Caused by the bankruptcy of ARI Data there was no possiblity to purchase "Verschollen auf Lost Island" in the last months.
Now Gamepad has acquired the distribution license for the German language area. The game can be purchased at http://www.gamepad.de. At the moment there is a jewelcase-version for 10 Euro available, within a short time you will be able to buy the original DVD-Box-version again for a bit higher price.
A review by slydos 22nd February 2002
As the low budget publisher ARI Data ("Gnap - der Schurke aus dem All" - US title: "U.F.O.s", "Titanic - Das unglaubliche Geheimnis" - US title: "Titanic - Dare to of Discover"), only meagerly advertises for their products, I almost missed the opportunity to get this newly released adventure game. "Verschollen auf Lost Island" is a 3rd-person adventure, in the style of the old Monkey Island and Indiana Jones games.
Why ARI changed the title from "Lost Island" into "Verschollen auf Lost Island" and thus let it appear, that it is a game in German language, is unintelligible to me. The game is completely in English, but neither ARI's homepage nor the game package informs about that. Likewise publisher ARI is to charge for the unkind text on the DVD box, equipped with write errors. In the box we find the game-CD and a reference sheet about the installation and hotline, relinquishing a manual. Can it be more scarcely?
Under Windows 95 and ME the installation ran error free and I was actually surprised to find such extensive options, as you could include or exclude files to be copied on hard disk, so that you'll need minimum 4 MB and max. 421 MB.
You are directly thrown into the game after an intro (can be aborted by mouse-click) showing the company names involved. Here I was missing the mention of the game title at least. Also the main menu in form of a yellowed document surprises: apart from well-known options such as save, load, quit, volume and speech adjustments there are also some interesting music options. One can switch here from "pirate mode" to "modern mode" and vice versa and can also select the next title in this two modes with the "next track"-option. A nice addition.
Now to the story. Tim, our hero, becomes witness of unbelievable happenings: During an evening walk with his friend Diana in the 007-Street, Tim could watch several pirate-like villains, stumbling, when dragging a crate into a strange portal. They feel discovered and begin a wild shooting. Tim also draws his probably always ready weapon. But the pirates, or whoever they are, have no normal pistols. Diana gets hit by one of them and disappears in the nothingness and also Tim gets catched. His body, he unfortunately must leave his clothes behind, gets "beamed" into another time and probably another place. Tim appears naked at the bottom of a crater - a strange situation. At this point we can intervene in the game and help Tim first to dress of course and then to find Diana and finally return home with her.
Actually we do not need a manual for the really easy controls. The game is mouse-controlled almost exclusively, to abort dialogues or animation scenes you can use the escape key. The animated cursor changes its shape depending upon the actions, which can be executed. And who played "The 7th Guest", will discover some similarities here, particularly with the waving bone hand. Tim can look/examine, take up, combine and apply objects, execute actions, speak and run. A hotspot or the possibility to change to another scene is shown both by a modified cursor and also by a describing text. At the bottom of the screen, always visibly, are two large buttons for the inventory and the main menu. The inventory extends almost over the whole screen, you can simply click on the necessary object here and use it with other inventory objects or a hotspot at the screen. Tim then has a set of funny random responses, if an object is not used correctly.
The 8 save slots (with picture and your own text) are sufficient, since Tim dies only rarely and the game is linear, so that it is not necessary to restart from an earlier savegame.
The puzzles are quite simple: find, combine and apply objects. It can happen that a known location indicates new interaction possibilities when revisited. Not all interesting hotspots have a function and not all inventory items are useful. On the other hand some can be used several times. Puzzles are not always logical however sometimes also with intention, and therefore let the gamer smile. There is an easy maze to master - even I could do it without sketching it and I'm grateful for that. Dialogues are rare (because there are not many interlocutors). However the correct questions will help you going on with the game. The action portion in this game is zero. There is no walkthrough yet, but I think that also untrained gamers have the chance of a success experience without substantial assistance or a walkthrough.
"Verschollen auf Lost Island" is a 2D-adventure game with nice handpainted backgrounds, as we know it from the old Monkey Island -, Indiana Jones- or Sierra Quest-games. Those background graphics are not quite as brilliant as in comparable "Touché" and also the character graphics are of no great quality, but that won't bother at least the nostalgicians among the players. The action scenes of the game are all presented in animation sequences, when our hero has to stand a fight or is observing something. "Verschollen auf Lost Island" is quite reliably a reminiscence to the classical games of the genre with its pirate touch and at the latest in the "lava room" one must think of Indiana Jones. There are a lot of music themes to select, as described above, reminding of the good old games too.
There is a giant bug, which back-throws you after approx. a quarter of the game into the main menu where you can't go on playing. Didn't anyone test it? A really annoying matter, which clouds the general impression of the game. Actually bug-free games are rare nowadays, but such an error must have been discovered, if only one person in the above mentioned 4 companies would have opened an eye. More annoying still, that the ARI support answered not before 2 ½ weeks and leaves the gamer community without any information. Even if one must find the solution for the problem, a message on the homepage or a short email wouldn't have been too much of a request. Now there is a Patch, which fixes the problem. It can be downloaded here. There were no other technical problems.
Again a classic adventure in 2d with many good ingredients: a good portion of humor, easy handling and a story with surprising turns (especially in the multiple endings). No unsolvable puzzles let the motivation sink. With exception of the described bug, I enjoyed the game very much. It should have to be mastered in approx.10 hours, thus stays behind its models concerning game length. The price however is o.k. with approx.15 Euro. Naturally recommendable to the fans of the classic 3rd-person-adventures. Adventure players, who put strong value on graphics quality or expect puzzles in Myst-manner, will be hardly satisfied here. However I would recommend these gamers to try the other side of the genre-medal - this inexpensive entertaining lump offers the possibility for it.
Total rating 66%
80% - 100% excellent game, very recommendable 70% - 79% good game, recommendable 60% - 69% satisfactory, restricted recommendable 50% - 59% sufficient (not very recommendable) 40% - 49% rather deficient (not to be recommended - for Hardcore-Adventure-Freaks and collectors only) 0% - 39% worst (don't put your fingers on it)
Minimal system requirements:
- Pentium 100 Mhz
- Windows 95/98/ME/XP/2000
- 64 MB
- DirectX compatible graphic card
- Sound card
- Windows 95
- PII 233 MHz
- 64 MB RAM
- 4 MB graphic card
- 16bit sound card
- 24x CDROM-drive
Where everything began
The main menu
In the crater
Finally on the pirates' ship
How to get out of here?
Escaping the island
Diana freed - and now?
The temple of the wolfes
Gee - a space ship!