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Ratings by shanethewolf

Darkside Detective: A Fumble in the Dark, The


Stars - 35

Rating by shanethewolf posted on May 6, 2021 | edit | delete


A fun game but too basic to be in a top tier


The first thing I’ll say about this game is that from a production point of view it’s extremely basic. There’s barely any animation, no voice acting and the pixels are very chunky.

While it still manages to create an immersive atmosphere, the game feels lifeless. And though the dialogue can often be quite funny, the lack of animation or detail robs the characters of expression or personality. 

That said, I enjoyed this game and it’s a worthy sequel to its predecessor. I like the way it’s broken into cases and is easy to pick up for an hour or two. I love the variation of environments too, preventing it from ever getting stale and giving the player an incentive to complete each case.

It’s far from a classic point and click adventure, but at such a low price it’s definitely worth checking out if you’re a fan of the genre.


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Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Very Easy

Paradigm


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 24, 2021 | edit | delete

Dream Machine, The


Stars - 20

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 22, 2021 | edit | delete


A great start, but loses steam along the way


The Dream Machine captured my interest instantly with its eerie mood, soft ominous music, unique visual style and enjoyable puzzles. The first chapter was gripping from start to finish with each puzzle luring me deeper into the storyline, with intriguing twists and turns.

By the end of the chapter, I was left eager to see what happens next.

Chapter 2 gets off to a good start with cool puzzles and continues the gripping storyline. However, it feels more padded out with surplus dialogue. Given that the game has no voice acting, it can feel like a chore clicking your way through all the text. But still, the game is pretty enjoyable and, once again, left me longing for chapter 3.

Chapter 3 is where is all goes wrong as it branches away from the main storyline into a subplot. The puzzles are pretty banal, involving fetching items or running errands for characters before they share information with you. You do this so that you can complete another errand for another character. And this isn’t the worst of it. You will spend most of this chapter reading dialogue. There are so many insufferable and pointless conversations to click through. Barely any of it has any bearing on the main plot.

It’s a shame to see a promising game taking such a negative turn, but completing chapter 3 felt like work rather than a game. It was bad enough to put me off the following chapters. I may never know how the saga ends, but I no longer care.


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Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Walking Dead, The


Stars - 50

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 22, 2021 | edit | delete


Gripping and emotional one at that! One hell of a ride.


I’ll admit, I didn’t get a good impression starting out. I’ve never liked that cell shaded graphics style and while it evolved into something beautiful in later games, the first of the series looked quite tacky.

Next thing to put me off was the fact that this really isn’t much of a game. It’s more like an interactive movie where you choose your dialogue and press the right button at the right time. Most point and click adventures give you various items and you have to combine, use or examine the right one in the right context to solve puzzles and therein lies the challenge. Walking Dead, however, tells you what item to use where. It even shows you where to click…not that you can’t figure this out for yourself. This takes away any challenge and minimises the playable experience.

I couldn’t understand why it was getting so many positive reviews. I figured I must be missing something, so I persisted. The visual style that I initially hated started to grow on me a little. Although far from impressive, the graphics give the game character. Instead of perceiving this game as serious and cinematic, I accepted it as an animated comic book.

As for the playability, I stand by my original judgement. Walking Dead offers very little gameplay or challenge and solving puzzles doesn’t require any thought. However, this time round, I decided to accept it for what it is and embrace the interactive movie experience.

Within an hour, I found myself completely hooked! The storytelling is outstanding and does a great job of capturing the tension and despair of classic zombie movies. The characters are great too, very well acted and evolve in a natural way. I actually started to feel a bond with some of the characters and while I’ll often act like a complete lunatic when given any freedom in video games, there were characters in this game I really felt for and whose friendship I wanted to cultivate.

What I actually found was that my own personality and morality started to reflect in the game and my decisions came from the heart. At times this can be very challenging and can leave you feeling real emotional turmoil.

This is where Walking Dead really shines. Unlike most adventure games that give you a list of lines to say, and actions that lead you along a set path, your choices will often have consequences and can even determine whether some characters live or die.

