Brad and I had wildly differing experiences when playing Lost in Blue. While Brad complains the game "requires a massive amount of patience and a strong ability to tolerate repetition," I was constantly intrigued by the wide range of tools that progressively improved living conditions and was engaged by the diverse outdoor activities which include various ways to hunt and fish. I also tended to play Lost in Blue in short hourly spurts. For players who like to do marathon-esque gaming sessions, I could see how Lost in Blue may become repetitious quickly (which is a problem for most life-simulator games like Harvest Moon and The Sims).

The funny thing is that I was able to do exactly what Brad claims wasn't possible in terms of nutrition. I found that with a good night's rest and a power breakfast in the morning, consisting of seaweed, fish, coconuts and other vegetables, kept me fueled for a long hot day in the sun. For extremely long trips away from the base camp, I carried coconuts and jerky snacks so I wouldn't starve or dehydrate to death.

I'd also like to defend Skye a little. Yes, she is generally helpless and won't be winning any Grrl power awards from I was particularly miffed that she wasn't able to walk three yards outside of the cave to drink from a river stream, but unlike Brad's review would have readers believe, she does have some form of intelligence and is not useless dead weight. If there's water and food stored in the cave, she will eat and drink to prevent herself from dying. She's also capable of several important tasks like maintaining the camp fire, weaving baskets for hunting or tending and stewing jerky meat. I personally didn't feel Skye was a burden. It's very rare that a game requires a player to care for someone and I found that element to be an interesting part of the survival challenge.

I strongly suspect that the gameplay of Lost in Blue, which has a lot of hidden depth and open-ended options, can be radically different depending on how a player approaches the game. I can't say for sure that Brad and other critics that made similar complaints would feel any differently had they shared an experience closer to mine. What I can say is that Lost in Blue is a bold and refreshing game that utilizes the touch-screen and microphone feature of the Nintendo DS in several creative and clever ways consistent with the outdoors survival gameplay. Like Brad indicated, the game's premise is so strong that it hooked me right from the start. What's more impressive is that it kept me playing for weeks on end. Rating: 9 out of 10

Chi Kong Lui

Chi Kong Lui

In the 1980s, Chi grew up in small town on the outskirts of New York City called Jackson Heights. Latino actor, John Leguizamo referred to the town as the "melting pot of the world," and while living there, Chi was exposed to many diverse cultures, as well as a bevy of arcade classics such as Pac-Man, Space Ace, Space Harrier and Double Dragon. Chi's love of videogames only seemed to grow as his parents finally caved and bought him an 8-bit Nintendo Entertainment System (after being the only kid in the block without one). In the 1990s, Chi finagled his way into the prestigious Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School for the Performing Arts.

Somewhere between all the gaming, Chi some how managed to finish high school and get into the New York Institute of Technology. At the same time, Chi also interned at Virtual Frontiers, an Internet software consultancy where he learned the ways of HTML. Soon after acquiring his BFA, Chi went on to become the lead Web designer of the Anti-Defamation League. During his tenure there, Chi was instrumental in redesigning and relaunching the non-profit organization's Web site.

Today, Chi is the webmaster of the American Red Cross in Greater New York and somehow managed to work through the tragic events of September 11th without losing his sanity. Chi considers his life's work and continues to be amazed that the web site is still standing after the recent dotcom fallout. It is his dream that will accomplish two things: 1) Redefine the grammar of videogames much the same way French film critic Andre Bazin did for the art of cinema and 2) bring game criticism to the forefront of mainstream culture much the same way Siskel & Ebert did for film criticism.
Chi Kong Lui
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