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Casual Collection - October 2010 releases

Casual Collection 2
Casual Collection 2

Our race to keep up with all the latest casual adventuring continues with a look back at the busy month that was. As is traditional for October, horror themes and supernatural mysteries ruled the day, from vampire stories to asylum terror to haunted houses of all kinds. But it's never too late to whistle past the graveyard, so for a little lite adventuring through some very dark, disturbing settings, read on to find out what's new on the casual scene. As noted in this article series debut last month, the following are not intended to be full-fledged reviews, and the games listed may not have been played through to completion.
 



Lite Adventures


Dracula Series

It’s easy to be confused by its title, but Anuman’s new three-part Dracula Series isn’t really new at all. It also isn’t really a series, but rather an episodic re-release of Kheops Studio’s 2008 adventure, Dracula 3: Path of the Dragon. (The earlier Dracula titles, Resurrection and The Last Sanctuary are NOT included.) Instead of adding new content or upgrading existing features, this remake goes the opposite direction, simplifying the interface and decreasing some of the challenge to make the game more accessible to a wider audience. The question is whether this streamlined version represents a happy medium between traditional adventure and casual game sensibilities, or an uncomfortable compromise that threatens to alienate both groups.

Image #1The story is still fully intact, only now split into three chapters, The Strange Case of Martha, The Myth of the Vampire, and The Destruction of the Evil. Adopting a more scientific approach to the subject matter than usual, Father Arno Moriani is sent to the war-torn Transylvanian town of Vladoviste in 1920 to review the deceased Dr. Martha Calugarul’s candidacy for sainthood. What he discovers, however, soon leads to an ever-deepening investigation of vampiric legend, a task that can only be completed by following the seven trials of the Path of the Dragon. The first episode is particularly slow-paced, set entirely within the crumbling walls of this eerily empty town, establishing the premise and introducing both the local townsfolk and a few guests visiting for reasons of their own. Part two begins with a research trip to Budapest and includes a side trip to some Turkish prisons, while Father Arno’s stay in Vladoviste becomes increasingly unwelcome when people begin dying under dark and mysterious circumstances. The final installment takes Arno deep into the catacombs on the way into the Castle of Twilight for a climactic confrontation with Dracula himself. This episodic approach may have made sense for porting to mobile platforms like the iPhone, but is far less a benefit on PC, instead merely feeling like a full game split in three (which it is).

 

The game still looks, sounds, and controls the same as ever, with a standard node-based, first-person presentation and 360-degree camera panning option. Where the first difference reveals itself is in the all-or-nothing interface. A “permanent help” feature displays all exits and interactive objects on each screen by default, which isn’t as intrusive as it sounds in a game with only one or two hotspots per screen. You can switch this option off in the settings, but the alternative is worse than the original version, with no smart cursor indicating points of interest, a fact made all the more troubling by the rather finicky nature of some hotspots. There’s an ever-present button that allows you to switch the highlights back on for the current screen, but this scheme is nevertheless a step backwards. The inventory icon brings up a separate screen for items and documents collected, but this too is awkward, as nowhere does the main view indicate which item is active at any given time.

Of more importance to most people will be the puzzles. The original Dracula 3 included some very difficult puzzle sequences, so adding assistance is a good idea in theory. In reality, this re-release does little to aid the player beyond removing some challenges altogether. There are no contextual hints, no journal or task list to guide you. Instead, the game simply carries out some of the tougher tasks automatically, like filling out blood donor paperwork or identifying word search solutions on your behalf. With so many casual games offering a puzzle skip option, it’s strange that this game simply assumes it for some puzzles, then leaves gamers to fend for themselves on all others. In between such curious design decisions, there’s still a quality adventure to be enjoyed (not every game wins an Aggie Award, after all), but ultimately this Dracula Series re-release feels less like a user-friendly adventure than one that’s simply had some of the challenge sucked dry.


Campfire Legends: The Babysitter

Ah, the ol’ scare-the-bejeebers-out-of-each-other spookfests around the campfire… Having previously recounted the fireside horror of the one-armed escaped lunatic The Hookman, now GameHouse Studios is passing out the marshmallows again for a second go-round in Campfire Legends: The Babysitter. This story features a poor college student named Lisa, who agrees to watch over the Dean’s twin girls for the night, one of whom has a nasty skin disease and a seemingly overactive imagination. Little Libby warns Lisa to get away while she can, while her healthy, carefree sister Maggie insists that all is well. After all, her sibling’s friend who lives in the closet is really just an imaginary one. He has to be. Right?

