Lost Horizon (PC DVD)
- Deep and involving storyline with many twists and turns.
- Experience exotic locations as you travel the globe.
- Tons of puzzles and mysteries to be solved.
- Handcrafted visuals create a unique masterpiece.
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- Platform: Windows XP / Vista
- Media: DVD-ROM
1936: Nazis are searching the world for occult weapons to support them in their mad plans of conquest.
When Fenton, a former British soldier and luckless smuggler, is asked to go on a quest for a lost expedition in Tibet, he has no idea that this search will take him across three different continents to a secret that could overturn the world.
Top customer reviews
Lost Horizon is your classic 3rd person point & click adventure game. Story + puzzles + inventory items = progress, yet LH is head & shoulders above allot of adventure games of this type that i have played over the past 7 years or so, and hopefully my review will reveal why. Set during the 1930's around a time where the Nazi's are searching for mythical weapons/objects to help them crush their enemies, you see where this is getting like Indiana Jones, yes ? well thats part of it anyway.
LH story starts off somewhere in Tibet around 1936, in a Monestery, where some British soliders(unkown to them) & the protectors of an unkown weapon, kept secret for so long, are under attack from Nazi forces, to gain control of this weapon & use it to crush their enemies. However things dont go quite to plan for the Countess, a German scientist in charge of gathering these mytical objects, as our games hero has something to say about that, his name...Fenton Paddock. Visualy Fenton looks almost identical to the iconic Indiana Jones character, minus the Fedora hat & whip of course, plus he is an ex-british solider. Kind of like the british version of Broken Swords lead Broken Sword: Trilogy (PC DVD), Geroge Stobbart, witty, cocky & yet a more charming character, along the lines of say 007's James Bond. Fenton, dismissed from the army years ago due to a tragic set of events, is now a smuggler(Hans solo type) who has found himself in toruble with the Hong Kong triads due to his new line of work. and after a lucky escape, is asked by his old commanding officer to go on the search for Fenton's best old friend, Richard. Who, as luck would have it, was at the Monestery at the time of the attack. So Fenton would do anything for his friend, and so off he sets into the unkown.
LH really does offer us a mixed bag of puzzles to solve, and in different ways. We have the basic inventory items to use & combine, which in this game are a nice assortment of items & ideas for using them(some new to me, and the biggest frozen leather strap EVER! ;-)). Some mini game puzzles, like putting broken items back togher, putting tiles in order & re-connecting wires correctly by following the spaghetti leads etc.. but one other thing, inkeeping with the Indiana Jones theme, is that there are a couple of interactive cut scenes early on, like for example an early car chase, where while the action is going on, we have to solve with objects at hand & switching between characters(switching objects between them as well), how to disable the pursuing car(not timed, but still good fun).The 2nd one was hilarious, but sadly that was it, as there werent anymore of these Interactive cut scenes in the game. Also note this switching between characters & objects between them also occurs during some parts of the regular game too.
Visualy the game goes for a Broken Sword, cartoonish look, but dont be put off, as it is done superbly with immense detail to the enviroments & objects. The sound & voice acting is very good & gives the game that extra bit of beliveability & fun, i did recognise some of the voice actors, and i am pretty sure one of them was from Dragon Age Origins(Fentons mechanic?). The game does offer us conversational options too, mostly pre set options where you just click your desired response/question, the 2nd or so conversation in the game did have 2 different outcomes depending on the approach style you took, but after that it was pretty much pre set selections, and no different outcomes that i noticed myself(maybe it was too time consuming & they removed the idea in the final game?).
Other things to note, the games manual seemed oddly chunky when i removed it form the box. The reason being is that the front & first few pages upto about halfway are run of the mill stuff about installing the game, gameplay & some game notes with nice, hand drawn, pictures of the games characters. Then if you flip the maual back to front, marked "Top Secret", it has a detailed walkthrough with pictures, of how to get through the first hour or so of the game, nice touch. Another nice touch was the games start menu, which is presented in the form of an 1930's style cinema, hovering the mouse over the main doors would be the option to start a new game, and the windows other game options. As well as cars moving back & fourth past the building, a nice touch i thought compared to the more straight forward approach. Anyway, it goes to show love, care & allot of thought have gone into this game all round.
