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What game have you just finished?

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I finished The Gardens Between. Totally lovely, beautiful game.

     
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I finished Barrow Hill: Dark Path

I liked it. Nice puzzles, decent atmosphere and the history was interesting.

Kept getting lost in the forest as navigation is not the greatest due to the similarity of some of the scenes and the item pick-up noise is overly dramatic and annoying.

     

An adventure game is nothing more than a good story set with engaging puzzles that fit seamlessly in with the story and the characters, and looks and sounds beautiful.
Roberta Williams

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Joined 2004-08-02

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I finished Silence and I have to say I was very disappointed. I know the art is breath taking and the music is great, but the gameplay and story did not capture me the way the original did. Sadwick in the original had a very annoying VO and the puzzles were hit or miss, but I really liked the journey and thought the story was very well told. This game’s story is almost identical to the first one. Kid is in coma, they have to find a monarch and break the mirror to destroy the world and save themselves, or leave the mirror alone and stay in a hybernating/dead state forever. Renie and Noah are endearing characters, but the rest of the cast was underutilized. Kyra, the main secondary character turned all of a sudden from ally to someone trying to stop them, and then only shared half a scene with Sadwick/Renie before she disappeared from the game. Similarly, Janus showed up only in 3 scenes throughout the game. Also the pacing was all over the place. The first section seemed to drag a little and then the last section in the lighthouse was super rushed. Also, there was a weird dream sequence with butterfly spot that felt completely out of place. Gameplay wise, this was more like a telltale/Quantic Dream game with very little in the way of puzzles and no inventory. What puzzles they had were super easy and posed zero challenge. I usually don’t mind Telltale style games because they give you many choices with important consequences (or at least the illusion that you have these choices), but with Silence, it seemed that we were only given these kind of choices in a couple of scenes in the game. So in a way, this did not feel like a choose your own adventure type of game, but more like a digital story book. Also the game was really short with gameplay of 3-4 hours depending on your speed. One big pet peeve of mine was the inability to skip through cutscenes. If I wanted to replay a section, I had to sit and watch the same cutscene all over again. Speaking of replaying a section, the game only has one save file, and you cannot replay the game from a certain chapter like in Telltale/Quantic Dream games. If you want to replay a certain part to get some trophies/achievements, or to try different interactions, you have to replay the whole game. This is a very strange design decision in a game that is supposed to encourage experimentation.

Overall, I thought the game was trying to be somewhere in between a traditional puzzle based graphic adventure and a choose-your-own-type of adventure, and it did not do either well. The pacing was off, the experience very short, and the story all too familiar.

2/5

     
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Joined 2017-04-14

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I’ve just finished Art of Murder : FBI Confidential. I got it in a Humble Bundle last week or so. It saddens me to say so, but it was not a good game at all. I could have put up with the dull characters and uninspired storyline (where have my standards flown off to?), but the ill-conceived puzzles and terrible writing put the final nail in the coffin. I only continued playing because it was so bad it became comical (that, and my dreaded tendencies to procrastinate are apparently back). Seriously, at some point, the main character crashes her jeep in the middle of nowhere, without food or water save for a sandwich which has probably gone stale, and the only thing she has to say is “It’s really beautiful here, I’m so glad I came”? Grin It’s a giant layer cake of clichés and poorly-timed dialogue lines (not to mention poorly acted). The game’s only redeeming quality, besides its involuntary humour, is its background graphics, but I could say the same about myriads of casual / hidden object games. So, am I going to play the sequel I got in the same bundle? ...only time will tell, I guess. States of frustration strangely draw me to bad games, so I’ll probably see more of Nicole Bonnet’s mundane adventures in the insipid world of cardboard FBI.

Before that fiasco, I had the pleasure of playing Gorogoa, which I immensely enjoyed. Now, that‘s one game you can call poetic. I’ve talked about it to many people around me, including some who probably have no idea what adventure games are (or even that there is such a thing as adventure games), hoping to draw them in to that beauty, because I’m sure its qualities can transcend genre preferences and appeal to anyone who likes to dream.

I’ve also played Unavowed, which I liked and will gladly play a second time with another character background choice, but more likely in a few months or years. Sure, there were many clichés in the way characters were thought out and the story unravelled (although I did not see the major twist coming, and I thought it was one of the game’s highlights), in the same way that Gabriel Knight for instance can be cliché-ridden, but it’s also part of what makes it work - you start with well-established tropes and you build a world around it, that way the player has his bearings and you can safely introduce more personal elements; in the end it’s the atmosphere and engaging gameplay that make the difference, and here, for me at leat, it didn’t miss the mark.

     
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Joined 2005-07-07

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I’ve played all games in the Art of Murder/Chronicles of Mystery series and can tell you they don’t get much better after FBI Confidential… City Intreactive got the technical aspects (Graphics/interface etc.) pretty much right but the rest ranges between bad and awful. Still strangely entertaining.Smile

     
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cyfoyjvx - 27 September 2018 02:55 PM

I finished The Gardens Between. Totally lovely, beautiful game.

Slightly too short and easy, but yeah, this is probably my favorite of the year so far.

