|System: PC, DS||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: Microids||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: Dreamcatcher / Telltale||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 25, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Teen||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Syberia's controls are where things start to fall apart. Instead of pointing-and-clicking, you'll use the DS to tap where you want Walker to go on the screen. Her slower-than-death walking speed can't be sped up, so you'll have some time on your hands while she trudges at a leisurely pace across the screen. She'll sometimes get confused by your selected location, but she gets there eventually.
Your inventory resides on the top screen and can be swapped down to the touch screen for closer inspection of items. Several icons at the top of the touch screen let you use your phone, save the game, and access items as needed. Anything that's usable will also pop up in a quick use bar. Some puzzles require you to tap or otherwise interact with objects. This doesn't always go as smoothly as planned. Selecting an eye icon and dragging it around the screen reveals hotspots for traveling to new areas and interactive objects. It works reasonably well most of the time. Still, it's not perfect, and you'll sometimes find it doesn't reveal every hotspot it passes over accurately. This can cause you to miss some important areas and stall progress through the game until you sluggishly backtrack to see what went amiss.
The imprecise controls and slow navigational pace are among the more frustrating elements Syberia has to offer. Puzzles aren't particularly difficult, yet it's sometimes easy to get off track, explore areas needlessly, and get confused on where to go next. Another area the game is lacking is in the sound department. Though the musical score is pretty, you'll end up listening to many of the same looping passages over and over. The sound effects are sparse and few and far between. Unfortunately, DS owners who seek to enjoy the game do not have the benefit of voice acting.
In the end, it's almost worth mucking through the poor touch-screen controls and occasionally convoluted progression to experience the game in portable form. Syberia is a good game that's hampered by some distracting issues caused by the transition to the DS. Patient gamers seeking a solid portable adventure title to explore will find the adventure worth the trouble.
CCC Staff Contributor