Although this isn’t new to gaming, I have never seen it done this well. So while the game lacks traditional gameplay and challenges, it gives you a completely different dimension of interaction, one based on emotional attachment or resentment, morality, spur of the moment decisions and, in some scenarios, even fear.

Unlike most zombie fiction that’s all about blood, guts and mass killing of zombies, Walking Dead is handled in such a mature and thoughtful way. As much as I hate to admit it, there were a few times I started welling up with tears.


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Time Played: Over 20 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Jolly Rover


Stars - 40

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 22, 2021 | edit | delete


Monkey Island wannabe that's surprisingly fun and witty


There is no doubt that Jolly Rover took inspiration from the classic Monkey Island series, but what looks like a low budget rip off at first glance, turns out to be a very immersive and witty adventure game that comes into its own.

Jolly Rover doesn’t try to reinvent the genre or break any new ground, but the result is a classic style point and click adventure, just like those from the good ole days. Unlike many modern adventures, players are not overwhelmed with endless dialogue and exposition, and what dialogue there is tends to be relevant and/or funny.

The graphics are nicely painted (though a bit too crisp and clean perhaps) and there are plenty of varied environments to explore.

The puzzles vary from easy to challenging, but there is a tip system in place for those who get stuck. It can be a bit too tempting to use this on regular occasions, even though it is generally unimposing. Many of the puzzles are fun to solve.

Although it may appear a little on the short side, players get their money’s worth.

On the whole, Jolly Rover is a fun adventure game for fans of the genre.


Read the review »

Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Black Mirror II


Stars - 20

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 22, 2021 | edit | delete


Cliched characters that grate on my nerves


As a fan of the old Point and Click genre, I really wanted to like this game. First impressions were really good. The environment graphics are very well painted and the town of Bidderford has an appealing quaintness. There are some effective weather changes, which alter the mood of the game and create a very immersive atmosphere. Personally, I couldn’t wait to explore.

Unfortunately, within an hour you have seen everything there is to see of Biddeford. No new areas open up to the player and existing areas are very limited. One simply jumps from one area of significance to the next, leaving no room to explore or take in the surroundings. As a result, we don’t get the sense of a living and functioning town, but rather just a few limited sets.

The plot has its strengths and is quite intriguing at times..or at least it has the potential to be. There are some mysterious events going on and some sinister characters that you’re eager to investigate, including the protagonist’s sleazy boss. Unfortunately, the game focuses more on some cliched romance plot between Darren (the protagonist) and some random girl he happened to pass in the street one day. He runs round after her like a lovesick lapdog, while his mother lies dying in hospital and people’s lives are being ruined. It’s at this point Darren started to grate on my nerves.

One of the biggest failings of this game is the sheer obnoxiousness of the protagonist. Apart from sounding like Butthead, he is disrespectful, immature and downright pathetic, and I found myself wishing bad things to happen to him. He shows no emotion and no personality and is a very shallow and underdeveloped character.

Another annoying aspect of this game is that many significant events are brushed over. You spend the first part of the game running back and forth, gathering evidence to prove the innocence of the aforementioned girl and when it’s all complete and you’re getting ready to present your evidence, hear what the police have to say and so on, the game just cuts to “later that evening” when Darren and the random girl are having a chat.

However, while the game does it’s best to avoid plots or exposition that might actually interest the player and make for an entertaining story, it makes sure you are given information about every little triviality and insignificant item in the game. You can’t just click on a drawer and expect to open it….first you must hear what kind of wood the drawer is made of and how old it looks. Another example is when you click on the shower and get some longwinded monologue about Darren’s breakfast. All this unnecessary dialogue just drags the game out and makes for a very tedious experience. What’s more, you end up learning the life history of supporting characters who don’t even play a part in the game’s plot.

The puzzles themselves are quite engaging and often logical. It’s fulfilling to see them come together, which is, of course, a big appeal of such games. Unfortunately, playing the game just feels like a long chore and is very frustrating.