In conclusion, i am finding Lost Horizon a real joy to play compared to some more hit & miss ones. It just gives you that feeling of you cannot wait to find out what happens next. The puzzles are a great mixture & really good all round, although a few objects can be too difficult to find imo, i am playing without game help, and i needed to turn it on at least once so far, and use a walkthrough one time too. And apart form that niggle, the game has run smoothly, its humour is a real treat along the way that will keep you smiling & bursting with laughter in some places. A little bonus at the end of the game after the credits, on the main menu you unlock the picture above the Cinema. You can watch how the game looked while in production back in 2008, and the different ideas for the characters they had, but also, we can play some unseen parts of the game from Kim's view(although this bonus is in German sadly). There is also a bonus mini puzzle to solve & you can replay the final scene of the game again if you want. A great adventure, highly reccomended.
Graphically, Lost Horizon doesn't break any boundaries but it's pleasant to look at, and on the whole, the voice acting is performed well.
I would recommend this to fans of the point and click adventure genre. I also found that it took elements from the Indiana Jones movies (Raiders of the Lost Ark in particular) and the story/some scenes were reminiscent of the old Sierra/Dynamix game 'Heart of China.' Worth a look!
What I love about Lost Horizon:
- Great music and voice acting
- Solid, engaging "Indiana Jones"-style plot
- Lovely graphics
- Fun, challenging puzzles
- Lots of objects to collect and plenty of object interaction
- Intuitive gameplay / controls
- Classic viewpoint (no dizzying 3D camera-panning as seen so often in modern games)
- No infuriating pixel-hunts - plus there's a "reveal all hotspots" feature which spares a lot of headaches!
- The ability to skip dialog (in a game this good, I haven't wanted to skip anything - but my laptop crashed during a 2hr session before I had remembered to save, so it was wonderful to be able to speed back to where I had been cut off. The ability to skip really helps me to invest in a game; when it's not there, I tend to become claustrophobic, especially if the dialogue is bad)
-Non-linear gameplay (I recently played Black Mirror III and the characters told me every action I needed to complete. What's the point of having a puzzle to solve if the game will do it for you?! It felt like the entire game was a walkthrough! Lost Horizon is NOT like that: it respects the intelligence of the player)
All of the above would have been plenty for me to give this game 5 stars.
However, there's an additional quality that is worth noting: the game his head and shoulders above most in terms of political correctness. Our hero, Fenton Paddock, meets people from all walks of life - in China, Tibet, Morocco and Germany - and there's a distinct awareness on the part of the game's designers to avoid cheesy stereotypes. Yes, many of the accents are done by non-native actors, but the dialogue and personalities within the game show a sense of social intelligence that I haven't seen in many games before this. Often, there are such heavy-handed caricatures on display in videogames that I spend more time cringing than solving puzzles... but there's something warm and very real about "Lost Horizon". Alongside the callous, somewhat cartoonish Nazi villains, there are ordinary Germans going about their day. In Morocco, Fenton meets kind and friendly locals, and he treats them as peers rather than "infidels" (though he does use that term sarcastically, at one point! It highlighted the developers' reluctance to typecast their characters). In short: it's REFRESHING.
If I could want for anything, it would be a couple of extra puzzles thrown in, but that's a minor quibble in such an outstanding game.
Lost Horizon is such a pleasure to play. You can collect objects even before you know why you need them - I hate when games won't let you do that! - and there is plenty of independent decision-making rather than prescribed actions. The result is a game that is exciting, challenging and refreshingly forward-thinking. Here's hoping this is the start of a Renaissance for point-and-click adventures.
Buy it! You won't regret it.
Oh, and if you can tell me about any games that feature my favourite aspects as listed above, let me know in case I haven't played them yet! Off the top of my head, I've played Grim Fandango, Sanitarium, the Monkey Island games, Syberia, the Black Mirror trilogy, all the Broken Sword games, Post Mortem I & II, Drawn I & II. Something modern, along the lines of Lost Horizon would be a real treat! To developers: Interface is KEY. :)
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I have been playing point + click adventure games since the first Monkey Island, and Simon The Sorcerer, and Lost Horizon is without a doubt one of...Read more