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2019 Casual Games

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This was not a great year for casual games. Following is a list of games I played. If I counted correctly, there are nineteen games. I probably played at least three times as many demos. But they weren’t good enough to make the cut.

The list was copied from my BFG purchase history, so there might be a few games that are not included. I.e. games I started in late 2018, but did not finish until 2019.

This is just the list. I plan to go back and replay parts of games to refresh my memory. That way I can offer a brief commentary as to what is good or bad.

Dark Tales: Edgar Allan Poe’s Ligeia
Donna Brave: And the Deathly Tree
Donna Brave: And the Strangler of Paris
Edge of Reality: Lethal Predictions
Edge of Reality: Ring of Destiny
Grim Legends 3: The Dark City
League of Light: The Gatherer
League of Light: Wicked Harvest
Memoirs of Murder: Behind the Scenes
Memoirs of Murder: Resorting to Revenge
Memoirs of Murder: Welcome to Hidden Pines
Ms. Holmes: The Monster of the Baskervilles
Mystery Trackers: The Fall of Iron Rock
Saga of the Nine Worlds: The Hunt
Shadowplay: Harrowstead Mystery
The Man with the Ivory Cane
Uncharted Tides: Port Royal
Vermillion Watch: Parisian Pursuit

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

Total Posts: 315

Joined 2012-03-13

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You are so right; casual games are in a slump. I looked at my purchase history and only found two:

League of Light: The Game
New York Mysteries: The Outbreak

Both of them were OK but nothing special.

     
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furgotten - 30 January 2020 05:18 PM

You are so right; casual games are in a slump. I looked at my purchase history and only found two:

League of Light: The Game
New York Mysteries: The Outbreak

Both of them were OK but nothing special.

I’m in the process of writing a mini-review for each of the games. I hope to have it up by Sunday. It’s unfortunate. But some of the games I’m having to re-install so I can play them to refresh my memory. They are that forgettable. (Probably a good indicator of how the review will read. Cool )

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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While I’m preparing the reviews of this miserable year in casual gaming, I wonder why that’s the case. Two things are obvious. Sequel. And then there’s Sequel. There is very little new content being developed.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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OK. I’ve worked on this. Going to post this now. There are about five games left which I hope to get done soon.

Dark Tales: Edgar Allan Poe’s Ligeia  Fairly good. Poe’s original short story was published in 1838. It’s one of several that I am not familiar with. So if the question is How closely does the game adhere to the story?, I don’t know. If it’s like the most recent games in this series, my guess is not much. That doesn’t make it a bad game. Just one that takes far too many liberties with the source material.

Donna Brave: And the Strangler of Paris Also a fairly good game. You are the titular protagonist detective who is asked to come to Paris to investigate a murder and other oddities that are occurring in the Parisian art world. Good puzzles, good music, good dialog. Graphics? Not so much. Rather the graphics themselves are very good. But there is nothing about them that make you feel you’re in Paris rather than London. Definitely worth a credit.

Donna Brave: And the Deathly Tree I liked the above game so much that I purchased this game sight unseen. Big mistake. All the things that made the first game so entertaining are missing here. Save your money.

Edge of Reality: Fatal Luck Quite a good game. Very similar in concept to League of Light: The Game which we played as a flash playthrough last year. You are searching for your father, who disappeared when you were a baby. You only have two clues which lead you to a casino where you enter the “Grand Tournament.” The winner of the tournament will be granted any wish. Obviously your wish is to find out what happened to your father. There are six other players in the tournament who also want to win ... at any cost. If you liked The Game, you will like this. If not, you may still wish to give the demo a try.

Edge of Reality: Lethal Predictions At the very start of the game’s introduction Sarah, our protagonist says, “What if I told you accidents aren’t accidents at all?” That pretty much sums up the main story line of the game. There has been a stark increase in the number of unsolved accidental deaths, and it is her, her father’s and her father’s assistant’s job to find out why. An entertaining game. Not quite as good as Fatal Luck. But worth a buy if you can get it on sale.

Grim Legends 3: The Dark City I don’t know when this game was published, but I didn’t play it until 2019. It came up on the Casual Games thread when jabod described a game, but couldn’t remember the title. This is that game. It’s good, but the plot is a bit convoluted. It’s hard to explain without using spoilers Let’s just say that there are three types of beings that exist in an alternate world. The top dog is called a Koshnar. The have somehow gained a foothold in our world, and our job is to return them to the place where they belong. Familiar plot to say the least. It was a good play. Thanks to jabod for making us aware of it.

League of Light: The Gatherer and League of Light: Wicked Harvest I’ll lump these two games together. I liked them. If you played League of Light: The Game, you may have found yourself curious about the origin of the scarecrow mascot. I was. And these two games solve that mystery. I think they are both good games. But if you aren’t as curious as I was, then they might not be a wise purchase.

