Past Present

Gadget: Invention, Travel and Adventure

When the iPad was released last year, there were several titles that had strong echos of earlier days of interactive CD-ROMs. Relaxing on a sofa and exploring a new world was much more enjoyable than sitting at the computer where the sense of wonder and adventure quickly transformed into frustration and an eagerness to relax elsewhere. So it’s great to see a title from “back in the day” get reissued and brought, sensitively, up-to-date for the iPad.

Gadget, originally released on CD-ROM in 1993, was designed by the epic Harukiko Shono. It was fascinating, mysterious, and beautiful. Its pre-rendered scenes, while static, were great eye-candy in an era when 3D rendered worlds were still a novelty. And its video elements, often in just a tiny portion of the screen, and in black-and-white, were still so new that you couldn’t help but feel drawn in, straining to capture what they had to say. Were you missing a crucial clue?

Harukiko designed several other games, including Alice and L-Zone. There’s a great interview with him on Core Gamers and more about him on Eastern Mind. Check them out… it’s interesting to learn, for example, that his games have been quoted in films from Guillermo Del Toro, Alex Proyas, The Wachowsky Brothers and David Lynch.

It is great to see an interactive auteur’s work brought forward to be appreciated by a new audience.

Gadget (B&W movie)

Gadget (updated render)