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Casual Playthrough #10 - Mystery Case Files: Dire Grove, Sacred Grove

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Welcome to the playthrough of

As you’ll soon see, there have been changes in the game design because a different company, Elephant Games, has developed it.  You will recognize many of the locations from the previous game, but the characters are not real actors.  You play the Master Detective (your choice of male or female) who is called back to Dire Grove because the temperature there has again plummeted.  Most people have abandoned the town and only the hunters remain.  They blame a group of Druids they call the Mistwalkers, but it is up to you to unravel the mystery and find out who is to blame.

There are a nice variety of puzzles in the game, but the standard HOPs with list are few and far between.  I especially like the reintroduction of the Rube Goldberg type puzzles that were found in some of the Ravenhurst games.  They are challenging but very clever and fun. 

The collector’s edition has a very good bonus game and also an alternate ending, which I haven’t played yet.  CE collectables include 9 building models of the town and approx. 81 jigsaw puzzle pieces to be assembled into scenes from the game.

I assume that most players already have the game installed, so get started at your leisure.  There are 6 chapters to the main game, and in each you’ll be gathering 5 major pieces of evidence and making your deductions before moving on to the next.  Let’s give it 3 days to go through the introduction and the first chapter.  We’ll discuss it and share screenshots from that section on Friday, June 5

By the way, since the temps here in NJ plummeted from 80 to 48 degrees F., I’ve been playing with a sweater on.

Have fun!

     

Not only did I fall off the diet wagon, I dragged it into the woods, set it on fire, and used the insurance money to buy cupcakes.

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Locked and loaded. Ready to play. Am playing the SE version.

Edit - I found out that I actually have the CE version, so I may be able to contribute something at the end.

     

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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Joined 2003-09-10

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I have the CE version, and have never played this game before. Looking forward to it. I’m shivering by the space heater (it’s crazy cold here in New York as well).

I was going to write something incredibly superstitious next. But I’ll restrain myself. Maybe it’ll warm up here tomorrow. Nothing to do with playing Dire Grove.

     
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Joined 2012-03-09

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Installed and ready to go. CE for me!

     
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Total Posts: 7619

Joined 2011-10-21

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Someone else locked the previous CPT, stickied this one, and added it to “my” Recommendations thread.
I feel violated, somehow. Tongue


Anyway, installed and ready to go, the SE version. Cool

Small caveat: I *should* have ample time to play next week, but will have limited internet access. If you don’t hear from me between Sunday and the next Saturday, don’t wait up. Wink

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Joined 2011-03-14

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SE version installed, and I hope to get started on the game tomorrow.

     

You have to play the game, to find out why you are playing the game! - eXistenZ

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Total Posts: 3932

Joined 2004-07-12

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Finished the first episode. I’ve played it before, so I’m finishing a bit too fast.

I do like how the one puzzle had the Farmer, Fisherman, Blacksmith and Hunter as the main characters. Definitely a nod to the first game. Certainly the path, hotel, garage and bridge are familiar venues as well.

     

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: 3932

Joined 2004-07-12

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TimovieMan - 03 June 2015 06:44 AM

Someone else locked the previous CPT, stickied this one, and added it to “my” Recommendations thread.
I feel violated, somehow. Tongue

I would start searching for another Administrator who has less than honorable objectives.

BTW, I’ve recently had some skin cancer surgeries. Last one was today. Painful, but not life-threatening in any way shape or form. I’m fair-skinned Irish. We get these things in later years because we thought sunburns would allow us to tan when we were young and didn’t know better.

That’s part of the reason chrissie will be doing the first two Casual Friday game posts on the AGSOTD thread.

Just like “other Tim,” my participation on this and other threads will be minimal between 6/5 and 6/12. WiFi availability may allow me to drop in occasionally.

I will try and play a few episodes ahead so I don’t have too much catching up when I get back on the 12th. See you soon.

     

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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Joined 2003-09-10

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Tim—feel better. I know exactly what you mean. Decades ago we had no idea that all that tanning/burning would ultimately be bad for our skin.

I’m on the hunter/farmer/fisherman/blacksmith puzzle right now. It’s a doozy, and I’m enjoying it.

     
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Total Posts: 2830

Joined 2012-03-09

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Recover soon Tim!

In other news, I finished the firsst chapter. Short and easy, but I liked it! While there is not that same “spooky effect” from the previous game (I wonder if it will appear on the way - I doubt it, since there is no use of real actors), the graphics and the overall riddles are a vast improvement.

Nice to revisit familiar places too. Smile

     
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Total Posts: 4524

Joined 2012-03-24

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I’m sorry I didn’t have too much time to take part in the Dire Grove playthrough but thought I would join in with this one. I’ve just played the intro & a little of the 1st chapter which I’ll have time hopefully to carry on with tomorrow! I’ve played the 1st Dire Grove before but just don’t remember it at all - does it matter for the playing of this sequel?

Hope your recovery is swift Tim (rtrooney) - I’m another person from the generation that spent hours in the sun as a child at a time when there was an unawareness of the potential threat to health in later years!