Image #2Unlike its predecessor, The Babysitter takes a while to develop the fear and suspense of its tale. It eventually ratchets up dramatically, but if playing the one-hour demo, don’t be fooled by the game’s rather relaxed beginnings. Instead of a spooky cabin in the woods, here you’re arriving at the large, comfortable home (albeit eerily castle-like in its outward stone appearance) of a wealthy family. But the more you try to settle in, the more unsettling your stay becomes. At first your assignment seems harmless enough. The girls are a little mischievous, but nothing you can’t handle by making them some hot chocolate or cleaning and repairing the small damages they cause. Soon, though, the stakes are raised significantly, and you’re left to fend for yourself in discovering the terrible secrets of the house.

You’ll spend most of your time looking for objects around the house, which are not only listed, but pictured along the bottom of the screen for your convenience. But it’d be a mistake to consider this a standard HOG, as all the items you need are directly relevant to your objectives, whether it’s tools, cleaning supplies, or other practical things. There’s a bit too much reliance on finding contrived sets of items, like stolen makeup, torn-up phone numbers, or even escaped lizards, but because you have relatively free roam of the house, it feels more like lite adventuring than pixel hunting. If you are having trouble finding anything, hints are available by finding and collecting fireflies along the way. These will randomly regenerate if you need more, but you’ll need to work for the assistance you get. And you may need some, as items are occasionally obscured and difficult to see, though usually they’re in intuitive locations (where in a house would you look for bandages?). The same hints are used for the standalone logic puzzles, from sliders to jigsaws to patterned boxes of different sorts. Before getting the option to skip one entirely, you’ll first need to use up three hints, each of which fills in a portion of the solution. There are inventory puzzles to solve as well, though once you find all the items you need, there’s little thought required, as the inventory will slide open automatically at the appropriate time.

The rest of the interface is equally helpful but unintrusive, and your current objective is just a button click away, though the game’s linear nature shouldn’t be cause for much reminder. The Babysitter offers a fairly polished presentation as well, from its animated, hand-painted cutscenes to full voice acting (apart from hotspot comments) and a subtle musical score that’s fully intended to create ambience rather than entertain on its own. There are a few in-your-face scares and some other nice touches for effect, like the threatening storm raging outside, or the house lights flickering off just as the TV flashes on to a grainy, ominous channel. The end result is a lite but enjoyable experience, with enough item scavenging to appeal to hidden object fans, and enough narrative integration to appease any adventure fan that doesn’t mind a more streamlined casual approach on occasion.


Hidden Object/Adventure hybrids


Mystery Legends: The Phantom of the Opera

PixelStorm’s Mystery Legends is the latest in the ever-growing number of series making the move from pure hidden object games to a more adventurous hybrid. While the search for endless items (and a missing head) was the subject of the studio’s earlier Sleepy Hollow, the hunt for The Phantom of the Opera is going to be a whole lot more complicated. A sequel to the famed Gaston Leroux novel, this mystery legend follows the plight of young Evelina. The daughter of the couple who foiled the Phantom’s obsessed plans in the original story, Evelina finds herself mystically transported to the Paris Opera House, still impressive but now closed and in obvious state of disrepair. And still occupied by the Phantom. This time around, there is no pretense, as the “Angel of Music” announces his plans to keep Evelina for himself right from the start.

Image #3The whole game takes place in and around the opera house, but that still allows for plenty of exploration, as you’ll roam the many grand hallways to visit the conservatory, dining salon, a ballroom, the library, and several other areas. You’ll also nip outside to wander the wintry grounds, though the weather won’t permit escape that way. The artists have done a nice job with the setting, full of fine ornamental detail that hints of its former exquisite decor but displaying only a faded majesty now, and there are ominous touches everywhere, like gnarled, overgrown plants, cracked windows, and creepy statues. Subtle sound effects like the wind howling and floors creaking in the background further helps establish this lonely, haunting atmosphere, and of course there’s plenty of dark, eerie music to round out the experience. While you’ll spend most of your time alone, the Phantom vocally taunts Evelina from afar on occasion, with bold claims of her inevitable fate and his restoring past wrongs.

