Game Reviews

The Great Fusion

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| The Great Fusion
The Great Fusion
| The Great Fusion

Unless you believe that hidden-object games count, the one genre that's sorely under-represented on Android is point-and-click adventure.

Developer Loading Home is aiming to redress this balance with its postmodern fable The Great Fusion. It's a laudable effort, too, with a smart premise and some occasionally tittersome gags.

But it stumbles quite severely over the traditional adventure game foibles of illogical puzzles, endless backtracking, and wonky, (often mistranslated) dialogue.

Max, hit the road

In a dystopian 2022, the rich and poor have been completely divided into separate parts of the city - an act called, confusingly, The Great Fusion.

Your character, Max, is one of the poor folk. The sacked computer programmer lives in a grim bedsit, works in a cubicle office uploading funny pictures of cats, and walks with a stooped shambling gait that's endearing at first but irritating when you need him to schlep across the map for the 50th time.

Over the course of this relatively short game, Max will go on the run for handling a pirated version of Pong, rescue his best friend from a strange gaggle of gangsters, and try to rob a bank by scaring off customers using faeces.

It's definitely a strange, if somewhat incoherent, tale, which is helpfully illustrated with sharp hand-drawn artwork reminiscent of the grimy Hector series on iOS.

The controls are well-refined for touchscreens, too, with screen-taps revealing hot spots to interact with and icons showing when items can be manipulated or picked up.

Scat man wrong

You're given access to a mobile phone during the game containing hints, and you can expand these to a walkthrough if you get stuck - due to poor signposting of what to do next, this facility is invaluable.

Right up until it abruptly stops just after the halfway mark and cruelly tells you, "There are no more hints for this game."

Even veterans of the original LucasArts adventures and Gilbert / Schafer Monkey Island games are likely to find themselves voiding their insurance at this point as they angrily toss their phones out of nearby windows.

There are some forums online with helpful players providing guides on how to complete the game, but that doesn't really excuse the developer's lack of in-game support.

Characters should be offering advice, not looped phrases, and Max could really do with thinking out loud at points, beyond just saying, "That seems absurd" when you try and combine a cup of coffee and a person.

Meanwhile, a lot of the scatalogical humour and out-of-place swearing feels juvenile and incongruous, undermining the mature adventure goals The Great Fusion seems to aiming for.

Combined with the rather rambling, sluggish story, these flaws leave you with a passable adventure that only genre diehards will see through to the underwhelming finale.

The Great Fusion

Traditional point-and-click games might be a rarity on Android, but The Great Fusion lacks the polished puzzles and chortlesome chuckles needed to match the classics
Paul Devlin
Paul Devlin
A newspaper reporter turned games journo, Paul's first ever console was an original white Game Boy (still in working order, albeit with a yellowing tinge and 30 second battery life). Now he writes about Android with a style positively dripping in Honeycomb, stuffed with Gingerbread and coated with Froyo