Who wouldn’t try to save a damsel in distress? If said damsel was a princess as well the answer should be obvious. We would all try our best to break her free from her captors. This is not really the case with Scarlett. She might be a princess, but she is bad mannered, foul-mouthed and a pain in the behind. Furthermore she would probably punch you in the teeth if you offered your help. Scarlett is a girl not used to being helpless, and that is because she isn’t. Scarlett can handle herself, as well as a princess ever can within the frameworks of a point and click adventure.
Scarlett and the Spark of Life is a point and click adventure in the vein of Monkey Island and Simon the Sorcerer. The key difference being that Scarlett SoL is created specifically for iOS, and handles extremely quickly. Actions are easy to spot, and quick to perform. Dialogues can be easily skipped by touch, and the entire interface feels sleek.
Just like all point and click adventure games you have puzzles to solve, and an inventory to use items from. The inventory is easy to access, and by simply touching and dragging you can combine items with the game world. Movement of Scarlett is simple as well. Just point where you want her to go. A button in the lower right corner lets you quickly see available interaction points.
The story in Scarlett SoL is quite limited, as this is only the first episode in a series. Scarlett finds herself bound to the back of a horse, and she has to escape her captor. Without too much spoilers I can say that the first episode includes: strange donkey/llamas, angry sisters, bees, a graveyard and some paint.
Presentation is excellent when it comes to the bright graphics. It is a happy experience playing Scarlett SoL, and everything is smooth. There is quite a lot of text in the quirky dialogues, but the fonts and text size works well with the small screen. Something sorely lacking from the game is voice acting. This bumps the game down quite a bit, as immersion would have been so much better with it. Music, and sound effects are ok at setting the mood, but having a voice for Scarlett would have enhanced everything significantly.
Another issue with the first episode of the series is the short length. I completed it on my first play through in less than 90 minutes, and in 30 minutes the second time around. There are only a few puzzles, and the longer ones is more about getting the dialogue right than puzzle solving. I must say that I personally prefer to have complete games released instead of episodes. Waiting for the next episode is a nuisance, and there are more icons/applications filling up the iPhone and computer.
If you are in the mood for some interesting and fun point and click adventuring Scarlett and the Spark of Life is definitely recommended. It won’ t last you more than an evening though.
Scarlett and the Spark of Life: Scarlett Adventures Episode 1 $2.99
Seller: Launching Pad Games