A Dark Puzzler with Many Secrets
Meridian 157, developed by newcomer NovaSoft Interactive, is a point-and-click adventure game with many puzzles scattered throughout the game. Meridian 157 is actually split into multiple parts, but as of this review, only the Prologue and Chapter 1 are available. The Prologue is free and features simple puzzles, while Chapter 1 is much more complex for $1.99. In general, Meridian 157 is an exciting game experience that really tests your ability to solve puzzles and figure out the solution from the most basic context clues.
A Lone Man Investigates a Strange Phenomenon
The plot puts you in the role of David Zander, a meteorologist who is investigating some unusual weather anomalies. In all honesty, his job is not as relevant as the place he ends up in—a mysterious island with a secret government-funded project of unknown purposes. The prologue takes you around your own weather station, as you discover the strange island on the map and go there via your boat. You’ll explore the island, then discover an elevator and go down it, ending the prologue.
Chapter 1 kicks off by having you fully explore the facility where the scientists did their research. Through newspaper clippings and the like, you will discover that everyone on the island suddenly disappeared one day. Throughout the game, you will see some spooky shadows, so the game definitely has a horror tone to it. That’s pretty much all there is to say about the plot and honestly it serves as flavor text a lot of the time.
Puzzling Puzzles and Helpful Hints
The core gameplay of Meridian 157 consists of you figuring out what items and clues you will need to progress. There are several ways you can progress. You might need to find an item, like a screwdriver, and use it in the right place, like a panel with screws. Sometimes, you’ll need to find and memorize a number sequence for a combination lock. Other times, there will be more complex visual puzzles to open a door. It’s normally fairly obvious what you need to do to progress. Sometimes you’ll need to backtrack through areas to pick up items you missed, but Meridian 157 always gives you the opportunity to do so. Your main character will even helpfully tell you that there’s nothing left to do here, if that’s the case.
I never once felt frustrated by the obtuseness of the puzzles. Every puzzle, regardless of difficulty, ended up seeming totally obvious to me when I finally figured out the answer. The game does have two modes, one with hints and one without. I actually recommend that you take the one with hints. There might be times when you completely overlooked a vital item and you won’t know that you need it to progress. Those times are rare, however, so I will encourage you to try to explore every area before resorting to a hint. Trust me, it’s worth it when you finally figure out the answer.
Addicting and Rewarding
The games only take about 3-4 hours to complete fully. But, I can promise you that you will find yourself immersed in this excellent game. The atmosphere of the game world and the facility gives a nice creepy feeling as you slowly uncover the mysteries of the island. The pacing is excellent, and the difficulty is just enough to get you thinking without being too difficult. The graphics consist mainly of still images and a few first-person cutscenes, but they are perfectly fine for a mobile point-and-click game. If you enjoy a good brain teaser, Meridian 157 is well worth your time and money.
But is it Hardcore?
For a short game, absolutely.
NovaSoft Interactive’s Meridian 157 is a very well-done, if short, point-and-click adventure game. The difficulty is just right, and the game is very rewarding as a result.