Gemini Rue is a curious adventure game that actually made its debut back on PC. It’s an exciting dystopian vision of the future that wouldn’t feel out of place in the world of Blade Runner or any futuristic tale. The story of former assassin Azriel Odin is a gripping one that plays out in a manner that goads you to keep playing long after setting it down, just to see how things end up. And it’s as satisfying as ever.
Azriel Odin is on a special quest to recover his missing brother, carrying with a him a perpetual grudge for the crushing authoritarian regime in control of the world of Gemini Rue. In this terrifying future, not even memories are safe. Early on in the narrative we’re taken to Center 7, a facility where wiping memories may be the least evil of what’s being done. It’s the player’s job to uncover the strange secrets of the cyberpunk future while solving puzzles, working with objects, and getting information from the various characters throughout the adventure.
The converging plot threads offer an engaging reason to get lost in the gloomy, atmospheric world, with exemplary voice acting, fonts seemingly ripped straight from hallmark adventure games of the ’90s, and character models that wouldn’t look out of place in your favorite SCUMM VM title. Plus, excellent classic point-and-click adventure convention offers slick, nostalgic challenges.
While some of the puzzles themselves could be considered lacking in challenge (read: logical) they offer believable diversions that make much more sense than chasing a pair of chattering teeth to an open air vent or learning to play the correct songs in Loom. In that, they’re much more interesting and fulfilling than many of the bizarre, seemingly random solutions to puzzles, which means it should open up to a wider audience than the niche crowds who usually flock to these games.
As a touch screen adaptation, it’s simple to drag and drop phrases used for puzzle-solving, tapping to reveal hidden objects, and navigating the spacious environments. Combat, while a minimal aspect of the game, involves cover-based shootouts that still seem as clumsy as they were back on the PC iteration, but are hindered in no way by the switch from mouse to tap. Touchscreen devices are the perfect breeding ground for these types of games, after all, so it makes sense that it feels natural.
The game can be completed fairly quickly, and as an adventure game there’s little replay value to entice players to go back and run through again. At $3.99, it’s also a little pricier than the standard App Store purchase that players find themselves making without batting an eye. Considering the quality of the content, however, and cool neo-noir aesthetic coupled with engaging writing and a sci-fi vein that wouldn’t be out of place in your favorite ‘80s flick, it’s a small price to pay, especially if you’d rather take it on the go rather than sit at your PC. Jump into Gemini Rue, and rekindle your love for the classic adventure game, with all the niceties of modern gaming.