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The name Andrew Plotkin is one which will be familiar to any fans of Interactive fiction games, both as creator of Winglulx, and as author of landmark titles such as Shade, Hunter in darkness and the fantastic introductory adventure Dreamhold. In 2010 he launched a kick starter project attempting to get funds for a full scale commercial interactive fiction game which would (like the original Infocom classics), be a cross platform puzzle adventure game of amazing complexity and reality. That project was a runaway success and the fruites of it is Hadean lands now ready to be played and enjoyed by anyone.
The game takes place aboard an alchemical starship, one powered not by science and antimatter, but by a number of magical rituals involving various chemical elements. With no memory of what happened, and the crew missing, you find yourself marooned aboard the ship and need to get it back in working order using only your wits and alchemical skill. You will need to tinker with different ingredients and get creative in your choice of elements, sinse not everything is easy, trying to get the huge monster of a ship up and running again and hopefully discovered what happened along the way.
With a complex parza and a puzzle structure which Andrew Plotkin says is the most multilayered he's ever defined this is definitely one for those who love the freedom of an environment with endless amounts of objects to interact with, not to mention any budding mad scientists who fancy working out rituals to distill rust or kill fungus. Head scratching though the puzzles are, hints are available, and the game's parza (especially on Ios), has been created to make experimentation as easy as possible.
With a branching story, a huge amount to interact with and a number of secrets, Hadean lands is intended to be a game that offers endless exploration even after you've finished the story once (and that will take a good while).
The game costs 5 dollars, and can be bought from the Ios Ap store either alone or in a bundle with some of Andrew Plotkin's other games. Though the Ios version is still parza based, it also has a few extra features to make life easier, such as an instant text map (entirely Voice over friendly), where you can tap a room to go to it, or a jernal to remember all the rituals you've completed.
Further information on the game such as a short introduction to the principles of Interactive fiction and a forum of help can be found on the above site.
Updates: entry 25 Jan 17 and description 25 Jan 17