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What game have you just finished?

Total Posts: 75

Joined 2019-05-03

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Finished Call of the Sea. Wasn’t that long, but for the most part quality time, I’d say. Story ended up a bit standard (“oh look, the weird island no local ever goes to, let’s have an expedition there and find some ancient ruins!”) but I wasn’t expecting the excellent Lovecraftian/cosmic horror aspects.
Visuals are fantastic at times; perhaps one of the most impressive looking adventure games.
Puzzles - I expect experienced adventure games to have no trouble with them*. I didn’t think they were too too easy, but maybe there could have been a bit more complexity to some (or just 1-2 more overall). However, this being also a quite narratively-driven game I’d also would have felt that too many too hard puzzles would have gotten too much in the way of storytelling ... for me, it hit that mark between hiking simulator and puzzle game quite nicely for its purposes. Let’s call it a “puzzle enhanced walking simulator”, maybe Wink

*there was one I personally only figured out the logic of after I had finished the game and gave it some more thought. I found some of the ingame hints there kinda misleading and so I just couldn’t wrap my head around the solution which I got through sheer coincidence.

Overall a game I can recommend if you are fine with this type of game.

     

Total Posts: 178

Joined 2014-12-25

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I’ve just quit Inexplicabel Deaths in Damipolis: Inner Thoughts. Words like “Place holder” or “Item description” are nothing that I want to read almost every time I click on anyithing.

I also don’t appreciate it that there are no hints on which key on my keyboard has which function, when the mouse clearly doesn’t always do what needs to be done.

Sometimes I click on something, and the chapter just ends before I’ve even managed to do anything, because I’ve just started the chapter.

This game is not finished. I’ve asked for a refund on Steam, because I’m not willing to waste any money on this mess. That’s just a warning in case you were going to play it, too.

     

Total Posts: 5

Joined 2020-12-03

PM

Call of the sea - 4/5
Nice game, Raw Fury never disappoints. The visuals are amazing most of the time, the game almost looks and feels like a Studio Ghibli anime at times, really impressive. Story is ok, nothing you haven’t seen before but better than most of the casual games, puzzles are well integrated in the story which is sadly not often the case nowadays. Perfect holiday game.

     
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Total Posts: 66

Joined 2009-05-12

PM

I also just finished Call of the Sea and I really enjoyed it.

The setting and story caught my attention but was afraid it was going to be a puzzle fest a la The Witness (which I wasn’t really into). But to my surprise the puzzles are few, fun and well integrated into the story. I got stuck on a couple of them but it was because I was over thinking them and was missing obvious and simple clues. Another I solved by luck and had to look up a playthrough to see what I did (Probably the same one that Pyoro-2 mentioned)

I also loved the take on Lovecraft lore. I don’t think I have seen or played something that doesn’t take the typical dark approach to Lovecraft so it was really refreshing in that sense.

     

Total Posts: 75

Joined 2019-05-03

PM

danigar - 30 December 2020 10:51 PM

(Probably the same one that Pyoro-2 mentioned)

If it’s the one regarding the “language” and the symbols to open a door in a round room you enter through a elevator towards the end it certainly is.

Generally most comments I have seen regarding this one seem to think it’s quite befuddling ^^;

     
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Total Posts: 4414

Joined 2008-01-09

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I just finished replaying the Christmas version of The Eyes of Ara, which is automatically triggered from Dec. 22 - Jan. 5 each year.  It was fun to see the castle decorated in so many rooms, but other than additional collectables (11 letters to Santa, one of which I still haven’t found) and another puzzle, which did make me think, the game was pretty much the same.  Still, I’m looking forward to seeing what happens to the place around Halloween.

     

April, come she will
When streams are ripe and swelled with rain.

-Paul Simon

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Total Posts: 186

Joined 2013-11-12

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Root Film: the second game in the Kadokawa Game Mystery series and the ‘sequel’ to Root Letter, but it has basically nothing to do with the prior title save for the title and the setting of Shimane prefecture. They ditched the idea of the Star System (characters being played by “actors” who’d play different roles in different games) and got a new director/writer in Hifumi Kono (of Clock Tower fame).

