Lost in Blue
Nintendo DS
Reviewed: 01/18/2006


Lost in Blue is the latest game in the Survival Kids line from Konami. North America hasn’t seen its kind for a good while, and for most this will probably be the first experience with it. It’s a game with a really cool and unique idea: a boy named Keith is stranded on a desert island with a girl named Skye and must survive long enough to be rescued. Doesn’t sound too bad, right? All alone on a deserted island…with a girl. After lulling players into its trap, the game slaps them upside the head with the harsh realities of its execution, leaving one stranded in its confusing depths.

The first slap to the face delivered by the game resides in the control scheme. Any game that requires players to move back and forth from using the control pad/buttons to the stylus/touch screen with this kind of frequency is by default broken. Relatively simple tasks become a chore with these kinds of controls. Take for example, collecting coconuts. Sounds easy, right? Hah! I’d almost swear that the way this game makes players do it is more work than if they were to go out and bang on the stupid tree themselves. First, using the control pad the player must walk up to the tree. Then, the player switches around their hands and pokes at it with the stylus. However, if Keith isn’t close enough to the tree nothing will happen. This means the player will have to switch their hands around again to try to get your little guy right up against that tree. After finally getting across that Keith is trying to get a coconut from the tree, the player must swipe the stylus over the screen quickly to get the silly things to fall down. After a few trial and errors, Keith will raise his hands in triumph with a single coconut clutched tight. Be prepared to do this hundreds of times. There are many more examples, but I’ll spare you the descriptions. What they’d all come down to is: the controls suck.

Screen Shot
Run like you’ve never run before…or DIE!

Even without the frustrating controls, there isn’t much game here to control. Lost in Blue consists mainly of going through the daily grind of living on a desert island. The point is to collect food, build fires, and cook. There really isn’t a whole lot more to the game. Nevermind that nothing in the game works much like real life. Those with any survival skills may find themselves screaming at this game, wondering why the game won’t let them do something they find bleeding obvious. The characters must eat so much food per day to survive, which makes sense. However, the amount they end up needing to eat is ludicrous. If I had to eat as much as they do each day I’d puke. I know they’re “working hard” and whatever, but I’m talking three full Thanksgiving dinners a day. If you’re going to give me an unrealistic survival game, at least make it fun.

Another annoying thing is the girl stranded on the island with Keith. She is an absolute helpless fool. It’s not bad enough that Keith has to run around trying to keep himself alive, but there’s Ms. Fool back at the cave who is slowly dying of hunger. She may have lost her glasses, but does anyone really think she can’t stumble out of that stupid cave and throw herself at some coconut trees to save her own life?

Screen Shot

The graphics are nice and detailed in places, but rather mediocre in others. The main exploration area of the island is all right, but the Nintendo DS could have done better. Similarly the story isn’t that spectacular. This kind of game really wasn’t meant to have much in the way of story, but even the sad attempts made fell somewhat short of my expectations. I’m just going to go ahead and ask, “What story?”

The music is all right, but not really that noticeable. It mostly serves to relax as one rushes around trying to cram food in the character’s mouths before they expire. The small voice clips, however, are an unfortunate inclusion. Any player who plays this game within the hearing distance of other people is going to be mocked. The game is best played with the sound off; it really doesn’t make a difference.

Where Lost in Blue really disappoints was the lost potential. The idea was great, the execution was not so. Bad controls and a system that just isn’t that fun to play are large hurdles to overcome. I’d love to see a good game based entirely around survival, but this isn’t it.

-Orie House

Score Breakdown
Out of 10
See our Review Criteria
Gameplay Bad
Story Bad
Graphics Good
Sound/Music Below Average
Replay Value Offensive
The Verdict: 3