The Last Express Review
- Real-time events breathes life in to the murder-come-mystery thriller story.
- Little to no loss of quality on the audio track and visuals; as detailed and stylish as ever.
- Helpers nudge players in the right direction without ruining the intrigue.
- Navigation retains its quirkiness; highlighted areas only moderately help.
The Last Express may still be burdened by the click-through navigation that defined much of the genre in the past, but the marriage of gameplay and storyline remains pitch-perfect in this iOS adaption.
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In the world of Adventure titles, The Last Express is a sort of right-of-passage, especially as it puts a spin on the usual tropes of the genre by packing them in to a mystery-thriller that plays out in real-time. It should be no surprise that such a concept sprang from the mind of Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner, and despite its relative age it remains a shining example of how deeply gameplay and storytelling can be intertwined.
You play as Robert Cath, a young doctor thrown in to an intriguing plot of murder and mystery on the Orient Express. Once on board the train comes to life; its passengers move about in real-time and you’ll need to work out just why Tyler Whitney decided to bring his long-time friend Cath on board.
A lot can happen in the space of a few hours of gameplay and you won’t want to miss any of it, which is unfortunate as each decision you make will spiral out and affect how the game plays out - miss something critical and you’ll need to backtrack to work out what happened (or rather, is going to happen). This is easy enough thanks to the ability to rewind and fast-forward time, replaying events if you believe it will help. Alternatively, multiple game slots are available as well.
Despite DotEmu’s hand in re-releasing the title last year (2011), the iOS version still relies on the basic hot-spot system (albeit with handy highlights that you can turn on or off) that can make navigation a chore. While it may not take too long to mentally map most of the game’s locations, a genuine map indicating your orientation and relative location would have been extremely helpful, especially given the available screen-space on the iPad version.
Nevertheless, exploring the Orient Express, talking to its many passengers and staff, and becoming entangled in the plots weaved within makes for a fascinating playthrough that will keep you coming back for more. The stylized rotoscoped artwork retains its appeal despite the game’s relative age, making it hard to see any downside to picking up this Adventuring classic.
pros: Real-time events breathes life in to the murder-come-mystery thriller story. Little to no loss of quality on the audio track and visuals; as detailed and stylish as ever. Helpers nudge players in the right direction without ruining the intrigue.
DescriptionStep aboard the 1914 Orient Express in this award-winning mystery adventure from Prince of Persia creator Jordan Mechner, now for the first time on iOS!
JULY, 1914. With Europe on the brink of war, the luxurious Orient Express departs Paris for Constantinople, plunging American doctor Robert Cath into a maelstrom of treachery, romance, and international intrigue.
The Last Express is a complete, faithful iOS version of the internationally-acclaimed 1997 PC classic.
- 20+ hours of game play
- Interact with 30+ characters who behave like actual people on a train -- moving about in real-time and conversing in their native languages
- Eavesdrop on conversations, sneak into compartments, and uncover clues
- Explore a richly detailed, historically accurate 3D recreation of the 1914 Orient Express
- Your actions affect other characters’ behavior, making every play-through different
- Rewind feature allows you to back up to any point in the story and choose a different course of action
- Playable in 5 languages: English, French, German, Italian and Spanish
EXCLUSIVE ADDITIONAL FEATURES ONLY FOR iOS:
- Unlock challenging achievements that test your sleuthing skills
- Dynamic, 3-tiered hint system created specifically for iOS
- 20 unlockable character biographies
- Unlock cinematics to replay at any time
**** Reviews ! 90% on Metacritic ****
"The Last Express is just one of those games that adventure fans, or just fans of a good story, need to play." 4/4 - Slide To Play
"A shining example of how deeply gameplay and storytelling can be intertwined" 5/5 - AppSpy
"It's a piece of videogame history and a shining example of what can be done to create an experience so much more immersive than the Heavy Rains of today." - 8/10, Destructoid
“Exquisite design and a literary story. A thrilling ride.” – Newsweek
“The top adventure game… thumbs up by all ages and both genders.” – Family PC
“A masterpiece.” – Computer Games Strategy Plus
“Gripping… amazing… totally unique. The best adventure game I have ever played. Beautiful, skillfully crafted, and worth every penny and hour of your time.” – Games Domain Review
FOR MORE ABOUT THE LAST EXPRESS, VISIT:
What's New in Version 1.03- Fixed touch control issues
- Fully optimized for iPhone 5