All Features


  PlayStation 3
  PlayStation 4
  Wii U
  Xbox 360
  Xbox One


Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked

Score: 81%
ESRB: Everyone 10+
Publisher: Konami
Developer: Hudson Soft
Media: CD/1
Players: 1 - 2
Genre: Adventure/ Simulation/ Strategy

Graphics & Sound:

From our last memory of Lost in Blue on the DS, Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked is a nice improvement. The graphics are not top-of-the-line for Wii, but are respectable. Where the art style before seemed biased toward realism, Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked goes more toward a cutesy, anime look. It keeps the overall game feeling lighter, makes it easier when the story introduces comedic elements, and reduces any discomfort players might have projecting themselves into the situation of these survivors. The interface suffers from lots of repetition, since you are constantly required to do the same basic actions like starting fires, gathering items, cooking meals, and interacting with other characters. Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked doesn't give players much credit for reading directions, judging by the requirement that you click through the same screen of instructions a million times to do the most basic actions. The implementation of dialogue in the game suffers from having only about 10% voice acting attached to the words on-screen. Hearing someone say, "Hello!" while the words on-screen are something like, "Hello. It's great to see you, my fine friend and fellow survivor," is a bit odd. Perhaps the voice actors were paid by the word?

Various cut-scenes throughout Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked help move the story forward and do a decent job capturing the spirit of crisis. Nothing feels too heavy, thanks to the high cute-factor, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. I mean, one of the girls you're stranded with is wearing high heels! Who gets stuck on a desert island in high heels? Staying on the lighter side helps to dispel the notion that Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked is trying to be a "survival simulation," which it really can't pull off. There is a relatively attractive game under the hood here, very colorful and with lots of incidental music and sound effects. Most every action has its corresponding sound as an indication of success, and as you get into the game you'll be able to scan through a registry of items and animals you've encountered. The way new environments unfold as you explore makes the small areas available for play bearable, but Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked doesn't have any real "open world" feel to it, which is a shame. Something more grand or at least more beautiful would have made this something more special.


The way you feel about Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked will depend on how you operate in the world. If you like to obsess over the details and think that it's all about "the journey" rather than "the destination," you may have found videogame Nirvana. Those of us with a more results-oriented mindset will find the level of detail and maintenance in this game a bit maddening. Survival really is all about the details, as a boy named Aidan Sanders and his pet monkey Hobo discover after being swept into the sea during their escape from a sinking cruise ship. Waking up on a desert island is supposed to include Brooke Shields, isn't it? No such luck here, I'm afraid. The island that Aidan wakes up on will test his survival skills, and that's only the dress rehearsal for things to come. The story of the game is really just Aidan's continued existence and the people that he discovers during his journey to make it back to civilization. His challenges (and yours, by extension) are pretty simple: Find enough food and water to stay alive while you explore your surroundings and find a way to get back home. This constitutes Survival Mode, equivalent to what most games would call the "story" mode. Aidan's lady friend, Lucy, is playable in a few ways through this mode. You'll meet her immediately after escaping the first island, which is basically your training on the game's mechanics. Once you two are together, co-op gameplay becomes possible and you'll also use Lucy as a partner for Aidan, to accomplish some special tasks.

Co-op multiplayer is somewhat embedded in Survival Mode by way of mini-games used for cooking and other tasks. When you enter a mini-game that can be played by two, you'll get a special message explaining how the game can be played solo or with a friend. This is a nice way to introduce multiplayer without any need to restart the game and enter a special mode. As it turns out, there is a separate mode like this, called Gord and Fiona Mode. This mode uses the co-op style of play as a focus, making it fun for two players that really want to have the mutual survival experience. On a single-player level, one additional feature, Minigame Mode, is unlocked as you play further into Survival. Minigame lets you just drill into the specific games that drive actions like cooking, building, fashioning tools, and hunting/fishing. The meat of Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked is arguably Survival Mode, and the piece that will require the greatest skill to complete. Keeping yourself alive on the island would be hard enough, but the partner dynamic makes for some very interesting scenarios. Both Aidan and Lucy came to the island with pets, which is a strange twist, but a rather helpful device from a game design standpoint. Using all resources to your advantage is what makes the difference between a great game experience and a poor one. There's a significant amount of planning and strategy required to master Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked, so even though words like mini-game might lead you to believe this is a casual game, don't be fooled.


