Reviewed: September 4, 2007
Released: August 21, 2007
Fifteen men on the dead manís chest. Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum Drink and the devil had done for the rest.Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum The mate was fixed by the bosunís pike. The bosun brained by the marlinspike And cookeyís throat was marked belike. It had been gripped by fingers ten. And there they lay all good dead men. Like break oíday in a boozing ken. Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum. Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum.
Kheops Studios has been making adventure games since 2004 with the release of Egyptian Prophecy. They are also the minds behind Voyage: Inspired by Jules Verne, Crystal Key 2 and Return to Mysterious Island. On a separate note they also did Safecracker: The Ultimate Adventure, a game that I highly enjoyed. Now Avast Me hearties into a land of pirates and plunder with me review of Destination: Treasure Island for the PC.
Destination: Treasure Island is a adventure game that takes place four years after Robert Louis Stevensonís literary masterpiece Treasure Island with young Jim Hawkins, now an upstanding adventurous captain, being visited on fateful night by none other than Captain Flint. The companion of Long John delivers a message to Jim, which is a will stating that Long John Silver has passed away and left all his treasure to Jim. Jim must set off to Emerald Island in hopes to claim his bounty, before the pirates Morgan, Dick and Yellow Dog get to it first.
This game reminds me a lot of Myst III: Exile in the sense that it has a 360-degree panorama system like Exile and the normal node to node clicking seen in all the Myst games. As you can probably gather I have played many adventure games in my life. Myst was the first adventure game I ever played and I havenít stopped there. Iíve played or own a majority of The Adventure Companyís library of games. Among my favorites are Keepsake, Syberia and Still Life.
As mentioned above you play as an older, but still young Jim Hawkins in search of Long John Silverís treasure. To aid you in your journey you are given an incomplete map of Emerald Island, and an Enigma (or several riddles put together). You must solve the riddles in order to progress in the game. But that is only the tip of the iceberg.
Destination: Treasure Island has one of the most creative interfaces I have ever seen. You find several objects around the island in your journey and in turn use those items to solve the puzzles that the island has. You must learn to tie ropes with various knots to achieve a goal, then disassemble that knot and tie another to do another task. You can also pick up any object that is otherwise useless as it is, disassemble it, and assemble it with other items to make something new and turn around and take them apart and use it for something else entirely. I haven't seen this level of creativity in a game for some time. Actually nothing comes to mind to even compare it to, itís just that good.
Often in your journey Captain Flint can be found to help you in your quest for the treasure and requires you to do some task or another to proceed on. The puzzles in Destination: Treasure Island are various and often quite ingenious. They are however not so hard as to drive you nuts when trying to solve them. Iíll admit there were a few puzzles that had me, forgive the pun, puzzled for a bit.
The game itself is pretty straightforward in its design and easy to navigate at that. The map screen allows you to jump from your current location to any location on the map that you have visited previously if you donít feel like walking all the way there. This feature is actually quite usefully as you will need it to complete objective. This game also has a curious situation when you first start playing, where what you do at the beginning dictates where you start your journey at Emerald Island.
The graphics in Destination: Treasure Island are very well done for a game of its type. The backgrounds are beautifully rendered and not just a still picture. If you look closely the stream actually moves and there are birds that can be seen flying if you look up and take in the sky, and even fish swimming in the ocean in one part of the game. Everything from the sand on the beach, to the trees, and even the various structures are amazing.
The overall visual style of Treasure Island can easily be compared to Myst III: Exile for its design and movement system. I highly enjoy these types of games that allow me to look all around me before I take my next step. The game also features comic strip-style panes to show story-telling or major events in the game.
The sounds of Destination: Treasure Island are pretty authentic and make you feel like you are really on a hunt for buried treasure. The score for this game is done by Olivier Deriviere, who did the music for Dreamcatcherís 2004 release ObsCure. The only notable voice actor in the game is David Gasman, who is the voice of Rayman.
Each location in the game has its own distinct background music as well as environment sounds such as birds, monkeys, and moving water. The voice acting was well done and not overdone to the point of cheesiness that I have seen in some pirate games and shows for that matter. And in various part of Destination: Treasure Island the pirate song (or rather a rendition of it) is sung throughout the game.
Destination: Treasure Island isnít your run of the mill adventure, but like most adventure games itís pretty much a single-pass game. You can play it again for pure nostalgia, or to test how good your memory is on solving the puzzles again, but thatís it. You can have up to 5 different save profiles so more than one person can play when they want to. So that is definitely a plus.
At $30 this is one of the more expensive adventure games to come from The Adventure Company - most retail for around $20. Destination: Treasure Island took me about a day and a half to beat, so itís not the longest game in the world, but the time you spend with it will be highly enjoyable. Youíll want to pick up this game if youíre a big fan of the book or just in for a good pirate adventure. This is truly a game for all ages.
I enjoyed reading Treasure Island as a kid and this game brought all of that back to me. Being able to play as Jim Hawkins was what actually sold me on this game and I plan on playing it again in the future. One of the things in Destination: Treasure Island that I actually liked was one part involving a particular cannon. That has stuck with me even now.
Destination: Treasure Island stands alone for its ďinventionĒ system. I havenít played a game ever that allowed me to take apart a perfectly useful tool to use it parts for something else then turn around and put it back together to use it as it was intended before in my life. The game is well worth the $30 dollars for all those who were fans of the book and perhaps those who just want to feel young at heart.