Though Evelina wishes to escape, the Phantom charges her with bringing him some black roses, which are scattered throughout the building with many obstacles standing in the way. It’s never made clear why there are so many hurdles necessary (do all madmen like puzzles?), so often the challenges feel contrived, like matching urns to symbolic death dates, playing a chess-like minigame to open a secret compartment, or setting clocks to specific times to reveal hidden keys. Some are more organic, however, as you’ll need to reconnect the power and make an icy floor safe to traverse. You’ll collect a fair number of inventory objects as you go, some of them after completing standard hidden object scenes, which are relatively infrequent. These HOG screens are cluttered but nicely designed, and while some items may be hard to see or things you wouldn’t recognize, a silhouette of each object is displayed when the cursor is hovered over it. A rechargeable hint option should further avoid any frustration, though the tendency of such item hunts to appear out of nowhere in places you’d least expect can be annoying.

Fortunately, a handy map highlights any area with current objectives, so you’ll want to check that often. You’ll still need to do extensive backtracking by foot, however, which seems a waste of such an otherwise-useful map. The hint feature also highlights any environmental challenges you can address in each screen, if any, and sparkles will indicate interactive areas of interest as you explore. It’s all fairly traditional stuff, but it’s slick and stylish, and should appeal to those who like their casual adventures a little macabre. If there’s one drawback to this fulfilling three-plus hours of casual gaming, it’s a very unsatisfying non-ending. There’s a bonus episode available in the Collector’s Edition that picks right up from the main game finale, but after less than half an hour of additional gameplay, that too finishes with no real resolution. This is one legend destined to remain something of a mystery, then, so I guess the saying is true: the opera ain’t over ‘til the fat lady sings.


Mystery Trackers: The Void

Void: adj., containing nothing.

Never has a definition been more wrong than in Elephant Games’ Mystery Trackers: The Void. There are a whoooooole lot of items to search for in the Void Mansion and beyond, and plenty of puzzles to solve as well, plus an ever-deepening backstory to uncover as you go. As a modern day member of a clandestine detective agency, you’re sent to the Void family home to investigate the recent disappearance of three celebrities. This mystery is all the more curious, as the house has supposedly been abandoned for a decade. Upon your arrival, you’ll not only seek the whereabouts of the missing people, but try to learn more about the history of the house and its disturbed inhabitants. I’d say “former” inhabitants, except you’ll soon meet some peculiar current residents, including a little trained toad dressed in a smoking jacket who serves as your hint system, and a menacing lab-created monster who may be helping or hindering your progress, though you don’t dare get close enough to find out.

Image #4Your investigation will lead you through the century-old mansion, out into a now-overrun artificial ecosystem-turned-amusement park, across a valley aboard a ropeway tram, and through tunnels on a subway, to name just a few of the locations. It’s a surprisingly diverse area to explore, full of creative little touches and all richly designed. One moment you’re climbing down a well in a diving suit, the next you’ll be dousing a blazing fire or attempting to pry a skeletal musician from his final possession. There’s a nice array of animations to supplement the scenery, and the soundscape is full of ambient effects that suit each environment. The orchestral music is perhaps a bit overdramatic at times, but is certainly pleasant enough to listen to, with the odd croaking contribution from your amphibian guide. Really the only corner cut on presentation is the general lack of voice acting, though you’re exploring alone, so this isn’t really an issue, and there are a few important exceptions even in this area.

As far as hidden object/adventuring distribution goes, Mystery Trackers falls just about squarely in the middle. Pretty much all locations have a close-up screen to sift through for lists of random objects, though a rechargeable hint option is always available, and there’s plenty to do in between. There are some simple inventory puzzles to solve as well, and a whole host of standalone tasks ranging from ring alignment to logic puzzles to math-based challenges, some of which require finding clues elsewhere first. Many of these conundrums are blatantly contrived, like the puzzle-based “lock within a lock” on a park gate, but there are signs of eccentricity everywhere, so it’s easy enough to accept. Most are simply recycled puzzles from other games, but they provide an entertaining change of pace, and a few are quite clever, like guiding a gramophone needle safely across a scratched record. Any puzzle can be skipped, and an extensive journal keeps track of all major points of interest.

The Collector’s Edition comes with a strategy guide, which you really shouldn’t need, and some other bonus content, the most notable of which is a whole new playable scenario. Taking place shortly after the events of the main game and starring the villain instead, this addition is every bit as polished and engaging, though apart from the name, there’s no tangible connection to the story just completed. The regular edition offers plenty of value all on its own, so you can safely skip it without feeling short-changed at all. Then again, there’s certainly something to be said for an extra hour of a very enjoyable game. Whichever version you choose, however, this is definitely a mystery worth tracking down for any hidden object/lite adventure fan.


