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This game is a puzzlefest from the good old fashioned days of IF. It is impossible to go through two locations without encountering a problem to overcome. Personally, I love puzzles in my IF games and the ones you'll encounter on the Isle are well done, sometimes clever, most always logically based, and satisfying when you complete them. I only found one that didn't seem very logical but this can be explained by the supernatural aspects of the game. With minimal trial and error, manipulation of the items in your inventory, and a little thought, an experienced gamer should get through everything.
-- Eric Woods
Isle of the Cult, in spite of its considerable size, is not an ambitious game. It sticks to the tried and true, and there is nothing here that an experienced IF player won't have seen many times before. Yet the whole is executed with a care and polish that eludes many more daring efforts. If you are in the mood for a reasonably sizable old-school puzzlefest, this would make an excellent choice.
-- Jimmy Maher
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After lying through your teeth about your lockpicking skills (which are non-existent), you were allowed into the Thieves' Guild. However, instead off stealing old ladies handbags, you are sent to a mysterious island, a letter from the Guild Master with your objective in your pocket.
Isle of the Cult starts out very laid-back and lighthearted. So much so that when a) the letter with your goal on it turns out to be illegibly smudged by seawater, and b) the fishing boat that dropped you off sails away with your burglar's gear still in it, you decide to just wing it without any equipment.
So you set off to explore the island and you soon come across remnants of an old civilization: an abandoned village and two temples on a hill. The ex-inhabitants of the village probably said to each other: "Hey, if ever a lone adventurer comes this way, we might as well make them feel welcome!", and left a few easy obstacles in the way. "The way" being a straight north-south avenue with buildings to the sides.
Things change when you get to the southern part of the island. Here, narrow paths wind through the jungle to isolated locations, ravines and streams block your path. In the center of the jungle a great fog-tipped mountain looms. There are harder puzzles you must solve to get to locked off areas of the map. Not harder as in complicated, but cunningly deceiving, making you look one way while the solution is right under your nose. Quite exhilarating to solve these, really. A few red herrings are thrown in for good measure, and these add to the overall abandoned island-feel.
The writing in Isle of the Cult is not remarkable but it is efficient and to the point. Storywise there is hardly any story or plot to speak of. This is an oldschool puzzle adventure. But it is an excuisitely polished one. The author has thought of many unnecessary or "wrong" actions and has provided appropriate, helpful or funny responses. Your movements are described tersely, reminding you that you are crossing jungle-terrain, not just going E or N on a grid.
A smooth and sometimes misleading adventure. Nothing groundbreaking, but very well made. A joy to play.
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