Lost Horizon

Posted by John Coxsey.
First posted on 28 October 2010. Last updated on 10 January 2011.
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Lost Horizon
Naturally, the wires are all tangled up!
Lost Horizon
The game offers some jaw dropping sceneries.
Lost Horizon
"Be very, very quiet... I'm hunting tigers."
Lost Horizon
Fenton is a man of action.
Lost Horizon
Fenton frequently finds himself in undesirable conundrums.

The game is available at GamersGate.

Lost Horizon is a point-and-click adventure game that closely follows the style of past classics but still attempts to cast a new spin on the adventure genre. The game is developed by Animation Arts, best known as the developer of the Secret Files series.

In Lost Horizon, you take control of Fenton Paddock—a quirky, self-confident former British soldier who goes on a mission to rescue his missing army comrade Richard. Along the way, Fenton encounters an eclectic cast of characters, on whom he routinely and unbashfully tries out his one-liner jokes, most of which are solely aimed to gather a few chuckles from you as the player. Eventually, Fenton is forced to look for and team up with an old friend named Kim, whom you also take control later in the game. She leads Fenton into a globetrotting adventure that turns out to be far more dangerous than a rescue mission.

The story of Lost Horizon is set in 1936. It takes places in dozens of different locations and countries all over the world, including Hong Kong, Africa, Germany, and many more. As the story unfolds, Fenton gets into skirmishes with a gang from Hong Kong and the Nazis, who are both searching for an ancient artifact which can give them the power to take over the world. This forces Fenton to continue on his quest in which he must not only try to find his friend but also prevent global destruction by keeping the artifact from falling into the wrong hands. For most parts, the storyline alone does little to keep you interested in the game, in part because the theme seems all too similar and has already been done many times before. Further, the many overly drawn dialog sequences offer you no real interaction with the game world. Still, the game offers some very memorable cut scenes, from shootouts to hand-to-hand skirmishes that are quite impressive to watch. I have found myself replaying the game simply to re-watch these cut scenes, as they are just that captivating.

The visuals in Lost Horizon are absolutely fantastic. I have often found myself in awe of the fantastically pre-rendered backgrounds that the game's artists have created for it. They succeed in making even the dullest environments a pleasure to look at. The character models generally look decent as well. In most scenes, they fit nicely into the hand drawn backgrounds. However, in some scenes, they feel out of place and look as if they are just pasted in there. The animation is amongst the best I have ever witnessed in a graphical adventure game and shows again the talents of these artists.

The sound in Lost Horizon is very good, though not memorable. The sound does its part to help to keep you immersed in the game world. In later parts of the game, the ambient sounds are so realistic that it even makes you feel like you are actually in the situation Fenton is in. The voice acting generally works well, and the actors' voices seem to fit with the corresponding characters which they are trying to portray.

The controls in Lost Horizon follow the same formula as most other point-and-click adventure games. You move the mouse cursor over the screen trying to locate new objects with which you can interact. The game's interface works very well and allows you to use both the left and the right mouse buttons to direct the interaction. The left mouse button uses and combines objects, while the right mouse button examines objects. The game also displays the inventory at the bottom of the screen, which automatically hides itself when the mouse cursor is moved away and frees up the screen, allowing you to scout out the scene in full view without any interference.

The puzzles in Lost Horizon offer plenty of variety and really helps keep the game interesting just when it starts to become tedious. The majority of the puzzles require you to find and combine the correct objects, whereas a few puzzles require you to solve standalone challenges such as untangling wires. The introduction of Kim in the story also allows the game to offer a variety of different puzzles which focus on teamwork. These puzzles are not generally too hard, and experienced adventure fans may find this game to be a little too easy. Further, the mouse cursor glows green whenever an object may be used with a hotspot in the environment or with another object in the inventory, thus lessening the frustration of trial and error in the gameplay.

Overall, Lost Horizon is a great addition to the adventure genre. The game is simple to partake yet somewhat challenging to complete. The visuals are fantastic, and you will find yourself often distracted by the beautiful artworks that are in the game. The story is somewhat cliché and can become tiresome in some parts, though the brilliantly creative cut scenes will instantly regain your interest. Despite a few misgivings, Lost Horizon is a fantastic game and can be recommended to all fans of the point-and-click adventure. The game also offers some great unlockable contents, including a jigsaw puzzle and even an entirely alternate game. These bonuses make for a great incentive for you to complete the game and to experience this epic adventure.

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