     
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Joined 2013-08-25

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While I was stuck on Post Mortem, I decided to play Amber: Journeys Beyond, a ghostbusting adventure that started them all. Agustin Cordes brought it up as his major inspiration (and not Blackstone Chronicles) here at forums some time ago. And I can clearly see why now, they are indeed quite different games, while both Scratches and Dark Fall share many similarities with Amber. Which is an incredibly satisfying experience on its own despite rather short length.

I actually had it since forever and even tried out once, but was put off by the slideshow mechanics. Of course, now that I communally playthroughed Shivers, I can play anything. And what do you know, navigation is much more comfortable in Amber, with less screens and clear (for the most parts) graphics. And when it’s not clear, it needs to be like that plot-wise since the gameplay is surprisingly experimental, to the point the screen reguraly changes size, shape and colors.

The gameplay never gets repetitive, there is always something new coming up. It’s also not about random puzzles (very few of those actually), not about reading endless books, diaries and manuscripts, not about tinkering with complex mechanisms, although there are some. It’s just what it’s supposed to be: hunting ghosts. At least at start. Then it goes way beyond that, leading to some truly inventive and unnerving moments. My favourite was probably travelling between rooms as a dead woman’s ghost with the help of radio and finding out what had happened to her.

Amber has many little touches (those paranormal activities caught on cameras are so cool), it’s nicely presented, and taking that it’s mainly a work of two people - a husband-and-wife team - I couldn’t wish for more. Too bad that at the time of its release critics were so stupid as to label it “a Myst clone with ghosts and no new ideas” and they never made another game. I give Amber 4.5/5, same as AG.

     

PC means personal computer

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Joined 2017-03-27

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Doom, where on earth did you get Amber? Or has it been sitting on your shelf for all these years? I played it when it came out and thought it was a grand game. It was my sister’s. I loved Blackstone Chronicles too. I can’t decide if I want to replay some of the old games like all the original Lucas Arts or the Longest Journey or just hold on to my sweet memories.

     
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Doom, where on earth did you get Amber?

More importantly, how on Earth did you manage to install it (presuming you’ve played it on Win 7 or worse higher)?

AMBER is a GREAT game, one of my all-time favo(u)rites.

     

The human race is doomed to progress.
Tony Clifton

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Joined 2005-07-07

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zobraks - 16 October 2018 06:29 AM

Doom, where on earth did you get Amber?

More importantly, how on Earth did you manage to install it (presuming you’ve played it on Win 7 and worse higher)?

AMBER is a GREAT game, one of my all-time favo(u)rites.

There’s a Win7 installer floating around the net. https://www.play-old-pc-games.com/2013/08/16/amber-journeys-beyond/

I’ve played Amber twice, but it was a long time ago. Definitely a favorite. Need to play it again soon.

     
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Thank you, Veovis.
I’ve played AMBER in 2007 and it’s definitely a high time for me to play it again.

To anyone wanting to play AMBER on a modern machine: check this also.

     

The human race is doomed to progress.
Tony Clifton

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Jofog - 15 October 2018 08:28 PM

Doom, where on earth did you get Amber? Or has it been sitting on your shelf for all these years? I played it when it came out and thought it was a grand game. It was my sister’s. I loved Blackstone Chronicles too. I can’t decide if I want to replay some of the old games like all the original Lucas Arts or the Longest Journey or just hold on to my sweet memories.

I had the CD lying in a dark corner since early 2000s, along with some other first-person adventure games I’ve never played or finished such as Post Mortem, Dark Fall series, Faust, some other Axel Tribe and Cryo games… Actually, to think about it, I ever finished (and enjoyed) only few of them, such as Zork and Tex Murphy trilogies (without Overseer Frown), several games by Legend and Kheops, Scratches, Riven. Probably because I expect shooting from first person and adventure from third person games Smile

zobraks - 16 October 2018 06:29 AM

More importantly, how on Earth did you manage to install it (presuming you’ve played it on Win 7 or worse higher)?

AMBER is a GREAT game, one of my all-time favo(u)rites.

Indeed, I used the very same installer, although I downloaded it straight from the Squirt the Cat site and it worked perfectly… up until the last chapter when I stumbled across a well-known (as it turned out) bug caused by the installer that made the game unfinishable. So I had to download a savegame from here and then finished it without problems.

     

PC means personal computer

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I’ll have to give that a try. The box is on my bookshelf where it has sat for over 15 years. I found Amber in a bargain bin at one of the old CompUSA stores. It was a great game, but I never found a way to play it on modern machines. Just like Shivers, if I had found a way to play it, I would have nominated it for a CPT. Trouble is, I’m guessing that many people who might have once owned it, discarded it long ago thinking that their chance of ever being able to play it again were nil.

     

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they toll for thee.

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Joined 2015-02-06

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Amber: Journeys Beyond is also one of my all time favorite games. I’m fortunate enough to still have an original copy that I bought off of Ebay 15+ years ago. I last played it about 5 or 6 years ago, around Halloween, on my old XP laptop. I don’t remember if it worked with XP or if I used a VM with Windows 98. Either way I’m glad to see there is an installer to run it on modern systems. Smile It’s a shame it was the only game they ever produced. A definite gem!

     

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Well, there are at least four people, including me, that have the original discs. Maybe I will nominate it. Maybe some others will search their closets and find out that they have a copy.

     

For whom the games toll,
they toll for thee.

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