April/May Casual Games - Adventure Forums
You are viewing an archived version of the site which is no longer maintained.
Go to the current live site or the Adventure Gamers forums
Adventure Gamers

Home Adventure Forums Gaming Adventure April/May Casual Games


 
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 04-26-2012, 03:34 PM   #1
Codger
 
rtrooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,080
Default April/May Casual Games

The eye is back in shape, and I have a brand new PC on which to play games. So, I'm looking forward to everyone's recommendations.

Me, the only game I've finished recently is Grim Tales - Legacy. But first I gave the new system a ride around the block with some older games. Faces and Enigmatis being two. Both were an enjoyable replay.
__________________
For whom the games toll...
They toll for thee
rtrooney is offline  
Old 04-27-2012, 06:39 AM   #2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chennai, India
Posts: 141
Default

I just finished the first Women's Murder Club game - Study in Scarlet. Really enjoyed it. There is a lot of HOG, and the puzzles are very easy, but it also has a very solid story. It would have actually made a really good game as a traditional adventure. Will probably play the remaining games in this series.

I could find 4 games in the series at Big Fish, but it looks like Adventure Gamers has reviewed only two of them.
Siddhi is offline  
Old 04-27-2012, 06:40 AM   #3
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chennai, India
Posts: 141
Default

^^ that should be Death in Scarlet. Been reading too much Sherlock Holmes lately :p
Siddhi is offline  
Old 04-30-2012, 07:43 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Interplay's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 115
Default

Does anyone know of a legitimate site that reviews HOG/casual games? I know it seems like there's a new one (or more) each day, but you would think that as popular as they are, some site would help select the cream of the crop.
Interplay is offline  
Old 04-30-2012, 08:20 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Chennai, India
Posts: 141
Default

Gamezebo has a lot of reviews - http://www.gamezebo.com/
Siddhi is offline  
Old 05-01-2012, 05:16 AM   #6
Senior Member
 
Elena's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Greece
Posts: 356
Default

I really liked Fantastic Creations:House of Brass.The whole steampunk environment and nice ho scenes.

@rtrooney:Enigmatis must be one of the best hog out there.Great story,puzzles and creepy atmosphere.
Elena is offline  
Old 05-03-2012, 10:58 AM   #7
female animal lover
 
Panthera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,480
Send a message via MSN to Panthera
Default

I've had bit of a game playing craze lately, so this will be quite an extensive list..

Bought:
Mystery Case Files: Escape from Ravenhearst CE - not as good as Dire Grove, still one of the best casual/hybrid adventure games out there, and an okeyish continuation of the Ravenhearst story. I do hope they're done now though, and I wish they'd stop the "we're trying to scare you now!" moments.

Witches' Legacy: The Charleston curse CE - I keep forgetting what this one was about so I'm going with; not very memorable story, but good enough to get me to buy it. Thought the 3D characters were a bit silly, but I have no complaints about either gameplay or the extra chapter, though I do think only one wallpaper is a bit of a rip-off.

The Agency of Anomalies: Cinderstone Orphanage CE - good story about an orphanage of gifted children (as in the supernatural variety) and a supposed accident that has caused all the inhabitants to fade out, requiring you to save them and figure out what happened. Though the powers you gain are a bit unbalanced, the game has good art direction, with small movies and rapports on each child, and reasonably good voices. The ending, though I saw it coming, made absolutely no sense though.

It has stuck with me for having one of the worst extra chapters I've ever played, with a stupid firefly catching mini-game you have to do 3(!) times, and some of the worst ragdoll physics I've ever wrangled with. It has few scenes and doesn't add much to the story. Buy the regular version!!

House of 1000 doors: Family Secrets CE - I actually tried the House of 1000 doors: The Palm of Zorocaster CE demo and enjoyed it very much, but it was obvious that the game expects you to have played the first one, so I decided to play through the first one first. I've played so many HOGs now that I have a few developers I instantly know I like, and whenever I see the "beyond object" gimmick I know the game will have high production values (for a HOG), beautiful 2d drawn art and good voices. This one also had an interesting story; the house of 1000 doors is a house that appears for one night every few years, where you can enter into other realms and help ghosts find peace.
You play a washed up fiction writer who's invited to the house through a mock seance, and end up rescuing several ghost and helping the house's other inhabitants with their problems.
I haven't played the extra chapter yet, as I sat up late last night finishing the main story (just one more key!), which was surprisingly long for a HOG; usually I can finish a HOG in under 4 hours, this time I spent at least 6.
Recommended!
Though having said that, the demo of the second one was even better. Ho1000D handily gives you a map to travel back and forth between rooms, and the map also shows active rooms, but in the first one you need to open the diary and then the map, in the second the map has its own button.
Also, something that for me always differenciates a HOG from a hybrid adventure; I got to carry my knife the whole game through and use it on different objects! My one complaint about Ho1000D was that you sometimes had 2 HO scenes right after each-other, I prefer my HOS a bit more spaced out between puzzles and story.

