Your mission: foil the drug-smuggling warlord’s plans to reanimate an evil Mayan God and end life as we know it.
Your weapon: er, a trusty finger...
Yes, that’s the scenario laid out in Broken Sword: The Smoking Mirror, a classic point-and-click adventure reborn on iOS touchscreens as a swipe-and-tap affair. But don’t despair, because a finger’s really all you’ll need. Well, that and a bit of brain power.
A remake of the 1997 PC favourite, The Smoking Mirror is the follow-up to last year’s Broken Sword: The Shadow Of The Templars, itself a perfect example of how to reinvent a game for iOS touchscreens. As with that game you guide wisecracking American George Stobbart and his fearless French girlfriend Nico around a succession of beautifully drawn screens hunting for clues in your quest for three Mayan relics.
If all that sounds a little dull, it’s not – far from it. Okay, so the game mechanic won’t trouble your ticker – tap screen until object flashes, examine object, use object in new location – but The Smoking Mirror beefs up the gameplay with rounded characters, believable dialogue and lashings of humour.
Its hint system, meanwhile, is one of the most useful out there and Dropbox integration is a neat trick, allowing you to sync game saves across iOS devices. And, as an added bonus, it comes with a gorgeous graphic novella by Watchmen co-creator Dave Gibbons.
That’s not to say it’s perfect: it feels noticeably shorter than the first game, and there aren’t enough truly testing puzzles to really give your grey matter a workout. But they’re minor points; this is a must-buy game and further proof that point-and-click is a genre reborn.