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Casual Games

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It doesn’t look as if this topic is very popular.

I an beginning to think I ought to just play the demos and forget buying the game. After the demo stage it just seems to develop into the same old, same old. Or maybe it was the last 2 I played, Mystery Heritage: The sign of the Spirit and Awakening the Moonfell Wood. About 2/3s the way through I became bored with the sliders and math puzzles which seemed to be in the majority.  I did finish Mystery Heritage but was very disappointed in the ending, just seemed chopped off.

     
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sarahandus - 28 September 2012 03:01 PM

It doesn’t look as if this topic is very popular.

I an beginning to think I ought to just play the demos and forget buying the game. After the demo stage it just seems to develop into the same old, same old. Or maybe it was the last 2 I played, Mystery Heritage: The sign of the Spirit and Awakening the Moonfell Wood. About 2/3s the way through I became bored with the sliders and math puzzles which seemed to be in the majority.  I did finish Mystery Heritage but was very disappointed in the ending, just seemed chopped off.

Well, based on the number of views, the thread is quite popular. My guess is that there may be a few “closet casual gamers” out there that are interested in seeing what those of us who are out of the closet feel are good game options. And they are probably just as interested in hearing what we feel are games to avoid. You just mentioned two.

Not all casual games are going to be good and/or entertaining. I’ve certainly played my share of bombs. But then, not all “standard” adventures are good and/or entertaining either. I’ve played my fair share of clunkers in that category as well.

One of the keys to enjoying casual games is to find a designer you like, and look for games produced by that designer. A bit earlier in the thread both Alawar Games and Elephant Games were noted for their quality. I’ll buy almost any game, sight unseen from either of them.

Another thing you said makes a great deal of sense. And that is playing lots of demos. I probably play at least five demos for every game I buy. I’ll often try to write a mini-review of the demos I play. Most of them are negative. Case in point: some people said that the Dark Parables series was excellent. Me, I played the Red Riding Hood Sisters demo, and came away unconvinced.

So, I guess that’s another rule. Just because a game receives a positive review from one of our thread participants doesn’t mean everyone else will like it. We all have individual likes and dislikes after all.

FWIW, I just replayed Alawar’s Sins of the Fathers, and found it more enjoyable the second time around.

     

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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I agree whole heartedly on the quality of Alawar and Elephant games, they are excellent.

I will try your method of writing a mini review while playing a demo, it will help me to remember what the game was about as well as why I did or did not like it.

The game I replay every so ofter is Mushroom Age, and, with the exception of the future segment, enjoy it every bit as much as the first time.

At the moment I’m playing Surface-the Noise She Couldn’t Make.  It’s pretty at least.

Maybe we can lead some other closet gamers out into the open.Wink

     
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sarahandus - 29 September 2012 08:30 AM

At the moment I’m playing Surface-the Noise She Couldn’t Make.  It’s pretty at least..Wink

I liked that 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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Just finished Agency of Anomalies Last Performance. I bought the CE since it was 1/2 price and I filled out a punch card (so free game). I thought it was a very fun game. There was some backtracking (no map feature) and the puzzles took some time to do n the hardest level. I got all the achievements and ahd another hour or so bonus play at the end.

     
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colpet - 30 September 2012 07:16 PM

Just finished Agency of Anomalies Last Performance. I bought the CE since it was 1/2 price and I filled out a punch card (so free game). I thought it was a very fun game. There was some backtracking (no map feature) and the puzzles took some time to do n the hardest level. I got all the achievements and ahd another hour or so bonus play at the end.

I will add that one to my demo list. I’m also downloading demos of Escape the Emerald Star, Tales of Terror: Crimson Dawn, Witch Hunters: Stolen Beauty and Echoes of the Past: The Citadels of Time. All are demos of the SE versions. I’ve got a surprising three days off this week, so I ought to be able to post a comment or two.

     

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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Escape the Emerald Star is a straight HOG and a nice one. It’s good to take a break from having to work your brain and just use your eyes.
I haven’t tried demos of the others. Though I was so disappointed in the later versions Echoes of the Past that The Citadels of Time wasn’t even considered. I’ll be interested in your take on it.

     
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I didn’t know what you meant by “straight HOG” but the moment I loaded Emerald Star and saw the Spin-Top logo I knew what it was. I like their games. Forgotten Dynasty is another fairly recent release. While not as challenging mentally as more tradition casual games, the scorekeeping adds another dimention to the games. Can I beat my last score, or more importantly, can I beat my wife’s score makes these games an enjoyable break from the usual.

