The App Store and Google Play have seen some pretty cool point-and-click adventure games lately. This is awesome for fans of the genre, but less awesome for mediocre fare like Escape From Laville 2 by Destiny Glove Studio.
There are some pretty high standards for adventure games to live up to now, and Escape From Laville 2 doesn't come close.
Escape from Laville 2 is the second part of a dark mystery involving missing peoples and a biohazard called the Green Frost Virus. It's not the most original premise, and the voiceless text has plenty of typos and a flat voice.
But Escape from Laville 2's narrative is intriguing enough to keep you going, especially for anyone that is inherently fascinated by weird viruses [clears throat, raises hand].
The game's real issue is its presentation. The dark visuals, vague directions, and lack of marked hot-spots make it very difficult to get around this strange and lonely setting.
Help is not forthcoming
Simply put, knowing where to go and what to do in Escape from Laville 2 is one big guessing game. You're dumped in this mysterious area to look for the previous game's missing protagonist, and clues are very scarce.
Triggering hotspots requires a lot of tapping. Whereas well-engineered adventure games highlight hotspots when you hold your finger to the screen, Escape from Laville 2 offers no such convenience.
A single screen can hold any number of clues, but good luck uncovering them all unless you peck at your mobile device like a mad bird. Even then, you might miss a tiny but vital item or puzzle.
Escape from Laville 2 is obviously going for a mysterious atmosphere, and making you feel utterly alone is part of the ambiance. That's admirable, but you don't end up feeling lonely and in awe of your surroundings.
Walking around in circles while putting your fingers on everything just to get a clue about what happens next makes you feel frustrated and angry, two very loud and overwhelming human emotions that muffle whatever intrigue Escape from Laville 2 attempts to foster.
Even moving from screen to screen is a chore. Despite the game's static images, transitioning between areas comes with an annoying pause. These delays are small, but they add up when you're wandering around in a fruitless search for your next clue.
If you made your way through Escape from Laville, then you're already familiar with the series's problems.
If you're dying to know what happens next, by all means pick up Escape from Laville 2. Otherwise, adventure game fans are better off hooking up with The Wolf Among Us, Journey Down, or The Walking Dead.