There haven’t been a whole lot of games based on pure survival in our industry. Sure you could talk about games like Resident Evil, but that’s also based on horror. But when you think about it, there haven’t been a whole lot of games in which you actually have to focus on core survival instincts when pertaining to your character. Survival Kids was a moderately popular game on the Game Boy and Game Boy Color years ago that emphasized this style of play. But now the concept has been redefined in Konami’s Lost In Blue! Sure the concepts may be very much the same in both, but how they are realized on the Nintendo DS will be far different and much more intuitive!
In the demo that was shown at this year’s E3 show, players are mysteriously washed upon the shore of a remote desert isle after a tragedy occurred at sea. There is a beginning cinematic that emphasizes what happens prior to the disaster, and it’s shown with the use of still images. So in other words, the game pretty much starts as soon as you’re given control of the male character involved in the accident.
So just what can you do to ensure the survival of your characters in this game? Well, it’s really no different from what you might do if something like this were to happen to you in real life. You can gather coconuts for a water and food source. You can pick up various berries and mushrooms for nutrition (just make sure they’re safe first!). You can also gather twigs in order to make fire. Hey, you have to have some way to cook your food and signal for help! Coconuts actually aren’t just “available” around the beach area either. You will have to work for the treats that you desire to consume. You will have to sometimes shake trees in order to knock them loose. This is actually done through the use of the touchscreen! When you face a tree with your player, you can change to a first-person perspective. Then with the use of the stylus, you simply push against the tree to make the player give it a nice shake! The touchscreen will also come into play for other such things like digging up seashells out of the sand and uprooting various vegetables for those ever-so-vital vitamins!
The main task that was required in the E3 demo was finding the very shelter that would be your home for this adventure! Conveniently you will spot a nearby cave that seems already fit for your short or long term living, so off you go! When you reach the cave, you will have to start a fire in order to dry your soaking wet clothes. This is pretty much considered the first mini-game of your adventure as you’ll need to gather the proper fire making materials! Then by using the L and R shoulder buttons, you will twist the stick of bark in the small pile of sticks that you gathered in order to create your first satisfying spark! Even more intuitive is the use of the microphone in this process! You will actually have to blow in it to make the fire start going, it needs oxygen you know!
After you accomplish this first major task, you are ready for your first night’s sleep. On the next day, you’ll begin further exploration of the seemingly deserted island only to find that you aren’t alone! After you cross a river that is now safe to trek, you’ll encounter a female castaway! You will eventually help her in finding her lost eyeglasses, but unfortunately you step on them in the process and destroy them. Way to go! This will grant you the task of helping the now seeing impaired girl back to your home cave so you can work together!
Finally, in the E3 demo were two playable mini-games. One was the milking of a goat. But from what IGN said about it, it doesn’t seem entirely easy. You have to use the stylus to pull down on the goat’s teats and get milk into a bucket below. But if the goat doesn’t like how you pull at any given time, you will get a nice big kick in the teeth, OUCH! Hopefully this mini-game won’t be as difficult as they made it out to be, especially with the dubbed “17 thousand tries.” Another mini-game was one that involves some actual cooking. This involves simply throwing various ingredients into a pot by writing on the touch screen what you want to go in. Then in a very intuitive touch, you have to actually close the DS for a specified number of seconds and if it worked, the meal will be done once you open the system up again! Pretty cool huh?
So to put it simply, Lost In Blue is a game of survival. It arrives in just a few short weeks, and for those of you out there who want to experience a game that utilizes the DS’ features beautifully, this may just be for you! An adventure game focusing on the human instincts of survival, coming soon!