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Lost Horizon
Lost Horizon
Developer:Animation Arts
Publisher:Deep Silver
Release Date:September 2010
Article Posted:August 2011*
*Originally appeared at Jonathon's blog

Lost Horizon is a point-and-click adventure developed by Animation Arts and released in late 2010. Even from the game's main menu, it is obvious that the story draws a lot of inspiration from action movies, in particular Indiana Jones. True to this prediction, the game is set in gorgeous far flung locations throughout Europe and Asia and filled with puzzles, fights, action, and of course, adventure.

The story is arguably the best part of Lost Horizon, which is loosely based on the classic 1933 book of the same name. The game is set during the height of the British empire, with the empire in control of China (along with most of the rest of the world). In the game, Fenton Paddock, the main protagonist, is a lovable rogue with a heart of gold. He has been dishonorably discharged from the British military and is now a small time smuggler in Hong Kong. The adventure starts off with his friend, Richard, disappearing during an expedition into Tibet and Fenton going in search of him, but soon turns into a world-spanning, apocalypse-preventing, damsel-in- distress-saving, grand adventure that revolves around the mystical city of Shambala.

There are many good, and sometimes very ambiguous, puzzles in Lost Horizon. But these puzzles often, at least for me, degenerated into trying every inventory object with everything in the game world, or consulting a walkthrough. However, adventure gamers are likely used to hard and non-obvious puzzles, and the ones in Lost Horizon did not distract from the overall experience that much. One good thing about this game's puzzles are the action and cooperative parts, which are somewhat unique. The action parts do a good job of projecting the tension and danger of the scene. It's not that you do anything groundbreaking in these sections - you just solve moderately normal puzzles - but they are presented in a way that drives the player's interest. Additionally, there are no logic puzzles in the game, which makes Lost Horizon quite easy compared to many other games in the adventure genre.

The presentation was just spot on the entire game, featuring believable voice acting, mood setting music, and often fantastical visuals to match the story. Where these visuals really shone was in the more fantasy-based environments. Another good feature of the game that is worth mentioning is the length. I believe it is slightly longer then the average adventure title and the longest adventure I have played in quite some time, taking quite a few days to complete, all of them enjoyable. However, and unfortunately like too many games, the ending is a little anticlimactic, the last few “puzzles” are increasingly simple. It would have been better if they were replaced with quick time events. The closing cinematic was average at best.

All in all, Lost Horizon is a solid adventure title, with sometimes beautiful graphics, sometimes great puzzles, and always an interesting story. It has its faults but nothing too serious. And the good far outweighs the bad. So if you are at all interested in adventure games and in action adventure movies, then this might be a game you should check out.


PC System Requirements:
OS: Windows XP or newer
CPU: 2 GHz
RAM: 512 MB
DirectX: 9.0
Hard Drive: ~4.5 GB