty years after our first affair. Sadly it has aged even worse than me, and not even nostalgia can get me past that. It is a true shame, as beyond the problems there is a terrific genre defining adventure to be found.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • militantmind

    Yes, there is poor path finding but it certainly 1: doesn't break the game and 2: can't be fixed with an update. I'm not sure about how much hand holding/codling you need either. LBA is awesome, it's a classic and basically plays like I recall it did when I beat this game over and over again on PC.

  • NightShadowPT

    This game is in my top 3 games ever made! The story is great and it is a wonderful

  • zergslayer69

    I believe with a virtual stick option added everything bad will be resolved. As long as the character walks in the direction of the stick rather than driving him like a vehicle.

  • jeffyg3

    Well there is a map you can use that gives some kind of place where to go and shows arrows. Been playing it for a few hours and I don't have any problems knowing what to do next or how to progress the story. You explore a bit and then you understand what to do next. I don't see how this game is difficult. If I could beat this game as a 10 year old back in the day and not having trouble, what's the deal with gamers these days that expect games to hold their hand and get mad about it.

    Also how is the save system extremely unclear? I don't understand that part of the review. You enter a new place and it saves. And that's your checkpoint. How is this hard to understand? Seriously?

    Also yeah the controls took some getting used to, but when I found I could just hold my finger on the screen and drag around where I want to go it made it a lot easier. I think most people just end up tapping where to go, probably like the reviewer, and that way is frustrating. Still this game should have the option for a virtual stick.

    • Pivi

      +1 to every word.

    • Brandon Smith

      If I remember correctly, the first asylum part doesn't really let you sac until you complete it. If this guy didn't really spend that much time with the game, he might never have really encountered that. I recall having to play the first section of the game many times over when I was younger, just trying to figure out how the game worked and what you could and could not do. Everytime I messed up it was back to the prison.

      You are totally right about gamers wanting to be hand-held these days. I don't think it's their fault, though. I think developers have just taught them that games are supposed to play like that. If it doesn't tell you what to do next, it's broken. I swear, if a game had a fire in it, and a fire extinguisher right next to it, and yet the game didn't say "GET THE FIRE EXTINGUISHER!" and "PUT OUT THE FIRE!" modern gamers would just sit there watching the place burn down and going "I don't understand what I'm supposed to do"

  • Bliquid

    " Little Big Adventure is a game where you kind of find your own adventure, and how you opt to tackle obstacles. No arrows show you where to go, and there is no quest log. These are some aspects that would have needed some reworking to accommodate the demands of today´s gamer."
    Or not.

    • Pivi

      Not indeed.

    • Telltales

      Definitely not. Reviewer obviously did not really play the game

  • Pivi

    I love it when a reviewer does not explore a game enough, and instead gaves a half baked, mediocre scored review.

    First of all, as was mentioned before me here, this game is meaned to be played as hold to move, and not touch to move. And believe me, this new touch control scheme is much better than the original controls were on the PC.

    Secondly, this is a 20 years old game, the era where there was no automap in dungeon crawlers, and people read paperback magazines for game tips and tricks. One of the game's charm is the kinda open world, and not the "in your face" linearity. I remember how I loved it when I discovered a secret room way before it should have been found, and had to return much later in the game to activate the device inside.

    So everyone, do yourself a favor, and experience one of the best games of the 90s with this great port.

  • Praymettin

    I played this game and Twinsen's Oddysey once every year for years. And it is on ios, a pool of mostly casual gamers playing every trash, obsessing random things, making kings from rags, and sucking the very soul of good games till nothing is left. There are good and decent gamers knowing the true value of games but, sadly, it is a market works on "demand of the majority" so, good games sometimes make mistakes. Long entrance short requests:
    1- Give us the classic controls. Drowning, falling and succeeding has its own charm. And i want to throw the ball weird ways. Targetting? Really?
    2- Get rid of map scrolling. Damages game's adventure, joy of unknown and makes it look smaller.
    3- A save system like LBA 2 may be good to cool down the audience. Nothing necessary.
    4- Port LBA2 and Time Commando :))
    Other than these it was a 10/10 game and please make it so.

  • Telltales

    I have to admit, this is one of the poorest reviews I've read on this site in recent memory. It feels as though the reviewer only spent a short time with it and wrote the review off of first quick impressions. The whole thing about the review not knowing about the saving features in this game is pretty obvious he didn't care to much effort in this. I just had to shake my head at this "there is no clear checkpoint, or save system immediately apparent. The aim of the game, and how to progress is also extremely unclear." OK I'm done. Can we get someone who actually spent time on this game to review it properly. Like somone else said, this review is half-baked

  • Brandon Smith

    the direct control would be hard to lose, I think. That was one of the best things about this game. LBA is one of those great loosely designed games from back in the glory days of PC gaming. I saw loosely designed because the game has a few systems that interact with one another, and the developers don't A) make sure they interact cleanly and B) limit what you can do with them. The positive is that you are free to make your own solutions to problems. The downside is that you can easily break the game. experience. I recall solving a problem I was having about which way to attack an area by climbing on top of a building and jumping on the bad guy from above. The game isn't really MADE to fight that was, but you make your own rules. I really miss that style of gameplay. I think it's being rediscovered by Dark Souls, though.

  • Edgar Allan Bro

    I loved the hell out of this game when I was a kid. Review almost put me off, glad I read the comments. Buying now!

Little Big Adventure - Relentless: Twinsen's Adventure Reviewed by Torbjörn Kämblad on . Rating: 3