I’ve skipped SF3 but gave this one a shot - those who played Secret Files, Nibiru, Art of Murder/Chronicles of Mystery… can have a pretty nice idea of what to expect, though it’s shorter and at the most times, easier than any of those.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that Sam Peters might be a good representative of those games we “feared” might come out of casual invasion as a “cross-product” - it’s too short, but more than it, the way it presents a back story (apart from total of 30 seconds of FULL video animation) is in a classic casual game style, with a static screen and text.
The main heroine didn’t smell with originality even with the name of “Sam Peters”, but she really makes even Nicole Bonet from Art of Murder a most lively hero - it’s not the voice, or script, which is a problem, but rather lack of any kind of character development.
However, the game does conceal some strong sides - locales are pleasing to eyes and music sounds like something from an adventure movie. Also, it’s quite a playable game, and perfect for a good, sunny day to forget all of your worries, and being able to finish it one sitting, because the game DOES hold the attention. There’re no long or boring dialogs - if we need to go to Africa, the game will present you with a basic info, along with a Indiana Jones-map style animation, and here we are in front of the jungle. In all of the game’s simplicity, however, there’re some clever Sam’s comments. The game’s interface is rather convenient, apart from occasional bugs with Sam’s running, pathfinding and object inspection. Also, don’t forget to scroll inventory objects with your mouse wheel, because most of the time you’ll be carrying 20-30 objects and “manual” scrolling can be quite tiresome.
As for the puzzles, they’re sort of a mixed bag - the first time I had to do a jigsaw, I had fun, but authors repeated it for 3-4 times, like assembling letters, maps, machines… Still, there’re some very nice inventory puzzles and also, those examples that require you to pay attention to the surroundings. However, the last logic puzzle in the game with cave symbols seemed to have much bigger potential, but it’s just like the casual lovers within the development team beat those who prefer Myst.
The story itself is intriguing, and provides enough interest with some sci-fi thrown in, but even then there’s no a hint of “intensity”.
All those negative things might be partially forgotten with the fact that the game is some sort of spin-off, and as long as this style doesn’t become the standard for Animation Arts. In that regard, and even though it seemed there’s a bigger potential here (for some puzzle variety and/or longer story) I can still recommend it.
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Time Played: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Very Easy