Verschollen Auf Lost Island
Review by Jen
Verschollen Auf Lost Island is touted as an old school adventure
game, and that is no lie. It looks and plays like something from
1992 and yet it was released just this year. Despite the plethora
of companies involved in its development and publication, it smacks
of homemade through and through. The story really makes no sense
at all. Why, then, did I give it a thumb up? Read on, gentle reader ...
In the opening movie, our hero, Tim, finds his girlfriend, Diana,
being accosted by a stranger with a gun. He fights with the stranger;
during the tussle, the stranger shoots, or rather zaps, Diana, and
she disappears into some other dimension leaving behind only her
clothing. The fight continues and Tim ultimately loses and is too
zapped away by the stranger and his mysterious ray gun. Tim finds
himself naked in a crater and his first task is to cover his privates
and then get out of the pit. His initial attempts fail. We were
all giggling pretty hard at the various outcomes. Finally Tim succeeds,
then he wends his way through a strange world filled with pirates
and Anubis-garbed aliens in his quest to reunite with Diana and
return to his own time and place.
Only the title and packaging of the game are German; the game itself
is good King's English through and through, even down to the subtitles.
The characters were well-played by British actors. Tim's voice actor
reminded me a lot of Ringo Starr, not in his Beatles incarnation
but rather as the Conductor in the old children's show Shining
Times Station, employing that rather low-key style to good effect.
All of the actors, in fact, were rather low-key, which suits me
just fine. I don't much fancy that exaggerated, in-your-face, obnoxious
sitcom style used for sidekicks in many games (and for all of the
characters in games like Koala
Lumpur). Instead, the farcical elements of Verschollen
were emphasized by the very "situation normal" attitude
of the characters in the face of the preposterous circumstances.
The screen backgrounds are drawn nicely ... at 640x480 resolution.
The characters too are well-rendered ... if we were to imagine we
were magically transported back in time 10 years. The graphical
quality of Verschollen is about on par with that of The
Curse of Monkey Island or Flight
of the Amazon Queen. These graphics are there to
serve a purpose, not as fine art, and the purpose is indeed served.
Two nasties merit discussion. First is the maze. Yes, Virginia,
there is a maze. It's an ugly one, too. It is nonsensical and utterly
unmappable, and you have to traverse it not once but three or more
times to find various locations within it. For me the key was to
pay attention to the various screens, of which there are not that
many, and go by their appearance rather than trying to figure out
a specific path.
Second, there is a whopping huge bug between the first and second
"chapters." If you do not download and apply the patch
you will be unable to continue or save at the transition and your
only choice is to quit. If, like me, you didn't have any saves at
all, you will be in for some replaying. If, on the other hand, you
did have the foresight to save, your old saves will still work after
you patch the game. (The patch, weighing in at just under 1 MB,
is available from Adventure-Archiv,
After downloading, extract the files into your game installation
Other than that one big fat bug, the game ran flawlessly under
Windows 2000 on my old 733 MHz PIII.
The music is really weird. It's decent, and there are several different
pieces so none of it becomes too tiresome, but the music has no
bearing on what's happening in the game. Rather, each of the 10
or so different loops, in 10 or so completely different musical
styles, will be played through and then swapped over to another,
with no rhyme or reason. Definitely a unique approach to game orchestrationI
don't think I've ever run across anything similar.
Puzzles are entirely inventory-based. Gameplay takes place in several
sequential areas. Once you progress from one to the next, there
is no going back. These areas are all fairly small, each requiring
about 45 minutes to complete. Inventory items found and used in
one area are carried into the next area but will, with one exception,
be unusable for the rest of the game. There are, however, not more
than about 20 or 25 items in the entire game, so the inventory doesn't
really become very cumbersome. There are a couple of instances where
you will need to combine inventory items but for the most part you
use them as you found them. You cannot die.
The interface is simpleyou get a smart cursor that changes
shape depending on what kind of interaction is available. This is
all automatic; you don't need to choose verbs or cycle through the
cursors at all. The screens are remarkably uncluttered; there are
very few red herring objects either onscreen or in inventory.
There are multiple endings, four that I found, and all are based
on choices that you make at a pivotal point at the very end of the
game. So all you need to do is save at that pivotal point, and you
too can experience the different finales. My favorite was the "bad"
ending, in which Tim is ... ha! Did you think I was going to tell
So ... on the minus side we have crappy graphics, a maze, a story
that makes no sense. On the plus side, we have ... not much. Oh
yeah, there is one important positive factor, probably the most
important: Verschollen Auf Lost Island is entertaining as
all get-out. It's suitable for the entire family, too, and it's
fairly short (it took me about five hours to play through). I recommend
this game to anyone who likes cartoony, third-person inventory fests.
Release Date: January 2002
Four Fat Chicks Links
Pentium 100 MHz
64 MB RAM
Direct X compatible graphic card
Keyboard and mouse
Where to Find It