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Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Paradise Lost


Stars - 10

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 21, 2021 | edit | delete

Werewolf: The Apocalypse – Heart of the Forest


Stars - 15

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 18, 2021 | edit | delete

Sarawak


Stars - 15

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 18, 2021 | edit | delete

Sol 705


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 18, 2021 | edit | delete

Inspector Waffles


Stars - 30

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 18, 2021 | edit | delete

NUTS


Stars - 10

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Apr 18, 2021 | edit | delete

Little Nightmares II


Stars - 45

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Mar 7, 2021 | edit | delete

Tell Me Why


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Feb 15, 2021 | edit | delete

Medium, The


Stars - 45

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Feb 11, 2021 | edit | delete


Next best thing to a new generation Silent Hill


There have been a lot of Silent Hill wannabes released the past decade or so, but none have really captured that same mystery and atmosphere. The Medium, however, looks, feels and plays like a modern day Silent Hill game.

It’s not just the fact they have an original score by Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill’s original composer). There are clear similarities in visual style and storytelling, as well as the dark world concept.

Tip: If you want to really capture the Silent Hill vibe, PC users can install Reshade and add in some film grain and chromatic aberration.

I’ve referred to Silent Hill in every paragraph so far, but in saying it’s the next best thing I’m doing it an injustice. It’s an incredible experience in its own right!

Granted, it’s a slow burner. The gameplay is fairly basic with minimal action. The plot is very complex too and quite difficult to grasp fully on the first play through. To fully appreciate it requires the player to invest some time reading notes and listening to recordings. I get it’s not everyone’s idea of fun and seems a bit of a cop out in some ways, but once I started piecing it all together and making sense of it I was left wide-eyed and had more than a few chills.

The visuals are very taxing, even for high end PCs, but they are stunning. And not just from a technical perspective. The environments are both horrific and mesmerising, while the characters vary from sympathetic to downright twisted.

It’s been a long time since I’ve played a game with fixed cameras, so it felt quite jarring at first. I soon got used to it though and began to realise what a great design decision it was, allowing for a cinematic feel and heightened tension. On the other hand, the split-screen concept just didn’t work for me. I get the reason behind it and it could be effective at times, but I found it broke my immersion in the game and could have done with being used a lot less frequently.

The dialogue and acting is mostly outstanding, although the protagonist is little more than a generic strong female lead and one of the least interesting characters in the game. There are some moments when she says things that just seem really out of context and silly (like naming her bolt cutters), but it’s a small criticism.

Overall, I was blown away by this game, though I can see how many people would find it too slow paced and even downright boring. It’s the kind of game that needs to be appreciated as an experience rather than a challenge.


Read the review »

Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Twin Mirror


Stars - 20

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Jan 9, 2021 | edit | delete


I just wanted to abandon the plot and leave town


Being a big fan of the Life is Strange series I was very excited for this game. It managed to capture my interest early on, but as it went on I found myself disengaging from the plot and the characters.

I realised, I actually disliked all but two of the characters I was meant to be helping. I was hoping the in game choices would allow me to turn against them. In particular, I wanted to ruin the life of Anna who had ditched me for my best friend, but instead I was forced to comfort her and run her errands like a pathetic lap dog.

I cared so little about the town and everyone there I would have gladly got in my car, returned home and ended the game early if it had been an option.

What’s more, there’s a glaring mystery that’s never explained. You’re constantly having conversations with your twin, who appears as an apparition and usually offers redundant advice. You also have some kind of mind palace (or whatever they call it), but none of these superpowers are ever explained. It’s like the developers threw it into the game to try and make it less mundane, despite having the opposite effect.

Personally, I like the graphic style and the environments are very atmospheric, but the character models appear quite odd, even creepy…especially when they start talking. 

While the writing was the greatest strength of Life is Strange, it’s the most abysmal aspect of Twin Mirror.


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Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Very Easy

Girl of Glass: A Summer Bird's Tale, The


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Dec 22, 2020 | edit | delete


Unrealised potential


The mesmerising art, atmosphere and the potential of an engaging story lured me into this game. However, the narration and dialogue are presented in a very jarring way, like a constant interruption to the gameplay rather than flowing alongside it.

