Back in 2011, Wadjet Eye games brought us the masterful adventure game Gemini Rue. Developed mostly by Joshua Nuernburger, the game plays much like any other adventure game, but slathered with atmosphere. Receiving mostly positive reviews, Gemini Rue broke Wadjet Eye into the mainstream, and was generally accepted as an achievement in interactive storytelling. Like many of its contemporaries, it now finds itself on the iOS app store. After diving back into the futuristic noir detective story, not only does the game itself hold up, it plays surprisingly well on its new platform.
Set in the far-flung future, Gemini Rue tells the story of two troubled heroes, Azriel Odin and a test subject known only as Delta-Six. Azriel is your average hard-boiled protagonist, while Delta-Six finds himself held prisoner in a mysterious research facility. These two stories begin to intertwine, slowly revealing both of their sordid pasts. Even two years after its initial release, Gemini Rue is just as engrossing.
Set in a world that’s a mixture of Blade Runner and Cowboy Bebop, the game paints a future that’s rough, corrupt, and covered in a thick layer of grime. Story beats are snappy, and tend to keep the player moving from one goal to another. Interspersed are contemplative moments of investigation, wherein the player must navigate futuristic computer consoles or question one shady thug after another.
As for the new touch-screen interface, the port plays as close to the PC original as possible. And honestly, that’s the highest recommendation I can give it. Players communicate with the world in classic point-and-click fashion, collecting items and using them on various hot-spots in the environment. Exploration and interaction is a snap, as every click is simply replaced with a touch of the screen. Additionally, holding your finger down for a few seconds now highlights every hotspot on screen, helping avoid the need to pixel hunt. The only real faults stem from my own stubby fingers, and the occasional gun fight Gemini Rue throws at you.
These encounters weren’t perfect on the PC, with the accuracy of the gunplay leaving something to be desired. Moving in and out of cover is now mapped to buttons which appear on the touch screen when needed, and because of this the iOS port suffers from similar problems. By no means is the combat ever game breaking, it just never feels quite right.
The stylized visuals translate very well to iOS devices, taking full advantage of the gorgeous hi-res screens. Fans of Wadjet Eye will be familiar with the pixelated appearance common to its releases, and a smaller screen does not harm their minimal beauty. In fact, the smaller screens take the focus away from the obvious pixels, placing it more on the nostalgically charming animations.
Gemini Rue was, and still is fantastic. Nuernburger weaves an engrossing story in a world overflowing with atmosphere. A few flaws here and there keep the game from perfection, but should by no means deter you from playing. If you haven’t played it yet on PC, do yourself a favor and do so now.
Gemini Rue was developed by Joshua Nuernburger and Wadjet Eye and published by Wadjet Eye. A iOS copy was provided by the publisher for reviewing purposes.