I never thought that starving to death could be so much fun. Lost in Blue manages to distill all the fun of being shipwrecked on a deserted island and none of the nasty drawbacks (like, say, dysentery or broken bones) onto one Nintendo DS cart.
It starts off simply. You're a young boy and you're shipwrecked on an island. You wake up alone and ill-prepared for island life. You can make fire, create tools, and gather food, but you can't even cook. Later, you meet a girl who was on the same boat as you. She can cook and create things like ropes, but she's frail. She can't hunt or make fire, though she will tend it if you make one for her.
Where do you go from there?
Survey says: everywhere. The island is huge and not without its mysteries.
Lost in Blue requires a bit of thinking outside of the box. You won't find a box of food, or a gun laying around for hunting. You won't even find matches. If you want to build a fire, you have to go out and gather twigs and the materials you need to make a fire. Then, you have to use the L and R triggers to get the fire smoking, then blow into the DS's microphone to get it really roaring. If you mess up, you have to start over. If you want to make a spear for hunting, find a stick and combine it with a sharpened rock. Fishing rod? Gather a stick, some vines, and some bait. Lost in Blue has a wide variety of little minigames like this that you have to do to survive your days on the island. You can even hunt deer with a bow and arrow, once you gather and create the proper tools, of course.
Lost in Blue is divided up into days. As you explore and scavenge, time passes. As time passes, a series of meters will slowly decrease to show that you're getting hungrier, weaker, thirstier, and closer to death. You can eat to refill the hunger, drink to quench your thirst, and rest to regain your strength. You have to maintain the health of both the boy and the girl, otherwise, it's game over. You can hold her hand and lead her to water or even take her out hunting with you, though that's rarely a good idea.
There's a large emphasis on exploration and puzzle solving in Lost in Blue. You'll sometimes have to navigate a series of obstacles to get to your destination, which'll often involve moving logs around so that you can climb up to where you need to be. The island is big enough that it's often a good idea to dedicate an entire day, from morning to midnight, exploring and hunting. Bringing along enough food and coconuts (an important source of water!) to last you is tricky, but well worth the effort.
Eating is something else entirely. Some foods are edible raw, while others are most definitely not. If you eat some bad mushrooms, you'll get sick, leaving you weak and possibly unable to eat or drink. This, obviously, is not fun. The girl can cook foods, though at first she's pretty terrible at it. You'll get a minimal boost from her dishes until you find the slate, which allowers her to cook dishes like sashimi and cooked catfish. These tend to give you the biggest boost to your hunger meter. Eat as often as you can. The island replenishes itself every day, so you don't have to worry about running out of food. Once you get to the point that you can get above 75% in hunger, you'll be ready to start taking longer trips.
Lost in Blue is a pretty good demonstration of the DS's capabilities. The touch screen can be used in a variety of ways, from spearing fish to selecting what you're going to eat. The action, meaning everything from fishing to exploring, takes place on the bottom screen. The top screen displays either your vital stats, a map of the island, or a detailed map of the area that you are in. The map marks off where trees and water and such are, but does not give you specific locations for items. You may find it easier to jot down the locations of certain things, like caches of the good (i.e., non-poisonous) mushrooms or coconut trees, rather than simply trying to remember it all.
Lost in Blue is a fun ride, though it is extraordinarly open-ended. You could conceivably spend hours simply hunting and eating while not advancing the plot at all. Or, if you so choose, you can attempt to burn through the game with a quickness. It allows you to set your own pace and to make your own rules, though all within the confines of the game itself. It's innovative and interesting, though it can be very frustrating when you can't quite think your way around a dilemma and there's no obvious answer. Either way, it's definitely worth a go, and possibly two, as there's an option to play the game again, this time as the girl, after you beat it your first time around. Give it a ride.