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Casual Games

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rtrooney - 02 April 2019 02:36 PM

Got around to replaying Enigmatis - The Ghosts of Maple Creek. Despite there being far too many hidden object scenes and the lack of an interactive map, I enjoyed it. It was the first game in the trilogy, and it was released over eight years ago, so it’s fair to cut it some slack. The story still holds up very well. And, even though I have played the game multiple times, the underlying sense of tension/anxiety/unease/etc. still exists. Great game.

I picked up the trilogy (the CE version) a short while ago in a GoG sale. These are the only casual games I’ve ever played apart from the 2 3 Cards and the 2 Rita James that I got with my Kickstarter rewards for Tesla Effect.

I’m going to endorse what Tim says above. I enjoyed it enough, even with HO parts, to play the next two. The second was definitely the best of the trilogy. Solid all the way through with a consistent storyline. The third was fine but I felt the ending was a bit rushed, to say nothing of being a wee bit obvious. But, if anyone is looking to delve into casual games, these three are a very good place to start. Better than some full blown adventures I’ve played. I won’t name those as people are bound to come in to defend them, which isn’t what this thread is for Tongue

     

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Hard to disagree with E2 being the best of the three. If you go back a page or two, furgotten had the same opinion when we discussed my replay of Ravenswood. I tend to like E3, if for the only reason that the designers set out from the start to make this a three-game series, and delivered on that promise. At the end of the game everyone that should have died was dead. It doesn’t end more conclusively than that.

There are far too many casual games that should have ended this way, but the designers/developers decided that there was a little more milk that could be squeezed from their cash cow. Thus “Rooney’s Rule.” Once you go past the third sequel, quality diminishes. For the most part the “rule” has proven correct. I have no desire to play Puppetshow 17.

The only other series that did the same thing, only better, is the Drawn trilogy.

If you are interested in seeing what people thought about playing these games, both trilogies were played as Casual Commuity Playthroughs. The links can be found here.

And many thanks for recommending this as an entry point for anyone who might want to try a casual game.

     

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 - 02 April 2019 09:43 PM

The only other series that did the same thing, only better, is the Drawn trilogy.

If you are interested in seeing what people thought about playing these games, both trilogies were played as Casual Commuity Playthroughs. The links can be found here.

Had a quick look Tim, but not too much as I didn’t want to be too aware of the game, and just purchased the trilogy from Steam (would have preferred GoG but they don’t do it). It will be interesting if I agree re quality better than Enigmatis but, even if I don’t, it looks like a reasonable game and for a fraction under £19 (just under $26 in your strange currency Smile ) for the 3 it’s not a great risk to take.
I’ll report back once I’ve finished the first but it might be a bit longer than I would normally take as I have quite a lot going on at the moment (mainly cleaning 300+ vinyl LPs).

     

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Jabod - 03 April 2019 10:24 AM

just purchased the trilogy from Steam (would have preferred GoG but they don’t do it).  (mainly cleaning 300+ vinyl LPs).

First of all, if you are looking for casual games, BFG should be your first resource. Although both GOG and Steam do have some good sales that make them a better, if not an inconvenient option.

Without giving away too much, the Enigmatis trilogy was a great continuing story that had a perfect conclusion.

The Drawn story is a little different. Here is my AGSotD post on the third game in the trilogy. It gives you the clue that you really need to re-examine everything you took for granted when playing the first two games.

     

For whom the games toll,
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Casual Game Developer List
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AohuMgk8BGFTdExjM2s4eGdJRGZmcWJxMUNoUTlMZVE#gid=0

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rtrooney - 04 April 2019 08:58 PM
Jabod - 03 April 2019 10:24 AM

just purchased the trilogy from Steam (would have preferred GoG but they don’t do it).  (mainly cleaning 300+ vinyl LPs).

First of all, if you are looking for casual games, BFG should be your first resource. Although both GOG and Steam do have some good sales that make them a better, if not an inconvenient option.

Looked at BFG some time ago Tim and promptly left as they demand that you install their client to play. It’s bad enough that I had to install the Steam client but I really wanted to play Painscreek Killings and that was the only way I could get it.

rtrooney - 04 April 2019 08:58 PM

The Drawn story is a little different. Here is my AGSotD post on the third game in the trilogy. It gives you the clue that you really need to re-examine everything you took for granted when playing the first two games.

Played the first game (The Painted Tower) and, for me, it doesn’t begin to compare to Enigmatis. Although it’s emulating a book it becomes far too much like reading a book in that it’s linear and chapter by chapter. It’s not bad and I’ll be playing the other two games but, again for me, it doesn’t have the involvement that Enigmatis does.

