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iPad  header logo

Abducted


For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Stockholm syndrome doesn't exist

Product: Abducted | Developer: Sunside Games | Publisher: Sunside Games | Format: iPad | Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Abducted iPad, thumbnail 1
I have severe internal injuries, but my magical space suit is juicing me up with enough drugs that I'm just about able to crawl around.

I think I might have died at some point in the not too distant past, and regenerated on a spiky tongue suspended high above the skin-coated floor of my living spaceship.

When you put it like that Abducted sounds like a pretty interesting game, but in practice it's less than the sum of its slightly delirious parts, scuttling around at a mundane pace when it feels like it should be rushing headlong in whatever direction it fancies.

Throw in some not-quite-right one-touch controls and an over-reliance on big chunks of poorly typed text to move the story along, and you're left with a point-and-click adventure that's more point-than-click.

Let me go

That's not to say that Abducted isn't entertaining. This is a rich science fiction tale wrapped around a selection of terminal hacking puzzles that does its utmost to make you feel alien.

Rivers of skin flow around multi-tentacled terminals, while a computer that looks like it's made out of bone fills in the gaps in your aeons-long memory.

You stumble around by tapping on the screen, and can interact with objects of interest by tapping on the glowing white circles that pop up near them.

There are glyphs to find that you need to input into a complex matching game to unlock doors, or you can play a Snake-style hacking game to open them instead.

Sometimes you can fire lasers out of your hands, or use the power of your mind to move certain objects. Other times you have a ruptured spleen, a punctured lung, and not very long to live.

The game is arrow-straight in its linearity, and tries to break up its glyph-finding, hack-performing core with some chase sequences, or platform-y stuff-dodging. It's here that the cracks in the control system really start to show.

Tap out

Having your tap misread when you're just trying to turn on an ancient organic computer is one thing, but when you're attempting to escape from the O-gobbed offspring of a backwards horse and a bonfire, and instead spring into its flailing arms, it can be a little annoying.

There's fun here, and some big, interesting narrative ideas, but the whole thing is tempered by frustration and repetition.
 
Abducted
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 23 December 2013
There are some signs of ingenuity and adventure in Abducted, but too often it gets lost in its own muddle of mechanics
 
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