Survival games are quite rare nowadays, of course I am not including the Resident Evil series which dominates the survival-horror sub-genre, but back in 1999 Konami released a game called Survival Kids, where the player has to survive on an island with nothing but their wits.
At that point it was something quite refreshing, when one considers the success of Lost the TV show and the reality show Survivor, a game like this would have been considered a no-brainer.
Which brings us to our goal of finding the best Lost in Blue game that exists today.
5. Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked
Developer: Hudson Soft
Release Date: 7 August 2008
Platforms: Nintendo Wii
Released on the Wii in 2008, the series makes the leap off of the handheld to one of the major consoles of the time.
Aidan and his pet monkey Hobo, get separated from the cruise ship they’re on and through a series of unfortunate events end up on an island where they meet Lucy. The three now have to work together to find a way back to civilization.
The Wii not known for its graphics processing prowess does a great job of rendering clear, cute characters and the surrounding environment looks exotic enough to make you want to explore.
You also have Lucy to help you out in certain sections of the game to make for a more diverse play dynamic.
The Wii controls can be tricky to handle at first, but they become second nature as one spends more time on the island. Also, who doesn’t wish they had a pet monkey riding on their back.
The Wii controls may be a departure from what fans of the series are used to and may not be to everyone’s tastes.
The story is wholly uninspired and considering that this is the fourth game in the series, a better job could have been done.
More could have been done that made the originals so endearing, but the developer missed an opportunity to innovate enough to warrant a sequel.
4. Survival Kids
Release Date: 17 June 1999
Platforms: Game Boy Color
The precursor to the Lost in Blue series was released in 1999 and has the player exploring a deserted island in 2D. Whether this was due to the systems limitations or the developer’s specific tastes is unknown.
The game goes on to offer some unique gameplay elements which makes it a type of role-playing survival game, which set it apart from games in its genre at the time.
The item-crafting system used in the game was quite clever for its time as well, allowing the player to combine more than one object to create items essential for survival.
Collecting various objects is critical to survival and on their own they may be useless, but combine them and they could become a weapon or tool to make foraging that much easier.
Another unique aspect is the fact that food could go off and one would then have to go about finding a way to preserve one’s food supply.
For those obsessed with achieving a 100% completion rate, the game also offered multiple endings depending on the decisions one made in the game.
The open-ended nature of the game lacks a sense of purpose and players can explore at their leisure. With no definitive goal in mind, this could be quite mundane for some players.
Over and above the characters being named Ken and Mery, not much background is given on the characters and for those of us who thrive on story, that unfortunately does not exist here.
As for the graphics, only the most hardcore retro gamers will be satisfied here and those who judge a book by its cover will definitely give it a pass.
3. Lost in Blue 2
Developer: Matrix Software
Release Date: 15 March 2007
Platforms: Nintendo DS
For the second instalment, Konami stuck around as Publisher but handed Developer status over to Matrix Software.
Fans of the series would have been familiar with the controls by now and while the story remained pretty much the same, you’d end up treating the playable characters like your own personal Tamagotchi.
The Nintendo DS was an innovative piece of hardware and game developers could now employ a host of gameplay techniques that could not be duplicated anywhere else.
For Lost in Blue 2 the top screen is where the main action happens with the bottom screen displaying an isometric view of the area. It can also be used on the variety of minigames on display, such as fishing or cooking.
The controls also allow for the option of using a combination of buttons and the touchscreen to navigate the island.
The gameplay does become repetitive and the difficulty level for some tasks can be quite annoying, collecting firewood for example. The story falls flat and at this point one doesn’t really expect too much from the writers anymore.
While the characters may not have the same demands as your adorable Tamagotchi, they do tend to be high maintenance and at times are just not worth the investment.
2. Lost in Blue
Release Date: 25 August 2005
Platforms: Nintendo DS
The series finally makes the leap off of the Gameboy Color and the visuals get an immediate graphics overhaul.
The play dynamic also changes making full use of what the new hardware has on offer. Konami stayed to take care of development duties and the level of quality shows.
A little more attention was given to the story, enhancing the survival aspect considerably. The touchscreen and microphone on the DS are key features and form an integral part of the gameplay.
Switching between Keith and Skye also allows for some interesting changes in gameplay, as both have their own unique skills, which in turn has the player micromanaging both characters.
Considering the role reversal in modern times, Skye being wholly dependent on Keith because of her weak eyesight casts her as a weakling having to be protected, which doesn’t translate well these days.
The fact that blowing into the microphone is required to light the fire might not be as appealing, when one has to do it for the 100th time and some of the puzzles may also prove to be an annoyance in requiring the story to progress.
1: Lost in Blue 3
Developer: Matrix Software
Release Date: 20 December 2007
Platforms: Nintendo DS
The third time proved to be the charm and with Matrix Software at the helm, we present to you the best Lost in Blue game in the series.
The developers made ample use of their shortfalls and even improved the overall gameplay. This would prove to be a boon for fans of the series and new players alike.
The story gets a unique twist with Sam losing his memories and Claire given her own set of complimentary skills. There is also the option to add two more team members, who bring their own advantages and disadvantages.
The game takes on a role-playing dynamic and with more party members, newer locations can be found that much quicker.
The graphics are decent, but hardly worth fussing over as the story moves along nicely and the controls are not too cumbersome either.
Even though this is still a Lost in Blue game and the burden of micromanagement still rests on the player, Lost in Blue 3 is our number 1 pick for the best Lost in Blue game based on story, gameplay elements and the fact that the developers actually addressed the shortcomings of the previous games.
At this point it could probably work as a TV show, but we wouldn’t mind a next gen console appearance either.
Writer by profession, gamer by passion. Born in the 8-bit era of the 80s and reveled in the appearance of the 16-bit consoles. Lived through the unexpected fall of the Sega Dreamcast and meteoric rise of the Sony PlayStation. Avid RPG gamer and Final Fantasy VII is still the best game I’ve ever experienced. My days are spent wondering how the 2P side-scrolling beat-em-up genre died out and saving up to finally book that trip to Japan.