The story and characters are much more enjoyable than the previous game now: this time you follow the adventures of the young film director Rintaro “Max” Yagumo, who’s been hired to film a mystery drama for Shimane TV, together with two veteran directors (each doing their own episode). Ten years ago, a similar project had been in development, but it was stopped for unknown reasons, and some say the project is cursed. Yagumo becomes interested in the old project and the footage they shot back then, but also travels across Shimane with his team to scout locations. And each time, they get involved in murder cases. Meanwhile, we also follow the adventures of the actress RIHO, who’s also travelling across Shimane for a film project and she too gets involved in various cases.

As an adventure game Root Film is incredibly simple and linear, but I liked the stories told. The story is divided in various episodes/cases that occur at the varous (real-life) locations in Shimane and the mystery plots make nice use of the local culture/geography, as well as the theme of ‘film’. Even if you didn’t like Root Letter, it might be worth looking at this game, because it has next to nothing to do with Root Letter (they re-use like one BGM and that’s it).

     

“Rationality, that was it. No esoteric mumbo jumbo could fool that fellow. Lord, no! His two feet were planted solidly on God’s good earth” - Ellery Queen, The Lamp of God

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Total Posts: 293

Joined 2005-07-07

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I just finished Quarantine Diary, the new Carol Reed adventure. Nothing new here of course, but that’s the formula and part of the charm. I have played every single one of these games. It’s nice to snoop around in people’s private homes and visit locations in and around Norrköping. And as long as one doesn’t expect too much logic behind most of the puzzles (or rather obstacles) the Carol Reed games are mostly fun imo. I do think this is one of the better ones to come out in a while. 3/5.

     
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Total Posts: 1201

Joined 2009-04-28

PM

I recently played The Complex, Late Shift and The Bunker, 3 recent FMV titles made with the involvement of Wales Interactive. I picked up the games as bundle in the winter steam sale. Actually, I already had the Complex but hadn’t got around to playing it. Here are some quick reviews:

The Complex

Going in I was interested to try this game but very unsure what to expect. I have greatly enjoyed some FMV games and not got on at all with others. I also think they tend to be reviewed very lazily (not here on AG of course!) it’s often “FMV = Terrible acting… 90’s experiment that didn’t work out… The end”.

So The Complex is really an interactive film, in that you are not walking the character around, you are watching clips, making a choice and watching a resulting clip. Often they are ‘dialogue’ type choices, ‘say this or don’t’ or ‘be kind or be harsh’ but there are also some that are a bit more like AG puzzles – i.e. need to open a vent, choose a delicate tool or a blunt force instrument.

Obviously a game like this stands or falls by its story/video and choices/replayability rather than by the ‘puzzles’ that are there, there is no inventory at all and nothing like a traditional AG puzzle.

Personally I thought the production values were really high. If ‘FMV’ makes you think of grainy extremely low res images then you need to re-calibrate for the 2020s. The footage was high quality, the environments were (or looked) completely real and the acting was – for the most part – absolutely fine.

Without spoilers, the setting is really interesting, the story was gripping and believable enough. The background premise was a little bit rubbish, but essentially boils down to something very dangerous in a lab that must not be allowed to escape into the wrong hands.
On the whole it felt like a Netflix style TV thriller with only slightly lower production values.

The choices you make do matter in terms of the ending and you get stats at the end showing how many ‘clips’ you viewed etc. I think there are about 9 different endings.
It isn’t the longest game – probably 90min for a playthrough but there is definite replay value to try different paths. On the whole I enjoyed it and would want more. I think they handled the choices thing pretty well. I’m a firm believer that as gamers we say we want lots of different choices, but often we don’t at all. This game is short enough that I didn’t feel like I was ruining it by making the choices I did but long enough to be satisfying.

I think I will go back to see the other endings at some point. At least it will get another play and then I’ll check out the others on youtube or something.

4/5

     

3.5 time winner of the “Really Annoying Caption Contest Saboteur” Award!

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Total Posts: 1201

Joined 2009-04-28

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Late Shift

Very similar in style to The Complex, but this time the theme is heist/unintentional criminal. I started playing it the day after I finished the Complex (I think) but it was tonally different enough to feel new and fresh. While the complex was about trying to do good or prevent evil, the lines in this game were a bit more blurred and it had a darker gritty feel to it I enjoyed.

