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Lucien21 Gaming Journal 2014

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Broken Age- Act 1

A highly enjoyable return to Adventure gaming by Tim Schafer as he brings the first part of his massivly successful Kickstarter to life.

A game about growing up and coming of age told from two angles.

Vella lives in a fantasy style setting where once a year the young girls of her villiage offer themselves up for sacrifice to save the rest from disaster. Vella starts questioning the custom and wonders if fighting your future is a better plan.

Shay lives on a spaceship where he is constantly monitored and protected by his “mother” an ship AI that smothers him daily with fake rescue missions and tasks designed for a kid. He wants to break out of this childish bubble and find adventure.

The graphics in the game are stunningly rendered in a painterly style with the characters given a look reminicient of the “Adventure Time” cartoon with wavy arms etc.

The dailogue is witty and always fun to listen to, delivered by a wide cast of famous and not so famous voices. Even the smallest character comes alive in this game through the writing and voice work, you will want to eat the cereal to hear the spoon spout facts about calories etc.

The story is full of Shafer’s humour and makes for spending time in this world a fun and exciting time.

Unfortunatly all this good stuff does come at a price. The first act is about 3 hours long and while it lasts it’s great, but it leaves you wanting so much more.

I would also suggest that the puzzles are a bit on the easy side, esp for someone who has been playing adventure games for 25 years.

The puzzles are not bad in their own right there are genuinly fun esp ones like the teleporter puzzle, but to an experienced player they hardly taxed the brain. It’s possible they went overboard with the hints which were fairly blatent.

So overall it was a fun story with excellent chracters, but could do with being more challenging and longer.

4/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Joined 2004-01-18

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Wolf Among Us - Ep 2: Smoke and Mirrors

Like the first episode but with less interaction and shorter lenght. Dissapointing.

2.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

1991 was a hell of year. And the year one of my favourite games was released. Zelda A Link to the Past was constantly in my SNES catridge slot as I explored the twin worlds of Hydrule and the “Dark World”.

A Link Between Worlds, takes the same setting of parrallel worlds to create a beautiful game that is not just a straight sequel, but a clever and well crafted homage to the original game.

Once again Zelda gets kidnapped and the Hero has to rise, gather the weapons of power, the Master Sword and the Triforce before facing down an old enemy. Zelda and a bunch of other people get transformed into 2D flat paintings you have to fight through a bunch of dungeons and free them.

Now on the 3DS it takes the Zelda formula and breaths fresh air into the concept. You still have the twin worlds that need to be navigated, the dungeons with multi levels, keys and a boss room to conquer. However with a couple of minor changes it seems to reinvigorate the series. No longer do you find the boomerang just in time to use it on the dungeon boss, but can buy/rent any of the weapons from very early on in the game. This opens up the possibilities and puts a risk/reward mechanic in the hands of the player. Buying them costs a lot, but while renting the weapons is cheaper, die and they get repossessed back. It also adds a sense of non linearity to the dungeons as they can be tackled in nearly any order.

The new power in the game is the ability to merge into walls and become like a mural/painting meaning that you stick to walls and can move around without platforms as long as the magic holds out.

The game also has the best use of 3D i’ve seen in a long while. The multi level dungeons of the original have been transformed into real 3D levels with an fantastic sense of verticality. Bouncing up levels or falling down into the level below is now seemless.

Between the 3D of the wolrd and the 2D of the wall merging it gives the game a unique sense of perspective that is always shifting and showing the worlds from a whole new angle.

I must say that revisiting this world twenty odd years later felt fresh and a hell of a lot of fun.

Utterly fantastic game.

5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Joined 2004-08-02

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Totally agree. It was an amazing game and loved every moment of it. Loved also how there is very little hand holding, and the whole weapon rental system allows for a less linear experience.

Lucien21 - 05 March 2014 05:46 PM

Zelda: A Link Between Worlds

1991 was a hell of year. And the year one of my favourite games was released. Zelda A Link to the Past was constantly in my SNES catridge slot as I explored the twin worlds of Hydrule and the “Dark World”.

