Review: Last Voyage

FullSizeRenderLast Voyage is the previous game by Nightgate creators Semidome. Like Nightgate, it offers a selection of beautifully bizarre abstract and minimalist puzzles, along with some non-puzzle flying sequences. Last Voyage approaches things a bit differently though, with each chapter being made of entirely different sets of mini-games, and with a noticeably heavier emphasis on the abstract part.

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Just press that red bit over there.

One set of puzzles require you to move pieces around to form various shapes, while another is a showcase of strange touchscreen sensory puzzles where you have to do things like trace your finger around a field, looking for the right spot to make a red bar fill up to the right length (seen above). Another set makes use of your phone’s motion sensors to have you guide a little ball through some treacherous mazes like those old Labyrinth games (anyone remember those?).

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Look, I told you, just press the red bit.

The variety and visual design of these puzzle segments is pretty impressive (and much like Nightgate, they’re much more impressive in motion and with the nice ambient music playing). You will never be playing enough of one puzzle type to get tired of it, and there is an amazing level of inventiveness on display in the puzzle designs, especially when you realize what simple shapes and objects they’re using to create these levels.

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You’re the white dot. Touch the spinning triangles and die instantly.

The only place you see a chapter’s theme reused is in the questionable flying chapters, which are a bit of a black mark on an otherwise very enjoyable game. The first person view flying chapters are simple enough, but the top-down view ones are not so fun. As seen above, you control a small dot that’s moving very quickly across a screen that is zoomed in very closely. Along the way you’ll find many spinning and moving shapes that kill you instantly and with your speed and the camera view, with the idea being that quick reflexes will keep you alive. Instead, what it really comes down to is dying over and over again until you memorize the location of every obstacle, because there’s just no time to react quickly enough otherwise, no matter how fast you are.

These parts were more than a little bit frustrating, and felt particularly out of place in what is otherwise a relaxing little puzzle journey that you can try to decipher at your own pace. On the plus side, you have the option to skip chapters if you don’t want to deal with that, but personally, I don’t like the idea of skipping content that I paid money to experience (I WORKED HARD FOR THOSE 2 AMERICAN DOLLARS!). Overall I think it still contained enough of a unique and fun experience to be worth it though. Looking back, Nightgate seems to have already learned from the mistakes here, so I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of weird little game these guys come up with next.

 

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