Shardlight (iOS)

Shardlight (iOS)
Shardlight (iOS)
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A year ago, Wadjet Eye Games’ point and click adventure Shardlight came out on PC. I wrote a preview and a review at the time, with the gist being that Shardlight was a great game. Unfortunately, one storage array failure later, those articles don’t ‘pop’ as well as they used to with assets gone to the abyss, but, the words themselves hold true. Anyway, as we’ve seen Wadjet Eye do in the past, they have taken their successful adventure games like Gemini Rue, the Blackwell series, and now Shardlight (with Technobabylon, a game I enjoyed even more than Shardlight due out later this year) and ported them to iOS. The game is the same, voice-acting, music, puzzles, all of that is intact, with only minor, sensible changes made to the UI given that interaction is done via touch now instead of a mouse pointer. So in the last couple of weeks, I have had the pleasure of replaying Shardlight and following Amy’s perilous adventure through a dystopian near future on my iPhone 6s.

For more specifics on the game itself, I would lean on my the two articles I wrote previously instead of rehashing all of that here again. As far as iOS details, Shardlight’s install size is 1.12GB and costs just $5, requiring iOS 8 and higher. It runs beautifully on my iPhone 6S, which is pretty obvious given that it’s an old school style point and click and does not utilize 3D graphics at all. In-game options include enabling subtitles, developer commentary mode (always liked how Wadjet Eye does these tracks), and adjusting Amy’s Walk Speed from Normal to Hurried. I chose to move in a Hurried fashion given that my play sessions on mobile devices is normally brief and since I had been through this adventure last year on PC. Anyway, you can save your progress anytime with multiple save slots, and the game Autosaves regularly as well. Load times are instantaneous.

The touch UI works well, and if you haven’t played a point and click on iOS before, or at least one from Wadjet Eye, I can understand the concern that finding all of the objects in the world could be difficult in such a small screen space. To remedy this, players are able to touch and hold on the screen for about two seconds, and reveal all objects in the room that you can interact with. This is a perfect solution for being able to walk into a new area without any UI, tap around as you desire to explore, and then, just to double check yourself, you can press and hold to bring up markers that reveal all objects so you don’t miss anything.

The sounds of the game, from the atmosphere-building soundtrack to the voice-acting, is all here, and it sounds perfectly fine. Visually, Shardlight is not a high-res game no matter how you’re playing it, and this retro point and click look from the Lucasarts and Sierra heyday looks great on iOS. With this genre, the graphical value is in the details and the art work, not in the raw technical appeal, and to that end, Wadjet Eye presents another excellent-looking game.

There really isn’t a great deal more to say about Shardlight than what I have said here and in my coverage last year that I linked to at the top of this article. It’s a great game whether you play it on PC or, starting today, on iOS. At just $5 like other Wadjet Eye iOS games, it’s an excellent value.