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

Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure

Ephemerid: A Musical Adventure

It might be just as short as the lifespan of a real mayfly, but Ephemerid definitely lives up to its claims of being a musical adventure. The handcrafted visuals are charming and the soundtrack is something that you will want to listen to again and again. Don’t let its length and the fact that it was originally an iOS title deter you from experiencing this captivating title. Gameplay: Not very challenging, but it will put a smile on your face and is very relaxing. Graphics: Beautiful handcrafted visuals and plenty of unique scenes. Sound: The soundtrack is filled with some exceptionally good tunes.

Penumbra: Black Plague

Penumbra: Black Plague

Black Plague focusses on the best parts of the original game (the creepy atmosphere and physics based puzzles) while trimming the worst parts (the combat) making it a better experience overall. Playing the original is still required to make the most out of it and it is a little on the short side but it made me jump quite a few times which is commendable. Gameplay: Removing combat ramps up the atmosphere considerably. Graphics: Better looking and featuring more detail than the original. Sound: Solid voice acting and lots of creepy ambience.

XBlaze Code: Embryo

XBlaze Code: Embryo

XBlaze: Code Embryo is set in the same universe as the BlazBlue fighting titles, but no prior knowledge is required to enjoy the story. The game features an intriguing storyline and multiple endings, but reading news articles to influence the path you take is a little confusing at first. Once you figure out the system, it is a lot of fun though, and the stylish visuals as well as great soundtrack make it easy to recommend. Gameplay: A typical visual novel with a rather unusual system for choosing your path to the multiple endings. Graphics: Not a lot of animation, but very detailed and colorful. Sound: Plenty of music tracks and some great Japanese voice acting as well.

BeatBlasters III

BeatBlasters III

BeatBlasters III shows a lot of imagination but has the gameplay to back up the wacky plot. The developers have gone for a quality over quantity approach with each level looking totally unique. It takes a while to get used to the controls but using a controller makes a big difference. If you are looking for an interesting fusion of platforming, puzzle solving and rhythm based action then grab yourself a copy. Gameplay: A very interesting fusion of genres. Graphics: The 2D visuals are packed with detail and imagination. Sound: The music is not my favorite genre but it matches the theme of the game.

Kyn

Kyn

While Kyn isn’t perfect and suffers from some bland characters and a story that fails to captivate, it is still an impressive offering considering that it is the work of mostly two developers. It features plenty of strategic, but action-packed combat, a wealth of equipment to craft and plenty of well-designed maps. Fans of older party-based games, like Icewind Dale will feel right at home with Kyn. Gameplay: Kyn offers a single player, party based combat experience with plenty of action. Graphics: Varied levels and plenty of detail. Sound: No voice acting, but the soundtrack is great.

Little Inferno

Little Inferno

While Little Inferno is not a game in the strictest sense of the word, it does provide a very interesting experience. There isn't much of a challenge beyond finding the correct combination of things to burn, but the eerie story and polished visuals might just suck you in. Perfect for those cold winter evenings. Gameplay: Simple but strangely relaxing. Graphics: Stylish and polished. Sound: Very eerie.

Leave a comment

four + eight =