This gentle iOS adventure game sees you travelling to a deserted island in search of your missing aunt, who appears to have vanished (as the title kind of suggests) in mysterious circumstances. The captain of the ship promptly buggers off, stranding you on the isle with no rations (not even a Pot Noodle or a pack of Hob Nobs) and no clue of what to do next. Thankfully a helpful raven is knocking around to help you out, and it’s not long before you discover the ancient history of the island and start messing around with some godly powers.
Vanished: The Island plays out from a first-person perspective, and you move around the island by tapping on the path you wish to take, or prodding the ‘back’ button in the corner to return to your previous location. You’ve got an inventory for storing items you pick up, and all you need to do is drag and drop an object to use it. After a few minutes we settled into the controls, and had no trouble hopping about the place. Best of all, you get a journal for recording any interesting information you uncover, and a map which can be used to jump straight to any location on the island.
The game is designed to be played on a iPhone, but is still perfectly playable on the iPad’s larger screen, without too much impact on the graphics. You’ll encounter the occasional pixellated wall or dog that appears to be floating in the air, but for an indie effort it’s impressive – the island’s forests and beaches are packed with lush details and hotspots on the whole are pretty obvious.
Vanished: The Island is surprisingly short, and not too taxing if you’re used to adventure games – aside from a pesky tile puzzle, we breezed through the entire game with nary a hitch in under two hours. The ending is rather sudden, but clearly paves the way for the impending part two.
If you fancy a soothing adventure game that holds your hand rather than pounding your brain, Vanished: The Island is a thoughtful and entertaining little number that’s well worth your time.