I finished the Echoes of the Past: The Citadels of Time demo. I liked the basic story. Your character, and it seems that it is a recurring character, is pitted agains a wicked witch. (Again, what other kind is there.) The witch has found a way to stop time, thus trapping various characters. These characters are all trapped in a castle/citadel. Your mission is to fix their broken timepieces, and thus free them to return to their homes. Not a bad premise, but the execution is not the best. Voice acting, music and sound effects are above par. Graphics are all over the map. The game lacks any consistency of style. HOG scenes are made up of the basic trio: find the object; find the object inside another object, and combine two or more objects to make an object. If you get stuck, there is always the Hint button, which, in this game, recovers amazingly fast. Inventory puzzles are quite simple. Find a crate tied with a rope. Find a dull knife. Sharpen knife. Cut rope. Open crate. It’s the logic puzzles that are more of a problem. One: the puzzle’s explanation isn’t always very clear. Two: some of the puzzles are just flat-out bad. There is one puzzle that presents you with a statue that has moveable arms and head. You must position the arms and head in such a way that a mechanism is triggered. Is there a schematic you must find to discover the desired positions? No! You must methodically click your way through the 64 possible permutations until the right one is found. Finally, there is the basic appearance of the game itself. While not a deal-breaker, all controls, (inventory, menu, hint, journal, etc.,) are at the top of the screen rather then the normal interface which is on the bottom. I just found it awkward.

My final verdict is “I’m not sure.” While I didn’t really dislike the game, I also didn’t like it very much either. On the other hand, my wife thought it was fairly good, as well as fairly long. Granted, my opionions are based on only 60 minutes of gameplay, and things could dramaticlly improve. But I doubt it, so this game will not be going on my Buy list.

     

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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In the first two Echoes of the Past games there was charm and humor which I thought was sadly
lacking in the subsequent games. It’s been a while since playing the games, but other than the said charm and humor they didn’t seem to be exceptional.

Tried Grim Tales: The Legacy and found it dark and fuzzy to my eye. It has the casual, advanced and hard core settings. multiple settings for sound and a gamma setting.
I didn’t find the story interesting, more of the same we’ve been having lately. The puzzles seemed to be either too easy or unreasonable. Played on the advanced setting. It is definitely on my do not buy list. 

     
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I’ve played all three of the Grim Tales games. Of the three, the last one, Grim Tales: The Wishes, was far and away the best.

Now for another grim tale.  Smile I wrote a mini review for the demo of Echoes of the Past: The Citadels of Time. The review wasn’t terribly complimentary, but at least it was based on the fact that I played the full 60 minutes.

That’s more than I can say for Tales of Terror: Crimson Dawn and Witch Hunters: Stolen Beauty. Bad Graphics, bad voice acting, dull music, uninspired sound effects…..not to mention slow load times for most scenes. Neither game got more than 15-minutes of play time. Just awful. They make me want to go back and buy Citadels of Time. That’s how bad they were.

I guess I will be searching for some more demos.

     

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 - 03 October 2012 06:26 PM

I’ve played all three of the Grim Tales games. Of the three, the last one, Grim Tales: The Wishes, was far and away the best.

Now for another grim tale.  Smile I wrote a mini review for the demo of Echoes of the Past: The Citadels of Time. The review wasn’t terribly complimentary, but at least it was based on the fact that I played the full 60 minutes.

That’s more than I can say for Tales of Terror: Crimson Dawn and Witch Hunters: Stolen Beauty. Bad Graphics, bad voice acting, dull music, uninspired sound effects…..not to mention slow load times for most scenes. Neither game got more than 15-minutes of play time. Just awful. They make me want to go back and buy Citadels of Time. That’s how bad they were.

I guess I will be searching for some more demos.

I also recommend Grim Tales The Wishes. I tried Echos of the Past and hated the arcade-style aquarium game, so it was a no go for me. I agree with you about Tales of Terror: Crimson Dawn and Witch Hunters: Stolen Beauty. The demos were unimpressive.
Some recent demos I liked, but will wait for SEs:
Margrave Blacksmith’s Daughter
Haunted Hills Revenge of Dr. Blackmore- very quirky style, I liked the animals
I’ve just purchased 1000 Doors Zoroaster and your recommendation helped sway me.. I thought the first game was good but not exceptional.

     
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If anyone is a BigFish member, today’s daily deal ($2.99) is Sherlock Holmes vs Arsene Lupin (AKA Nemesis). It is an adventure game (even though it says HO) and got a 4 star review here at AG.

     
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Thanks for the heads up. Not sure I will like it, but at $2.99, I can pound tent pegs with it and still come out ahead.

     

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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Pounding tent pegs! I forgot about Frogware’s nauseating 3D perspective. Straight to the recycle bin. While others seem to love them, if I had realized in advance that this was a Frogware’s game, I would never have bought it.

     

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: 320

Joined 2003-09-16

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rtrooney - 04 October 2012 09:06 PM

Pounding tent pegs! I forgot about Frogware’s nauseating 3D perspective. Straight to the recycle bin. While others seem to love them, if I had realized in advance that this was a Frogware’s game, I would never have bought it.

Sorry about that. I did some research on it before I bought it. I’m not usually a fan of character interaction and dialogue, but the pickings have been slim lately and it got great reviews on some Adventure sites. The 3D doesn’t bother me, though I’m choosing the first person perspective to play. I have heard that some gamers get ill with that type of movement.

     

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