Worst of all, in my opinion, is the decision to have turn based combat. It does nothing to further the plot or character development and is not at all fun or engaging. It’s like a compulsory mini-game, when I just wanted to continue the main quest.

What’s most disappointing is that this could have been a very engaging game had developers opted for a traditional point and click formula rather than trying to mix genres, integrating elements of an RPG and interactive storybook.

Considering how much dialogue there is, it would have been nice to have more voice acting too and could have made the game flow more naturally.


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Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Very Easy

Paradise Killer


Stars - 10

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Dec 6, 2020 | edit | delete


Mishmash of ideas and intolerably boring


It feels like the developers were at odds on what this game was meant to be. I can see there were some good ideas amid this mishmash and I do like the music and style. But I found all the reading and aimless wandering to be an intolerable chore.

I tried to persist, hoping my laborious efforts would pay off, but it was too draining and had to give up.


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Time Played: 1-2 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Carto


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Dec 2, 2020 | edit | delete

Unavowed


Stars - 40

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Nov 29, 2020 | edit | delete

Dead Secret


Stars - 20

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Nov 29, 2020 | edit | delete

Superliminal


Stars - 45

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Nov 29, 2020 | edit | delete

Planet of the Apes: Last Frontier


Stars - 15

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Nov 29, 2020 | edit | delete

Dark Pictures Anthology: Little Hope, The


Stars - 40

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Nov 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Plague Tale: Innocence, A


Stars - 40

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Nov 27, 2020 | edit | delete


Stunning visuals and an engrossing game


I played this on a whim with low expectations, but was blown away. The visuals are some of the best I’ve ever seen in a game, with such an immersive atmosphere. The story and characters are very engaging and the game itself is a joy to play, with various upgrades along the way, keeping gameplay fresh and providing new strategies for dealing with enemies and puzzles.

The game benefitted from being quite grounded and believable for the most part, but let itself down by getting over the top and ridiculous by the end. But that is my only criticism of this beautiful adventure.


Read the review »

Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Gray Matter


Stars - 40

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 27, 2020 | edit | delete

Embracelet


Stars - 20

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 24, 2020 | edit | delete

Grim Fandango Remastered


Stars - 40

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Broken Sword: The Shadow of the Templars


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Day of the Tentacle


Stars - 45

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Monkey Island 2: LeChuck's Revenge - Special Edition


Stars - 50

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Portal 2


Stars - 45

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Secret of Monkey Island: Special Edition, The


Stars - 45

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers


Stars - 35

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Lost Files of Sherlock Holmes: The Case of the Serrated Scalpel, The


Stars - 40

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Heavy Rain


Stars - 50

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Full Throttle


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Curse of Monkey Island, The


Stars - 40

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Syberia II


Stars - 30

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Indigo Prophecy


Stars - 45

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Book of Unwritten Tales, The


Stars - 40

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Silent Hill: Shattered Memories


Stars - 10

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Black Mirror, The


Stars - 20

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Dig, The


Stars - 15

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Leisure Suit Larry: Wet Dreams Don't Dry


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Trüberbrook


Stars - 20

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Walking Dead: The Final Season, The


Stars - 50

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Whispers of a Machine


Stars - 35

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Layers of Fear 2


Stars - 15

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Sinking City, The


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Sea of Solitude


Stars - 20

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Dark Pictures Anthology: Man of Medan, The


Stars - 45

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Little Misfortune


Stars - 30

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Pilgrims


Stars - 20

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Angelo and Deemon: One Hell of a Quest


Stars - 20

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Jenny LeClue – Detectivú


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Outlast 2


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Blair Witch


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Life Is Strange 2


Stars - 50

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Dark Nights with Poe & Munro


Stars - 10

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Someday You'll Return


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Beyond a Steel Sky


Stars - 35

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Creaks


Stars - 15

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Song of Horror


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Willy Morgan and the Curse of Bone Town


Stars - 25

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

There Is No Game: Wrong Dimension


Stars - 50

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

Fire Escape


Stars - 10

Rating by shanethewolf posted on Oct 23, 2020 | edit | delete

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