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Ratings by Devilfish

Vanishing of Ethan Carter, The

Stars - 50

Rating by Devilfish posted on Oct 9, 2014 | edit | delete

Short and bittersweet

I literally cannot say anything about this game without spoiling everything about it. So trust me when I say that while it’s flawed, everything that’s good about it vastly outweighs it. It’s short, but it’s exactly as long as it needs to be. The absolutely gorgeous graphics alone may be worth it, and I’m not even someone who cares about graphics. I may have finished this game in four hours instead of five if I didn’t keep stopping everywhere to take in the view and hammer the screenshot key.

If you like weird fiction, short narrative experiences, if you liked games like Gone Home and The Path, if you want a game that puts atmosphere and narrative first, I promise you will love this.

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Time Played: 2-5 hours

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller - Episode 3: The Oracle

Stars - 35

Rating by Devilfish posted on Sep 3, 2013 | edit | delete

I started playing this series because I absolutely love murder mysteries, and so the first two episodes didn’t disappoint. This installment confused me more than anything. Without giving too much away, for most of the game I found myself very, very bored with the petty infighting and financial tribulations of a bunch of characters I had been given absolutely no reason to care even one lick about. The cognition powers however are brilliant as ever, and this installment deserves three stars just for the ending. The last ten minutes of the game are damn near brilliant and more than make up for the change in tone and boredom of the rest of it. Anyone who enjoyed the first two episodes will not be disappointed. As long as you play through to the end.

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Time Played: 5-10 hours

Gone Home

Stars - 50

Rating by Devilfish posted on Aug 25, 2013 | edit | delete

I cannot recommend this game highly enough. For fans of story-based exploration games and excellently paced character development, Gone Home is about as good a game as you’re ever going to get.

I started the game expecting to backtrack a lot, hunting for keys and codes as these games often have you do, but I never once had to resort to wandering and pixel-hunting. My journey through the house was a very smooth one, no backtracking, no frustration, no head scratchers. All clues and bits of story are in logical places and easily found if you search thoroughly. The focus really is on telling a story and telling it well, delving into the life and psyche of its characters, not on more traditional gameplay aspects. Gone Home gives you a sandbox to play in and explore at your own pace, and it doesn’t really require you to work hard to get to the end.

I expect the themes explored in the game will be familiar to anyone, but women and teens especially can look forward to a game that earnestly and respectfully explores those respective demographics in a way very, very few games do. (Minor theme spoiler: the game deserves all of the praise for exploring LGBT issues in a mature, respectful and heartfelt way.)

Unlike the reviewer I had absolutely no problems with the controls (using a mouse and keyboard). I never once struggled to perform the actions I wanted to perform.

The game is short, but it’s as long as it needs to be. Any more would have seemed like padding, any less would have been too little to truly tell its story.

Just an excellent little game. I highly recommend it.

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Time Played: 1-2 hours

Corrosion: Cold Winter Waiting

Stars - 40

Rating by Devilfish posted on Dec 5, 2012 | edit | delete

Oz Orwell and the Crawling Chaos

Stars - 50

Rating by Devilfish posted on Nov 9, 2012 | edit | delete

The review overstates the creepiness of this game somewhat.

This is the adventure game equivalent of the unintentionally hilarious B-rated horror movie, and it’s just wonderful. It starts out creepy enough, then somehow gets its wires crossed and ends up encompassing the entire spectrum of horror cheese. Watch for cameos by the Roswell Greys, your standard mad scientist, Great Cthulhu and the gruff detective with six months left to retirement (spoiler: he doesn’t make it). The ending is just delightful.

Orchestra sting!

Oz himself (he’s not gay!) doesn’t help matters. Deadpan wisecracking protagonists do of course have their place in adventure games. This is not that game.

That’s not to say this game isn’t outstanding. It is so outstanding.

Five stars.

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Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Easy


Stars - 30

Rating by Devilfish posted on Oct 26, 2012 | edit | delete

Action sequences, stealth sequences, insta-kill failures and NO SAVE OPTION? That’s four cardinal sins of adventure games right there. At least it doesn’t have mazes and slider puzzles.

It’s such a shame. I’d been looking forward to this game for many, many months for it’s unique premise, and it holds up in that regard, but some design choices are just baffling to me. No saving your game. Really.

Everything else is great. The story, the characters, and the cheesy, cheesy premise work well. This game isn’t scary or gruesome, despite the murder and Satanic goodness. It’s pure cheese, like a Z-rated horror movie, and it works. It’d easily be a four star game for me if the gameplay itself didn’t seem designed purely to piss me off. If you can ignore that, it’s a great game and if you find the premise as intriguing as I did, I definitely recommend it.

But failure means game over. And you can’t save your game. I thought I’d mention that.

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Time Played: 5-10 hours

Testament of Sherlock Holmes, The

Stars - 40

Rating by Devilfish posted on Sep 27, 2012 | edit | delete

Fans of the series will definitely like this one. Beautiful and very interesting locations (including one fans have visited before). Three choices of perspective is a great addition to the series, but did lead to some pixel-hunting in my case. I preferred to play in first person POV but had to switch to third person on several occasions to find clues. Sherlock’s “sixth sense” is a good idea in theory but didn’t work in practice.

Clever framing device for the story, and a decent mystery, although not as deep or involved as the other games in the series. The ending seems to come out of nowhere, but I found it satisfying. Definitely recommend it, especially if you enjoyed the previous games.

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Time Played: 10-20 hours
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