The Lost in Blue series has never been for everyone. Scrounging for measly tidbits of food on an empty tropical island sounds more like work than a game, and for many that’s exactly what it would be. We didn’t think it sounded fun either, and yet hours later we were greedily massing our horde of grilled white carp and mushroom salads and gasping in joy when an oil drum washed up on shore.
If you’ve played either of the previous games, you’ll be right at home: you play a character waking up stranded on a beach alone. You soon find another castaway, who will accompany you on your journey. Your partner is both a boon and a hindrance: they can carry items for you and perform tasks, but they also get tired, hungry, and thirsty just like you do. You may find yourself wanting to throttle them in their sleep so you can keep the precious food for yourself. Such is the emotional impact of these games - you will feel the desperation of island survival.
The core gameplay doesn’t have a whole lot new going on. The interface is nearly identical to Lost in Blue 2, with most of the food items and gathering techniques unchanged. At first you gather coconuts, then find a cave and start a fire (blowing into the mic is still fun). You’ll spear fish, make traps, and talk to a chimpanzee in its own goofy chimp language. Your sphere of influence grows as you improve your methods of meeting your most basic needs.
This time around you have four different characters to choose from at the start, and in a touch clearly influenced by the show Lost, each character has a series of flashbacks that occur over time, slowly revealing the clues to their past. For some reason the character art has changed to a much more cartoony Manga look, which is a departure from the slightly more proportional anime style of the previous games.