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Casual Games

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Nice post. Grin Welcome to the casual party.

BTW there is also a new Brink of Consciousness game. Grin Check it out.

     

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I second Monolith’s greeting. Of your list, I have played the following three. I agree with your assessment of all of them. The first could have been much better if the developers had paid someone to pay attention to the details they apparently couldn’t be bothered with.

Agency of Anomalies: Mystic Hospital: Cinderstone Orphanage 
Enigmatis: Ghosts of Maple Creek
Shiver: The Vanishing Hitchhiker

I’ve made a list of your other suggestions, and plan on giving them a try. I just purchased Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate at the “Cyber” sale price.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

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Thanks for the warm welcome!  Glad to be here. Grin

Monolith - 27 November 2012 03:29 PM

Nice post. Grin Welcome to the casual party.

BTW there is also a new Brink of Consciousness game. Grin Check it out.

Oh definitely, I’ve played 15 minutes of the demo and already know I’ve gotta buy it. Wink  Just waiting until after the holidays when I have a little more funds to splurge.

rtrooney - 27 November 2012 03:49 PM

I’ve made a list of your other suggestions, and plan on giving them a try. I just purchased Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate at the “Cyber” sale price.

Let me know what you think of that one.  My niece says it’s her favorite MCF, and I’ve heard lots of good things about it from others.

     

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

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Monolith - 27 November 2012 02:15 AM

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.

Yes, it’s a very interesting phenomenon.  We had a discussion about it earlier in the thread when I saw the terrible (by BFG standards) reviews that the previous MCF game, Escape from Ravenhearst, got.  Which is crazy, because Escape from Ravenhearst is a fantastic game.  I think the newer MCF games are just too difficult for the BFG crowd. 

I broke my on-sale rule and picked up the new MCF game Crystal Lake.  I’m playing it right now and am really enjoying it so far.  As usual, Big Fish Studios sets the standard for production values.

     
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Chudah - 27 November 2012 12:58 PM

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.

Welcome to the thread.

That really is a great pack.  A lot of the games in it are some of the best of the bunch (House of 1000 Doors, Twisted Lands, Dark Strokes).  I see that there are other similar 20 packs.  These would make a great introduction to the genre.

     
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Chudah - 27 November 2012 04:58 PM
rtrooney - 27 November 2012 03:49 PM

I’ve made a list of your other suggestions, and plan on giving them a try. I just purchased Mystery Case Files: Madame Fate at the “Cyber” sale price.

Let me know what you think of that one.  My niece says it’s her favorite MCF, and I’ve heard lots of good things about it from others.

I have also heard from a lot of different people that Madame Fate is their favorite, so I’m looking forward to playing it.  I got it in the sale, but it’s lost in the queue now (I went a little overboard with the Black Friday game sales Tongue )

Also, sorry for the multiple posts.  Can you not do a multi-quote in the new forums?  Kinda lame.

     
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Interplay - 27 November 2012 09:21 PM
Chudah - 27 November 2012 12:58 PM

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.

Welcome to the thread.

That really is a great pack.  A lot of the games in it are some of the best of the bunch (House of 1000 Doors, Twisted Lands, Dark Strokes).  I see that there are other similar 20 packs.  These would make a great introduction to the genre.

I’m thinking of picking up the Mystery Masters 20 pack as well.  Even though I have half of the games already, there are a few that I don’t and a couple that I do, but not the CE.  I just wish I could find a site that lists all 20 games.  Bah! Meh

     

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Interplay - 27 November 2012 09:24 PM

Also, sorry for the multiple posts.  Can you not do a multi-quote in the new forums?  Kinda lame.

Sure you can. Manually. Grin

By that I mean quoting one post, copying your reply (without sending), going back to quote another post, pasting your previous reply. Repeat process for the number of posts you want to multi-quote.
Basically: it’s only for lay-out nutcases like me… Tongue

     

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Interplay - 27 November 2012 09:24 PM

I have also heard from a lot of different people that Madame Fate is their favorite, so I’m looking forward to playing it.  I got it in the sale, but it’s lost in the queue now (I went a little overboard with the Black Friday game sales Tongue )

I’ll be honest. I love the Mystery Case Files series. But Madame Fate is, in my opinion, the absolute worst of the batch.