Memoirs of Murder: Behind the Scenes, Memoirs of Murder: Resorting to Revenge, Memoirs of Murder: Welcome to Hidden Pines  I forget who recommended one of these three games. Doesn’t matter. They are all good. You play as a husband and wife team. In one game you save your nephew from a murder charge. In another you clear yourself and your husband from a murder charge. In the third game ... well you get the picture. All three are good games. But once you have played one, the other two are just more of the same. Toss a coin to decide which game to play and then forget the other two.  Unless you really like the game style. Then have at it.


Ms. Holmes: The Monster of the Baskervilles Interesting take on a Sherlock Holmes mystery. This is a very good game with great puzzles and lots of twist and turns to the plot. I’m not sure why, but I bought this game as a CE. Mostly I only play SE versions. The bonus chapter was quite fun, although not absolutely necessary. It basically clears up the fate of one of the characters who will likely play a greater role in a sequel, if there ever is one.  I recommend getting the CE.

That’s it for today. Looks like I have six more to go. Hope to get them done by Sunday.

Mystery Trackers: The Fall of Iron Rock
Saga of the Nine Worlds: The Hunt
Shadowplay: Harrowstead Mystery
The Man with the Ivory Cane
Uncharted Tides: Port Royal
Vermillion Watch: Parisian Pursuit

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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rtrooney - 31 January 2020 09:50 PM

Grim Legends 3: The Dark City I don’t know when this game was published, but I didn’t play it until 2019.

27.05.2016, if MobyGames is correct.

     
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Three more addition to the descriptions. Three to go.

Dark Tales: Edgar Allan Poe’s Ligeia  Fairly good. Poe’s original short story was published in 1838. It’s one of several that I am not familiar with. So if the question is How closely does the game adhere to the story?, I don’t know. If it’s like the most recent games in this series, my guess is not much. That doesn’t make it a bad game. Just one that takes far too many liberties with the source material.

Donna Brave: And the Strangler of Paris Also a fairly good game. You are the titular protagonist detective who is asked to come to Paris to a murder and other oddities that are occurring in the Parisian art world. Good puzzles, good music, good dialog. Graphics? Not so much. Rather the graphics themselves are very good. But there is nothing about them that make you feel you’re in Paris rather than London. Definitely worth a credit.

Donna Brave: And the Deathly Tree I liked the above game so much that I purchased this game sight unseen. Big mistake. All the things that made the first game so entertaining are missing here. Save your money.

Edge of Reality: Fatal Luck Quite a good game. Very similar in concept to League of Light: The Game which we played as a flash playthrough last year. You are searching for your father, who disappeared when you were a baby. You only have two clues which lead you to a casino where you enter the “Grand Tournament.” The winner of the tournament will be granted any wish. Obviously your wish is to find out what happened to your father. There are six other players in the tournament who also want to win ... at any cost. If you liked The Game, you will like this. If not, you may still wish to give the demo a try.

Edge of Reality: Lethal Predictions At the very start of the game’s introduction Sarah, our protagonist says, “What if I told you accidents aren’t accidents at all?” That pretty much sums up the main story line of the game. There has been a stark increase in the number of unsolved accidental deaths, and it is her, her father’s and her father’s assistant’s job to find out why. An entertaining game. Not quite as good as Fatal Luck. But worth a buy if you can get it on sale.

Grim Legends 3: The Dark City I don’t know when this game was published, but I didn’t play it until 2019. It came up on the Casual Games thread when jabod described a game, but couldn’t remember the title. This is that game. It’s good, but the plot is a bit convoluted. It’s hard to explain without using spoilers Let’s just say that there are three types of beings that exist in an alternate world. The top dog is called a Koshnar. The have somehow gained a foothold in our world, and our job is to return them to the place where they belong. Familiar plot to say the least. It was a good play. Thanks to jabod for making us aware of it.

League of Light: The Gatherer and League of Light: Wicked Harvest I’ll lump these two games together. I liked them. If you played League of Light: The Game, you may have found yourself curious about the origin of the scarecrow mascot. I was. And these two games solve that mystery. I think they are both good games. But if you aren’t as curious as I was, then they might not be a wise purchase.

Memoirs of Murder: Behind the Scenes, Memoirs of Murder: Resorting to Revenge, Memoirs of Murder: Welcome to Hidden Pines  I forget who recommended one of these three games. Doesn’t matter. They are all good. You play as a husband and wife team. In one game you save your nephew from a murder charge. In another you clear yourself and your husband from a murder charge. In the third game ... well you get the picture. All three are good games. But once you have played one, the other two are just more of the same. Toss a coin to decide which game to play and then forget the other two.  Unless you really like the game style. Then have at it.

Ms. Holmes: The Monster of the Baskervilles Interesting take on a Sherlock Holmes mystery. This is a very good game with great puzzles and lots of twist and turns to the plot. I’m not sure why, but I bought this game as a CE. Mostly I only play SE versions. The bonus chapter was quite fun, although not absolutely necessary. It basically clears up the fate of one of the characters who will likely play a greater role in a sequel, if there ever is one.  I recommend getting the CE.