Haunted Halls: Green Hills Sanitarium

Green Hills Sanitarium sounds like such a peaceful, serene place. But any game called Haunted Halls should blow that notion away… and for good reason. Within the confines of this particular asylum, the head doctor is making the patients crazy, playing on their fears for his own twisted purposes. As a young woman here to seek her missing boyfriend, it’s the players job to free these terrorized patients from their mentally-torturous prisons. But the lines between fantasy and reality become blurred for you as well, as disgusting giant tentacles bar your way to new areas. It’ll be no small feat to keep your wits about you while everyone around you is losing theirs (or has long since lost them).

Image #5The loonie bin setting is both a blessing and a curse to the latest game from ERS Game Studios, the creators of the Dark Tales series and Redemption Cemetery. On the one hand, it allows for an “anything goes” philosophy. The people you meet are being intentionally driven nuts, so you can accept seeing things like a wall full of ears, a huge spider-webbed head, or a decapitated android. A little too much license is taken with the privilege, however, as it’s far harder to justify an upside-down room, a flooded walkway guarded by an octopus, or a giant ropeway stretched across an outdoor chasm. Oh, and those tentacles that snake and slither out of crevices wherever you go. I thought at first that perhaps the protagonist’s own sanity was in question, but really these unexplained phenomena are just that: unexplained. It’s all rather deliciously sadistic stuff, but it really doesn’t hold up to any narrative scrutiny. A few too many things are done simply because they can… even though, in actual fact, they couldn’t.

But as with most casual games, the gameplay is what it’s all about. In that sense, Haunted Halls is a fairly standard mix of light adventuring and hidden object tasks, the former fairly significantly outweighing the latter, at least until the end. All the expected elements are in place: an ever-expanding environment to unlock and explore; loads of inventory items to collect (sometimes more than a dozen at any one time); rechargeable hint feature for both HOG screens and main environments; a journal for key points, along with medical histories of the patients; and a variety of logic puzzles to solve in between, with an option to skip if so desired. The quality of each element can vary, however. While many of the puzzles are intuitive and logical, some of the inventory solutions are pretty ludicrous – don’t even ask how a Pinocchio-like “operation patient” and a music-loving rope are related. A bit more relevant feedback at times would have made such scenarios far more reasonable. Similarly, some of the standalone puzzles are fairly clever, like guiding a set of eyeballs down a limited tile path (you know, the usual door locks for a sanitarium) or a pie-sliced rotating jigsaw, but others have been done to death, like the four-sliders-in-one challenge that has no individual reset option.

None of these issues make Haunted Halls a poor game, as there’s plenty of fun to be had in scrounging up thumbs to complete a hand-shaped doorknob, draining an eel-guarded cell, or smoking out an angry beehive. The graphics and music are suitably foreboding if never particularly inspired, and there’s no voice acting at all in this game. The journal reflects the “clinical” nature of the game, but all this means is an ugly font and bare-bones descriptions of what’s going on. For those who invest in the Collector’s Edition, there’s strategy guide and an additional 40 minutes or so of game time. This sequence picks up immediately after the rather hurried and ill-explained finale of the main game, covering a few of the same asylum locations and some new underground additions. This sequence does tie up one otherwise-neglected plot detail, but still doesn’t provide a proper ending, opting instead to conclude with a cliffhanger. The added gameplay is more linear and heavily weighted towards hidden object searches, but it does provide the best puzzle in the game that seriously tests whether you’ve been paying attention all along. It’s a shame not to include it in the standard version, but there does need to be some enticement to shell out a bit extra. Either way, Haunted Halls should satisfy any casual adventure fan with a taste for the surreal. Just don’t try making any sense of it, or it’ll be you who ends up going crazy.


Secret Diaries: Florence Ashford

While some casual games can be considered “lite” adventures, World Loom‘s Secret Diaries: Florence Ashford is best described as zero-calorie and fat-free. Which, given her slender figure and tightly-corseted Victorian dress, probably describes the diet of the game’s titular protagonist as well. Florence Ashford is a young woman engaged to be married to a rich suitor she’s never met in order to save her family from poverty. The Marquis Henry lives with his servants in an opulent mansion, and the game takes place in and around the Bucklebury Manor grounds. But someone in the house believes that the bride-to-be has been lured there under false pretenses, and now it’s up to Florence to discover the truth and escape her potentially ill-fated marriage.

