Gemini Rue Review
- Watercolored backdrops combined with ambient sound and competent voice acting create an atmospheric world.
- The pacing between puzzles, action, and dialogue is excellent.
- Easy to use control system.
- Like the PC release, the combat feels a touch out of place.
- Reliant on pixel hunting.
When Gemini Rue was released on PC it was a wonderful throwback to the heyday of adventure games with new sensibilities and a fantastic narrative. The translation to iOS has not changed any of this.
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A few years ago Gemini Rue was released on PC to a lot of critical praise. A cyberpunk science fiction tale about a police officer named Azreal trying to locate his brother who is being held at some sort of deep space memory wiping and retraining facility, you play as both characters as the narrative unfolds towards a stunning climax that earns this title the mantle of one the most interesting adventure games to be released in years. Now it's on iOS! The trick with this review is not to discuss the merits of the game (basically if you like adventure games and haven't played this, you owe it to yourself to do so), but rather if it made the transition to touch interface well.
The game uses that old system of every object in the world that you can interact with having a title when you move your mouse over it. Obviously that is not possible on a touch screen, but there is a similar effect as you touch and move your finger around. Once you wish to interact with something, tapping it will bring up a menu with the commands to look, touch, talk, or kick (as well as your inventory right underneath). Tapping one of these will execute the desired command. While it may take a little longer to scan each location, interacting with this sub-menu is quick and painless, and as the puzzles in the game are not that taxing, you'll find yourself progressing through the story at a pleasant pace.
Fans of the game will probably wish to know about how the terminals and combat work on the touch screen. You discover information about people and places using computer terminals and their search functions. Instead of having to type, you can access your phone and drag names over to the search bar (and drag any results back to the bar for further information). Honestly this works better than using the keyboard on the PC release as you have no risk of misspelling a name or location. Now the combat is still a little weird, but the actions instead of being assigned to arbitrary keyboard keys are accessed by easy to read buttons at the bottom of the screen for entering and exiting cover, reloading, and firing your weapon. Combat is still one of the more odd aspects of the game (not completely feeling out of place, but a little tacked on), but the buttons do help make it more of a no hassle experience.
The atmospheric watercolor backgrounds and mostly engaging voice acting still do their job in creative an immersive world, and the game has this approach to building its world where you just know enough about things to be intrigued, but the history and current climate are never really spelled out for the player. The iOS controls keep the entire experience intact, so once again, if you enjoy adventure games, and haven't played Gemini Rue (or find the idea of a mobile version worth your time and money), you really should. This is an excellent port of an excellent adventure.
DescriptionPocket Gamer: Game of the Week "You'll rue the day you missed this one."
Kotaku "There's something comforting about the cold and dreary future of Wadjet Eye Games' Gemini Rue, the pixelated PC masterpiece now available on iOS."
Joystiq "Being able to play such a well-crafted interactive story on the go was an attractive option for me from the beginning, and Gemini Rue proves to be a great example of how the adventure genre can be adapted to a mobile platform. "
MacLife "If you like unspooling a good sci-fi detective story, Gemini Rue is well worth the investment. 4/5"
Edge Online "Gemini Rue is an accomplished homage that rivals the very titles that influenced it. 8/10"
Washington Times "It’s an old school masterpiece, requiring hours of game play that stimulates the brain rather than trigger finger."
App Spy "This is an excellent port of an excellent adventure. 4/5"
A sci-fi noir adventure in the tradition of "Blade Runner" and "Beneath a Steel Sky."
Azriel Odin, ex-assassin, arrives on the rain-drenched planet of Barracus. When things go horribly wrong, he can only seek help from the very criminals he used to work for.
Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a man called Delta-Six wakes up in a hospital with no memory. Without knowing where to turn or who to trust, he vows to escape before he loses his identity completely.
As fate brings these two closer together, we discover a world where life is cheap, identities are bought and sold, and a quest for redemption can change the fate of a whole galaxy.
Nominated for the 2010 IGF Student Showcase (as Boryokudan Rue) (Windows version)
AGS Awards 2011: Won Best Gameplay, Best Original Story, Best Player Character, Best Background Art, Best Character Art and Best Sound Effects (Windows version)
Aggies 2011: Won Best Story, Best Setting (Reader's Choice), Best Independent Adventure (Windows version)
What's New in Version 1.2Fixed bugs:
Games could not be reloaded if they were saved when a character was talking in the background.
Game crashed when looking at gas mask.
Grates in men’s living quarters were too small to tap.