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Casual Games

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Joined 2004-07-12

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I’d like to say I just finished Dreams from the Past, but I can’t. The game is just too ghastly.

The graphics are quite well done. There is no voice acting. The music and sound effects aren’t horrible. Those are the three game highlights. It goes downhill from there.

The plot, such as it is, is preposterous. You, protagonist/photographer, are having dreams set in the past. You, are invited to go to Cairo on a photographic assignment by a person/persons unknown. Without even asking a question, such as “Who are you?” you accept the job. You are given a hotel room, and an office. (Nice work if you can get it!)

Heck! Even though one of the stupefyingly simple puzzles involves packing your camera gear in preparation for the trip, you are given new equipment once you arrive at the scene.

I hate using walkthtroughs, but this game often leaves you with absolutely no clue as to what to do next. Even scene exits leading to new locations are often hidden, turning scene transitions into a pixel hunt. The Hint button is only active during Hidden Object scenes, so don’t expect any help there.

Be prepared for some object definitions that will have you scurrying for a dictionary.

There is at least one scene/puzzle where you are expected to perform a specific set of actions in order to accomplish a give task. How do you know what these actions are? Beats me! There’s nothing in the game that tells you what to do. I read what I needed to do in a walkthrough. But guess what? It was too late. One of the items required to complete the task became unavailable if you failed to guess how to do it right the first time. Pan This event was about 3/4 of the way through the game.

That’s when I pulled the plug.

Good news is that I bought the game on sale.

I would not recommend this game to anyone. I’ll give it one star, and that’s being generous.

     

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: 3871

Joined 2004-07-12

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There’s a half price sale on Alawar games at BFG this weekend. Unfortunately, I already own most of their HOG games. For those who have thought about getting a few of their top-rated titles, now might be the time.

     

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: 3871

Joined 2004-07-12

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Some time ago somebody expressed an interest in Mystery Trackers: Four Aces. It’s now available as an SE. I played the CE demo and found it good, but said I would wait for the SE. I bought it and found it quite good. If you don’t use the built-in hint system, it’s very much like an adventure. Quite often you’ll run across a situation where you say “Who would ever have thought to use that (object) on that?” But, giving it further thought, it seems strangely logical.

There is a built-in interactive map which helps immensely.

If you have a credit to spare, this game is worth a try.

     

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: 48

Joined 2010-04-14

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I like the Mystery Trackers games so I’m glad to hear this one is good as well.

At the moment I’m working my way through MCF 13th Skull.  It doesn’t seem like the first ones, but it’s been a while since playing those.

     
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Total Posts: 54

Joined 2005-01-20

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Tim (or anyone!),

Do you have any recommendations for games that are up for sale this weekend (the ERS games)?

Thanks!

Josh

     
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Total Posts: 3871

Joined 2004-07-12

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Josh -

Any of the PuppetShow games
EAP’s Blck Cat
Azada in Libro, Gothic Fiction: Dark Saga and Dark Alley: Penunbra Motel are all non-hidden object games. IMO Gothic Fiction is the best of the three.

I’ve played many others, but didn’t care for their lack of replay value, or, flat out didn’t like them.

Tim

     

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: 54

Joined 2005-01-20

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Thank you, Tim! Just got Mystery of Joyville (or is it Joy of Mysteryville?). Enjoying it!

Josh

     
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Total Posts: 3871

Joined 2004-07-12

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Great to see you in our little “thread” of the world. Don’t be a stranger. Particularly if you have news of casual ports to tablets/smart phones we might be interested in.

For those who don’t know who Josho is, please allow me to introduce him. He is/was the best, in my opinion, behind the scenes game developer at Sierra Online. If you’ve played a Sierra game, you’ve probably played a Josh Mandel-influenced game. Two of my top-ten adventure games are Freddy Pharkus Frontier Pharmacist and Callahan’s Crosstime Saloon. The latter, not Sierra, but both are heavily influenced by the Mandel brand of humor.

Back to normal news: If anyone hasn’t seen it, the log-on page of AG has a review of Gothic Fiction: Dark Saga. Not sure it tells you anything I didn’t mention, but it is certainly worth a read.

     

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: 48

Joined 2010-04-14

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The review of Gothic Fiction: Dark Saga here gave me the screenshots which made me decide that, with your Luke warm review, I’d save my money on this one.

Finished MCF 13th Skull with grim determination and a lot of help from walkthroughs. I think it’s totally unfair to allow skipping puzzles and then when you really need a skip, “you can’t skip this puzzle”. Perhaps I was just too tired by that time to really think it through, but what good is a skip option if it doesn’t work all the time?

Glad to see Mystery Trackers: Four Aces is available in the SE version.

