March 23, 2011 10:00 AM | Eric Caoili
I had never heard of Synergy's interactive movie Gadget: Invention, Travel, & Adventure from 1993 (or its special Gadget: Past as Future edition released four years) until today, but apparently noted director Guillermo del Toro says it went on to inspire films like Dark City and The Matrix.
Eastern Mind's Bruno de Figueiredo also tells us that the PC/Mac release "stamped an inimitable hallmark in the history of interactive CD-ROM as one of the most profoundly influential works of digital art whose inscrutability has mystified video game critics, still unable to find a fitting label with which to categorize it."
"This rare masterpiece by Haruhiko Shono bears witness to a pioneering cycle of history when advancements in technology have succeeded in inviting established artists from various fields into dabbling with the stirring new prospect of interactivity; but also a phase of particular meaning to video game studies and criticism, then treading their very first steps into a wider understanding of that once trendy term," he adds.
And thanks to Apple's iDevices, you won't have to track down a copy of on eBay or dubious torrent sites to experience it yourself, as Gadget: Past as Future is now available for the iPhone and iPad, packing 4 CD-ROMs/2GBs worth of content into a single app.
Gadget's description on the App Store is as odd as you'd expect from a ground-breaking Japanese interactive movie from the '90s:
"Starting from West End Hotel, Room 306. The mystery man Slowslop waiting for you in the lobby. A photograph – “Find the Scientists!” Aboard the train you talk with scientists and other passengers from whom you collect information and gadgets that will keep you on the go. While following in the tracks of Horselover, the facts concerning a comet that is fast approaching earth, the existence of a small spaceship called the Ark and other unexpected developments gradually come to light."
The iOS versions features new touch/swipe controls optimized for the touch-based devices, auto-saving, hint pages, re-rendered and even re-constructed movies, and high definition movies on the iPad version.