iPhone App Video Review: PD -prope discoverer-

Jul 8, 2011

Prope Discoverer is a new app from developer PROPE. It uses the unreal engine to create a beautiful world for you to explore, asking you to complete something of a scavenger hunt. It’s definitely impressive looking, but it isn’t very engaging and I’m not sure it’s worth your time.

Basically, this game took the free tech demos of Epic Citadel and Castlerama, and has tried to turn that concept into an actual game. It’s all very similar to dream:scape, so don’t be surprised when I compare the two a lot. The game is very simple. You just walk around with the two virtual sticks and try to find a bunch of cards. These cards act as keys to open the gate to the next section of the game. As you enter an area you will see three pictures depicting clues as to where the cards are. Pictures of things like flowers or pillars, and usually an arrow which actually indicates the direction you should look once you find the landmark. This is the entire game. You go through a few sections and find cards. The cards are randomized every time in an effort to create replay-ability and you can restart the game if you get completely stuck on a card. That’s lame though. They should allow you to reset the area that you are already in, and not make you start all over again. I was very confused when I first started this game, before I learned how to really read all the signs. Once you do though, it becomes a little too easy to find each card.

Obviously the game looks gorgeous, as most games made in the Unreal Engine do. The problem is that this title isn’t very engaging at all. There is no real incentive to play to the end. There is no story, no mystery, no rewards; just a tech demo with randomized cards. Dream:scape at least had an interesting story and some emotional appeal. This game is much shorter and much less interesting than dream:scape. It is very peaceful though. The music and ambient noise are very relaxing, even if they do get repetitive after a while. The controls seemed a bit unresponsive at times. And it was like the virtual sticks would just slip out of your fingers. The end of the game is unforgivably frustrating though. There is one last puzzle to solve, different from the rest, and you only get three chances to solve it. If you fail, you get sent back to the beginning of the game. I don’t know if there is anything past this puzzle, and I refuse to find out. I’ve spent enough time replaying this app as it is. Even though it is a really gorgeous game, I really don’t feel like I got my money’s worth at all. This was a three dollar app. I can’t recommend trying it out until the price drops, unless this looks and sounds like an experience that you would really enjoy.

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Andrew Koziara

Andrew Koziara is a lifelong gamer and metal head. When he isn’t playing or reviewing games, he’s making them at Tribeca Flashpoint Academy. Check out his Twitter page here.

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