Score one more for point-and-click adventure fans! The genre is booming once again thanks to the ease of digital distribution. Long awaited sequels are popping up left and right, and hard to find classics are becoming easily accessible thanks to iOS.
The latest to pull itself from historical irrelevance is Jordan’s Mechner’s The Last Express. First announced in 1993, the game’s four year development cycle pushed its release date into an era when first-person shooters had begun dominating the PC market. It bombed horribly sitting next to the big guns on the gaming shelves, but those willing to try it gave it rave reviews as one of the best adventure games ever made.
Only as recently as last year has digital distribution given it a chance to finally gain back some of the reputation its deserved for all these years, and the iPhone and iPad will open the doors for millions more to enjoy it.
The game takes place in 1914, aboard the final transit of the Orient Express from Paris to Istanbul before the breakout of WWI. Players control Robert Cath, an American doctor and fugitive of the law wanted for murder. He boards the train on an invitation from an old friend, and from there, the real-time tale quickly takes a turn to all the classic mystery tropes: romance, international conflict, betrayal, murder, and conspiracy.
Beyond its fantastic narrative, The Last Express is also known for its rotoscope animation, similar to that of the old Ralph Bakshi animated films from the 1970s and 80s like Wizards and Lord of the Rings. Jordan Mechner was allowed 22 days of live action filming using real actors to play out the game’s scenes, and then he spent the rest of development animating over them.
The game will be available for iOS on September 27th, and DotEmu’s port will feature the entire PC classic with fully implemented touch controls. If you prefer to use a mouse or just simply aren’t into iOS games, then I at least recommend you try it for the PC as it’s available through GOG.com for only $5.99. No price has been announced for the iOS or iPad version.