Image #6There is some adventuring to be done around the house, as you’ll get to freely explore the kitchen, pantry, library, and other various rooms once they become available. Along the way, you’ll pick up inventory items, partake in the odd hidden object scene, and solve various standard puzzles, from jigsaws to gear-connecting to towers of Hanoi. But calling your travels “exploring” is being generous. On the normal difficulty setting, practically all interactive items and areas are highlighted, and each room generally has only one or two at any given time, so it’s always obvious what you need to do. There’s a journal and current task list as well, but the game itself holds your hand so much that you can just follow the hotspot breadcrumbs. That’s not to say there’s no entertainment to be found in going through the motions, but a challenge this game is not… at least, not until it slams you face-first into a 4-4 slider, so you may yet be thankful for the puzzle skip option. Unlike many casual games, Secret Diaries is probably better played on the harder difficulty level, which removes the highlights and lengthens the recharge time of the hint and hidden object highlighter, making you actually think about how to make a wax seal from scratch.

You may not need the hidden object help feature at all, as they’re fairly infrequent and items are quite clearly displayed in the game’s pleasant hand-drawn style. The background scenery is always appropriate, though there isn’t much attempt to integrate some of the items, only one of which per search you’ll end up keeping afterwards. There really aren’t many such scenes, though, so for the most part you’ll be collecting your items the old-fashioned (if highly-streamlined) way. All the while, the predominantly piano-based music is rather perky and whimsical, which fits the lighthearted feel of the game overall. There’s a definite feminine leaning to this game as well – not exclusively so by any means, but be prepared to spend at least a little time fixing your hair, outfitting a doll in fine dresses, and maybe finding true love while you’re at it. Whether for women or men, given the overall ease of the game, Secret Diaries is perhaps best suited to genre newcomers, or for those who feel like something a little breezier between more challenging titles, even by casual game standards.


Upcoming Releases


Age of Enigma

Age of Enigma isn’t a new release, but it will be soon enough. The lite adventure from French studio Casual Box flew onto our radar this month with the arrival of an early playable demo, allowing a first look at a game sure to appeal to fans of casual titles like Drawn: Dark Flight. The story is set in an alternate universe 1947, where paranormal activity has become commonplace, terrorizing mankind and forcing governments to adopt aggressive methods of control, from flying surveillance zeppelins to cities that restrict all ties to the past. A group of mediums oppose this oppressive regime, and are attempting to discover the cause of these surreal events. One such medium, Ashley Reeves, has a vision of child trapped in a house, so she and her faithful dog Isaac visit the Amityville, New England home of the Wendell family, who have recently disappeared. What Ashley immediately finds inside is not the little girl or the Wendells, however, but a number of ghosts still haunting the premises.

 

Image #7This isn’t exactly a new “Amityville horror”, as not all of the ghosts are there to frighten you, and the crisp, attractive hand-drawn graphic style isn’t particularly fear-inducing. In fact, the first two spirits you’ll meet, a 17th century pirate and a feudal Japanese noblewoman, are tortured souls themselves who are in need of Ashley’s unique help. Not only can the medium see and communicate with the dead, she can actually transport herself back into their lives to experience the circumstances that still shackle them to this existence. Suddenly, from the house’s haunting, creepy atmosphere full of tense violins and piano mixed with heartbeats, mournful wails, and inhuman whispers, you’ll be transported to a sunny tropical island and its Caribbean-style music or a beautiful Zen garden with its serene Asian score. There are reportedly four more worlds to visit as well, including a monastery in the Middle Ages and an Incan sanctuary, giving the game a wide variety of locales to explore.

Wherever you go, you’ll find puzzles aplenty. The is the Age of Enigma, after all. Ashley (and her ethereal counterparts) will collect inventory items and use them as needed, unearth clues to crack codes, and solve more than 30 different standalone puzzles and minigames. The early stages include the likes of word problems, Mastermind, jigsaws, and spatial challenges. There isn’t much attempt to integrate these puzzles into the storyline, but like Professor Layton games (which the developers cite as an inspiration), these challenges are randomly sprinkled in for a challenging change of pace. How challenging depends on which of three levels of difficulty you choose, although all puzzles include a skip option. A hint system will also be available that shows a sketched image of what needs to be done, though this wasn’t yet implemented in the preview version. There will also be a fight-the-poltergeist “action” minigame added before release, though the developers claim that fast reflexes won’t required, emphasizing entertainment over challenge. All that will be added in the coming few months, as Age of Enigma is currently targeting release in the first quarter of next year. In the meantime, you can follow its progress through a series of developer diaries at the official website.


