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1112, Episode 1

For: iPhone

Tune in next time

Product: 1112 episode 01 | Developer: Agharta Studio | Format: iPhone | Genre: Adventure | Players: 1 | Version: US | App version: 1.1.0
1112 episode 01 iPhone, thumbnail 1
Ordinary activities are always better when you do them with a friend who has a unique personality. A simple thing like having a cup of coffee can either be a terrible bore or totally entertaining given the right company. Characters, after all, make things interesting. 1112, Episode 1 brings together an intriguing cast that nearly makes up for its mundane activities.

Placing you in the role of antique-peddler Louis Everett, the introductory episode of 1112 chronicles a seemingly ordinary day in his life. The daily rigmarole involves crawling out of bed for work, dealing with an uptight assistant, and keeping on his best behaviour around his secret smoker wife.

You can sense Louis's disenchantment with his situation, a theme conveyed through conversations with other characters and in how he responds to your prompts through the course of play. More than this, he's experiencing enigmatic dreams that match the dark tone of his disappointment.

Nuances, like Louis's aforementioned anxiety, characterise the story to a disproportionate extent. This first episode of 1112 succeeds in introducing a cast of compelling characters, yet there's virtually no plot. From start to finish, your time is spent completing mundane tasks such as fixing a boiler, piecing together a report, and locating car keys.

A quiet brilliance can be extracted from the careful reference to Louis's internal struggles; even greater is the way which the game explores its characters in the tradition of mid-century prose.

Much like John Steinbeck's Cannery Row and Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, Ohio, 1112 chooses not to tell a story so much as to evoke a sense of this unusual community. Here is an adventure measured not in puzzles and plot, but in the depth of its characters.

It's often a challenge inferring what characters mean, though, due to poor translation. Several of the colloquialisms uttered in conversation are done improperly or are just plain wrong. Better localisation is a must for future episodes.

The slide-screen tutorial is indispensible before starting a new game. Without going through the help menu and reading through the five topics there, you're dropped right into the game without any clue how to navigate and interact with the surroundings.

The puzzles aren't particularly difficult because they revolve around daily tasks. You always know what needs to be done, yet how to go about doing it can be tricky. Many mechanics of gameplay are difficult to decipher without going through the help menu first.

Because of its phenomenal presentation and narrative sophistication, 1112 deserves praise. It's difficult to fall completely in love with it because of its rather mundane setting, yet as the first episode of a highly artistic adventure this is a promising introduction.
1112, Episode 1
Reviewer photo
Tracy Erickson | 12 December 2008
1112, Episode 1 is more than just the first of a series, it's an introduction to one of the finest adventure games in years
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