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Gemini Rue for iOS
 

Gemini Rue for iOS

Platform: iPhone/iPod
Category: Adventure
 
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9.5
 

I was very excited to learn of the iOS release of one my all time favorite games, Gemini Rue. Published by Wadjet Eye Games and developed by Josh Nuernberger, Gemini Rue is a science fiction, noir-style point-and-click adventure game. The iOS version is a universal app and the port of a PC game. It'll be $4.99 but is currently on sale for $3.99. I reviewed the PC version in February of 2011, giving it a 9.5. It's an amazing game that examines individuality, identity, ethics, and loyalty through the story of the Boryokudan crime syndicate, a former assassin, and a inmate in a strange facility.

Graphics

The graphics are stunning. They're very retro-inspired, so if you can't stand games that don't push graphics, you might be disappointed. I'd say you have shallow taste in games though! The graphics in Gemini Rue have a lot of depth and greatly contribute to the atmosphere. The developer commentary reveals the thought that went into the various aspects.

Sound

You could play Gemini Rue with the sound off, but I wouldn't recommend it. In fact, I'd suggest using headphones. The sound effects and music are both great. All the dialogue in the game is voice acted, which adds to the immersion of the game. The background sound effects help differentiate the settings as well. In the dark city filled crime and slums, the sound of rain is a constant. In contrast, the strange facility is silent save the gentle hums of air conditioning.

Gameplay

There are two main characters in Gemini Rue - Azriel Odin, a former assassin looking for an old friend, and Delta-Six, a patient in a strange mind-erasing facility. The narrative switches between the two. For most of the game, the stories appear completely separate. Luckily they're both very engaging as well. The stories do converge to a fascinating ending.

Controls are relatively simple. Tapping on an object opens a box of interactions. You can examine, use, talk, kick, or use inventory items. Kicking is an interesting action that I can't remember seeing in other adventure games. It gives a second way to interact with the environment. It's required very early in the game, which is a nice way of introducing it to the player. Tapping on the screen on anything other than specific objects causes the character to talk to that location. If you character is already moving, he'll stop for a quarter-second or so before walking to the new destination. If you tap repeatedly as he's talking he'll continually stop. This is kind of annoying, but you can learn to play differently.

The PC version gave the ability to repeat the last action used on a new object quickly. Likely due to the more limited control options, this has been removed in the iOS port. The iOS version does have an addition, however; if you hold your finger on the screen for a second, the name of every targetable object will appear. I presume this is to make it easier to find things on a small screen. One scene in the PC version caused me to click randomly because I couldn't see anything. That won't be a problem for players in the iOS version.

Gemini Rue requires lots of exploration. The game has an amazing depth when there are actually a very limited number of locations. You need to interact with everything and talk to everyone. There are many types of puzzles, including determining where to go, interacting with things, and conversion with other characters. There are also multiple ways to get past certain obstacles, which is great. It's frustrating to find that what should be a solution doesn't seem to work, and that doesn't happen in Gemini Rue. The first few scenes of the game slowly teach you how to navigate the world without feeling like a tutorial. Despite having played Gemini Rue already, it still didn't feel tedious.

You have the option of playing Gemini Rue with developer commentary. This is handled through icons scattered throughout the game that play the commentary when selected. Not only is it interesting to hear about the game, but the commentary also can be considered a course in game design. It's very fascinating.

Conclusion

Gemini Rue is one of the best games I've played. It's nice to see it get ported to another platform to reach a larger audience. Science fiction isn't just about special effects, aliens, or spaceships. It's about stories that make you question what you believe. They might take place in a far-flung future, but they need to have ideas that are applicable today. Gemini Rue is a true science fiction story. It's currently $3.99 on the App Store but will be $4.99 when the initial sale ends. If you're a point-and-click fan or a sci-fi fan, you need to play Gemini Rue.









 
 

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