Other Games of Interest


Sinister City

At first glance, Jet Dogs Studios’ Sinister City has more in common with traditional adventures than hidden object games. There are no random lists of objects to find, just particular items necessary to complete your journey. There are other characters to interact with and it’s all fully voiced. It’s even a rare third-person title in the casual field. But in leading a young man from a rural hotel all the way to the astral plane and back into the castle of vampire Count Orlok in pursuit of his kidnapped fiancée, players will still spend most of their time scouring close-up scenes for hidden items after all. The difference is, here you’re tasked with collecting whole sets of objects, whether it’s keys, map pieces, clock numbers, or gemstones across a number of scenes. To find some, you’ll first need to interact with other things on screen, further reducing the task to a pixel hunt for cursor changes rather than a true scavenger hunt. There’s the occasional standalone puzzle to solve as well: connecting coloured threads, replacing missing gears, and recreating a sketch art portrait. The vast majority of time is spent revisiting the same sparsely designed scenes looking for new items, however, making Sinister City more a lite HOG than lite adventure in the end.


Time Mysteries

 

Image #8You’ve probably played Artifex Mundi’s Time Mysteries: Inheritance before and just not realized it. Part HOG, part puzzler, part very basic adventure, this game is nothing if not formulaic. Even the story will seem familiar, as a young woman must travel back to various historical eras in pursuit of her kidnapped father and seven magical rings. To do so, you must repeatedly collect appropriate artifacts from the same archive room, scour a couple small locations and a few hidden object screens for a handful of inventory items, and solve a number of logic puzzles along the way, all of them listed on page one of the Casual Game 101 handbook. For good measure, there’s even a Match-3 minigame to continually recharge your limited supply of hints. With each past century’s ring in hand, you then return to the present for a spot-the-difference task for no apparent reason. Once complete, it’s lather, rinse, repeat. This lack of gameplay originality isn’t as disappointing as the underwhelming quality, however. Time Mysteries doesn’t do anything poorly so much as it does nothing particularly well. Locations are diverse but uninteresting, the graphics pleasant but bland, while the music changes to suit each period but often manages to be overbearing, and the passing attempt at a mystical family heritage story is so forgettable that even a talking crystal ball can’t save it. The game is not a write-off by any means, as there’s some light entertainment to be found in its tried-and-true approach, but this is one time-travelling mystery that’s best saved for the future (if ever), as there are plenty of better games to experience first.


Mystery Valley

With its light exploration, simple inventory puzzles, and a storyline featuring a young FBI agent discovering the dark secrets of her past, a case could probably be made for Mystery Valley to be considered as much a lite adventure as a hidden object game. It’d be much harder to make a case for it being very good, however. Oh, the elements are all in place in this dark tale that sends players to such places as creepy old houses, underground mines, and dungeons throughout a murder investigation that soon becomes personal. Hidden object scenes are moderately spaced out, with a rechargeable hint feature and a few interactive items per screen, though there’s little attempt to integrate them. Locations consist of only a few rooms apiece, so you can gather inventory objects as you explore, but any items you need are always close at hand and their usage ultra-obvious. Other puzzle types are scarce, though occasionally you’ll need to find clues to safe codes, solve a slider, or connect some circuits. A decent attempt is made to develop the storyline, with various characters introduced during regular cutscenes between locations, though it’s all very clichéd, scattershot, and utterly unbelievable. The production values further drag the game down, as the graphics are hazy and dated, the music forgettable, and the text poorly translated. Budget production for a budget price may be enough for some, but with so many other HOG/adventure hybrids hitting the peaks of this burgeoning sub-genre, this is one game that’s still stuck down in the valley.
 



That should keep you busy for a while, but there's plenty more where these came from, so check back for all your casual adventuring news next month!


Note: Adventure Gamers is a Big Fish Games affiliate.

 

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Community Comments

Latest comments (2 total)

For a change, I’ve not played any of these. Three, Babysitter, Void and Enigma sound appealing. I shall give them a try.

Nov 20, 2010

I loved the Phantom of the Opera game. Even though the ending(s) were extremely bad for the sake of not resolving anything, I do feel that the whole game was very well polish. The artwork is just gorgeous, more so than Drawn. I sort of wished this game was more Adventure Lite than a bit in between HOG and Adventure..

Nov 10, 2010
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