A Link Between Worlds, takes the same setting of parrallel worlds to create a beautiful game that is not just a straight sequel, but a clever and well crafted homage to the original game.

Once again Zelda gets kidnapped and the Hero has to rise, gather the weapons of power, the Master Sword and the Triforce before facing down an old enemy. Zelda and a bunch of other people get transformed into 2D flat paintings you have to fight through a bunch of dungeons and free them.

Now on the 3DS it takes the Zelda formula and breaths fresh air into the concept. You still have the twin worlds that need to be navigated, the dungeons with multi levels, keys and a boss room to conquer. However with a couple of minor changes it seems to reinvigorate the series. No longer do you find the boomerang just in time to use it on the dungeon boss, but can buy/rent any of the weapons from very early on in the game. This opens up the possibilities and puts a risk/reward mechanic in the hands of the player. Buying them costs a lot, but while renting the weapons is cheaper, die and they get repossessed back. It also adds a sense of non linearity to the dungeons as they can be tackled in nearly any order.

The new power in the game is the ability to merge into walls and become like a mural/painting meaning that you stick to walls and can move around without platforms as long as the magic holds out.

The game also has the best use of 3D i’ve seen in a long while. The multi level dungeons of the original have been transformed into real 3D levels with an fantastic sense of verticality. Bouncing up levels or falling down into the level below is now seemless.

Between the 3D of the wolrd and the 2D of the wall merging it gives the game a unique sense of perspective that is always shifting and showing the worlds from a whole new angle.

I must say that revisiting this world twenty odd years later felt fresh and a hell of a lot of fun.

Utterly fantastic game.

5/5

     

Ignorance + Poverty = Crime, Ignorance + Wealth = Corruption, Ignorance + Freedom = Chaos, Ignorance + Authority = Tyranny, Ignorance + Religion = Terrorism
Replace Ignorance with Knowledge:
Knowledge + Poverty = Satisfaction, Knowledge + Wealth = Civilization, Knowledge + Freedom = Creativity, Knowledge + Authority = Justice, Knowledge + Religion = Integrity

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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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Walking Dead Season Two

Episode 2 - A House Divided

I wasn’t convinced that putting you in control of Clem worked, but after playing the second episode you get to see more of her strong coping side adn the oh shit i’m still a little girl moments.

It does however seem a tad strange that this new group have an 11 year old girl do virtually everything from search abandonded shacks to electrical engineering on a wind turbine. Bunch of lazy b**stards.

Story still seems to be all over the place with no clear goal at the end. Season one was all about protecting Clem and finding her folks.

This one seems to bounce between locations with no real end game in mind. Not even the surprise character reveal seemed like it was in service of the story.

Telltale do pack in some really nice scenes into though, the whole bridge adventure was a highlight, as was the more peaceful moment in the ski lodger where you felt safe for a little while.

Overall it’s still too short and lacking in puzzles, but thats not unexpected. However the story isn’t sparking with me yet and that worries me.

3.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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South Park: The Stick of Truth

This game is not for the easily offended or should I say that this game is specifically made only for fans of the original South Park. For the last 17 years South Park the cartoon has gone out it’s way to offend everything and anything from it’s gross out humour, offensive characters and ridiculous storylines. It pokes fun at everything from race and religion to sexual orientation and stereotypes, but it more often than not crosses over the line that a lot of people see as decent.

Personally I used to be a HUGE fan of the show and will still watch an episode or two if it is on the TV, but have probably fallen out having to see every episode.

Many have tried to capitalise on it’s popularity by bringing it to video games and many have failed miserably.

Until now that is.

The Stick of Truth is an RPG-lite game set in the titular small town, you are the new kid in town and slowly get drawn into the world as all the kids are playing a fantasy style game where Cartman is the Wizard King, Kenny is the Human Princess (Dont’s ask why) and Butters is a paladin. The are holed up in Cartmans back garden which has been renamed the Kingdom of Kupa Keep or KKK, there they are guarding the Stick of Truth (Who ever holds the Stick of Truth controls the Universe)from the drow elves (Kyle and Stan).

