Adventures of Robinson Crusoe
Based on the Defoe classic, Adventures of Robinson Crusoe is a game that straddles the now-familiar gap between hidden object and adventure genres. Young Robinson Crusoe was born to a merchant in the mid 1600s, but his heart belonged to the sea. After years of traveling the oceans, a storm ravages his vessel, stranding him on a deserted beach. His ship seems mostly intact, so Crusoe boards it in the hopes of finding food, supplies, and any surviving shipmates. It's your job to help the boy stay alive and repair the ship so he can find his way home.
Gameplay consists of the standard list of items alongside scenes filled with objects, your lone cursor tasked with hunting down the missing items. There are also a number of mini-games to be found (many of which can be skipped) along with some light inventory puzzles. Some scenes begin with a surprisingly fun "generic" item hunt where you are given goals such as "find all the mousetraps" or "locate 15 starfish". For some reason this out-of-the-norm thinking really livened up the game.
Each scene contains a number of sparkling hotspots that represent puzzles to be solved (which usually relate to blue items in your list) or sub-scenes you can explore. The first of these puzzles requests you find a "black seagull", though the only seagull on the screen is white. The solution? Grab a stick leaning against the ship, rub it inside the cannon to cover it in powder, then use it on the seagull to turn it black. Most inventory puzzles aren't as creative, but this one really sets the tone to get your mind wandering in later levels.
One nice inclusion in this game is the ability to play in one of two modes: Relaxed or Survivor. The former offers time-unlimited play and supplies you with ten hints to help you find those impossible items. Survivor mode cuts the hint roster down and times your game, but it really doesn't add to the challenge that much. Stick with Relaxed unless you really want to race against the clock.
Analysis: When you base your casual game on a classic tale, you'd better get at least two things right: story, and atmosphere. Adventures of Robinson Crusoe happens to do just that, providing ample audio and visual appeal while delivering a rather faithful interpretation of the Defoe novel that will delight fans of the book without alienating anyone who hasn't read it.
On the down side of things, Adventures of Robinson Crusoe is a rather short game, consisting of six chapters that will take you just over half as many hours to complete. The locations are varied, including a forest, temple, swamp and more, but you'll blaze through at such a speed you'll barely have time to take in the scenery.
A great story, engaging puzzles, and a delicious setting, Adventures of Robinson Crusoe delivers a superb hidden object experience.