Saga of the Nine Worlds: The Hunt This is the first sequel to Saga of the Nine Worlds. I did not play the first game so I have no basis for comparison. This game has to stand on it’s own merits, and, to me, it doesn’t stand very tall. It pretends to be based on Norse mythology although, other than invoking the names of Norse gods here and there I see nothing that separates this game’s plotline from similar games. I.e. there is another world that is separated from our world by some kind of portal. The portal has been breached and our goal is to defeat the invaders and close the portal. So far that sounds like about 150 other casual games I’ve played over the years. The games mechanics are OK except for one thing. The cursor. The game designers decided to change the cursors we’re all familiar with into what they thought the cursors would look like if they were based on Nordic runes. It’s confusing and totally doesn’t work. Not a game I can recommend.

Continued next page

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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continued from previous page

The Man with the Ivory Cane A casual game with no hidden object scenes. There are some collectibles, but failure to find them does not deter you from finishing the game. The plot is standard detective fare. Your girlfriend is kidnapped. You are tasked with finding her location and rescuing her. Along the way you are abetted by a gentleman of unknown motives. The problem solving and detective work is quite interesting. For that I give it a hearty thumbs up. The only drawback is that the designers obviously intended this to be a multi-game series. Thus the superfluous cliffhanger ending. The first sequel has yet to arrive.

Moonsouls - The Lost Sanctum Your father disappeared from your world many years ago. Suddenly an interstellar signal arrives that can only be coming from your father. Your objective is to find him, and bring him home. But it isn’t that simple. First it appears that your father does not wish to be found. Second, the creatures that are holding your father are not the antagonists they appear to be. And third, the entity you free from the imprisonment devised by your father’s captors is not the friend she originally appeared to be. Good puzzles. Fewer HO scenes than in a usual casual. I think it’s worth a shot.

Uncharted Tides: Port Royal An interesting, as well as humorous pirate adventure in which you play two roles. One, the girl in search of her father who was kidnapped, and two a crewman who doesn’t seem particularly adept at anything. However, he is a quick learner. The puzzles are quite good, and the fact that you lose your inventory every time you switch characters adds some complexity to them. I very much enjoyed it, and recommend it.

Vermillion Watch: Parisian Pursuit The game is set in Belle Epoch-era France. Graphically the game is historically accurate. The era ended at the beginning of WWI, 1914. In many scenes the Eiffel Tower can be seen in the background, which place all the activity between the 1890s and 1914. Strange things are going on in Paris. Events are occurring that involve mass paralysis accompanied by zero recollection. Whether this is a man-made phenomenon or something else is something we will have to discover. The puzzles are very well done. Inventory pieces can be, but are not always used in the location where you find them. They are often used in two or three locations away. There are some HO scenes. But they seem to be well integrated into the game, so they are not at all annoying. This is a long game. I don’t remember why I bought this as a CE. Probably as part of a CE BOGO. I honestly don’t remember the bonus game, so I can’t say whether it was worth it. Although, if it was as good as the main game, it probably was. Nevertheless, I should probably recommend buying the main game and watching the bonus game on YouTube.

Mystery Trackers: The Fall of Iron Rock You have been dispatched to a mining town where another agent has disappeared. You arrive not by car crash, which is standard fare in a casual game, but by plane crash. While surveying the crash site, you come across a girl, Rachel, who has the ability to see in the dark. She is not the only person with paranormal abilities. Her grandfather is the town’s “doctor” who has abilities far beyond those of a normal physician. And we meet a botanist, whose talents with plants extend far beyond the ability to plant an herb garden. All of the activity takes place in a city that has been moved underground. There are security automatons everywhere. They are apparently controlled by the town’s mayor. The plan is to find out what is going on, and restore normalcy to this community. This is a fairly long game, and has a few plot twist along the way that were unexpected when I first played it. BFG is still in charge of game development. But actual production has been outsourced. (BigFish Game Studios used to be in charge of game production. The same studio that produced the Drawn trilogy.) This game was produced by Elephant games. I think it does the task of replacing BFGS better than others have in the past. This is a very good game. I’ve replayed it twice. It gets a recommended buy from me.


Shadowplay: Harrowstead Mystery A century ago the town of Harrowstead disappeared along with all its inhabitants. Today three people have joined together to try and discover what happened. Unfortunately one of the three, Riley, uncovers something sinister while excavating a crater that was once the site of the missing town. His distress call comes to you, and he pleads with you to meet him at his house. Thus the adventure is set in motion. Not only has Riley uncovered the monster that destroyed the town, but also the fact that the town in which you live, Windton, is next on the monster’s agenda. It is a very entertaining game. Unfortunately some of the puzzles have, to me, been made artificially more difficult than they need to be. An example: You find a chain saw that is out of gasoline. You also find a manual gas pump and a van with an accessible gas cap. Piece of cake. Put pump in gas cap and hose in chain saw.Not so fast! You need to find a container for the gas first. That way you can pump the gas into a container, and then pour the gas from the container into the chainsaw. The only thing missing was the need for a funnel. Despite this, I think it’s a good buy.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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Total Posts: 3959

Joined 2004-07-12

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Finally finished the last review.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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Total Posts: 3959

Joined 2004-07-12

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Delete

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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