Syberia Review

What happens when you re-release a classic? Mobile phones have provided a fantastic platform for bringing back some of the best games of the past, but not all of them have survived the transition. This Syberia review seeks to determine not only if the game still holds up as a classic of the adventure genre, but whether it survived the transition to a mobile platform with its soul intact.

Type of Game Point and Click Adventure
Developer Microids
Platforms Android, iOS
iTunes Download Page
Google Play Download Page
Free No

Your Mission

Syberia is a point and click adventure game in the most old-school way. Put in the shoes of a New York lawyer, you have the task of solving a mystery in a world that’s close to – but not quite the same as – our own. Along the way, you’ll solve puzzles, get to know a cast of interesting characters, and eventually unravel a mystery.

Design & Graphics

When playing through this Syberia review. a major take away was that Syberia is a bit of an oddity in terms of design. On one hand, it feels very classic. You can see that this is a game meant to throw back to games like the Gabriel Knight series. On the other hand, though, it’s incredibly linear.

The game keeps you on the rails, especially during conversations. Everything is in service of the story, which makes it tremendously entertaining when the story is moving and almost maddening when there’s a lull.

It’s a type of design that doesn’t really exist in adventure games anymore. However, it fits very well with the games that were released around its creation.

Graphically, the game is starting to show its age. The version on iOS and Android does look much better than what you would find on PC, but you can tell that it belongs to the era of CRT monitors. The game isn’t going to win any awards when you get up close, but the backgrounds are still spectacular.

There are many Adventure games on mobile devices that look better than Syberia. However, there’s still something that is worth mentioning about the style in this game.

If you’re willing to accept the fact that it’s an older game, you’ll be quite happy with what you find on the screen. We definitely didn’t detract it points, in this Syberia review, for its graphical quality.

Main Characters

The main character of Syberia is Kate Walker, a New York City lawyer who’s come to Europe to facilitate a factory sale. Kate’s an interesting protagonist because she’s very much an outsider.

She’s definitely the other, and not just because she’s from the US. She doesn’t share the experiences that the colorful cast of characters has used to define their lives. This helps players to better identify with Kate and makes her a compelling point of view character.

This is Kate’s first adventure, but it’s not her last. If you’ve played the other games in the series, you’re probably used to her personality being a bit different. This younger, more inexperienced version of Kate can be a great deal of fun to play, though. Her conversations are solid and it’s hard not to put yourself in her shoes.

While you probably won’t list her among the most compelling video game heroines, you won’t regret the time spent with her. Kate’s a holdover from the days when video game protagonists were player stand-ins, and that works quite well here.

Storyline

Kate Walker is a New York lawyer, sent to Europe to facilitate the sale of the Voralberg Manufacturing factory to its rival.

Voralberg has been responsible for the creation of many mechanical toys over its history and was the primary employer in the town of Valadilene. The company’s time has passed it by, though, and most have lost interest in its automatons.

The plot kicks into motion when Kate finds out that the person responsible for the sale is dead. And, later, that there might be a hidden heir to the company out there.

Kate goes on a whirlwind adventure throughout Europe to try to solve the mystery. A mystery that’s far more personal to her than players were initially led to believe.

Kate’s journey is not defined by actions or puzzles, like in other game. But rather by the conversations that she has with the people around her. These characters range from the quaint to the bizarre, but they make the world of Syberia different from our own.

Without them, the plot would grind to a halt. With their assistance, though, Kate can learn a number of secrets that have the power to change her life.

Additional Versions

There is an ad-supported trial version of Syberia available, but it’s certainly not the ideal way to play the game. It’s free, though, which makes it a good choice for those who aren’t sure about the genre.

Be warned, though – nothing takes a person out of a complex game quite as much as having to deal with ads. The price of the main game has dropped below five dollars on some platforms.

So, it’s really not worth the savings to have to put up with the light version of the game. Only seek this out if you’re leaning towards not purchasing Syberia at all.

Final Thoughts

In the opinion of the writers of this Syberia review, the game has reached the point where its age is showing. The adventure genre has had such a stellar rebirth since the game was originally released. Due to that, this title seems like a bit of a relic, unlike Machinarium, which we covered in a different review. The story is still fantastic, of course, but the mechanics seem very out of place in an era where games are experimenting with controls.

If you’ve never played it before, Syberia is still a great experience on mobile. Sadly, though, it’s not going to stand up to scrutiny if you have played the game on another platform. Do you agree with this Syberia review? Let us know your experiences!

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