Online, Feb 2021
The premise of The Island is that you’re sole survivor of a plane crash, stranded on a mysterious tropical island and trying to contact rescuers. The setting has a resemblance to the show Lost, even if right now the idea of being on a plane in the tropics seems the most fantastical element in it!
This game follows the now well-established format where each screen presents you with a puzzle, and the solution is a code that unlocks the next page. The puzzles follow a narrative sequence, providing variety in both setting and puzzle style.
Each step has a graded sequence of hints culminating in the answer, a good system with the drawback that it’s easy to accidentally mouse-over a hint or the solution and reveal a spoiler you didn’t want – it would be a lot safer if the game made you click to vote a hint.
Not all of the puzzles were to my taste. One in particular seemed both laborious and a bit too reliant on external knowledge or lucky guesswork; with another, we’d followed the instructions correctly but struggled to tell what the result was, partly because the answer looked like it should be a recognisable word but wasn’t.
Puzzle purists may be more put off by those than beginners; and a willingness to resort to the hints sooner than later may make it a smoother experience. On the plus side it’s cheerful, accessible and self-contained; and if you come prepared to forgive some weaker puzzles, it’s not hard to enjoy the rest.
Disclaimer: We played this game on a complementary basis. This does not influence the review or rating.