Demos:
Fantastic Creations: House of Brass CE - Feh. I love the clockwork wibe, and the art style, but it's just a bit too easy and HOish for me. It went into my "might buy when I've finished the others" pile.

PuppetShow: Return to Joyville CE - another direct sequel, this time I've actually played the first one, and didn't have much trouble picking this one up. I love the animatronics, and the 2d art style, but there's something about either the gameplay or the story that just doesn't interest me that much. I did finish the demo, and I'm sort of interested in how the story progresses, so I will probably buy it, but it didn't make me want to continue playing right at that moment.
You play a detective following the villain from earlier through time until you find yourself with the task of stopping the previous game's back-story from ever happening, through the use of the puppetmaster's animatronic puppets. I do give the story kudos for actually going dark, with kidnappings and even suggested murders, though it is a bit hard to understand why everything is so dark.
I guess what really annoys me about this series is that the premise has so much potential to be like a Syberia game, with all the animatronics you have to activate and use. As it is you usually only find their missing part, pick an obstruction out of their inner workings or press a button. Any gears you do find are probably not even used for the animatronics, but more likely goes in a door lock.

It's one of those games where your protagonist can't do anything unless she has the exact correct object for that task and it disappears as soon as you use it. Also a bit too much back-tracking to and forth between scenes; like having to walk back and forth 3 times for one puzzle. Still, it's a reasonably enjoyable series, and has more polish than a lot of other HOGs.

Living Legends: Ice Rose CE - Pretty standard fantasy fare; your boyfriend has been enchanted by this evil ice witch and you have to run after trying to stop him, and save the world, through the strength of your love for him (because he obviously dosen't love enough, being enchanted by the evil witch and all). The game uses (bad) 3d animation for the videos and ice witch, while everything else is hand drawn. I was also very surprised the game didn't have voice acting; not because I want it, but because the 3D models kept moving their mouth, looking like they were supposed to be talking, but no sound ever came.
Otherwise a quite standard hybrid adventure; inventory based puzzles (pick up right object to use on this thing), you can't combine anything in the inventory, so you have to carry an hammer handle back to the hammer head etc. HO scenes are usually found every new location, and include those "special" features where you have to light a candle to get "lighted candle" and stuff like that (As does Ho1000D and Puppetshow btw). I've grown quite used to these and don't mind them anymore, but I've never quite seen the point.
Some issues with targeting and a specific pumpkin puzzle had me stumped for some time because I apparently didn't "drag the knife" properly, but I finished the demo, and put it into my "if I don't find anything more interesting" pile.

Secrets of the Past: a Mother's Diary - I'm going to give this one the benefit of the doubt and hope it is quite old, as it's been a long time since I had to drop out of full screen because the image is so fussy I have no clue what half the objects are. Even in the original resolution the background were pixellated and fussy. Clear HOG, no hybrid adventure here, back arrow kept activating when I tried clicking hot spots and an inability to use a sword for anything logical (like cutting grass) meant this one was uninstalled after about 10 min.

Shiver: Poltergeist CE - It's weird, I really liked Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker, but after I finished the Poltergeist demo I had no interest in continuing the game, and uninstalled the demo. Might be that the protagonist wasn't very likable, or the story with the annoying unhappy pyromaniac ghost lady who thinks you are her lost lover wasn't very engaging, or that the controls just annoyed me too much to continue, but I felt the series had a sharp downhill turn with this one.

Phew!

And I still have Theatre of the Absurd, Abandoned: Chestnut Lodge Asylum and Haunted Halls: Fears from Childhood left to try!
(Haunted Hall: Green Hills Sanatorium was one of my absolute favourite HOGs, so I'm terrified of being really, really disappointed with FfC)

Edit: My "review" of the last three there could really be summed up in smilies:
Abandoned: Chestnut Lodge Asylum:
Theatre of the Absurd:
Haunted Halls: Fears from Childhood:
__________________
Pennies are never the healthy end, risk all!
The Panthera Effect
If you can't beat Panthera, join Panthera..

