By Eric Pankoke on Fri, 01/11/2013
When it came to PC gaming I think adventure games were what I grew up on, and I’m happy to see more developers bringing this great genre of game play to the iOS platform. In late November of 2012 we were treated to a cool time travelling piece called Tesla’s Electric Mist, and since I’m now getting back into it to try and finish it up I thought I’d share my experiences with the game. There’s no question that the developer has a deep fondness for this style of game play, and there are plenty of puzzles to solve and mini-games to conquer. I think it would have been nice to have a little golf cart with all the walking I had to do, though.
Thanks to your family’s close involvement with the famed Nikola Tesla, you find yourself embroiled in a mystery that will end up taking you back in time to the year 1899. You’ll end up having to right a very wronged experiment and ultimately save the scientist himself. The game isn’t particularly strong on plot as you spend most of your time wandering through abandoned structures, but in the final act you do get a bit of a feel for what the town was like pre-experiment. Overall there are a decent enough amount of locations to visit on your journey, though it did feel like there was a bit too much traipsing back and forth once you got to the town in the past. There’s a nice map to see where you are and what areas you’ve uncovered, and it would be an even better map if you could tap a location and automatically go to it.
There are lots of items to collect and a generous number of item based puzzles to solve. Mini-games are prevalent as well, typically in the form of locks that must be opened or devices you need to activate. Nothing is overly difficult, though there are a few situations that will make you wrack your brain a bit. There is one puzzle in particular that I had to check the help for every single time I tried it, and I’m still not completely sure I understand it. Speaking of which, there is a rather comprehensive hint system accessible from the inventory screen, though be warned because the “spoiler protectors” that you must tap to uncover the hints don’t do a very good job of covering them. There is also a notebook you pick up early on that your character will automatically jot down certain clues in. This is a feature I was quite grateful for, as I didn’t want to have paper and pen sitting around.
Navigating through the world of the Electric Mist is generally a matter of tapping the appropriate arrow or the general direction you want to move in, whether it be a path or a door. Sometimes if you tap too close to the bottom of a screen that has a back arrow you’ll accidentally move to the previous screen, but thankfully load times are nil so it’s not that big of a deal. To use your inventory you tap an item and then tap on the screen where you want to use it. Most interaction is by simple tapping, though some of the mini games do require you to swipe instead. It’s all pretty standard touch screen style adventure game antics.
The visuals are pretty slick. Nice 3D pre-rendered visuals are complimented with overlaid animations when necessary and the occasional special effect, though there’s actually quite a bit happening in act 3. The sound effects are decent enough, but because of the lack of people there are no voiceovers. The in game music as you’re exploring is well done, but the tune used behind the menu as well as during the ending sequence is one that is quite overextended in the iOS gaming community. Overall the sound doesn’t quite do the graphics justice.
Adventure game fans won’t be disappointed with this offering. The world looks great, the puzzles are designed to keep everything moving at a decent pace, and there’s more than enough to do to make the journey feel worthwhile. A better way of covering ground that you’ve already traveled would be nice, but otherwise Tesla’s Electric Mist has all the bases covered. I’m eager to see what adventures iCoolGeeks will take us on next.
Overall Score: 8/10
App Store Link
This game was reviewed on an iPad 2 running iOS 6.0.1.