The Island of Maupiti, in the Indian ocean, used to look like heaven on earth. It had everything; sand, sun, wonderful beaches, palm trees, and a little house of, let's say, negotiable affection for those who felt lonely. But troubles happen everywhere, even in paradise; one of the, let' s say, hireable female companions ("whores" sounds too rough for a place like this, don' t you think so ?) has been kidnapped. Fortunately the brave Jerome Lange, the famous sleuth who also solved the mysteries of "Murders in Venice", is ready to solve a few more enigmas...
Well drawn, and with a great attention for detail. Mostly made up of static screens, but there are many nice, little animations; too bad you can' t see the other characters moving around, otherwise the vote would have been even higher.
Well, honestly, I usually get slightly embarrassed at this point; we all know that the ST' s Yamaha soundchip really stinks, and when I write "decent music and sparse fx" I usually mean "horrible, but still better than a frontal lobotomy". But this time, fortunately, things are different; from the wonderful intro tune by Andrè Bescond, a real masterpiece, to the superb sound fx and background music, this game is a real treat for the ears. And the characters even have digitized speech ! Great, even if they actually speak with an unexpressive, metallic, "robotic" voice...
Right from the beginning, you' re gonna be impressed with the incredible amount of things you can do in this game. Detective Lange can interact with objects in many ways; he can even smell them, or feel their surface with his fingertips. He can collect a whole load of items in his inventory, and sometimes it' s hard to tell an useful one from a dead weight in his pockets. He can talk with everyone on the island, and ask questions about everything and everyone. He can even memorize what they say, and contradict liars...
...but this incredible depth has its price. Yes, because hints and useful items are buried deep under tons of smalltalkand rubbish; the game runs in real time, and it' s not easy to be in the right place at the right time; and besides, people in Maupiti seem to be very susceptible, and they could kick your butt out of the island if they get upset with you.
Got the clue ? Yes, Maupiti Island is one of the hardest adventures ever released on any platform. If you' re not familiar with detective games you could spend years trying to complete this one...
...but smooth graphics, incredible music and a deep, complex, intriguing plot easily make up for this small flaw. Oh well, not really a flaw after all; a true hard-boiled adventure player will finally find a real challenge with Maupiti Island !
Graphics : 8
Sound : 10
Gameplay : 8
Overall : 9