My sporadically updated blogs:
Animation enthusiast, Sci-fi enthusiast and Snark, pedantry and random geekery

Last edited by Panthera; 05-03-2012 at 01:27 PM.
Panthera is offline  
Old 05-03-2012, 11:17 AM   #8
female animal lover
 
Panthera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,480
Send a message via MSN to Panthera
Default

Also, while I'm writing way too much, and in-case someone is interested; these are my favourite HOGs:

James Patterson Women's Murder Club - Whole series. While they're quite HOscene-heavy and have some silly puzzles, they also have some of the best stories and pacing in HOG, and I've enjoyed the series more and more with every game.

Mystery Case Files - Whole series, though I do think Dire Grove is absolutely the best of them. Mystery case files has the honour of being known as the series that introduced the adventure hybrid HOGs we have today, and it's not without reason. Some things haven't aged that well; there's a LOT of back tracking, and you would probably benefit from drawing a map, but even the classic HOG Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst is worth a play-through for the story and beautiful drawings. Be prepared to do many jigsaw puzzles though!

Lost in the City and Lost in the City: Post Scriptum - a bit of a hybrid between adventure game and "locked in a room" game, the Lost in the City games have a special place in my heart because of their strong story, complicated puzzles and seriously weird endings. Unfortunately Lost in the City (1) hasn't aged very well and has to be played either in its original resolution or on a screen without very high resolution, but I've never found any other HOG with that kind of length or story.
There are timed "action" sequences where you can die, but you're returned right back on death and when you figure out what you're supposed to do, they're very easy.

Haunted Halls: Green Hills Sanatorium - I'm a sucker for asylum settings, and this game really delivered on the feel, atmosphere, story and scare-factor. Gameplay-wise there's probably a lot better games out there, but this one and Dire Grove are probably the only really scary HOGs I've played.

I, too, really liked F.A.C.E.S which has already been mentioned, and my honorable mentions go to: Snark Busters series (fun and challenging!), Awakening series (well made, challenging hybrid adventures, I'm not very fond of fantasy but recognize good production values and gameplay), Spirits of Mystery series (see last point about fantasy) and Sacra Terra: Angelic Night, because I have a thing for supernatural christian conspiracy-themed games.
__________________
Pennies are never the healthy end, risk all!
The Panthera Effect
If you can't beat Panthera, join Panthera..

My sporadically updated blogs:
Animation enthusiast, Sci-fi enthusiast and Snark, pedantry and random geekery
Panthera is offline  
Old 05-03-2012, 07:04 PM   #9
Codger
 
rtrooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,080
Default

Just started playing Grim Tales - The Bride. It is so buggy I would not recommend it to anyone. But thanks Panth for giving me a fe new ones to try.
__________________
For whom the games toll...
They toll for thee
rtrooney is offline  
Old 05-04-2012, 09:47 AM   #10
Dreamfall Soon!
 
CoyoteAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 196
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panthera View Post
James Patterson Women's Murder Club - Whole series. While they're quite HOscene-heavy and have some silly puzzles, they also have some of the best stories and pacing in HOG, and I've enjoyed the series more and more with every game.
Are they done making these? I haven't seen one in a while and these are among the few casual games that I like.
CoyoteAG is offline  
Old 05-04-2012, 07:46 PM   #11
Codger
 
rtrooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,080
Default

There is a new one out. Number four in the series.

Available on BFG.
__________________
For whom the games toll...
They toll for thee
rtrooney is offline  
Old 05-05-2012, 12:04 PM   #12
Dreamfall Soon!
 
CoyoteAG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 196
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtrooney View Post
There is a new one out. Number four in the series.

Available on BFG.
I don't see it. The 4th one came out in 2010. I don't think there has been one since then. I check often because I wish there were more.
CoyoteAG is offline  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:08 PM   #13
Codger
 
rtrooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,080
Default

There are only four WMC games that I know of. However, there is a new game out there, written by Steve Ince, that is almost identical to the WMC games. If you liked the other four, I;m sure you will like this one, I will try to find the name for you if someone else doesn't jump in.
__________________
For whom the games toll...
They toll for thee
rtrooney is offline  
Old 05-06-2012, 03:53 AM   #14
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 62
Default

i enjoy playing a HOG/hybrid from time to time, it's a nice change of pace from Skyrim or whatever RPG i'm playing at the time.

The MCF series are definitely some of the best examples, but the most recent one where you just had to find morphing objects was a big let down.

I also enjoyed both the Drawn games, although they were very easy.

