Written by  :  Jeanne (76599)
Written on  :  Sep 08, 2005
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars4.83 Stars

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful

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Simply Marvelous .. I want to live on this island!

The Good

For once, the company advertising is right. Everything I've read about Return to Mysterious Island is true.

I liked nearly everything about the game. From install to uninstall, it was a complete pleasure.

The Bad

I was almost disappointed when Mina was able to go home! I wanted her to stay a bit longer so I could enjoy the island life some more.

My only gripe is that it was too short. The ending came a bit abruptly .. and too soon.

The Bottom Line

Return to Mysterious Island is one of the best adventure games I've played this year. The story is all about the need to survive as well as the desire to leave. It all takes place on a small but lush tropical island complete with a volcano, palm trees and wildlife. It's the type of place where I would love to vacation.

Mina, your character, is a cute, freckle-nosed girl with a spunky personality, a pleasant voice and intelligence to boot. Using what is naturally available, you successfully satisfy her basic needs (food, water, shelter and warmth). You have the ability to fashion tools from what you gather to further explore the surroundings and eventually communicate with the outside world .. and finally go home.

The game ran flawlessly from beginning to end. The point-and-click interface was effortless. The gameplay centers around the manipulation of objects in inventory. The objects themselves are the puzzles. Because of this, the puzzles overshadow the story .. in a good way. There are so many objects to find and an extra large area to store them in. Various different objects can be used together to make the same thing (fire, for instance). In addition, there are multiple ways to approach a situation. When faced with a dilemma, (i.e. mischievous monkeys blocking your path) you can choose more than one way to get around it.

And, speaking of monkeys, Mina's little companion, Jep, is intuitively handled. Mina finds him injured and must find ways to bring him back to good health and strength. After that, he travels along with her .. and is used like an inventory object. Have him climb to high places that Mina can't reach, for instance, carrying along another object for attaching or using.

Well orchestrated music and realistic graphics make the game lovely to listen to and look at. Even though it is a fairly short game, I couldn't stop playing until it was through. It made me think. Puzzles are not too difficult, and when I died I was pleased to see Mina returned to the spot right before the mistake occurred.

Needless to say, it was fun! I recommend this game and wish there were more like it.