Welcome to the new year, folks!
So mobile games have quickly taken over a large portion of the gaming industry and here at DANamic.ORG, we recognise that people like to spend their lunch breaks on games available on their phones.
So starting today, we’ll be showcasing games from the App Store (and Google Play) that we find interesting enough to capture your attention.
Let’s get started with Mobile Mondays!
“Ellie” is an escape game that was made a few years ago by a Japanese development team, who then translated it into English and released it onto the App Store. While the game’s formula of “find the exit” is straightforward enough, the game’s puzzles can be quite brutal to the inexperienced.
Seeking shelter from an earthquake, you stumble upon a girl named Ellie on a monitor, who claims she was kidnapped. The quake trapped her and her captor in a room but also knocked him out in the process. Your job is to help her escape before her kidnapper wakes up.
While the escape room is an oversaturated genre, “Ellie” is an incredibly rare and polished gem that does not let the simplistic nature of “point-and-click” stop it from shining. The use of 2D images fits with the setting, seeing as most of the game is seen through a CCTV monitor and helps adds a layer of immersion to the simple game (that probably made it easier to code as well).
Unique to this game is the human element, where you interact with actual characters written into a story, unlike the generic “Oh, I’ve woken up in a locked room and I need to solve x number of puzzles to find the key and unlock the way out.” All of the characters in this game feel human; at no point did I feel that Ellie was a generic cut-out of a human, and that helps the game stand out a lot more.
The voice of Ellie, another rarity in the escape games genre, adds onto said immersion with emotions of fear and terror. It matches with the plot very well and while the game can still be understood without sound, I certainly enjoyed it with the sound on. It’s simply a real shame to turn them off.
While the game was incredibly short to finish, the difficulty of the puzzles may turn away the faint-hearted or those lacking in attention span. There are easy-to-follow walkthroughs online (or you could, like, pay real money for hint$) that can guide you towards the end goal. If that isn’t enough, you’ll be happy to know that there are two resulting endings and the “regular” ending might not satisfy your craving for a story.
The main issue I do have with this game is that it is incredibly inflexible. The game requires certain “flags”, things that need to be examined or interacted with before you can move on to the next step or the next puzzle. For instance, the game would refuse to let you proceed with unlocking a gym bag until you examined a hidden message. It’s hard not to get annoyed, especially when you’ve already finished it once, even if it’s an element to the story. Aside from that, the game is relatively free of bugs.
Overall, “Ellie” is a hidden gem that takes an elementary formula of escape games and turns it into a complete adventure worth sitting through twice for both of the possible endings. Fans of the horror genre will definitely enjoy this, although I have to mention that there is absolutely zero gore featured. It certainly is implied, but no worries about seeing a mutilated dead body in the game. The game does feature a bonus level/pseudo-sequel. but that requires $1.50 to unlock. Quite annoying, yes, but if you enjoyed the free bit, you’ll definitely enjoy this bonus room.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go bury this body I found.
DANamic.ORG score: 4/5