It’s a typical old school style RPG where you go through a decent character creation system where you can recreate your own unique South Park looking charcter, become a Fighter, a Mage, A Thief or a Jew, then Cartman etc takes you through the basics of the turn based combat and magic systems (Fart power is the magic in this game, but never fart on a mans balls).

The mechanics are deceptibly simple, but can be as customisable to suit your playstyle. When its your turn to fight you can pick from Melee, ranged, magic or special ability attacks or use potions to boost you HP or Mana. Attacking or Defending involves a timed button press to complete successfully and mistimed attacks do little damage.

Weapons and various parts of your costume can be found or bought in the game world either from interactible environments or from defeated enemies. Looting the world for items to sell or use is a big part of levelling up.

Combat can be very easy, but fun affair.

Typical of RPG’s you are given a bunch of quests, but can pick up side quest etc along the way. Side Quests include everything from finding jesus to ridding the town of tramps.

All of this is tracked from a Facebook style interface where you can friend all the members of the town including Al Gore who never stops sending me friend messages (Arrrrgh). This interface also allows you access to the map, inventory and collectibles (i’m still looking for Chimpokemons.) pages. Everything you need to keep track of how you are doing in the game. It’s easy to use and helpful if stuck.

As I said the RPG element is very easy to pick up and the game is super short (About 12 hours)and the combat isn’t the hardest. While fun the RPG parts of the game are not going to redefine the genre or set the world on fire.

The main draw to this game and it’s biggest asset is the package that the RPG is wrapped in.

Everything in this game screams South Park from the graphics, to the characters, from the ridiculous over the top plot to the humour that is so close to the knuckle it will have you cringing and laughing at the same time, you would swear that you are watching an episode of the show.

It is a virtually flawless homage to the cartoon that it is impossible to seperate them. This may as well be a season of the cartoon that you just happen to control. There are a multitude of references in the game to past episodes, all the characters are there to be found (including Mr Hat, but I ain’t saying here where you find him Gasp ), the town is recreated to a T and the animation is spot on.

Unfortunatly there are a couple of sequences of anal probing that were deemed so bad that they are censored in Europe and covered with a funny sorry screen.

However it didn’t put me off the game, I just laughed harder.

As a fan of South Park I found this game hilariously funny, fun to play and a complete joy to walk around the town interacting with so many characters and locations I remember from the show.

5/5

As a gamer, it’s pretty short for an RPG, very easy and probably not that replayable once your seen all the jokes.

4/5

For the easily offended and non South Park Fans

1/5

For anyone who hasn’t seen the game and are curious watch… http://www.giantbomb.com/videos/quick-look-south-park-the-stick-of-truth/2300-8580/

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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The Stick of Truth was fantastic! Completed it earlier this week and I was left wanting more. Definitely worth all the delays it faced.

     
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inFamous: Second Son

Technically this is inFamous 3, but it’s a whole new console generation, a new city and a new character. Unfortunatly or not it’s the same game as before.

Seven years after the last game, conduits (or people with super powers) are despised, hunted down and either killed or locked up.

You play as Delsin Rowe, a slacker who lives just outside Seattle in an Native American reservation. A constant dissapointment to his sheriff brother he gets caught up in an wider conspiracy when there is an accident and some “Conduits” escape from a prison transport.

Rushing to rescue one of them from the fire, he accidently absorbs the power of smoke from one of the conduits. He can now absorb smoke and use it transform into smoke and phase through vents or fire. Initially overwhealmed that he’s a conduit and that he can absorb the powers of other conduits, he soon revels in his new found power. It’s short lived as the evil leader of the DUP appears, a powerful conduit with the power to manipulate concrete. She kills or injures a lot of tribe members just for the hell of it and disappears with one of the escaped convicts.

You and your more reluctant cop brother have to go to Seattle and build up your powers, hunting down the other escaped conduits to absorb their powers so that you can take on and absorb the concrete power from the villianess and heal your tribe members.

