The Ransom of Atawallpa in demand on the App Store
Photographic edutainment adventure exploring ancient Incan culture available now for iOS devices
The Incan Empire continues to be an endless source of fascination almost five hundred years after it all but disappeared. Now players can be immersed in some of that South American culture in Lundgraph's newly released edutainment adventure The Ransom of Atawallpa, available exclusively for mobile devices.
The titular last Incan emperor has been captured, and in order to pay for his safe return you set out with T'ira, the royal llama, in search of gold. Complicating matters is the presence of a bandit on the prowl for a ceremonial urn that grants its holder one wish, who has stolen T'ira's twin to help him find it before you. Your treasure hunt through more than fifteen different Tambos (Inca sites) will take you deep into the Peruvian jungle, but after an incredible series of magical events that threatens the water supply of the villagers around Lake Titicaca, the bandit accuses you of causing the crisis by stealing and hording riches. Resuming your pursuit with the help of some additional animal friends, you must "follow the trails, abandoned ruins, and caves as you solve puzzles and try to avoid traps laid by the bandit," all while attempting to clear your name of any wrongdoing.
For all its implied danger, The Ransom of Atawallpa is a leisurely point-and-click, first-person slideshow adventure that blends light fantasy elements with references to real Inca history. Its presentation is based on actual photographs taken by the indie developers during their visit to Peru, with more than 300 individual scenes to explore, some of them populated by culturally authentic characters that have been meticulously hand-sculpted, painted, and photographed for implementation. To progress you must collect all the gold and complete the puzzles in each chapter, which will be "mostly easy" but with a few exceptions for greater challenge. Players can tailor the difficulty level to their own preferences, however, with three different options to choose from, impacting the number of hints and clues available, the hardest being "more like Myst" in leaving you to figure things out entirely on your own. There's also a strong educational component about Incan culuture, accessed via the in-game journal, and you may just find you "accidentally" learn some native Quechua words along the way.
The Ransom of Atawallpa is debuting exclusively on the App Store for iOS devices, and is available now at a limited-time discounted price. The next step for Lundgraph is to begin porting the game for Windows and Mac, which will better showcase the level of detail involved. To follow its ongoing progress, be sure to drop by the official website for more information.
Correction: At time of initial posting, the game was still in its final approval state at the App Store, but is now live and publicly available for purchase.
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