Review of The Eyes of Ara for iPhone and iPad – a puzzle game in the style of The Room

Review of The Eyes of Ara for iPhone and iPad – a puzzle game in the style of The Room

It's hard not to draw a parallel between the well-known classic Myst and the new The Eyes of Ara from Australian indie studio 100 Stones Interactive, because the latter is set on an isolated and abandoned island in the same way.

Download The Eyes of Ara for iPhone and iPad (App Store)

It is a first-person game with mysteries and a mysterious story that combines the supernatural with science fiction and fantasy. In short, very similar to the phenomenon of the 90s.

“For me, Myst turned out to be a fascinating game, unlike anything I had played before. I tried to replicate that sense of wonder and contemplative exploration," said The Eyes of Ara developer Ben Drosty.

And the result has been quite successful. The Eyes of Ara depicts a world in which the player has to wander the dusty corridors of a huge castle in an attempt to piece together bits of plot and history from the notes and books on astronomy and astrology left behind by the previous inhabitants.

However, The Eyes of Ara doesn't replicate Myst at all, which is made clear early on in the game. Myst fans will be pleasantly surprised by the simple and intuitive puzzles. Games of this style often plunge players into a confusing world that requires a lot of time to adjust to.

“I really wanted to get away from the clunky design of the old games. The gaming industry has come a long way since then, and I wanted to embody modern design and theories meticulously developed over the past few decades," Driste explained.

Instead of wandering around huge locations, the opening scenes of The Eyes of Ara are somewhat reminiscent of classic Zelda. For example, you might get stuck in a room where you have to explore and experiment with your surroundings to figure out how to move on. This design is sure to appeal to those who often struggle with complex multi-level puzzles.

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It's worth noting that the game's opening moments will only seem easy to those who remember the archaic days of staring at a CRT monitor for hours until the newfangled CD-ROM drive finished working its magic and plunged players into a brilliant and intricate digital world.

But that feeling will quickly fade when the first big play areas arrive. This is where you'll realize you've previously tackled the tutorial part, which shows you different ways to interact with the environment through the puzzles. In this, the game resembles a cautious dip in hot water: by the time the real "heat" kicks in, you'll be ready for any mystery.

As you progress, the complexity of the game also increases. You will have to solve numerous puzzles, look for various clues that will help you understand what the castle was used for... and what The Eyes of Ara is about. You'll have helpers: seemingly intelligent blue lights that roam the castle, pointing out the next clue or mysterious device.

The ambiguity of the clues and the numerous gaps only encourage curiosity, as the developer intended. «One of the main themes of Los ojos de Ara is the unreliability of incomplete information and the need to find the truth. Therefore, all the pieces of lore scattered around the world not only allow you to form a complete picture, but also to see the story from different angles. All the information is incomplete and in some places even contradictory”, stresses the promoter.

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In other words, the game is pretty intense. Los Ojos de Ara is the idea of ​​one man, on which the author worked for three years. The result is really amazing, especially the accessibility of the game: the puzzles are not so abstract that they lose all meaning, and the puzzles are not stunning in number.

“There is something about these classic puzzles that gives me real pleasure, unlike the more abstract and purely mental exercises. I like to explore real space and learn how the pieces fit together. I think that's partly what makes them universal. It doesn't matter if you solve these puzzles in a game, on paper, in an escape room, or even watching a movie character on the screen. They are grounded in human experience and problem solving, and we can enjoy them no matter what form they take," Drosty shared.

Exploring the environment while encountering something strange and surprising is certainly a fascinating process, but apart from the story and the puzzles, The Eyes of Ara has a lot of little details that connect the world and the objects in it. . In the 3s, games of this type were mostly static, but the XNUMXD environment makes The Eyes of Ara look very modern.

The Eyes of Ara is available on the App Store for 449 rubles. The app requires an iPhone (minimum 5s), iPad, or iPod touch (6th generation) with iOS 9.0 or later. There is a localization for Russian.

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Download The Eyes of Ara for iPhone and iPad (App Store)

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