Shardlight (iOS) Review

By David Jennings 08.03.2017

Review for Shardlight on iOS

The post-apocalypse world of Shardlight comes to mobile. Can this well received PC point-and-click adventure title make the jump successfully to mobile? The team once again works through the clues to get to the bottom of this world gone mad classic gem from the same publisher that brought the Blackwell series to life. Cubed3 took a look at the PC edition of Shardlight last year, and came away satisfied, but just because a game works perfectly on one system doesn't necessarily mean it can translate onto other devices quite so well…

By adventure game specialists WadjetEye Games, Shardlight is set in a world that has been utterly torn apart by conflict. If it isn't weapons or beings causing death amongst those trying to rebuild their lives in this world, then it will more than likely be the disease known as Green Lung that is causing those infected to perish. A disease that the lead character, Amy Wellard, is showing signs of having. Cue a series of events and plot twists that could determine if she is to succeed.

Screenshot for Shardlight on iOS

In terms of overall appearance, this game has made a very good jump from the PC to mobile. Staying with the classic side-view of adventure titles through the ages, the backdrops and character sprites are lovingly paraded on smaller screens. For those new to the genre, you must use finger to guide the character around, looking out for clues and objects, tapping a finger on anything that could seem to be of interest in order to solve the game's many mysteries and puzzles. From the off, the game offers little in the manner of a tutorial, which could leave those with a keen interest in fast-paced titles quickly heading to the home button so that they can hastily remove Shardlight from their devices. Those that have at least some interest in the genre, however, should push past the relatively slow start as the story develops at a much better rate as progress is made.

The sounds of this nightmare landscape are very impressive. The voice acting, too, is spot on. As the game progresses, the audio on offer can provide players with an additional 'push' as the story from time to time wanes a little, providing further evidence that mobile gaming can be as dramatic as PC and console releases.

Screenshot for Shardlight on iOS

The meat and bones of this genre, however, are all about the looking and discovering of items and objects that litter each screen, and this is the element that would make or break this port. Whilst playing on an iPad, or other similar larger screen device, may not suffer quite as much, but the iPhone version, of which this review is based upon, really does struggle. The discovery of key elements is very difficult indeed. On more than the odd occasion, the location of some items can be very difficult, and in some cases almost downright impossible, for as wonderful as this title looks at face value, some of the elements that must be discovered to move on can be very hard to spot in general, and nigh on impossible on phones.

Luckily, by pressing and holding a finger on the screen, this reveals the location of every touchable object currently on display, allowing for finding everything required in the end. This would be fine if only required a mere handful of times, yet the continuous usage of this mechanic has to beg the question of is the spirit of the game being zapped by an inability to spot what's required by simply looking hard enough around the environment?

Screenshot for Shardlight on iOS

Without a doubt, there is a very good game here. While the story could have done with a little more work, the audio is spot on, as is the general presentation. The performance when running on the iPhone is perfectly fine, with no crashes or technical difficulties spotted during the playthrough. The step down from a monitor to a smaller screen may not have ruined the visuals from a general overview, however, the almost 'invisibility' of some of the key clues and useable objects make for, at times, a frustrating experience that sadly, albeit perhaps not at the complete fault of the studio, ruins the flow of the adventure. Try to not make use of the 'show all interactive' mechanic too frequently if you can, for a more rewarding - if somewhat frustrating - experience.

Screenshot for Shardlight on iOS

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

Shardlight is an adventure tale well worth delving into by a studio that really knows how to handle the genre, but despite being well received on PC, it needed to stay that way, definitely being suited more to a mouse and a monitor than a mobile screen and a finger, sadly, due to the inability to find key objects easily in the surroundings. This is a great one for the more patient of gamers out there...or just grab the PC edition instead, which is easily superior.

Developer

Grundislav Games

Publisher

Wadjet Eye Games

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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