Gemini Rue Review

By , on April 13, 2013
Last modified 10 years, 10 months ago

Gemini Rue
Download on the AppStore
4 out of 5


  • 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.


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