So basically this is an open world game where the map is locked up with enemy patrols, you have to do a variety of side missions, from graffeti tagging, to finding hidden spies, cameras or data messages to taking down local drug dealers and finding core relays to boost you powers. Each area can be unlocked completly by getting the DUP prescence below 30% then doing a mini boss zone takedown mission. All pretty similar to open world games if the last generation.

In between all this and the collectible aspect of shard finding etc there are a bunch of main missions which progress the story of you and your brother. However most times you can’t do the main mission until you clear an area.

I found that clearing the whole map of the DUP to be pretty straight forward but a hell of a lot of fun. The missions may be very repetitive, but there was enough in the exploration and combat mechanics. to make traversing the world and getting into scrapes a lot of fun. Initially the smoke power is pretty weak with climbing building very slow, but it gets faster by entering vents and popping out on the roofs. Combat getting easier when you unlock the smoke missles and stun grenade. However the game really takes off by the time you get the overly pink and colourful Neon powers which allow you to endlessly run up the side of buildings at superspeed. The last two powers you receive were a slight disappointment in that the 3rd power is pretty lame and the last power you dont get until the end of the game.

I found that most of the game was smoke or neon, but other may play different.

Ok so it’s a next generation game, what makes it stand out. Well it’s probably the overall graphics in the game which are amazing. The facial expressions and individual finger movements in the hands really bring the characters alive and the environmental and partical effects are amazing. Everything looks great.

Rain wetting the street with raindrops in the puddles, amazing sunsets, smoke particles when you use you powers and the insanely colourful Neon powers all make for an extrememyl pretty game.

So overall while the game looks next gen it is hidding a last gen game behind it’s facade. The game play though fun for a while, get repetitive with not enough in the way of variety in the side stuff.

3.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Joined 2004-01-18

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Wolf Among Us - Ep 3: A Crooked Mile

Better than the last episode

3/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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Should bring this up to date..


Tesla Effect: Tex Murphy Adventure

Finished the game in 12 hours.

loved it for the most part.

It’s the first full adventure game i’ve been hooked to, just 5 more mins, in years.

It’s not perfect, but it’s perfect for me, flaws and all.

Slight niggles

* Sorry didn’t like the rooms with the backer pictures as, while there was some funny comments it pulled me out of the fiction of the game.
* The Tesla Society level just felt like a stream of classic puzzles for the sake of it. Every classic puzzle as put in the there apart from the tower of Hanoi. *Sheesh*
* The last puzzles’ timing requires the reflexes of the Flash. You are going to get complaints from older fans.
* Maybe overdid the find X number of items puzzles.

4.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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Wolf Among Us : Episode 4

 



Wolf Among Us: Episode 5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3

 

 

Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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Broken Sword Serpents Curse

Part 2

Finally got round to completing the latest Broken Sword game.

This games seems a tad disjointed. Maybe its the consequence of the game being split, but part one seemed a hum drum murder investigation with very little hints at the religious/supernatural angle.

Whereas Part two goes full on with the Gnostic, religious angles and has you inventigating history and uncovering hidden hints in ancient paintings etc that we are used to in the series.

So I would say that I enjoyed the second episode more than the first one, put together this is a good return to the roots of the series, but a bit too stuck in the past.

A decent globetropping tribute to a 90’s adventure game that doesn’t do anything new or revolutionary, but revels in being a solid old school 2D adventure.

Overall I enjoyed it.

I would still have prefered they stick to the 3D of the last two games as this seems like a backwards step, but I understand that the developers had neither the money (or judging by the cutscenes, the talent, to pull off a modern 3D game)

4/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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Lost Horizon

Had this game kicking around for a couple of years on my hard drive but could never build up the willpower to finish the damn thing.

The game was driving me up the wall with its never ending fetch quests E.g. To find the address of an old employee you need to find a picture of him, which is locked in your safe. The whole blooming puzzle involves bats, cats, guards, balls, bellows, flies and an alarm clock. All just to get into your own safe. It’s hilariously over complicated.

Thankfully the game settled down on that part and although the puzzle solutions on the whole remained fairly ridiculous. It seemed to fit, kind of, with the charm of the game.

