Beneath A Steel Sky was a Puzzle/Adventure game made by Virgin Production in 1995. This type of genre has been (mostly) lost in today’s game marketplace, replaced by first-person shooters and MMOGs. Puzzle/Adventure games were the the natural evolution from the text-parsing adventure-games of the 80s, an reigned supreme in the early 90′s. Story driven. Walk around. Interact with your environment. Ask questions of other in-game characters. Pick up items and use them to interact and solve puzzles. And above all else, help your character win the day.

The cut scenes in this game are done with still cartoons, whereas the game play features interactive sprites on a fixed storyboard perspective – both are beautiful, and a pleasure to play.

Beneath A Steel Sky Intro taken from my iPhone 4S

The story is engaging, think Mad Max meets Blade Runner. Set in a distopian future, you play as Foster. As a child, Foster was pulled from the wreckage of a helicopter disaster by a  tribe of savages living in the Australian wasteland known as, The Gap. Foster is raised to adulthood in The Gap, never knowing the hardships of the mega-cities where most of humanity dwells, but suddenly finds his idyllic lifestyle shattered when military police attack on his village. Foster is escorted to one of the steel mega-cities, although, he manages an escape- which is how the game begins.

The controls work very smoothly. Click and hold the screen to see what points on the screen you can interact with- they’ll be highlighted by blue circles and/or white arrows. Click and hold on those points to see how you can interact with them. To use an item on an on-screen object, first click the toolbox in the lower left hand corner. Click on the item in your inventory you would like to use, then drag the item until it overlaps the object on the screen- then release.

Beneath A Steel Sky game play taken on my iPhone 4S

To start the game… don’t try going down the stairs. The guard will shoot you. Instead take one of the pipes on the left hand of the screen. Then use the pipe on the door on the right side of the screen. After the scene with the guard, go downstairs and to the right. You’ll see a robot shell on the trash heap. Use the circuit board from your inventory on the robot shell in the trash heap. Go right and talk to the guy. Come left and try to use the elevator. When he comes out of the workshop, enter quickly, open the cabinet door, and take the wrench and sandwich. Exit the workshop. Now ask Joey if he can fix the broken robot. When the elevator moves down, click on the elevator hole to jump down.

This isn’t the type of game you play for 2 or 3 minutes… more like 15 minute or half-hour lengths, but don’t worry- there’s many many hours of game play here. The puzzles are straight forward, but if you do get stuck, the ‘remastered’ edition includes an in-game hint guide… so you won’t get stuck, at least not while playing the game; however, over the holiday’s you may find yourself stuck at Aunt Mildred’s, and when you do, you’ll be glad you have Beneath A Steel Sky: Remastered within an arm’s reach.