In Great Adventures, you control a pair of regular people who have unwittingly become wrapped up in a mystery that could affect the entire human race. The woman’s father, the inventor of an unspecified, potentially world-changing machine, has gone missing at a hotel. Just as a colossal snowstorm hits, you arrive on the scene to find the place evacuated. With the phone lines down and no authorities en route, you must comb the hotel for clues about what happened to your father.
It’s an intriguing premise, and it alone is enough to pull you through this three-hour adventure. On the surface, the game consists mostly of gaining access to every room in the hotel, one after another. The key found in the security office lets you into the library, where you pick up the security card to get into the laundry room, etc. We’re a little disappointed that there’s so little room for player creativity, as you’re always told the exact steps to take to unlock the next room. But the gameplay stays fresh by combining puzzles, hidden-objects, and Sims-style personal care, so the linearity doesn’t feel too confining.
The Sims aspect is the only part of the game that feels tacked on. Your characters have meters for food, rest, and fun that gradually deplete as you play. To keep them filled, you have to periodically send your folks to the fridge to eat, to the couch to sleep, and to the TV to be entertained. This is kind of an annoyance since it takes you away from the mystery, but it’s not a major issue. Soon you find items that refill their meters with the tap of a button, so we wonder why this aspect is even included in the first place.
Use your magnifying glass to see the screenshots.
Most of the game is spent looking for objects to get you into the next room, but you’ll run into a good number of puzzle minigames as well. Most of these require you to do typical things like match tiles or arrange symbols, but they’re fun distractions nevertheless. We found it amusing that to bypass digital locks, you connect a random laptop you found and answer a trivia question. Get the question right, and the lock snaps open. It makes no sense, but it’s fun.
In addition to puzzle-solving and key-finding, the game is full of hidden collectibles. Dog bones are strewn around everywhere, and if you get stuck you can spend them to receive hints about what to do next. Also scattered about each room are collectible lanterns, bugs, and fishbowls. These don’t do anything, but if you’re a completionist you can try to nab them all just for the heck of it.
So while it’s a little hit-or-miss, Great Adventures will give you a good deal of entertainment as you solve the core mystery. The storyline is interesting enough to keep pulling you along even if you’re not crazy about every aspect of the gameplay. For a game that looks great and makes excellent use of the iPad’s big screen, Great Adventures satifies.