Name: 1112 Episode 3
Developer: Agharta Studio
Publisher: Agharta Studio
Platform: iPhone (reviewed), iPad
Release: 25 August 2011
Quite frankly, iOS games are not known for their beauty, complexity or thought-inducing gameplay. Usually, iOS games are like that easy chick who dances on tables, drinks colourful shots, would probably flash you for a high five, and cheers every time anything happens. There’s nothing wrong with that; loud, interactive fun is good. However, next to the deep, rich atmosphere of 1112, other iOS games pale in comparison. You can put other iOS games down after a while, when you need to eat, or go somewhere, or stop ignoring work, or sleep. 1112 simply won’t be put down. And you won’t stop thinking about it.
As in previous episodes, you are Louis, a possibly psychotic guy with giant gaps in his memory and an eerie atmosphere to rival most suspense movies. This is a plot-driven game and the plot keeps you on edge. You’re back in the backwater town of Jalonsville, which for some reason has like ten people living there in total, and you don’t know how or why and oh man six months has passed and your house and store is vandalised and your girl’s gone and OH MY GOD WHAT IS THAT SOUND.
Seriously. The atmosphere of this game is so thick that it doesn’t matter if you’re playing it on an iPhone, you get sucked right in and you remain there for the entire game. But I won’t go into the plot too much, as it is such a strongly plot-driven game the fun is it discovering it for yourself.
The click-and-play is a great throw back, since they seem to have disappeared, and it made me all nostalgic. Although, after a while you tend to start carefully dragging the magnifying glass over every inch of rooms trying to find that one thing that you’ve missed so that you can move forward to the next part.
The game requires patience and care, which is lacking in a lot of recent games that have been coming out. You need to spend time in each room to try and find out if there’s anything that could come in handy later on. Spotting a random interactive object sitting in the corner could be the difference between you feeling accomplished and wanting to throw your iPhone across the room.
The controls are fairly easy to get used to, although there is no explanation as to what is what I think that’s probably due to the fact that it is the third episode in a series and they expect you to know by now. One issue I had with the controls was trying to move to other parts of the map, often the spot that you had to select was random and out of the way. I ended up just scanning the bottom or side of the screen, sick of accidentally selecting the expanse of snow or floor. Then it came to my attention that you simply had to tap the screen with three fingers and arrows pop up showing directions you can go, which was far easier and user-friendly.
1112 has its own soundtrack that was written specifically for the game, and it shows. It is one of the reasons why the game is so immersive, the soundtrack coupled with the sound effects makes you feel like you’re stuck in this guys head, in a creepy little town with all these things going on just beneath the surface that you slowly discover as time goes on. I doubt the game would be what it is without the soundtrack, so this is definitely one you want to play with the headphones in.
1112 is made up of a series of stock images of settings and people; if someone is talking their image is superimposed over the backdrop. Both are animated and this brings a modern feel to an old school method. While the settings are not highly defined, they are stylistic and add to the game. You can zoom into images, but they tend to get pixellated and unrecognisable so it’s better to observe from afar.
1112 is an incredibly impressive game. The production values are higher than a lot of iOS games, and it manages to create an atmosphere which is not something I’ve experienced on iOS. There are little things here and there like the definition and area navigation that take away from the overall game, but they are barely even an issue. This is a definite must have, it will keep you on the edge your seat and desperate for more.