Julius Styles: The International Hands-On Impressions

I had a chance to get a hands-on demo with Julius Styles: The International, an iPhone and iPad release, by Lapland Studio. Billed as an isometric 3D adventure, Julius Styles: The International is out this week with the assistance of Wesley Snipes who worked on concept and character design work.

Julius Styles: The International is planned to be an episodic adventure app with the first release containing two chapters. The first chapter is more of a gameplay tutorial, helping player familiarize themselves with the controls and some of the puzzles. The first episode is said to contain about three to four hours of gameplay. The first chapter took around twenty-five minutes, so the bulk of Julius Styles: The International will be in the second chapter.

Movement in Julius Styles: The International is through a point and touch method. Touching areas of the screen moves Styles around and the same method is also used when interacting with objects or other characters. The controls are intuitive and it is simple to move around levels. Interaction requires more precise control.

Julius Styles: The International has an interesting inventory system. All items are seen on the bottom of the screen where they can be used with a drag-and-drop function. Styles relies on a PDA which contains mission data and various applications. It looks like the PDA will play a major function in the gameplay in upcoming chapters. I also picked up a pistol that could be loaded with darts or bullets, but combat gameplay wasn’t shown during the demo.

Most of the gameplay of Julius Styles: The International will happen with puzzles. The first chapter contained a variety with different puzzle types. There are simple item and environment puzzles like taking found objects to open areas in the levels. Others in the first chapter are lock-picking, matching images, and even looking over a counterfeit passport to find the errors.

The most interesting puzzle in Julius Styles: The International was finding the location of a target by using the PDA’s web browser. The puzzle was a maze with a set of icons. Move through the maze correctly and icons would disappear indicating the right direction. If the wrong direction was taken, another icon would appear in red.

It was not entirely intuitive, but an interesting take on a maze puzzle because it only allowed for a small viewing area. If the first chapter was an introduction to the rest of the episode, players are going to have a wide variety of puzzles to solve.

Julius Styles: The International is mixing different gameplay types together and presenting it as an interesting story-driven episodic adventure. From the demo, the game is looking like an interesting take on spy-action thrillers.

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