Again production values were high. Lots of shots of London in some pretty impressive locations (not in terms of being famous but in terms of really looking like a posh auction house, a hospital etc.) and again, the acting was completely fine!

The game treads the line between join in with the criminals and try and be a ‘good boy’ but shades of grey are everywhere and if you’re looking for a completely good or completely evil playthrough you’re probably not going to manage it.

I really liked this game and got an ending I’m sure wasn’t the ‘best’ one. I’ll be going back at some point, probably with an internet guide to see the others.

4.5/5

The Bunker

This one, although still FMV, is pretty different to the two above.

Firstly, instead of just ‘watch clip, make choice, repeat’ you actually navigate the character around in a more GK2 or Phantasmagoria sort of way. There is sort of an inventory and there are sort of puzzles too. After a fashion.

Secondly, this game is marketed as a ‘horror’ game, rather than the suspense/heist energetic feels of the last two games. I won’t say Horror is my absolute favourite genre but I have definitely really enjoyed some horror games.

Thirdly, I discovered that the game was filmed entirely in a secret nuclear bunker which is not that far from where I live and which I have visited a couple of times before, although not for years.

I was pretty excited therefore to see what this one was like, after good experiences with the other two games, some personal interest and the change of genre/feel.

I found the start of the game to be a bit repetitive. It felt a lot less like horror than mildly interesting historical fiction/drama and the story seemed a bit rubbish, with the characters a bit overplayed and strangely acted. Overall it wasn’t really catching hold of me and I got to the point where I wasn’t going to bother carrying on.

However, I resolved to go for one more session the next night and at least try and make it through the next little chapter of the game. BOY am I glad I did that.

I don’t want to spoil anything but the second half of the game, especially the ending, really picks up. Suddenly the story begins to come through the haze and eventually crystalises into something actually quite remarkable. Some of the things that made no sense now fall into place as the picture clears.

I don’t think I could name another game that starts grindingly mediocre and then comes back to such a large extent. I saw afterwards that it was nominated for a few awards (not sure if it won). If you had told me that at the beginning I would have scoffed and assumed it was only there to make up the numbers. Now I’m thinking that if it didn’t win them it probably should have.

Oh and it is a horror game, for sure. Or at least it becomes one. I’m not easily scared but did feel a moment of hesitation and unease when I finished the game, turned out the lights and started heading upstairs to bed. Excellent! If you are easily scared this one will be in your dreams for a while I think.

4.5/5 Would be higher if not for the first part of the game.

     

3.5 time winner of the “Really Annoying Caption Contest Saboteur” Award!

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Total Posts: 8126

Joined 2011-10-21

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Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5

Very similar to the first two games: a nicely animated, short adventure game with an easy to follow story and some fun animation on clickable hotspots.

These are fun to play through with my kids. I translate everything that’s being said, and then they help me by pointing which way I need to explore, and giving suggestions on how to solve the puzzles (with an occasional nudge by me so we don’t lose momentum and they don’t lose interest). Tongue

Can’t say which of the first three I like best, they’re very similar in quality.

     

Last played: Oknytt (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Horizon: Zero Dawn - 4/5 | Marvel’s Spider-Man - 4.5/5 | Freddi Fish 3: The Case of the Stolen Conch Shell - 3/5 | There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension (CPT) - 4/5 | There Is No Game (replay) - 4/5 | Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars (replay) - 3/5 | Lighthouse: The Dark Being (CPT) - 2.5/5 | Anna’s Quest (CPT) - 4.5/5 | Simon the Sorcerer II: The Lion, the Wizard and the Wardrobe - 4/5 | Florence - 4/5 | Alice Trapped in Wonderland - 1/5 | The Hunt for the Lost Ship - 1.5/5 | The Talos Principle - 4/5 | Tex Murphy: Martian Memorandum - 3/5 | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc - 3/5 | Simon the Sorcerer (replay) - 4/5 | Portal 2 - 4/5 | Murder By Numbers - 3.5/5 | Heavy Rain - 3.5/5 | Disco Elysium - 4.5/5

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Total Posts: 186

Joined 2013-11-12

PM

Akita Oga Mystery Annai (Akita - Oga Mystery Guide, Switch): The second game in this series which is modeled after classic Famicom (NES) adventure games. This time, the protagonist (a police detective) and his assistant Ken are sent from Tokyo to Akita hunting a gang of scammers. Like the previous one, the game has a slight touristic angle as you visit famous spots in Akita prefecture. It’s also really modeled after old Famicom adventures, so be ready to get annoyed by having to ask the same thing a few times in order to activate story flags etc, and of course there’s a crude 3D maze.

