Amnesia is a multi-chapter point-and-click mystery available for iOS and Android. I like a good point-and-click game that allows me to focus on the story rather than on learning a set of complex controls. Sometimes, I’m just not in the mood for a learning curve, especially when it’s late and I’m tired. Point-and-click mysteries like Amnesia are perfect for times like that. I can curl up with my iPad and a cup of tea and enjoy solving the mystery.
Amnesia has a lot going for it in regard to storyline. It starts with you as the main character awaking inside a locked office. You have no idea why you are there or what happened the night before. As you gather clues about who’s office your in, why you might be there, and how you’re going to get out, you interact with several items in the office.
Simply tapping an object will inform you as to what it is. If you want to put that item in your inventory, you click and hold. In order to use an item in the inventory with the environment, you find the item, tap it to activate it, and then touch and hold the item in the environment to get the two to work together. This is all well and good, but it gets a little clunky when you have multiple items in your inventory. The game is designed for inventory items to appear only on the top of the screen, so you have to scroll after you have more than five or so items. That gets tedious. It would be better if you could have them pop out in a window so you could see everything at once.
Like a lot of point-and-click games, Amnesia doesn’t allow you full access to your environment. This is an issue I have with point-and-click games in general, not just this one. For example, in Chapter 2: Jeffrey’s Mystery there is a fireplace. You have to go through a complicated series of events to start a fire in the fireplace despite having matches and newspapers in the room. The matches are wet, which is part of the puzzle, but you can’t interact with the newspapers at all, which is just frustrating. I wish point-and-click games in general did a better job with their environments and with their logic. If you don’t want me using newspapers in a fireplace and you want me to use something else for fuel, don’t put newspapers in the environment. Little things like that irritated me in Amnesia, but this is nothing new for point-and-click games, so I can’t hold it against them but so much.
As for storyline, Amnesia is interesting. Once you escape the office in Chapter 1: Awake, then the real story starts. Unfortunately, only chapter 1 is free, which is understandable, but the next chapter was pretty short, so I’m not seeing a lot of bang for my buck. I had a review code to cover the 99 cents cost of the second chapter and subsequent chapters aren’t available yet. Will all the chapters be 99 cents? How many chapters will there be? Is this game going to cost me $4 or $40? Pricing plans like this make players reluctant to spend their money and get involved with the game when they have no idea what it will eventually cost them.
Personally, I’m willing to spend a few dollars on a point-and-click with a good story, but I’m not willing to invest the same amount of money I would on a high end console game with a lot of replay or multiplayer options. The other issue with chapter releases for games like Amnesia is that the story is complex, which is what makes it interesting, but if I have to wait six months for the next installment, I’m going to forget what I’ve already figured out. Maybe that’s just me, but I don’t think so.
I enjoyed my time playing Amnesia but I prefer to know what I’m getting into for subsequent chapters. Amnesia earns 3 GiN Gems. Chapter one is free, so if you like point and click, give it a try.