Some of you may have heard of Hamilton’s Great Adventures before. It made its debut on PSN and Steam over a year ago. Now, the developers have brought this explorer-cum-puzzler to Android exclusively via the Tegra 3 platform. It is basically the same game as the console and PC version both in terms of content and graphics.
In Hamilton’s Great Adventures THD, you play as the titular Hamilton, an adventurous explorer that bears some resemblance of the fictional Indiana Jones. He’s actually searching for something that was stolen from him, so he sets out to get back what’s his on a journey that takes him to four wondrous locales. The game has got a decent storyline, and some witty dialogues sprinkled in there as well.
You go around collecting treasures and finding keys on maps that are laden with collapsing wooden floors, traps and enemies that try to derail your progress as best as they can. The main goal of each level is to get a golden key to unlock your path to the next level. You’re accompanied by Sasha the bird along the way. Hamilton will not be able to progress by himself, as certain tasks such as unlocking pathways can only be done by the bird. Also, Sasha helps to provide a birds-eye view that will help you to better plan your way around the obstacles.
There are 11 levels for each of the four locations, the final of each being sort of a ‘boss level’ that has a much, much larger map and more complex puzzles to solve. To get to the end of each level is not much of a challenge, but to get a perfect rating on each level will require some meticulous planning and quick thinking. There will also be a lot of trial and error involved as you try to overcome the different types of challenges in the game.
Visually, the jungles of Amazon, snowy mountains of the Himalayas, deserts of Egypt and lost continent of Maralidia are all a thing of beauty. The graphics are vibrant, and the surroundings are all detailed and look crisp. I simply enjoy taking control of Sasha and flying around the levels to just have a look at the surroundings.
Speaking of the game’s controls, there’s a virtual d-pad to maneuver both Hamilton and Sasha. These work fine for the most part. For Sasha though, the d-pad controls horizontal motion only, so to move vertically, you need to tilt your device. This bit feels a bit clunky and poorly implemented. Also, since this has touchscreen controls (unlike the console and PC which has got physical controllers), passing through certain challenges that require you to quickly change between Hamilton and Sasha is made more difficult than it otherwise should be.
In terms of performance, I have been getting the odd force close or two. The game also drops a few frames here and there, especially when there’s a lot happening visually, but otherwise, it plays out decently without much stuttering or anything of that sort.
My one major gripe with the game is that it is unnecessarily unforgiving. With such brilliant visuals, this could be the perfect ‘sight-seeing’ game, but the fact that every small mistake leads to your death makes the game frustrating to play more than anything else. Being a touchscreen game and all, the controls are not entirely precise too, and that doesn’t help either. I hope the developers will see sense in adding in a certain number of lives (3?), or at least offer a casual and hardcore mode, where casual has unlimited deaths and allows you to “rewind” and hardcore follows the current model.
If you don’t mind being punished for making the slightest of errors and restarting levels many times as a result, then I’d reckon you should get Hamilton’s Great Adventures THD. It is pleasing on the eyes visually, involves a lot of challenge in completing a level perfectly and has got a lot of variety in terms of level design, though I do think that ultimately the price tag of $3.99 for each part of the game may just be a little too steep for the amount of content offered.