     

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Jabod - 08 April 2019 05:41 AM

Played the first game (The Painted Tower) and, for me, it doesn’t begin to compare to Enigmatis. Although it’s emulating a book it becomes far too much like reading a book in that it’s linear and chapter by chapter. It’s not bad and I’ll be playing the other two games but, again for me, it doesn’t have the involvement that Enigmatis does.

I can understand that. I’ll wait until you’ve finished the Drawn trilogy to see if you still feel the same way.

     

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

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An update on Drawn since I’ve started the second part (Dark Flight) and now uninstalled it and forgotten about the whole thing. As said, The Painted Tower was ok without being anything of any great interest (artwork was good) but I got to the shooting at sharks mini-game in Dark Flight and who on earth thought that was a good idea? Tedious, childish, stupid, choose your own insulting adjective. I’ll never be going back to that.

     

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Sorry to hear that you didn’t like it. But then I just finished the Beneath a Steel Sky community playthrough, and my first thought was “Why is this game in so many Top 10 lists? It’s a nice game. but not something I would call great.”

Tastes vary. Thanks for, at least, giving it a shot.

     

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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Posting this here for additional exposure.

I have a few Artifex Mundi titles still left to give away via Steam keys. See my post in the Adventure Gamers “Adventure giveaway thread”. These are all (basically) CE games with most or all of the CE bling.

Cheers!

EDIT: All gone!

     

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Interesting thing happened. A few months ago my computer crashed. Fortunately it wasn’t the HD that crashed, so the techs were able to transfer all my documents to the new PC. They weren’t able to transfer the games though. That was OK. I would go to BFG and download them from my purchase history when I felt like playing them again.

I was worried about E.P.I.C. - Wishmaster. It had won the popular vote for a Casual Community Playthrough, but it turned out that only those who already owned the game could play it. The developer, Tiki Games, and the distributor G5 Games had disappeared. The BIG distributor, BigFishGames no longer carried it. So we played the second-place winner.

To finish the story, I went to BFG today to see if I could download the game from my purchase history. I could! But the game is still not listed as available for sale from the BFG inventory.

I just wonder what possible corporate/copyright/IP/etc. issues keep BFG from selling the game, since the two major players are no longer in business.

     

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 - 15 May 2019 06:38 PM

I just wonder what possible corporate/copyright/IP/etc. issues keep BFG from selling the game, since the two major players are no longer in business.

Maybe precisely that. The game is in limbo and is effectively abandonware.

     

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)
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E.P.I.C. is still available from Alawar Games. I know some people have had problems with that site but it worked for me at the time.

     
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furgotten - 16 May 2019 06:50 PM

E.P.I.C. is still available from Alawar Games. I know some people have had problems with that site but it worked for me at the time.

I think the problem most people had with any of the abandonware sites, including Alawar, was that it required installing some sort of Client software. And for people who already have clients from BFG, GOG and Steam, enough was enough.

Personally I think getting the game and playing it in a playthrough would have been worth it. Knowing that when the playthrough was done you could delete the game and the client. But it did not work out that way.

     

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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Courtesy of Mike the Wino (Thanks Mike, definitely appreciated) I acquired Steam Keys for the 2nd two of the 3 Grim Legends games from Artifex Mundi. Being a completist I also bought the first game (something for developers to think about if they’re unhappy about game keys being given away).
The first (The Forsaken Bride) was ok. I’m not a player of casual games, or haven’t been, so I might be being lenient in my assessments, or unduly harsh, as I really don’t know what the standards are like. Story held up and it flowed fairly well. A pleasant enough way to spend a few hours. The second (Song Of The Dark Swan) I enjoyed somewhat less as the “helpers” all irritated me and the story line seemed rather forced. Unlike the second of the Drawn series, I did complete the game. The third (The Dark City) was the best of the three by some way. A fairly dark tale, if somewhat hyperbolic and cliched, it did allow rather better character development within a strong(ish) story line. All 3 games are standalone and whilst I’d struggle to recommend the second one the first and, more so, the third are worthwhile games for people to have a go at, assuming you haven’t already of course.

     

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Artifex-Mundi is is one of the remaining quality developers of casual games. Although, even it, too, has occasionally missed a beat. Most of us would consider their best games as being the Enigmatis trilogy and one-off games such as Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink.

My opinion is that its singular contribution to the genre is the “Spark Casual Engine” which allowed not only it, but other casual game developers, (who licensed the engine,) to add variety and layers to hidden object scenes. No longer saddled with the “random list” HO scenes epitomized by ERS games, games now were able to have nuance. In some cases you could be playing a hidden object scene and not even know it.

Unfortunately A-M is taking a shot at developing real adventure games. The two that are currently on the market are My Brother Rabbit and Irony Curtian: From Matryoshka with Love. The latter looks interesting. The former was reviewed somewhat favorably by AG, but I found it lacking.

     

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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