Twisted Lands Insomniac Game Review

Twisted Lands Insomniac

Help Angel figure out what is real and what is in her head as she attempts to escape from a Mental Hospital! Steeped in psychological horror, Twisted Lands: Insomniac follows the wife of the central character in the original game, as she attempts to escape the mental hospital in which she's imprisoned. Explore a haunting environment as you go on Angel’s mystifying quest!

  • Spooky atmosphere
  • Fantastic gameplay

Rating: 88%

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Twisted Lands: Insomniac is the Perfect Return to the Shadow Lands

In Twisted Lands: Insomniac, players take on the role of a girl named Angel as she involuntarily switches between two realities: one where she is trapped inside a laboratory and a crazy scientist is hell bent on giving her a lobotomy. The other world is called the Shadow Lands, and she must navigate it in hopes of finding a way to escape with her life. If some of that sounds familiar, that is because Twisted Lands: Shadow Town tells the opposite end of the story in that game, players take on the role of Mark who is trying to rescue his girlfriend, Angel. Insomniac basically tells us what Angel was doing during the events of Shadow Town -which was basically trying to survive the laboratory and finding a way out of the Shadow Lands.

An Escape Game With Strong Hidden Object Elements

Primarily, this point and click adventure escape game relies heavily on hidden object puzzles; so all the basic rules (and story progression patterns) apply. Of course, for those of you who have no clue what hidden object puzzles are, let us give you a quick breakdown. Hidden object puzzles are literally minigames where players need to have a sharp eye for finding objects hidden in images. Each puzzle will have its own checklist of items that you must find in order to solve it.

Twisted Land: Insomniac's main narrative (the one that focuses on female lead Angel) are composed of dialogue sequences and automated character actions. In between these narrative sequences are puzzles and objectives that block your path from escaping the two zones. At these key puzzles in the story, players will need to acquire items that would help them open locked doors, enter new areas, etc. These item acquisition sequences tend to be done various minigame format (with hidden object ones being the most common).

Now, in order to keep the flow of the game feeling fresh (and avoiding being repetitive), puzzles will come in a variety of forms. Plenty of minigames and challenges will be presented to the player (though a good number of puzzles are still hidden object sequences). With Twisted Lands, you can expect all of the puzzles to not only be nicely challenging, but also to be delivered with impressively well done graphics.

Faster and Better

While visually similar to Shadow Town, Insomniac has the superior narrative and delivery. In many ways, the developers have improved upon their work in the older game and the fruits of their knowledge are seen in this game. The dialogue feels more natural, the events unfold at a faster pace, and the player actually feels a sense of urgency with Angel's need to escape. As we mentioned, the two games share similar visuals especially in the Shadow realm where Angel also visits many of the places that Mark has been to (though it is not always clear as to who has been where first). In any case, those familiar with the old game will enjoy the fun references.

Keeping players on track are two different in-game diaries. One keeps track of the narrative (and other story related stuff), while a second logbook lists all the main and secondary objectives you have running at any given time. This allows the player to stay on point with regards to what they need to do in order to advance in the game (ergo, if you ever get stuck, check these in order to ensure that you are heading in the right direction).

Those new to the Twisted Lands series will be able to get a good grasp of the story as it unfolds, though veterans will certainly already have a notion about what is going on. In this sense, the game is very well written it manages to balance having provide a sense of wonder for new players but still has enough content to make returning players not feel left out. There are a lot of story expositions and clues that are designed for these players in mind unless you were aware of the first story, these things would be so easy to miss.

Challenge Adjustment

Depending on whether you want a challenge or not, players have the option to set the game on normal or expert. On expert, the hint recharge is slower and the mouse-over highlights on objects are disabled. While there is very little else different between the two modes, these changes already make a lot of difference. If you are new to the genre, we highly encourage starting on normal. As it is, navigation is not as simple as it seems. While the areas are laid out in very sensible patterns, there is still no map mode for players to be able to fully check if they have visited all places or not.

Of course, if you truly get stuck and need some help, the game does have its own strategy guide and walkthrough for players who simply want to experience of the story and not really play the game so much.

Additional Content

The collector's edition of the game, aside from the guide, also has several other features. The soundtrack is a nice touch, as well as the galleries. But the real gem of this set is the inclusion of a bonus chapter. As much as we love getting to play more of the game however, this extra part does not have much in terms of gameplay. Even when you include the puzzles, it is possible to finish it in about an hour or so. This is pretty sad since we were hoping that the extra content would be at least a couple of hours long.

More Screenshots:

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