     
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Total Posts: 54

Joined 2005-01-20

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Tim,

WOW! Thank you for the terrific and overly generous introduction. :-)

Now that I’m getting into these games, I expect to check back on this thread more often. There’s such a paucity of reviews of these kind of games, and such a huge disparity in the quality of Big Fish’s offerings. More eyes and opinions are greatly appreciated.

Josh

     
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Total Posts: 347

Joined 2006-07-30

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FYI, Big Fish Games is currently having a sale on 170 different games for $2.99.  You don’t have to be a member to get this price.  I’m going to finally pick up Madame Fate.

     
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Total Posts: 880

Joined 2010-02-15

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OMG the new Mystery Case Files is out! Am I the only one excited? its been out for a couple of days now…I just didn’t notice it since I was off my HOG binge.

EDIT: Oh wow, look at the low scores the game got on BigFishgames. Maybe they are all complete idiots? I’m still going to play it.

     

Stuart Bradley Newsom - Naughty Shinobi || Our Game: Shadow Over Isolation

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Joined 2011-04-01

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Monolith - 27 November 2012 02:15 AM

EDIT: Oh wow, look at the low scores the game got on BigFishgames. Maybe they are all complete idiots?

I don’t doubt it. When Relics was released there it got almost exclusively bad reception for being “too difficult” and “slow” with “too much chit-chat”. This led to the cancellation of the sequel.

They are just a different audience, idiotic or not. Admittedly BFG wasn’t the right place for a genuine adventure game like Relics.

     
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Joined 2010-02-15

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Oscar - 27 November 2012 02:40 AM
Monolith - 27 November 2012 02:15 AM

EDIT: Oh wow, look at the low scores the game got on BigFishgames. Maybe they are all complete idiots?

I don’t doubt it. When Relics was released there it got almost exclusively bad reception for being “too difficult” and “slow” with “too much chit-chat”. This led to the cancellation of the sequel.

They are just a different audience, idiotic or not. Admittedly BFG wasn’t the right place for a genuine adventure game like Relics.

That actually is very disappointing news. Frown I didn’t know they gave up on Relics. I really loved the first episode. Then again, thats why i’m apart of this site and not the BFG community.

     

Stuart Bradley Newsom - Naughty Shinobi || Our Game: Shadow Over Isolation

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Joined 2012-11-27

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Hi, my first post here at Adventure Gamers, but I just couldn’t help joining in on this conversation.  I’ve found myself really into the casual games recently, especially the IHOGs, and am always on a lookout for good suggestions.  Unfortunately, the BFG forums aren’t the easiest to break into, but AG seems more my speed anyway. Wink

Here are some of my favorites that I’ve played and completed. I generally suggest going with the Standard Editions games, as I agree with most of you guys, the CE’s are usually a ripoff unless you get them on sale.  I can elaborate more on these if anyone is interested:

Abandoned: Chestnut Lodge Asylum - Beautiful visuals, high quality FMV sequences, and CE extras without the CE price.  I highly, highly recommend this one.

Agency of Anomalies: Mystic Hospital - Best of the 3 games in the series, although The Last Performance is proving to be quite good.  Cinderstone Orphanage was so-so, imo. 

Brink of Consciousness: Dorian Gray Syndrome - Very nice visuals with lots and lots of areas to explore (one of the biggest HOGs I’ve played so far).  High production value all around, although the puzzles are really easy.

Enigmatis: Ghosts of Maple Creek - Just finished this one, very fun and addictive gameplay, although the story is pretty cliche.  There can be quite a bit of backtracking (which I normally don’t mind so much).  I absolutely loved the music in this game, so much so that I’m trying to find a way to rip it for my own personal use!

Nightmare Adventures: The Witch’s Prison - A little unpolished, but highly entertaining.  No hidden object scenes, for those who don’t like them.

Shiver: The Vanishing Hitchhiker - My favorite HOG so far.  I wrote a full review over at BFG, but the bottom line is that this is the creepiest HOG I’ve played, and the story, pacing, graphics, music, everything is top notch.  Absolute love here.  I picked up the CE on sale, and would recommend it if you can find a deal just for the bonus chapter (which isn’t really needed to enjoy the main game, but does help wrap up some loose ends).

On another note, if anyone is looking for a really good deal, you need to check out the Legends of Terror 20 pack.  http://www.amazon.com/Mystery-Masters-Legends-Terror-Pack/dp/B0099F855O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354038721&sr=8-1&keywords=legends+of+terror

20 games, about half of which are CE’s, and most of the games are really good, not like some of the collection packs that have only a few gems with the rest being throwaway.  I got it on sale for $17 a couple weeks back, definitely one of the best deals I’ve ever come across.

     

Just Finished - Grim Tales: The Bride CE, Sacra Terra: Angelic Night CE
Currently Playing - Angelica Weaver: Catch Me If You Can

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

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