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iPad  header logo

Eliza's Quest


For: iPad   Also on: iPhone

Hopefully lost

Product: Eliza's Quest | Developer: Shu Pui Ko | Format: iPad | Genre: Adventure, Puzzle, Retro | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
 
Eliza's Quest iPad, thumbnail 1
Eliza's Quest is a bizarre game.

It's part-book, part-idea-linking adventure, and part-head-mashingly frustrating battle of wits with a sullen and uncooperative AI.

During a strange interview between a patient who thinks she's a doctor and a research student pretending to be a patient, you have to uncover a series of secrets held by Eliza, and find out more about her relationship with an absconded friend.

You type your questions into the game's own keyboard, and green text responses appear on the screen above. More often than not, though, the answer leaves you more mystified than you were before.

Type to search

The game takes place across two different screens. One is an incomplete report on part of Eliza's history. There are around 30 blanks to fill in, so it's up to you to find the right words to put in those places.

The second screen contains the featureless typewriter keyboard and the green text screen where the questioning happens. The keyboard isn't super-responsive and there aren't any punctuation options, making your questions and responses look ungainly.

And that's probably the best way to describe the AI with which you're trying to have a conversation. You need the right words in just the right way to elicit a useful response. Quite often, though, you're poking around in the dark hoping to land on something useful.

That's not to say there aren't some good ideas here. There are certainly intriguing themes running through Eliza's Quest. And it asks you to go out of the game and do your own research to find answers to some of its riddles.

Heavy looking

This is a cumbersome, unwieldy sort of a game. It demands precision, but never explains the specific type of precision for which it's looking. That makes for a frustrating experience, albeit one that's dappled with moments of entertainment.

You might find yourself swirling around blind, bashing digital keys in a mild fury as you try and coax a sensible, useful answer out of Eliza. But there's a strange drive to get to the end of the conversation and find out what all the fuss is about.

It's not polished, it's not well put together, and a lot of people will be put off by its obstinate obfuscation. Saying that, there's still a vaguely rewarding old-school text adventure here that has a couple of redeeming features.
 
Eliza's Quest
Reviewer photo
Harry Slater | 27 May 2014
A vaguely interesting game wrapped in an ugly shell, Eliza's Quest offers a little, but not enough to really recommend
 
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