UPDATE: We have recently spoken to the developer in regards to the recent update that has come to Lazaretto on the mobile. We went back to play through the game again and give an update on score and review. Check out our recent notes below.
When starting Lazaretto back up again I got that feeling again where I knew I had played this before. Did it have replay value? Not very much but the more you think about it, the more you wanted to understand the story. So when I was re-downloading it I was quite excited to set in motion the new update.
With already playing Lazaretto from beginning to end I knew how the game goes so it was quite a streamlined journey. You always know what was good and what was bad last time around. Bad news travels faster than good news and the same thing comes into place here. I jumped in already known the good points, that’s not what I’m here for, I’m here to see the bad points I had set out.
While playing for some time, the first test was to see if it begins to lag again. Last time around I couldn’t figure out if it was my phone or the game itself being too demanding. While there was some lag this time it was noticeably different. It was a lot better this time around. I believe some subtle changes like the removal of the head bobbing and other points in this update affected this and now for the better.
Another point was that it was way too dark. Some points so dark I even had to find the natural light to play it. it was like the original Gameboy. A new part of the update sorted this right out. While it’s meant to give you that horror feel it can’t be too bright and now it seems to be just right.
One big gripe of mine was the jump to the elevator. It took so long I’m surprised I kept playing. But I did. As soon as I got the elevator I killed myself again. This time my fault. I was so used to the last jump I caused myself to die. Anyway, the second time around you can wait till exactly the right time, jump and you’re sorted. So much easier this time around.
While the notes are laid out in front of you now, I got an understanding of the story. One thing I didn’t know until recently was what Lazaretto was. Turns out it’s a quarantine area. Who knew. It gives me a better understanding of the story. While I figured that out by myself the story does give you a good idea of what the area you’re in is like. I still think the story is subtle but I believe at this point it’s not a bad idea. I think it’s the matter of making of it what you will. It’s subtle for a reason. If it is right there in front of you, what is the point in continuing to play? With it only being Chapter One, it’s the matter of keeping you guessing, and it did but just enough to understand what is happening and enough to actually look forward to what is next. It seems very like it could be part of the Conjuring Universe.
I definitely enjoyed it more this time around. While the game is still short, even shorter this time with known what to do the game itself was a lot more streamlined which definitely helped.
While I focused on the key points I didn’t like from the game there were some other updates added to the game that would benefit. Here are some points that I had missed out on.
-Fixed Crashing on Old Devices (I don’t remember this happening to myself but now it’s fixed)
-Easier to pick up interactive items. (I did experience this from time to time and glad this was fixed)
-Adjusted difficulty in Repulsion Level
-Streamlined notes throughout
-Smoothed jumping animation
-The highlight colour is more subtle
I think what we all can take away from here is that the developers are always listening and will make the changes you want. This you don’t hear of very often and it tends to be the smaller companies that do this. Good on them for wanting to do best for the players. I think next time around, I will try this on PC and if there ever is a sequel definitely on PC. The game runs good on mobile but if something is available on PC as well, take that opportunity. This doesn’t change the fact the game is the perfect length on mobile. Overall, if the developers are listening to everything that is said, imagine what they could do with a sequel? Everyone learns from mistakes, take the positives turn them into negatives. Looking forwards to it!
Platform: PC, Mac, iPhone (Reviewed on iPhone X)
Developer: Iron Monkey
Publisher: Iron Monkey
Release Date: 19th May 2017 (PC), 3rd May 2018 (iPhone)
Price: £5.19 (PC), £3.99 (App Store)
Recently I have been playing some games on the go. Usually, on the Nintendo Switch but recently some mobile games too. For now, it’s pretty much been Elder Scrolls Legends and a couple of others but when I saw the trailer for Lazaretto it peaked my interest. If you haven’t seen the trailer it’s definitely worth a look. The horror genre has always been a favourite of mine and that trailer just showed that. It also shows the capability of modern phones. The graphics aren’t the best you’re going to see in a game but by far some of the best on a mobile phone. A device you can slip in and out of your pocket has the capability of this? I couldn’t miss out on this one.
From what I am aware of the game is based on the PC version, where I had to look into the game as I was unaware of the original version. I didn’t want to get any spoilers for when I was reviewing it so it was just basically a once over of the game and what it was about.