If I were to design a game I might hate I would be sure to include timed puzzles, incredibly obscure hidden objects, horrible music and a totally obnoxious voice over that only becomes more irritating as the game progresses. Madame Fate has all of these and more!

I sell golf equipment for the largest golf retailer in the US. Occasionally a customer will decide to buy a used club that is marked at $3.99. I will often tell the person that, if it doesn’t work out as a golf club, he can use it as a tent-peg-hammer. Because, at $3.99, it’s cheaper than any hammer he’ll find at Home Depot.

That’s what I think about this game. If it came on a DVD I would use the DVD as a coaster. At $2.99 it’s cheaper than any coaster I could buy at Crate&Barrel;.

I’m sure some will like it. It’s just not for me.

     

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rtrooney - 28 November 2012 07:42 PM

I’ll be honest. I love the Mystery Case Files series. But Madame Fate is, in my opinion, the absolute worst of the batch.

If I were to design a game I might hate I would be sure to include timed puzzles, incredibly obscure hidden objects, horrible music and a totally obnoxious voice over that only becomes more irritating as the game progresses. Madame Fate has all of these and more!

I sell golf equipment for the largest golf retailer in the US. Occasionally a customer will decide to buy a used club that is marked at $3.99. I will often tell the person that, if it doesn’t work out as a golf club, he can use it as a tent-peg-hammer. Because, at $3.99, it’s cheaper than any hammer he’ll find at Home Depot.

That’s what I think about this game. If it came on a DVD I would use the DVD as a coaster.

I’m sure some will like it. It’s just not for me.

I thought I was the only one that felt this way. I liked Madame Fate for the fact that it was one of the early HOG games I’ve played…but I never really got into MCF until Dire Grove.

 

     

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

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Monolith - 28 November 2012 10:48 PM

I thought I was the only one that felt this way. I liked Madame Fate for the fact that it was one of the early HOG games I’ve played…but I never really got into MCF until Dire Grove.

I’ve only played the original Ravenhearst so far, which I enjoyed mostly for the story and door puzzles.  The junkpile HOS’s were pretty damn annoying, though (and they make up like 80% of the game).  I picked up Return to Ravenhearst as I heard it’s more of an IHOG, so we’ll see how that goes.  I got it off of a free game coupon, so at least I’m not out any cash if I don’t like it.

That is disappointing about Madame Fate.  If it’s similar to the first Ravenhearst, then maybe I’m better off passing on it.

     

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

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Chudah - 29 November 2012 01:56 PM
Monolith - 28 November 2012 10:48 PM

I thought I was the only one that felt this way. I liked Madame Fate for the fact that it was one of the early HOG games I’ve played…but I never really got into MCF until Dire Grove.

I’ve only played the original Ravenhearst so far, which I enjoyed mostly for the story and door puzzles.  The junkpile HOS’s were pretty damn annoying, though (and they make up like 80% of the game).  I picked up Return to Ravenhearst as I heard it’s more of an IHOG, so we’ll see how that goes.  I got it off of a free game coupon, so at least I’m not out any cash if I don’t like it.

That is disappointing about Madame Fate.  If it’s similar to the first Ravenhearst, then maybe I’m better off passing on it.

MCF receives my respect for the fact that each game released on after each other improves on the one before it or changes it to be different. Escape from Ravenhearst was my favorite in the series.

     

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

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“Come at me Ghosts”

Mystery Case Files is at it again with an all new Horror Adventure waiting for your visit! One of the firsts for the series is the inclusion of two well known actors. Lea Thompson known for her prizing roll as Marty’s girlfriend in the Back to the Future Series and Brandon O’Neill who played Dom Estacado in the 2011 film ‘the Hit List’.

Shadow Lake is a prime example of game development evolution, though at the sacrifice of an audience who hates change. This time, Shadow Lake doesn’t rely on the ‘one scene’ hog sequences, one aspect that I’m pretty sure caused the disgust on the BigFishGames site. Here your partner, Cassandra Williams Psychic Detective, gives you a list of objects to find. These objects can be found in a multitude of scenes, giving you room to breath and feel less claustrophobic so to speak. Because of this, the game feels less like its trying to shove a billion hidden objects down your throat and make it feel natural. For a better word, the Hidden Objects are more streamlined, despite the fact that you are still looking for random objects that don’t pertain to your quest.

