XIII - Lost Identity HD|
Perhaps you are a fan of the XIII comic books series by Jean Van Hamme and William Vance, or maybe you played the super-cool Ubisoft game for the PC, Xbox, PS2, and GameCube back in 2003, or maybe you donít even know who XIII is or what itís all about. Thatís okay Ė neither does the hero in this latest hidden-object adventure game from Anuman Interactive.
You canít swing your iPad around the iTunes store without hitting a least two-dozen hidden object games these days. The genre is sweeping through the digital store like a plague, with games ranging in quality from horribly bland to exceptionally fun. While great graphics are always expected in such titles, XIII manages to pack in a nifty little story to keep you thoroughly entertained while you trot around the globe trying to remember and rebuild your forgotten past, but you might not like what you are about to learn.
The story wastes no time in getting started after you, a man with no memory, wakes up in a beachfront cottage after being shot in the head and left for dead. With only a photo of an attractive female and a familiar location to guide you on your path, you set off to find your lost identity. It soon turns out that you may have shot the President of the United States and all sorts of good and bad guys are in hot pursuit, leaving you to scramble from location to location in search of vital clues to piece together this mystery.
XIII is quite large taking you all over the globe. An interactive inventory allows you to collect and assemble items to solve puzzles and there are clever integrated mini-games like a pop-up Shooting Gallery, Match 3, and Sliding Puzzles to break-up the item-hunt monotony. The item hunt makes up the majority of the gameplay and consists of you finding multiple objects cleverly hidden around the gorgeous backgrounds. These backgrounds are intentionally larger than the iPad screen so you have to tilt your device to pan the view and find objects hidden off-screen. While some games show you silhouettes or shapes of the desired items, XIII merely gives you a text-based list along the bottom. Being a French company, there were a few things on my collection list I actually had to Google to find out what I was really looking for.
The graphics are amazing as are the locations you will visit. You might be in a jungle military base in one map and at a downtown crossroads another or even the White House gardens. There are plenty of interior and exterior settings and once you have found all the required items on each screen you are treated to a comic panel cutscene that will progress the story and take you to your next location. There isnít much in the way of audio other than a minimal score that can get repetitive if you pay too much attention to it. There are a few key sound effect moments but overall this is a fairly quiet and relaxing game. While not terribly difficult, the game is quite lengthy, and if played casually can take a week or more to complete.
Iíve played more hidden object adventures on my iPad than I care to count, but XIII - Lost Identity HD manages to rise above many of them with its unique art style and intermittent mini-games. It even had a story that actually had me excited to find out how it was all going to play out in the end. Amnesia may be one of the biggest clichťs in storytelling, but XIII is certainly a game you wonít soon forget.