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For: iPad   Also on: Android, iPhone

Exploration at its finest

Product: Hiversaires | Developer: David Mondou-Labbe | Publisher: David Mondou-Labbe | Format: iPad | Genre: Adventure, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe
Hiversaires iPad, thumbnail 1
Point-and-click adventures might have been made for tablets, and the rise of these devices has seen a renaissance in the genre. Not all of the resulting games are stellar, but every so often an unheralded masterpiece appears.

Despite being made in the space of a couple of months by one man, illustrator and programmer Devine Lu Linvega, Hiversaires is a finely crafted adventure game that just needs to be played.

Maximising minimalism

Hiversairies strips away everything you'd expect from a puzzle game, or from any game for that matter.

Set inside a mysterious labyrinth-esque facility, it sees you navigating a world of portals, doors, and symbols to find your way to the end.

On paper it sounds a bit like Kairo, but Hiversaires is more like Myst, in that it contains mind-bending puzzles which often cause you to overthink in situations where the simple and obvious solution is staring you in the face.

Controls are as simple as walking forwards and turning left and right. This is a little restrictive at first, as it limits your movements to a set path, but once you get used to it the prospect of navigating any other way around such an environment seems weird.

Lu Linvega's illustration skills are incredibly clear thanks to the game's bold minimalist artwork. It's striking and memorable, with sharp lines and crisp whites drawing parallels with Alexander Bruce's Antichamber.

If that weren't enough, the ambient soundtrack - once again created by Lu Linvega under his musical pseudonym Aliceffekt - looms in the background, moving you through this entirely text-less world.

That's right - you won’t find a single piece of text in Hiversaires telling you what to do, where to go, or even how to play. It's there for you to discover through exploration.

Pen and paper

Hiversaires isn't the longest of games, but because you'll become stuck more than once you'll rarely notice as you draw out your playing time racking your brain to discover the correct path or sequence of actions.

Sitting down with a pen and paper will certainly alleviate the frustration, but that's not always possible when you're on the go. In any case, it never gets bad enough to ruin your experience.

If you're easily frustrated or require direction then you may want to look elsewhere. But if you want to experience something new and you're not afraid of a challenge then Hiversaires comes highly recommended.
Reviewer photo
Vaughn Highfield | 28 May 2013
A refreshingly different approach to exploratory puzzle games that's sure to divide opinion, but this is one Android gem you just have to play
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