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iPhone  header logo

Inbetween Land

For: iPhone   Also on: iPad

Middle of the road

Product: Inbetween Land | Developer: Specialbit Studios | Publisher: G5 Entertainment | Format: iPhone | Genre: Adventure, Casual, Puzzle | Players: 1 | Version: Europe | App version: 1.0
 
Inbetween Land iPhone, thumbnail 1
Look out that window next to you and imagine that where there was empty sky before there's now a giant floating island. Now imagine that it's deserted, and that looters have started ransacking it of its treasures.

Your friend Mary begins to become obsessive about the island, hoarding as many artefacts as possible. One day she vanishes, and you're drawn to the island to explore its ominously quiet halls and uncover the mysteries that lay within.

That would be an interesting premise for a Myst-style adventure, wouldn't it? Well that's what you get with Inbetween Land, and since it's G5 Entertainment at the helm there's some lacklustre hidden object-finding thrown into the mix too.

Why are they still called point-and-click adventures on a touchscreen device?

It's your typical point-and-click adventure on mobile: you're presented with a single screen per location, and you tap on areas of interest to either collect an item, use an item in your inventory, or initiate a puzzle.

The art is detailed and painterly, with an uncluttered and swift-moving UI, though animated sequences are few in number, stilted in movement, and accompanied by generic sound and music.

The number of items you can interact with is streamlined to just those that move the game forward - there's no option to simply look at an object for the sake of curiosity, or to learn more about your surroundings.

The places you visit are devoid of life by design, but the rich surroundings are made to feel like lifeless backdrops because of this lack of interaction.

The upside to this paucity of incidental detail is that it lets you get through the adventure swiftly, and the option to turn on markers that hover over everything that can be investigated helps too.

Once you're done with a section of the room you're in, you can't interact with it again, which is yet another feature that keeps the pace brisk - especially for a point-and-click adventure game.

Mystified

Inbetween Land isn't an especially tricky adventure. The puzzles are all of the sliding tile / press buttons in the right order / memorise this pattern / combine these objects variety. There's not a lot of invention to be found here, but everything works as advertised. When you really get stuck - there's a particularly fiendish bit with a book shelf - you can skip the puzzle entirely with the generous hint system.

Aside from exploring the island and solving conundrums - like you might do in a Riven or one of the later Zork titles - there are hidden-object sequences to pick through, and this is the weakest area of the game. You find objects within a scene to check them off a collection list shown at the bottom of the screen. These then combine into a larger object to use in that same scene.

There's a lack of consistency to the precision with which you need to tap on these objects: some have generous halos of touchable material around them, while some are miniscule and difficult to skewer. This aspect of the game feels superfluous, and slows it down.

Inbetween Land is slickly constructed, but lifeless presentation and a generally empty atmosphere let it down. Fans of G5's hidden-object games may enjoy its adventure elements, but fans of adventure games will be disappointed by the relatively shallow gameplay and the occasional distraction of having to find objects.
 
Inbetween Land
Reviewer photo
Peter Willington | 14 February 2013
A good choice for the hardcore casual adventurer, but those expecting a revelatory experience like that found in Cyan Worlds's best may well come away disappointed
 
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