LucasArts may be no more, but it may fill you with excitement to hear that Swiss indie game studio IF Games’ new iOS adventure Perils of Man: Chapter 1 [Free] has an astonishing lineup of industry veterans including the involvement of ex-LucasArts Designer Bill Tiller and 1954: Alcatraz developer Gene Mocsy.

The first chapter gives a great insight into the quality of work invested into the game, as straight away Perils of Man screams cinematic appeal. You step into the shoes of Ana Eberling, a young girl who is way too curious for her own good. Eager to solve the mystery of her missing father (and his great many ancestors), she is thrown into a world of time-travel and global catastrophe as she begins to unravel the hidden secrets revolving around an incredible technology that gave them the power to eliminate uncertainty.

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Though not much is revealed within this first chapter, which will most likely only set you back roughly an hour or so, the storyline is gripping from the onset, and the game is actually hard to set down from beginning to end. If you ignore the terrible voice-acting which unfortunately is grating and takes away some of the appeal, then you’ll have no problems getting sucked into this intriguing dark new world.

Ana has been hidden away from the outside world for most of her life; her mother is fretful of near enough everything, and she remains terrified of losing her daughter. A powerful set up for a storyline, it highlights on the emotions of grief, loss and fear, and does so incredibly well. The story starts off with Ana and her mother stuck inside their mansion in the midst of an angry storm, and inconveniently, the power has gone out and left most of the house in darkness.

The simple controls navigate like a point-and-click adventure, holding your finger on the screen will highlight hot spots, and moving around just involves tapping in the direction you wish Ana to move in. A short series of puzzles are scattered throughout the first chapter, mainly involving talking to her mother to gather information on her father and his descendants, collecting various objects which can be combined and used to resolve numerous situations, and a puzzle that involves a great grandfather clock and a short riddle on time. There is no part to the game that feels as though it shouldn’t have been there, and the whole episode feels as though it’s leading to something rather exciting.

Sadly, as mentioned, the voice acting is shockingly bad, so who knows what they were thinking where that was involved, but otherwise, this striking 3D animated adventure is incredibly solid, and by the end of the chapter I was instantly hankering for more. I was a little disappointed with how short it was overall, but that was more due to the fact I was really enjoying the direction of the story, so here’s hoping it won’t be too long before the next chapter is released. There also happened to be one fleeting moment of instability, when the game decided to crash part of the way through, so I ended up having to reload it, but it took me to exactly where I left off, which was a relief. However, this in fact happened on an iPad Air, so despite the developers warnings of compatibility issues with the game on iPad 2 and iPad mini, you may still encounter slight bugs here and there.

This doesn’t deter from the fact that Perils of Man is a fascinating serialised adventure, graced with an engrossing storyline and boasting spectacular 3D visuals that look amazing on the iPad’s retina display. The best part is that despite its lack of a price-tag, it also is free from in-app purchases. Though there’s no guarantee the following chapter will also be free, it’s definitely worth experiencing one of the finest looking games to grace the iPad in some time.

TouchArcade Rating

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  • coolpepper43

    The reviews in the App Store said it has amazing voice acting. Can someone please give me a taste of this shocking bad voice acting. I don't have enough space to download the game.

    • nicodemus82

      Actually this review is spot on. The voice acting is absolutely god awful. The good news is, if you can push past that, there's actually a pretty good game with an interesting story.

      • FivepastTA

        I couldn't push past it.

      • Duuude

        You don't know what you are talking about ... obviously.

      • johnpc121

        Ok so I watched a long video play of this game and I think the voice acting is not too bad. It could be better at places but I wouldn't call it awful. Perhaps not everyone likes the none American voices? Personally I find the huge wide eyes of the characters to be more annoying than the voices. :/

    • Kevin897

      I watched gameplay of it. The voice acting seemed fine to me.

    • Duuude

      The voice acting is not bad at all, don't believe anything else!
      The mother is a bit over the top, but very fitting to her character.

      Either this is a - very mildly funny - joke, or the author played a totally different game.
      I had only a little time with it so far, but it seems like a great game to me.

      But then again, what are you waiting for? Its free!

    • Design by Adrian

      The voice acting isn't bad at all. It's average, and only the mother's voice could be annoying to some.

      I enjoyed the game.

  • HandsomeLuke

    Do not believe this review

    • http://twitter.com/JaredTA Jared Nelson

      Do not believe this comment

    • coolpepper43

      Do not believe anything. It's April 1st.

      • markymarkanddafunkybunch

        No it's not

      • coolpepper43

        It was where I am when this was posted.

      • markymarkanddafunkybunch

        I don't believe you :)

  • markymarkanddafunkybunch

    iPad only. Not digging that at all.

    • johnpc121

      Do you actually play such a game all the way through a small iPhone screen? I used to do that... until I got an iPad hehe.

      • markymarkanddafunkybunch

        A center for ANTS!!! Yes I do. It becomes an iPad when you hold it 2 inches from your eyeballs. :)

    • Design by Adrian

      Nope, there is an iPhone version if you search for it.

  • Gatada

    They are likely aware of the bad voice acting as the trailer doesn't have any.

  • HarryWarden

    The voice acting isn't the best but it's not bad enough to deter from playing the game. I await episode 2, which is rumored to be released sometime during the 2nd quarter of 2014 (so sooner rather than later).

  • blindmuggy

    I don't know i somehow felt the voice acting went with the style of the game maybe its just me, all i know is that it didn't detract from the game at all, awesome game and i cant wait till the next chapter.

  • worldcitizen1919

    The voice acting is good. The only thing terrible about it was that it was April 1st. I found this game excellent. Can't understand why they didn't charge $5 for it. This is an exceptional game even if it was a paid game.

  • Teras

    So I have ipad mini anyone knows why when I try to start a new game it throws me out of he game?

  • Bischi777

    As I understood, this is a commercial game for Swiss Re the Reinsurance due to their 150iest anyversary... So is there no product placement in the game? This might also be the reason why it's free (and maybe the next chapters as well?)

  • johnpc121

    You think the next chapter is going to be free? I don't think so it would make more sense to keep chapter 1 free and charge a good price for future chapters.

  • Oranje

    Far and away the best app icon I have ever seen. Bravo!
    I'd give an extra half star just for that.

  • interzone

    not much of a challenge so far for point and click veterans, finished within 30 minutes. hopefully the full game ups the difficulty - and if it is episodic that they are a bit longer

  • worldcitizen1919

    Spot on TA. I give it 5 stars and love the voice acting but then I like the Britush unlike some!

  • worldcitizen1919

    Completed the first chapter and immensely enjoyed it. Can't wait until it is released hopefully soon. More than glad to pay a good price for good quality gaming like this.

  • bigjack66

    It's not awful acting they're just a bit posh which sounds terrible even to us Brits and even more so to us Scots! Otherwise a nice little freeby with good graphics!

  • CaraSimon

    Um, yeah, I agree with pretty much ALL of the comments so far. I think this reviewer is jealous that he/she didn't get cast or something. I actually thought the voice acting was perfect! The review is so angry about it that I kind of wonder if the author has a personal beef with one of the actors or something.

  • jamesmcadams82

    They aren't 'real' British accents. Sounds more continental. Like Germans trying to sound British, or something. The voices are awkward and uncomfortable.

Perils of Man: Chapter 1 - Adventure Game Reviewed by Lucy Ingram on . Rating: 4.5