One of the trademark features MCF offers with absolutely no remorse is its visuals. Always top notch and crisp. From the absolutely cool intro animations played when you first visit a new location, to the animated environments that make everything feel that much more alive. Shadow Lake won’t feel like a cheap knock off of any Casual HOG game.

A first for the Mystery Case File series is the addition of Widescreen. By Widescreen, I mean the game was made for it. Goodbye 4:3 ratio gaming and hello crisp widescreen adventure experience. Widescreen makes everything feel that more cinematic and tends to force developers to work off of higher definition assets.

Then we come to the Full-Motion Videos. Some people think its a flaw, but I love the B-Movie acting. Yes, we have some good actors, but you can’t really provide excellent acting in FMV games, it just doesn’t work. haha Thats not to say, it wasn’t perfect though because it just fits with the whole game series. One thing that bothered me though was the fact that they utilized thick cg fog on the ground so they don’t have to character shadows….it just looks wrong most/all the time.

In the end, the game was well worth the purchase. If you don’t plan on getting the Collectors Edition, then i’ll spoil what you get out of its additional scene. Also pertains to the discussion about Madame Fate. Grin
First and foremost, early on in the game, you unlock a CE only area called ‘Grimes Quarry’. By solving this area you receive this ancient ceremonial mask unlocking Morphing Objects just like in Escape from Ravenhearst. Finding all these objects recharges the mask, opening a secret compartment which reveals a ticket to ‘Madame Fates Carnival’. Some people don’t realize it, but I predict that the next game will be a sequel.

     

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

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Nice review. I’ve dl’d the CE demo but haven’t had a chance to play more than ten minutes of it. Looking forward to playing some more once I get some time off at work.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

Casual Game Developer List
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Monolith - 28 November 2012 10:48 PM
rtrooney - 28 November 2012 07:42 PM

I’ll be honest. I love the Mystery Case Files series. But Madame Fate is, in my opinion, the absolute worst of the batch.

If I were to design a game I might hate I would be sure to include timed puzzles, incredibly obscure hidden objects, horrible music and a totally obnoxious voice over that only becomes more irritating as the game progresses. Madame Fate has all of these and more!

I sell golf equipment for the largest golf retailer in the US. Occasionally a customer will decide to buy a used club that is marked at $3.99. I will often tell the person that, if it doesn’t work out as a golf club, he can use it as a tent-peg-hammer. Because, at $3.99, it’s cheaper than any hammer he’ll find at Home Depot.

That’s what I think about this game. If it came on a DVD I would use the DVD as a coaster.

I’m sure some will like it. It’s just not for me.

I thought I was the only one that felt this way. I liked Madame Fate for the fact that it was one of the early HOG games I’ve played…but I never really got into MCF until Dire Grove.

For rtrooney and others that don’t like Madame Fate, have you played the early MCF games like the original Ravenhearst?  The early MCF games are straight-up timed HOGs with some interesting puzzles thrown in.  But no exploration or inventory items like we’re used to when we think of HOGs today.  It wasn’t until Return to Ravenhearst that the series started to resemble contemporary HOGs.  That being said, I think the original Ravenhearst is a brilliant game, but it is certainly not something I would recommend to people used to playing current games.  Nevertheless, I got a lot of enjoyment replaying Ravenhearst to get a better time back in the day.  I’m looking forward to playing Madame Fate to see what I think, but I’m having technical issues which I’m waiting to see if the BFG tech support can fix (I’m wondering if it is because it is using such an old version of DirectX). 

In regards to Shadow Lake (thanks to Monolith for the great write-up), I totally broke my on-sale rule and bought it at full price when it came out.  I got about 3/4 of the way through the game and then I encountered a bug where an inventory item disappeared and it became impossible to progress within the game.  I posted on the BFG forums and the bug has now been fixed, but I can’t beat the game without starting over.  I had collected 39/50 morphing objects before the incident, so I don’t think I can bear to restart it for a few weeks/months.  BFG has graciously offered me a refund, so I think I will take them up on it and just buy the SE when it comes out later.  I don’t think I’ll miss the CE stuff much since I had already played through the CE area. 

Anyway, I’ll probably leave more thoughts when I finish it, but I can say I was enjoying the heck out of it before the bug.  I don’t think I will end up liking it as much as Escape from Ravenhearst, but I’m with Monolith in continuing to be impressed by how BF Studios continues to evolve the series and the genre.  The production quality continues to be second to none.  And I thought the acting was great!

     

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