Somehow i'd missed the Green Hills Sanitorium one (or at least didn't recognise it from a youtube video i skipped through) so i've downloaded that for a playthrough soon
marcd2011 is offline  
Old 05-06-2012, 02:58 PM   #15
Codger
 
rtrooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,080
Default

The new game I mentioned, Special Enquiry Detail: The Hand That Feeds is in the same style as the four WMC games. Not surprisingly, it is also by Floodlight games. If you enjoyed the WMC games, I am sure you will enjoy this. Available on BFG.
__________________
For whom the games toll...
They toll for thee
rtrooney is offline  
Old 05-07-2012, 09:07 AM   #16
female animal lover
 
Panthera's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Norway
Posts: 1,480
Send a message via MSN to Panthera
Default

I've downloaded the demoes for Enigmatis and Special Enquiry detail. Looking forward to trying them!
__________________
Pennies are never the healthy end, risk all!
The Panthera Effect
If you can't beat Panthera, join Panthera..

My sporadically updated blogs:
Animation enthusiast, Sci-fi enthusiast and Snark, pedantry and random geekery
Panthera is offline  
Old 05-07-2012, 04:49 PM   #17
Codger
 
rtrooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,080
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Panthera View Post
I've downloaded the demoes for Enigmatis and Special Enquiry detail. Looking forward to trying them!
If you are looking for a WMC-type game, make sure you download the mentioned demo.
__________________
For whom the games toll...
They toll for thee
rtrooney is offline  
Old 05-08-2012, 04:29 PM   #18
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 62
Default

So i've played Haunted Halls - Green Hills Sanitorium, House of 1000 Doors - The Palm of Zoroaster and Shiver - Poltergeist in the past 2 days and they were all fairly decent.

Shiver was the best in terms of story and style, but the HOGs were very easy in it and there weren't a lot of mini-games in it at all, infact i'm trying to think back if there were actually any mini-games, but the three games have sort of blended together in my head. There were a lot of inventory puzzles in it however, so it's probably the closest thing to a non-casual adventure. There was even a bit of inventory combining which is unusual for a casual adventure, but other times inventory items combined themselves without your input.

I didn't enjoy Green Hills Sanitorium as much, possibly because of it's age, but it didn't really have a lot of imagination to it and only took me an evening to complete, but it was ok. The HOGs were a bit annoying sometimes in this one, with poor hit zones for the objects, so i'd have clicked on something, had no reaction, and then been wasting time looking for something i'd actually already found. One HOG in particular was very annoying because the item to find was "mushroom" but it was the word mushroom written in grey on a grey pipe. Completely invisible even when i put my face right up to the screen.

House of 1000 Doors 2 was a bit boring. The first game had an interesting plot but this time there isn't really much of a plot at all. There's nothing in particular wrong with it, but in such a flooded market, this really didn't stand out.

Last edited by marcd2011; 05-10-2012 at 06:12 PM.
marcd2011 is offline  
Old 05-10-2012, 04:45 PM   #19
Codger
 
rtrooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,080
Default

Well, that tells me what games I won't be trying. That's as good as recommendations for games to play.
__________________
For whom the games toll...
They toll for thee
rtrooney is offline  
Old 05-11-2012, 05:14 AM   #20
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 62
Default

just played Abandoned - Chestnut Lodge Asylum too. Not a bad game, but certainly not standout. There are hardly any interactive spots in each scene, infact some rooms just have one object to pick up and then there's nothing else to click on except the exit. The biggest problem is that the graphics are awful. When it gave me the option of using high resolutions like 1400x1050 i thought that would mean higher quality than most HOGs which are stuck at 1024x768 but it was far worse than any other i've played with really jagged edges to everything. I can only describe it as looking similar to vertical interlacing. It made some HOGs quite difficult as some small objects were just a mess of pixels.

Currently playing The Agency Of Anomalies - Cinderstone Orphanage, which i am liking a lot. The story is interesting, it has some original gameplay mechanics, it has a lot of puzzles, and the HOGs are some of the most inventive i've ever seen. You actually have to solve puzzles within some of the HOGs, and i don't mean the old combine two objects to create an object on your list trick, i mean they have ones where you have to put objects into the scene, and you might have to use one of these objects to open up a new bit of the scene to allow you to use another. Can be a bit frustrating when the object in question is fairly random, like a "ribbon" or a "wooden ball" but most will make you smile when you figure them out.
marcd2011 is offline  
 



Thread Tools

 


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions Inc.