Sir Winston Churchill was many things during his long and distinguished career... a globe-hopping soldier, Nobel Prize-winning author, and even Prime Minister on two occasions. But what about his life as a secret agent onboard a Mediterranean steamer in 1899? While biographers have stated that Churchill spent that year in Britain writing about his army experiences, the Italian game developers at Moloc Lab offer a different take on history. In their old-school point-and-click adventure called 1899 Steam & Spirit, you get to play as a young Lieutenant Churchill (and bump into other historic characters) on a mission to Algiers filled with mystery, ingenuity, and discovery.
Despite its minimalist appearance, 1899 Steam & Spirit is a fun little adventure game with quite a bit of potential. Everything takes place in a compact world that, despite its size, still has a rich flavor to it. The game's characters, while not detailed visually, have amusing personalities that emerge based on their short conversations. Players should find that most of the puzzles are fairly straight-forward, though some object combinations and interactions are a little more obscure. In typical old-school style, moving around the screen requires you to wait for Winston to walk around, which can be somewhat tiresome, especially when you have to revisit areas. Regardless, the game's episodic nature offers a nice bite size experience for adventure and escape game fans. In addition, as a technical presentation (which seems to work on iOS platforms) it shows that you don't always have to design games in Flash to get fun and robust gameplay. Want to make your next break your "finest hour"? Then "never surrender" and go full steam ahead with 1899 Steam & Spirit.