Also: the theme song is excellent late 80s pop!

This time the game was crowd-funded, which has both good and bad results. The game is much longer than the previous one, but a lot of the text feels unnecessary (there’s a running gag that Ken always tries the local cuisine and starts with a report on that before he gets down to business) and is also presented very slowly to the player due to the smaller text boxes (because: that’s how old Famicom adventures were). Even worse were the characters/segments added as crowdfunding rewards: they add absolutely nothing to the game. There’s an early segment where you have to call someone, and the game forces you through a boring segment where you dial the wrong number like five times, and each dialogue then was part of a crowdfunding reward (written by the funder). There’s also a part where you look for someone, and each time you find her she runs away immediately and you have to talk with the people in the neighborhood to find her again (again, these characters = crowdfunding rewards). You have to find her like 6 times, just repeating the same thing over and over again….

     

“Rationality, that was it. No esoteric mumbo jumbo could fool that fellow. Lord, no! His two feet were planted solidly on God’s good earth” - Ellery Queen, The Lamp of God

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Total Posts: 1303

Joined 2009-08-06

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So recently I purchased the third and fourth storycentric worlds games: The Filmmaker and Stonewall Penitentiary. I replayed Lifestream and Shady Brook prior. Have yet to play Summit of the Wolf. I played Lifestream and Shady Brook for the first time years ago per recommendation here.

Anyway, I found a new level of appreciation for these games. Think it is a very underrated studios. The developer is a great storyteller imo, with themes and genres varying across games he is putting out an engaging, coherent, well-told story every single time.
Also, the games are interconnected through references but also a bigger plot running and emerging in the background, at the same time the stories are stand-alone so one can appreciate any entry without prior knowledge.

Again, very impressive what this small studio is putting out(think it’s run by a couple) and definitely deserve more recognition. Will play Summit of the Wolf soon and any future games that come out.

     
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Total Posts: 236

Joined 2018-03-07

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Tantei KID - 09 January 2021 05:18 AM

Akita Oga Mystery Annai (Akita - Oga Mystery Guide, Switch): The second game in this series which is modeled after classic Famicom (NES) adventure games. This time, the protagonist (a police detective) and his assistant Ken are sent from Tokyo to Akita hunting a gang of scammers. Like the previous one, the game has a slight touristic angle as you visit famous spots in Akita prefecture. It’s also really modeled after old Famicom adventures, so be ready to get annoyed by having to ask the same thing a few times in order to activate story flags etc, and of course there’s a crude 3D maze.

Also: the theme song is excellent late 80s pop!

This time the game was crowd-funded, which has both good and bad results. The game is much longer than the previous one, but a lot of the text feels unnecessary (there’s a running gag that Ken always tries the local cuisine and starts with a report on that before he gets down to business) and is also presented very slowly to the player due to the smaller text boxes (because: that’s how old Famicom adventures were). Even worse were the characters/segments added as crowdfunding rewards: they add absolutely nothing to the game. There’s an early segment where you have to call someone, and the game forces you through a boring segment where you dial the wrong number like five times, and each dialogue then was part of a crowdfunding reward (written by the funder). There’s also a part where you look for someone, and each time you find her she runs away immediately and you have to talk with the people in the neighborhood to find her again (again, these characters = crowdfunding rewards). You have to find her like 6 times, just repeating the same thing over and over again….

Is this game available in English? I was checking it out on Steam and thought it looked cool because it reminded me of famicom detective club. But the page said it’s not available in English.

     
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Total Posts: 186

Joined 2013-11-12

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It’s not available in English (yet). Not sure if there are plans; the first one hasn’t been localized yet either. On the other hand, more and more of these games have been localized lately, so I don’t think it’s a hopeless case…

     

“Rationality, that was it. No esoteric mumbo jumbo could fool that fellow. Lord, no! His two feet were planted solidly on God’s good earth” - Ellery Queen, The Lamp of God

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