Off the bat, you see how dark it is. I could barely see the game I had to turn my brightness up to max. Obviously playing a game of this power will drain your battery but it’s going to drain even more now that the brightness is on max.
When starting Lazaretto they give you the message of sitting in a dark room and wear headphones. I did just that. I set the tone for a horror, albeit on a small screen, but I gave it the best setting. One thing that surprised me was in the first room when you turn around the dripping noise you can hear it in 5.1. It passes around you when turning and this from a mobile, again, is amazing.
There are a few grammatical errors. In the first note, you can clearly see they skipped over a few characters or even just a bad translation but you see this throughout. You get the idea of what they mean however so it doesn’t spoil it, but could have been more polished.
The game has its moments of jumpscares. Especially with headphones one. Nothing where I would scream out on the bus, I expected pretty much all of them but still worked quite nicely. The sound effects of the winds a dipping using my headphones definitely set the tone.
I reached a point in the game where I proceed to the next area and couldn’t return so I knew I was heading in the right direction. But it was pretty much a dead end. I couldn’t go anywhere. There was an elevator shaft there and highlights blue when hovering over the cables but couldn’t do anything. When something is highlighted blue you double tap on it and it does whatever it needs to do. With this nothing happens. I was here for a good 30 minutes dying every so often trying to progress but couldn’t. In the end, I researched it and watched a couple of the PC version videos at that point. You notice how different it is from the mobile and PC versions and I was right. It shows you have to go down the elevator shaft but I just couldn’t. No matter what I did I just couldn’t progress beyond that. After a good 45 minutes, I figured it out. You have to run a jump on it, I have no clue why cause I could reach it without jumping but that was the only way to do it.
Progressing throughout, the story is quite poor, there wasn’t a lot to it, little character building, throwing people into it here and there, you can see it takes details from Shutter Island and Outlast. The further in you get the better it does get only if your phone can handle it that far in. I reviewed this on an iPhone X and my phone was hot after an hour. Really hot. That chrome outer? Get ready to put your phone down for a bit. The hotter your phone is the more your game is going to lag.
The game was laggy at the start of it while the phone was cool but it worsens over time. There are times where it is silky smooth but doesn’t last long. I guess this is to compensate for better graphics. There was one point entering the nurse’s area where it lagged so bad I had to turn it off to let my phone cool down for a while and come back and it still was terrible. This area was the brightest area in the game so it may be that textures could be seen better with the depth of field causing it lag but just wasn’t great at all.
There was one point in the game that wasn’t optimized what I think is the iPhone X. I don’t have another iPhone to test this on but there is one point in the game you control a boat through a scare ride and the left arrow is nearly off of the screen. I am still able to tap it but that arrow needs moving.
The game is quite simple. Once you reach the end stage where this is a slight puzzle to reach the ending everything is straightforward. For a mobile game, it looks great but it is let down by the lag. Maybe mobiles just aren’t up to the standard of quality for gaming just yet. It’s quite clunky for the controls with the lag included it can make the game literally unplayable at times till it cools down to replay. Is that a phone problem? Maybe but it could be down to the power the game is pulling in making it overheat. It is extremely short but in my eyes, this is what you want from a mobile game, you don’t want a full-length game, you want a nice little sit through and it does that when it is playable. I can’t imagine it being a full PC game with how short it is. Maybe a VR version is next?
As informed by the developer on the back of player feedback we have been given some fresh information that will help make the game better. Based on the complaints we had put forward the developer is taking their time to update the game to be the best it can be. We have also updated the title due to the game being Chapter One and potential of further games in the future. Please check out the developer notes below:
- The flashlight will be more intense. (Done on their side)
- Adjusting darkness (They will continue to tweak these over a longer period of time as well)
- Rewrite some of the notes
- The elevator will not require jumping…just running (done on their side)
- Overall performance (This is an area they will continue to tweak)
I have to give it out to Iron Monkey Interactive and their team. They have taken on board feedback and looking into tweaking this to better the game. If you look at big developers it’s very rare they reach out to their player base to update them accordingly and give them what they want to make the overall experience better. Albeit, the game right now hasn’t changed but expect big changes (above) to come into place and make that gameplay experience better for everyone. Who doesn’t love that?