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Station 117 – This point-and-click puzzler goes deep

Developer: Glitch Games
Price: $2/£2
Size: 783 MB
Version: 1.0.1
Platform: iPhone & iPad

Station 117

Glitch Games is a seasoned veteran of the first person adventure puzzler, with previous games including Incoherence, Forever Lost, and All That Remains.

Thanks to the changing face of the App Store and mobile gaming in general, what used to feel by the numbers and even a little quaint now feels rare and vital. They simply don’t make them like this very much any more.

The underwater setting is deeply atmospheric

It’s a good job this type of game feels a little more special these days, because Station 117 really does play a lot like other Glitch games. You tap your way through static, highly detailed scenes, interacting with strange gadgets, collecting items, and solving a number of interconnected logic puzzles.

The Glitch camera also makes a return, enabling you to log clues for later reference. You can annotate these too, which comes in handy during certain cipher-cracking puzzles.

The Glitch Camera is a quietly ingenious aid

Some of the puzzles will snag you and try your patience, usually because you’ve overlooked something obvious, but occasionally because the iconography or the relationship between objects doesn’t quite feel obvious enough. It’s tough to call this an outright fault, as it could just as easily be a failure of imagination on our part, but it’s worth mentioning.

Even these moments aren’t a significant issue, thanks to Glitch’s simple but effective clue system. Get stuck at any point, and you can hit the magnifying glass icon for a hint. Tap further into it for the full reveal.

The hint system is simple but very effective

This hint system will smartly keep track of your progress, so you never have to go rooting through reams of text for the next tip.

While Station 117’s gameplay is essentially identical to what we’ve seen before, the setting is all new. As the game kicks off, you take on the role of Jerry Goodman, a billionaire playboy who stumbles across an abandoned underwater research lab.

The story is gradually revealed through found media

This aquatic environment really is Station 117’s star turn, offering an atmospheric, exotic, yet also deeply claustrophobic and vaguely creepy space to explore. There’s a little of BioShock’s Rapture about it, if you’ve ever played 2K’s seminal console and PC game.

Piecing together what happened to the two separate crews of this location from snippets of text and audio recordings helps tie all the disparate puzzles together.

The puzzles can be very inventive

Station 117 will be lapped up by fans of previous Glitch games, as well as anyone who’s ever enjoyed a gentle room escape puzzler like The Room, Agent A, or The House of Da Vinci. There’s nothing hugely new here, but there’s something to be said for a well crafted point-and-click puzzler these days.