It isn't like you're going to kick the bucket instantly on these islands. The reality is almost more disturbing, that you're possibly going to waste away and expire for lack of basic shelter or sustenance. Slowly, even... The steps required to avoid this outcome aren't all that complicated to perform, but they have to be performed in a specific sequence and at specific intervals. If you don't gather enough food often, you'll find yourself back at camp with an empty stomach. If it's a cold night and you don't stoke the fire before bed, you're likely to wake with the sniffles or a full-blown cold. Exploring the island is a must, but failing to pack food and water means you'll be struggling just to get back to camp without becoming dehydrated or incapacitated by hunger. Considering there are dangerous creatures, food-gone-bad, and other environmental challenges like rain and earthquakes to contend with, Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked can become challenging rather quickly. It takes good organizational skills and a cool head to survive here, and you'll only have your hand held for a short time. The first time you do anything, you'll get some pointers, but once the basic survival cycle (gather, eat/hydrate, and rest) is introduced, it is in effect for the entire game. Ignore the importance of any item on that list at your peril. Gamers looking for something strategic that isn't a game about waging war may really enjoy Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked, since it requires much the same discipline as you'd expect from a real-time strategy (RTS) title.

Game Mechanics:

Using the Wii-mote and the Nunchuk works as well or better than the DS stylus to move around the island, but the Wii completely has the edge when it comes to mini-games. As mentioned before, the repetition got to me after a while, but that has more to do with my ADD than any failing in Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked. Shaking the coconut trees never got boring, but sending Hobo up the tree to gather food is a nice option. By the time you leave the first island, you will have learned all the basic mechanics, such as building a fire, constructing objects, gathering items, and making food. Variations on these games are many, enough to keep tedium from encroaching, but the tedium may come anyway as players look for something more exciting to happen. Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked is somewhat event-driven, in that you'll only encounter certain characters or unlock specific things by exploring. The free spirit of adventure is dampened somewhat by the realization that if you fail to perform well, you're going to die. The back-and-forth aspect of the game did wear thin, but that's always been ingrained in the Lost in Blue formula. The motion controls really do make things more engaging. Nothing requires that you trace complex shapes with the Wii-mote or do a lot of work that involves twitchy coordination. Instead, you'll do simple movements, often with both the Wii-mote and Nunchuk working in concert. Examples are pushing a tree or an object, or climbing a wall by moving the two in alternate up/down patterns. The cooking games are much simpler than what we've seen in dedicated cooking titles for Wii like Order Up, but still fun.

The upshot of a game about survival is that it is a niche title. Adherents of the previous Lost in Blue will find Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked a great new addition. The motion controls are well implemented and add quite a bit. How enthused fans will be about Aidan and the new characters is an open question, but nothing in the design of the characters or their world detracts from the fun. Watching cute characters get food poisoning is about the same as watching non-cute characters; your goal is to find them some good food, regardless. The design direction of Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked is good for wooing new players that make their buying decisions on cover art, either for rentals or purchases. Those of us that care more about the guts of a game will not find a thin or overly frustrating experience here, unless you count the survival simulation aspects as frustrating. One way to approach the survival piece is to say that like many games, there are timing considerations that must be mastered in order to move forward. Once you get your groove on with Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked, you'll find that the boom-bust cycle around food and water smooths out, and you can really start shooting for larger goals. Getting past basic survival is how the game becomes more fun. Not everyone will have the patience to hang around that long, but the wait is worth it in this case.

-Fridtjof, GameVortex Communications
AKA Matt Paddock

Windows Time Stands Still Windows King's Bounty: The Legend

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated