iOS users are in for a treat. One of the most stylish and interesting indie titles in recent years, Gemini Rue, has made its way to the iTunes store. You can snatch it up now for a limited time for $3.99, a buck off the normal $4.99 price!
Gemini Rue is a point and click graphical adventure game (think the old Sierra titles like Space Ace or, more recently, Machinarium). Point and click games (or should I say point and tap?) have had a bit of a resurgence on touch screen devices, with several titles being optimized for the small screen. The gameplay is a natural fit for handhelds, the pace is more casual and exploratory and these games can easily be put down and picked back up again when your gaming is interrupted by, say, reaching your bus stop or your boss’ office door opening.
Gemini Rue is set in a dystopic Cyberpunk future in a war ravaged star system. Refreshingly, the focus is on the gritty scenes on the ground and the interactions the multiple characters have planetside, in the streets and hidden places of the decaying city. Its art style and content is as much a nod to Blade Runner as it is to classic cyberpunk RPG Shadowrun. But the gameplay owes more to Monkey Island and its ilk, with branching dialogue trees and item collecting. It’s all about the talk, as you guide the multiple characters through the narrative. A smooth tongue can get you places but sometimes you have to be more coercive. You’re presented with a choice of responses to everything that’s said to you and choosing the right one is a large part of the game.
From the iTunes store description:
“A sci-fi noir adventure in the tradition of “Blade Runner” and “Beneath a Steel Sky.”
Azriel Odin, ex-assassin, arrives on the rain-drenched planet of Barracus. When things go horribly wrong, he can only seek help from the very criminals he used to work for.
Meanwhile, across the galaxy, a man called Delta-Six wakes up in a hospital with no memory. Without knowing where to turn or who to trust, he vows to escape before he loses his identity completely.
As fate brings these two closer together, we discover a world where life is cheap, identities are bought and sold, and a quest for redemption can change the fate of a whole galaxy.”
Gemini Rue is presented in a retro, pixelated style that makes it appear 20 years older. It’s meant to look like a game that could have come out at the height of Cyberpunk’s cultural significance, the late 80’s and early 90’s. This might turn off some folks but I think it looks great. Like Sword and Sorcery EP, Cave Story and other modern games done in a pixel style, it tells a story and creates a world with the simplistic tools of yesteryear. Fans of Adventure games, pixel art, Cyberpunk or folks who want to check out something truly unique give it a download. Hopefully Android users will get a chance to jump into this game soon!