What we have here is your basic adventure serial, very Indiana Jones like, have him search for some fabled lost city which turns out has the fate of the world in the balance if you could just stop the Nazi’s, save the world and get the girl.

Not very origional plot wise, but the writing is humourous, the sequences suitably over the top and the main characters generally likeable.

The game was at it’s best towards the end when you had control over multiple characters and had to pass items between each other in DoTT fashion.

Overall it was an OK game, but not one i’d put at the top of my list.

3.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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Walking Dead Season 2 - Episode 5

I don’t think this season really knew where it was going, introducing a lot of new characters and then disposing of them pretty quickly.

Personally I thought they should have spent the entire season in the Carter facility and made it their Governor like arc. However it was too fleeting and wasted. After that it didnt seem to know where it was going. One whole story or was it written as seperate episodes, the latter seems more likely.

Season 1 worked because of your connection to protecting Clem, now that you are actually controlling her in the 2nd series that connection is diminished. All the adults defer to her for most decisions and ask her to do everything, which from a gameplay perpective makes sense, but in just comes across as unrealistic.

This season does have it’s powerful emotional moments and finally some of them were less clean cut black and white. However the storyline is inconsistant and not as strong as Season 1.

The ususal complaints about length and gameplay still remain, but for storylines which make you think about your actions The Walking Dead still hits you where it hurts.

3.5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Total Posts: 2581

Joined 2004-01-18

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Tomb Raider (PS4)

——Take my review from last year and mention the fact that the HD version looks AMAZING. Doesn’t really do anything to the gameplay, but it was cheap and I enjoyed replaying it.

Old Review—>

Tomb Raider is a series that holds a lot of memories for me. It was the series of games that I played with my Dad, it got him into gaming and he is psyched for this new one.

When Dude Raider (Uncharted) came out it effectively pushed Tomb Raider type games in a more polished cinematic direction with big huge set pieces in between the combat and traversal sections.

Now Crystal Dynamics is trying to steal their crown back with an Uncharted like reboot of the original Tomb Raider.

Lara is fresh out of college and on her first expedition, but when things go tits up she finds herself stranded on an island trying to survive and save her friends.

So out goes the empty Tombs with challenging jumps and puzzles and in comes big cinematic action sequences with less emphasis on Tombs and puzzles and more on combat and story.

Graphically the game is fantastic on the PS3, but if you are lucky to have a decent PC then turn on all the options including the TressFX hair model and see how far game graphics have come since the simple pologon Lara from the first game.

Story wise the game is pretty impressive with Lara having a real arc in the game from her weepy start to outright survivor at the end. Documents and items that you find in the game flesh out the bcakground to the island as well as the companions you are trying to save. There is a real LOST vibe to the story with you strapped on an island with weird storms, but the story revolves around a Japanese sun god.

Gamplay wise the game starts you off with a Bow and some arrows and then drops you into small to middling areas of the island and allows you to roam around finding collectibles, hidden Tombs and hunt with the bow. Killing deers and rabbits etc give you XP that can be used to upgrade Lara’s skills in a mini-rpg like upgrade system. You can also find scrap that can be used to uprgade the weapons (Bow,pistol,machine gun and shotgun) or climbing axe. You save the game at campfires you find in the world and although the game is fairly linear you can fast travel back to previous areas to find more hidden stuff when you upgrade your gear to rope arrows etc that open up new areas Metroid style.

You quickly start to encounter more animals like the wolves and human enemies. This is where the story and the gameplay start to diverge. Lara seems upset at killing her first deer and her first human, but pretty quickly she is headshotting dudes with the bow by the dozen. I gave it a pass , but it might have been more interesting to have delved more into the hunting for survival and stealth.

The big action sequences and QTE’s are glorious to watch, but it’s worth noting that the failure animations are at time bloody gruesome (Pole through the head being a standout). While it is totally in keeping with the series mythology they are pretty graphic.

Overall I had a fantastic time with the game and can’t wait for a sequel.

5/5

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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