Developer: Vertigo Games
Sometimes you need to take a break from all the cover shooters, the chequered flag chasing and alien blasting to exercise the old grey matter with some puzzles for a change. PSN has been a bit bare of late for head-scratching titles, which is why we’re so keen to give Adam’s Venture Chronicles a go.
The name may sound familiar to PC gamers as the game was originally released in episodic chunks in 2009 through 2012. So, while not exactly fresh, it’s nice to see the game eventually reach another platform.
The lead hero of the piece is an odd little concoction. He sounds like Bruce Campbell, but looks like a meerkat thanks to the dark rings around his eyes and a completely beige outfit. Vertigo are clearly aiming for a bit of Nathan Drake/Elena back and forth banter with his co-star, but he’s pretty unlikable to be honest. The one-liners fall flat and his partner doesn’t seem to enjoy his company either, instead she seems to be lamenting that failed audition for the Elena role.
You can’t blame the devs for trying to emulate some of Uncharted’s charm though, and blended with the Indiana Jones-esque setting of the 1920s, there’s a nice matinee feel to the story that keeps things interesting between the puzzles. With most long-gone civilisations and cults already played out in games, the devs have a crack at using the Bible as inspiration behind the settings and some of the puzzles. Thankfully, it’s not over-bearing or preachy, nor does it feel like you’re being forced to sit and behave in Sunday School, but it’s not particularly interesting either. The graphics are better than most PSN puzzler efforts though as you make your way through sandy tombs, desert towns and other archaeological tropes.
While mainly a puzzle game, there’s a bit of platforming and exploration to be had with a few hidden chests to discover along the way. The platforming is rarely taxing and you’ll spend more time shimmying along ledges than hopping around.
Despite the large number of puzzles along your path, many of them are variations on the same theme. Such as rearranging phrases to complete a biblical passage, or placing numerals on a Sudoku-style grid or the old favourite turning multiple circles that are all linked to get a pattern facing in the correct direction, the later being exasperatingly infuriating at times.
Other tasks usually involve dragging objects onto the correct slot or standing on the correct tile formation. Some requirements are self-explanatory, but no puzzles give you any instruction, meaning a few shameful trips to YouTube (the pause menu even gives you an address to go to for official video playthroughs) are a distinct possibility if you don’t want a serious case of screen burn. Trial and error will only get you so far with horrific brain-melters like this one below.
But once you know there’s a guide to every puzzle right there on the game’s website, it can become an all too tempting offer. But you’re only cheating yourself out of your own money. That said, £9.69 is a lot to ask for such an old game, especially when the entire trilogy can be bought on PC at the moment for £3 from Game.
- Solid visuals
- Lasts a fair while
- Wakes up those dormant brain cells
- Lacks hints and explanations
- Samey puzzles
The Short Version: If you’ve been after Bible-based puzzler then this is the game for you. For everyone else, be prepared for frustration with a surprisingly taxing collection of puzzles. Despite the punchable lead, the story is entertaining enough to string the game together between the puzzles and climbing sections.