Left in the Dark: No One on Board
Gameplay 6
Graphics 6
Sound 5

Left In The Dark: No One On Board is yet another hidden object puzzle adventure with a supernatural storyline and some spooky locations to explore. Unfortunately, it faces some stiff competition and feels a bit lacking compared to other similar titles in terms of puzzles and hidden object scenes. It is certainly not a bad game, but being short and average definitely counts against it when there are so many other titles sharing the same genre. Only considering picking it up if you are a big fan of the genre or find it on sale at a great price.

Gameplay: The story failed to really grip us and feels a bit generic.

Graphics: Decent enough artwork, but not that really sets it apart from similar titles.

Sounds: The music is unmemorable and some of the dialog sounds very unconvincing

Summary 5.7 Above Average
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

Left in the Dark: No One on Board

Developer: Moonrise Interactive | Publisher: Artifex Mundi | Release Date: 2013 | Genre:Hidden Object / Casual | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

There is trouble brewing in the small town of Port Providence. A ship thought to be lost at sea suddenly reappeared in the harbor, but with without any crew or cargo on board. Since people are rightfully freaked out by this occurrence and there is talk of a curse hanging over the town the mayor decides to enlist the aid of a private detective. Stepping into the late 19th century boots of the private detective, it is your job to uncover the mysteries of Port Providence and figure out what the connection is with a place called Devil’s Island. Unfortunately, it would seem that not everyone would like you to solve the case, especially not the hooded figure with the hook hand that begins stalking you.

Left In The Dark: No One On Board is another hidden object puzzle adventure from Artifex Mundi, but for this one they handled the publishing duties while the game itself was developed by Moonrise Interactive. This is quite obvious as the game lacks some of the care and polish that we have come to expect from Artifex Mundi. The fact that the game was first released in 2013 might account for some of the issues, but not all of them are related to age. Left In The Dark is a fairly typical HOPA, so if you have played any other title in the genre you will know exactly what to expect. Your tour of the different areas that make up Port Providence and its surroundings take the form of static screens where you’ll find either puzzles, hidden object scenes or inventory items. Most, if not all, of the puzzles in this game are of the simple and straightforward variety and shouldn’t take long to complete for anyone. In the unlikely event that you do struggle the puzzle scenes can be skipped. We strongly recommend not doing so as the game is already very short and bypassing the puzzles will leave you staring at the end credits in no time.

The hidden object scenes don’t fare much better and while there is nothing wrong with them we didn’t encounter any scenes that really stood out either. For the most part you’ll be presented with a list of pirate items or creepy animals that must be uncovered in the jumble of objects shown on your screen. Virtually all of these scenes are featured twice, albeit with a new list of objects to find, and there are no mini-game alternatives either as in other Artifex Mundi games. Sadly the game doesn’t feature the usual bonus chapter either, which is a pity as the story leaves a lot of things unexplained. Despite featuring a hook handed hooded figure, abandoned ship and ghostly girl that frequently pops up, we didn’t find the story particularly engaging either.

Visually the game looks decent, but unspectacular. Some of the hand drawn scenes look really detailed while others appear fuzzy and empty. Thankfully you are not required to do a lot of backtracking and the map system makes traveling around less of a chore. Left In The Dark only features a handful of major locations, which include the harbor, ship and a few areas of interest on Devil’s Island. Of course, these all have numerous different rooms and corners to explore, but combined with the short length of the game, it feels a bit limited. The audio is similarly average with background music that is decent, but unmemorable and voice acting that is a bit uneven in places. We have to admit that the game features plenty of ambient sound effects that breathes a bit of life into some areas, but some of these repeat way too many times which lessens their impact. The interface is standard HOPA fare, so if you’ve played one before you’ll feel right at home. If not, a handy tutorial at the start of your adventure will teach you all the basics.

