[Review] The Passenger (Android)

I’m starting to think these games for the Android Tablet in the Google Play store are like a book written by Joyce Carol Oates. I watch the trailer (or read the dust jacket as it goes) and am immediately drawn into the game. I put money down, and start to play, only to be disappointed by its execution. This is exactly what I’ve ever gotten out of an Oates novel (no offence to Ms. Oates and fans who like her novels – I love the synopses she weaves on the dust jackets, but end up not liking her actual books). I wonder what attracted me to the game in the first place, but stronger still, I am left feeling like I got suckered.

This is the case with my latest choice, The Passenger, an Android game I played on my Asus eeePad Transformer the other night. What drew me to the game was the beautifully hand-drawn graphics, and the potential for a decent story. But unfortunately, my love for the graphics of this game is where the affair ends.

The Passenger is a dude in a trench coat who, when we first see him, appears to be in the midst of some sort of domestic issue with his family and he is kicked out of his home, forced to ride trains endlessly. Then, like a hobo, he proceeds to hop off trains at certain points where he goes searching aimlessly for stupid stuff and is forced to solve an endless array of dumb puzzles.The dude is a little figure on screen that you give direction to by pressing your finger a few inches ahead of him to make him move. That’s okay, except the little figure moves slower than molasses. So if you get clues on how to solve a puzzle in one scene, but solve the actual puzzle in another, you have to leave that scene, and have your little dude walk…back…three…screens…to get your clue, then have him walk…back to the actual puzzle to solve it. This eats up time and gets on your nerves.

*poke poke poke* I said left, dammit!!

The Passenger, overall, is frustrating – instructions on how to play are given at the start of the game, but as you play, there is no direction on how  you are supposed to go about solving these puzzles. No hidden object scenes, only hunt and peck around the screen where you pick up a shovel…some matches…You are not sure what the point of this story is, and never learn, as this game is easily only 30 minutes long, and then it ends. There is supposed to be a part 2 to the Passenger, but I am not invested in this dude and his story enough, so I doubt I will be buying. $0.99 from the Google Play store was enough of a loss for part 1. My advice – stear clear of this one.

The Passenger
Developer: Loading Home
Released: 2013 (so sez the Google Play store)

Photo credits: 1. Androidgamesroom.com / 2. androidmarket

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