Great point and click throwback finds home on iOS
Price: Free (Unlock full game for $3.99/$2.99)
Size: 93.2 MB
Platform: iPhone and iPad
Point and click games have a familial legacy; from the late 80s and early 90s developers found that the opportunities for simple gameplay afforded by a mouse and keyboard could enable the creation of games that anyone could play, allowing the focus to return to narrative and story.
Cue the arrival of inventories and the presence of more keys than is ever logically possible, and of course more puzzles than will ever likely appear in real life.
However, as consoles took over as the main source of gameplay, games have become more complicated thanks to the proliferation of buttons and control options. Now, of course, we have the iPad and iPhone, and in recent years, casual players have rediscovered the joy of the point and click puzzle game. It combines the best elements of the RPG, the puzzle game and the game-book genres – but, importantly, it’s really hard, like, really hard to get right.
Facility 47, by InertiaSoft, have done it. Like, really, well. They’ve managed to balance a mysterious story, difficulty in puzzles, length of the game, and a solid, satisfying, and perhaps unexpected ending.
So, what happens? Well, you wake up alone and freezing in a cell, with no windows, and few clues. What you do have is a letter, and a bottle of sleeping pills. What’s going on? The letter is a recurring theme to the game which uses journal entries from others to steadily unveil the story, while various puzzles which range from finding keys, fixing things, or using a dart or taking samples, keeps the player engaged.
It’s difficult to talk about Facility 47 without giving away too much, but the player’s lonely journey through this tundra-filled landscape is one of the best examples of the adventure game we’ve seen on iOS to date. It employs a combination of urgency and conspiracy to contrast with a seemingly empty and calming quietness to create an atmosphere quite at odds with the jumps and relentless tension we often see in other titles.
Another exciting point to Facility 47 is that we simply don’t get many games like this anymore. It is an incredible amount of work to create a game like this. In an age where free-to-play single-concept games rein big and are the source of the spread-thin App Store megabucks, it’s no surprise that games as detailed as this make it through. We’d highly recommend taking the chance on Facility 47 to encourage the development of games like this, even if you’re not a regular player of these games, and if you are, then it really is a no-brainer.
The closest thing we’ve seen to this in awhile is 2014’s The Silent Age. Set in a similar era, this time-travel adventure has a similar mentality, but is a little shorter. The graphics in that game are more iOS-like, smooth, modern, and bold in color. However, Facility 47 is a more satisfying game to complete, and will appeal more to previous fans of the genre.
The game is a decent length for an iOS game and will fill a lazy Sunday. It might be a tad short for traditionalists for the genre, but for iOS players its perfect. Its appropriate for its price-point too; you can play it for free to a certain point and then unlock for $4. We think there will be only a handful that won’t make that decision.