     
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Joined 2006-08-07

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I replayed Dire Grove this weekend, inspired by the previous playthrough, and thought I’d join this one. I really like the MCF games made by Big Fish and Dire Grove is one of my favourites. The creepy atmosphere and the live actions scenes are great, but even I thought there was a tad too many hidden object scenes this time around.

The last MCF game before DG:SG, Fate’s Carnival, was the first one not developed by Big Fish and it was a huge step down in my opinion. No more live actors, cheap-looking graphics, and copious amounts of tedious cookie-cutter puzzles. Unfortunately, Dire Grove: Sacred Grove seems to be even more of the same. If you’ve played one title by Elephant Games, you’ve played them all.

I’m sorry to start my posting in this thread in such a negative tone. On the plus side, the “Rube Goldberg” puzzles from the earlier MCF games are back and they’re still really fun. I expect to enjoy this game, but I’m also sure that it will compare unfavourably to the earlier games by BFG.

Anyway, I have played the first chapter (and couldn’t resist continuing a bit further on the next one) and look forward to reading your impressions.

And Tim, sorry to hear about your surgeries. I too hope you get better soon.

     
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Joined 2011-10-21

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Sorry to hear that. Recover soon, Tim!

     

Now playing: Blade Runner (post-CPT) | The Witcher: Enhance Edition (on hold) | Danganronpa: Trigger Happy Havoc (on hold) | Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy (3DS)
Recently finished: Whispers of a Machine (CPT) - 4/5 | Beneath a Steel Sky (CPT) - 3/5 | 3 in Three - 3.5/5 | Puzzle Gallery: At the Carnival - 2.5/5 | The Fool’s Errand (replay) - 3.5/5 | The Dig (replay) - 4.5/5 | Return of the Obra Dinn (CPT) - 4/5 | Beavis and Butt-Head in Virtual Stupidity - 3.5/5 | League of Light: The Game (CCPT) - 3/5 | realMyst: Masterpiece Edition - 2.5/5 | Contradiction - 3/5 | Tex Murphy: Mean Streets - 2/5 | The Last Express - 3.5/5 | South Park: The Fractured But Whole - 4/5 | Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis (replay, CPT) - 5/5

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Total Posts: 3932

Joined 2004-07-12

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Don’t fret! The primary cause of skin cancer is sun damage. Almost always that damage is in the form of sunburns. And most of those occurred when we are young and didn’t know any better. I had some doozies when I was a kid. My grandson has exactly the type of complexion I had, and I insist that my daughter lather him up with SPF 5K before she lets him out the front door.

There are three types of skin cancer: Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. All three can be treated if caught early. Of the three, the Biggie is melanoma. It can be fatal because, of the three, it can metastasize. Fortunately, I’ve only been diagnosed with the first two.

This is not my first go around with skin cancer. Because I have a history, and because I have the right skin type, I get a thorough going over by my dermatologist twice a year. If you are over 50, as I am, and have ever had sunburns that resulted in peeling, I recommend you visit a dermatologist. If for no other reason than to establish a baseline. That way the dermatologist can look for changes on your next visit. Change is the giveaway that says “We need to take a good look at this.”

Even though I religiously wear sunscreen when I’m outside for a lengthy period of time, that’s not always enough. I am an avid golfer. I always wore baseball-styled hats when playing. The first time I was diagnosed with skin cancer, in 2010, it was on the tip of my left ear. I no longer play unless I’m wearing a full-brimmed hat.

Thank you everyone for your kind thoughts. I am not on death’s door. But I can also empathize with your thoughts. Any time you hear or read the “C” word the tendency is to think the worst.

I’ve had it easy. My wife has survived three separate breast cancer diagnoses. Those were tough. Compared to that my problem is a walk in the park…with sunscreen and a full brim hat.  Laughing

I did finish the first three chapters. So when I get back home on either the 11th or 12th, I should be up to speed with everyone else.

     

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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Joined 2003-09-16

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Glad to hear you are on the mend, Tim.
I am playing the CE version and have made it to the second chapter. I must say that it is nice to play a sequel back to back when the scenes are still fresh. Over the years I’ve played many games where I had deja vu, and must have played a previous game from the series. They all sound so alike these days, it is hard to go by the names alone.
I miss the FMV, and the clarity of the characters. CGI people tend to look alike without obvious distinguishing characteristics like hair color, facial hair and costume.
I am playing the game on ‘wise druid’ mode. I’m finding the puzzles inconsistent.
I hate the code sequence locks where the answer is scratched into the object in plain sight. Why bother? The HOGs were easy. The big puzzle was fun, and I’ve come to look forward to these from the more polished games.I was hung up for a while on the blue stag balloon, but worked it out in the end. Sometimes I make these out to be more intricate than they are.As part of the CE edition, I’ve found some parts of a picture, and some model structures.

     
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Total Posts: 3932

Joined 2004-07-12

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While my above post was totally off topic, I consider it a public service announcement to those of my age. Sorry if it came off as a bit preachy.

     

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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