Unrelenting rain drums on the tin roof of the shelter. I huddle from the chill in my standard-issue trench coat, bathed in the cool glow of the data terminal. This is how every adventure game should begin.
I guess there's room for other genres, but there's something comforting about the cold and dreary future of Wadjet Eye Games' Gemini Rue, the pixelated PC masterpiece now available on iOS. A dark and dangerous Blade Runner-esque future might not seem like the ideal destination for humanity, but I love the thought of once-sterile technology tarnished in the rain, fighting against nature for its place in the world.
In a world where point-and-click adventure games have faded from their once dominant position in the PC gaming hierarchy to a niche genre, Wadjet Eye is doing a fine job of keeping the dream alive, while demonstrating the triumph of storytelling over visuals. You might remember them from Resonance, a glorious and complex tale-weaving. Or you might know them from Gemini Rue itself, in which case you're already excited about the mobile version.
Using the classic two-character mechanic, Gemini Rue tells two interconnected tales at once. On one side of the galaxy we have ex-assassin Azriel Odin, a gruff and tough character who finds himself backed into a corner, forced to work with the criminal organization he abandoned in order to save someone close to him. On the other side we have hospital inmate Delta-Six, trapped in a strange testing facility that regularly wipes his mind. The two stories flirt with each other throughout the game, taking turns at first but eventually letting players swap between them at will.
While not unraveling the intricately-woven plot through voiced dialogue or the odd gunfight, Gemini Rue is pure point-and-click adventure. Players touch the screen and hold to reveal interaction points in the hand-crafted scenes, with four choices of action — eye, mouth, hand and foot. Simple enough, but the correct path is not always readily evident, and players don't always have all the time in the world to figure puzzles out. Dramatic tension isn't a hallmark of the genre, but it's certainly a Wadjet Eye trademark.
I can't recommend the iOS version of Gemini Rue enough. The entire, amazing PC game is at your fingertips (including developer commentary!) for a fraction of the PC price. Don't be left out in the cold. In the rain. Wearing a trench coat. From the future.