You play Ariane, a photojournalist looking for a good story. Your helicopter lands beside a volcano and moments later is destroyed in a rock slide. You grab some equipment, look for your pilot and begin the adventure.
The world you are about to explore is beautifully detailed. You will traverse desert and savanna, explore a mine and two very different villages. Even the load/save/continue game screen is unusual and attractive (see the first screen shot for details.)
The major hints for playing this game:
The inventory is simple enough to use. A right click makes it available at the bottom of the screen. Once you 'use' your computer, it will stay on at the left most corner of the screen. Documents, emails and photographs are automatically stored for you. When something new is added to the computer, the computer icon will flash for a few moments in the lower left corner. To the right are the various items. You can drag one item on top of another and if they can interact or be put together, they will be.
There are two endings to the game. It's a good idea to save the game before selecting an exit so you'll be able to try the other ending easily. One of the endings is an end, the other leads to much more gameplay.
The inconsistancy of the cursors, the linearity of some of the puzzles and the extreme difficulty of certain puzzles. Inconsistant cursors included at least once when you can talk to someone but no talk cursor comes up. Puzzles can be far too linear, you need to help someone fix a balloon. He tells you two things he needs. Eventually you get the items and go back to fix the balloon. This is because there is a third thing needed, and until you have all three, you are not allowed to work on the balloon. As for difficult puzzles, well, I'll let you find that out for yourself.
The camera has a Use option, but I haven't a clue why. Ariane takes photos at certain times in the game without you using the camera delibrately, and using the camera does nothing at other times.
This is not a game for the novice adventure gamer, it suffers from several flaws that could ruin the genre for you. That the hotspots are tiny, some of the puzzles have very obscure logic behind them and the fact that you have to backtrack to collect items is annoying.
If you are prepared for these flaws, there is an interesting world out there for you to explore. The music is lovely, the characters interesting and the world is a wonder to see.
A minor but disturbing thing for me was the hanging bridge. It doesn't sway! Part of what makes those scary in real life for me is how much they sway side to side as you cross them. Ariane gets to cross them without a single tremor. Also, the vegetation doesn't move. If there is enough weather to keep plants alive, air must criculate, therefore plants should move a little.