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Lost Horizon

Score: 88%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Deep Silver
Developer: Deep Silver
Media: DVD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Lost Horizon is an Indiana Jones-feeling adventure plot, but since it isn't tied to any specific license, is allowed go in a few interesting directions.

Visually, the game takes on an animated look with both characters and locations that really pop. It doesn't matter if you are in an old airfield, on top of a Tibetan mountain, or anywhere in between, the artwork sells the location perfectly.

Lost Horizon's background music is present, and fits the surroundings pretty well, but there isn't anything too catchy or memorable once you leave the scene behind. On the other hand, the main character's voice acting is dead on. Not only does his dialogue seem to fit, but the execution of the script doesn't sound phoned in. While I can't say this was true for all of the characters, listening to Fenton's dialogue was never a problem.


Lost Horizon takes place during the 1930's where you help the aforementioned Fenton track down and help an old military friend of his. While Fenton himself has been dishonorably discharged from the service, the friend's father, who is very highly ranked in local politics, has asked our would-be hero to travel to his son Richard's last known location and see if he can pick up the trail.

Fenton's retracing of his friend's route will take him into the Tibetan mountains and even to the mythical Shangri-La. As we learn in the game's prologue, it seems Richard was defending a group of monks whose sole purpose is to protect the entrance way to an ancient secret. In order to protect both Richard and the secret, he was put into a hidden chamber that seems to be the path to the legendary city. Unfortunately for Richard, and eventually Fenton, the reason the monks needed rescuing is because a troupe of Nazi soldiers have been dispatched to this area in order to find the same hidden chamber and lost city.

The game looks and feels like pretty much every point-and-click adventure out there, which is great for pick up-and-playability, and with the exception of a few non-characteristic puzzles, should pose no problem for anyone who has played an adventure game before. Of course, I'm not talking about the difficulty of the game here, but more about any kind of learning curve or variation from the genre's standards.


As for Lost Horizon's challenges, the game does a good job of mixing things up quite a bit. Individual puzzles seem straightforward and clear as to what needs to be done. There were very few times during the game when I felt like I didn't know how to solve the most immediate problems, though they did exist. What was nice was that you could also see how the current little puzzle fit in the grand scheme of things.

Usually, Fenton would be presented with what seems like a simple issue, but when attempting to get past it, he would find that there are actually quite a few steps that need to be accomplished before getting past that hurdle. In the end, what looks like a simple problem could involve five or six smaller puzzles in order to actually progress. Not only does this give the game a bit more depth, but it allows the player to keep a pretty good eye on the overall destination.

This ability is also helped by an intriguing feature called the Task List, which is much more than a simple checklist of tasks completed and still open.

Game Mechanics:

Lost Horizon's Task List is a bit of narrative that not only gets the user up to speed on Fenton's current situation, but also talks about the various tasks currently being handled. Not only is this done via full sentence dialogue written at the bottom of the screen, but it is also accompanied by a voiceover. This helps not only to keep the player knowledgeable as to his or her current list of tasks, but if you haven't been to the game in a few days or feel a little lost, it is a great resource to remember exactly where you are and what you are in the middle of doing. I found this a feature that came in handy a lot, especially since I am typically juggling several adventure games at a time.

While some might say this makes the game noticeably easier, I find that it keeps everything on an even playing field. There is nothing I find more frustrating than booting up an adventure game and simply not know where I am, what I am trying to accomplish, and what is going on in the story. This feature allows you to start up a gaming session later, but not feel like you have to struggle to get back into the game.

As for adventure games in general, Lost Horizon has a very solid core, and it does a great job of sticking to that central mechanic. There aren't any added genres to muddy the waters, no gimmicks to try and appeal to a wider audience. This game is for adventure fans and it is sure to please its target audience. While it might not be the most challenging game out there, it isn't a walk in the park either, so it should provide an entertaining challenge for any follower of the genre.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7, Pentium IV 2 GHz Single Core or 100% compatible CPU, 512 MB RAM, DirectX 9-compatible AGP or PCI Express 64 MB video card or better, DirectX 9-compatible 16-bit sound card (optional), DVD-ROM drive, approx. 4.5 GB of free hard disk space, Mouse

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

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