With so many good HOPA games on the market, many of them by Artifex Mundi, it is hard to recommend a title that is as unremarkable as Left In The Dark. The story feels like a mishmash of different movies while the puzzles and hidden object scenes are all of the “been there, done that” variety. If you are new to the genre and haven’t played a lot of other HOPA games before there is certainly fun to be had here, but for everyone else, it is probably something you should grab when it is on sale and there are no other similar titles unplayed in your library.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • Sound Card: 2 GHz
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space

Related posts

Assassin’s Creed® Revelations

Assassin's Creed® Revelations

While not quite the "revelation" that I was hoping for, this game does tie up the stories of Altair and Ezio. Not much has changed gameplay wise and the story is not the best in the series but the game is still very entertaining. It is definitely not for newcomers to the series as the story is a direction continuation of Brotherhood but it does fill the gap until Assassin's Creed 3. Gameplay: Pretty much the same as Brotherhood. Graphics: Not bad but the colours are a bit dull. Sound: Good voice acting and atmospheric music.

Always Remember Me

Always Remember Me

Always Remember Me has the distinction of being the first Otome Game on Steam, so how much you enjoy it will depend very much on whether you like the genre or not. The story is interesting, but the focus is more on training stats which can result in repetition, especially after multiple playthroughs. For an older game, Always Remember Me still holds up well and it is quite a relaxing experience, so if you are in the mood for something different it is worth seeking out. Gameplay: The focus is more on juggling stats than interacting with the characters. Graphics: The artwork still holds up well. Sound: The soundtrack is decent, but the speech snippets can start to become repetitive.

Crimsonland

Crimsonland

If you played Crimsonland before, the updated version is definitely a nostalgic blast from the past. It still has enough to offer new players as well with a multitude of modes, weapons, perks and achievements to keep things interesting. As long as you don't expect a deep plot or anything beyond killing every monster in sight you will have fun with Crimsonland. Gameplay: A simple, yet addictive top down shooter which is enhanced with some great perks. Graphics: Improved over the original version, but still pretty basic. Sound: Suits the game nicely, but doesn't really stand out.

Cho Dengeki Stryker All Ages Version

Cho Dengeki Stryker All Ages Version

Cho Dengeki Stryker is a visual novel that is packed to the brim with great visuals, awesome audio and an engaging storyline. You’ll encounter a few clichés and plot holes, but overall the storyline is stellar and very engaging. It is also much longer than most visual novels and the additional routes boosts the replay value dramatically. If you are a fan of the genre you owe it to yourself to check this game out. Gameplay: Thanks to an engaging storyline and great characters this visual novel is definitely worth the investment in time and money. Graphics: The resolution is a little low, but the artwork and animations are top notch. Sound: The voice acting is superb and there are tons of audio tracks.

Queen’s Quest: Tower of Darkness

Queen's Quest: Tower of Darkness

Queen’s Quest: Tower of Darkness is a decent enough hidden object puzzle adventure starring a royal heiress on the trail of an evil sorcerer who kidnapped her infant daughter. The colorful and detailed artwork is certainly very eye-catching, but the animations could have used a bit more work. The story never really takes off either, but there are plenty of hidden object scenes and mini-games to sink your teeth into. While far from the best that the genre has to offer, Queen’s Quest has its heart in the right place and can still provide an entertaining experienced, provided you don’t expect too much from it. Gameplay: The story and puzzles are a little lacking, but there are plenty of hidden object scenes and mini-games. Graphics: Colorful and detailed, but the character animations are a little off. Sound: Decent enough for the most part, but some of the voice overs could have been much better.

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition

Ask fans of the genre to name some of their favorite classic point & click adventure titles from the nineties and you can be sure that the name Gabriel Knight will crop up. Thanks to the dark and mature nature of the game it is perhaps not as well-known as the family friendly Lucasarts titles, but offered an experience that was memorable to say the least. From the voodoo steeped setting of New Orleans to the cast of memorable characters and enthralling storyline, Gabriel Knight was, no make that IS, a bona fide classic. Gameplay: A great version of a classic game. Graphics: Not perfect, especially the animations, but very good overall. Sound: The new voices take a while to get used to, but the soundtrack is superlative.

Leave a comment

four × two =