steve_san
Clownfish
Clownfish
586 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by steve_san on Dec 19, 13 4:52 PM

Hope Diamond hasn't lost its luster

I own only one earlier HE game (Uncharted Islands), but this has been a solid series. This one continues the tradition and even raises the bar.

Very well done drawings, wide variety of locations, semi-realistic style, good voice overs. The cut scenes are also well done, first class animation and realistic motion. No cheesy effects or lame attempts to scare or shock.

Hidden object scenes are not too challenging, require a fair amount of interaction and some are multi-dimensional.

Puzzles similarly are not too challenging. I skipped one (peacock).

There are several collectibles and "achievements." (one of the achievements I received in the demo was "listened to all the dialog" or something.

This being a joint effort with the Smithsonian, my antennae were raised for political correctness, but I did not encounter any in the demo.

As a history lover, this promises to be a very good or great game, possibly GOTY.


 

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by NancySusan on Dec 19, 13 7:25 PM
Okay, I really loved this and will be getting it. I'm a history person as well (it was my first major in school and I ended up with a minor in it), and having HOP's with historical doo-dads that were actually historical, was just great. I have a lot of respect for the Smithsonian, and even on a fantasy level, this was so much fun to play. I customized the play and except for one early glitch that I solved by making a new profile (see tech thread), it played beautifully. I love collectibles and finding various things (symbols, cards, morphing objects) was fun. So, interesting and interesting to look at, quirky, historically informative, fun and actually engrossing -- something I find in short supply in most games. I almost didn't care about the story, which, I'm sure will unfold. Really a great game.

 
saadia60
Guppy
Guppy
100 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by saadia60 on Dec 19, 13 7:37 PM

Edited on 12/20/2013 at 11:07:15 AM PST


 
meanbusiness
Guppy
Guppy
186 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by meanbusiness on Dec 19, 13 10:56 PM
I bought this game because I have all the others in the series, and was really excited about playing this one. However, there was somthing off about the game and it did not resemble the previous ones. I stopped playing for the night and went on the forum to see if anyone else shared my possible disappointment. I so agree with the review below. I now realize that HE Hope Diamond does resemble exactly a NG game. It is not a bad game, but the HE magic just disappeared. What a shame.

Hespera wrote:Based on the demo:

The fact that (yet) another HIdden Expedition game has been passed off to another developer is no surprise, as it appears BFG is no longer interested in developing games (although I'm sure they are reserving all creative rights).

Once again, (but not so much in your face as with Fate's Carnival), there is a loss of nuance and subtlety that was always present in BFG Studio games that I guess will remain forever the property of BFG Studios. Floodlight Games must have had more input from BFG with The Uncharted Island, or perhaps they just understood the subtleties better. Or maybe BFG Studios just stopped caring altogether and are willing to let someone else completely take over, in which case, they should just remove their name from the credits altogether.

But based on the demo, there is nothing in this game that resembles a Hidden Expedition game. It resembles a National Geographic game. And by that I mean the story is slow in developing and stilted in the telling. Random historical facts are offered by means of cards you can find throughout the game. (Truthfully, Eipix does a much better job with story development on their own and their other games have been much more exciting.) You wander around on your own far too long without knowing why you are where you are. The puzzles are ridiculously simplistic and facts are explained on an 8th grade level.

If you're a fan of National Geographic games with random facts about obscure things; games with easy puzzles and aimless running about with weak stories - this is for you. The graphics are good, the voiceovers funny (but they always are) and the cutscenes overdone. But hey, it may be what you like, so give it a look/see.


 
catbag8717
Angelfish
Angelfish
1,163 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by catbag8717 on Dec 20, 13 6:56 PM


Ladies and Gentlemen, we may have a new contender for best HOPA of 2013! And what a time for it to come, with ten days left of the year! I had so much fun with the game and the demo flew by in a flash. I'll have to wait until next year to play it when the SE comes out, because I don't really care for CE Extras.

The story starts off with an absolute bang. It's fast paced and thrilling with a ton of action. Then, much to my confusion at first, we were transported back to three weeks earlier. I didn't understand this at all when it first happened, but when I played along, I found out.
After the move back in time, the story becomes mysterious right from the get go. It appears we're being followed by this mysterious man, and we must find out who he is. The demo ends on a cliffhanger and just makes want to click that little green buy button, regardless of the CE Extras. I really enjoyed the story and can't wait to play more!

The gameplay is where it really gets good. Like I said, I had heaps of fun with it, which is rare for me these days, because most of the games I like are story driven. The HOS were longer than usual and also quite challenging, because there were a number of different objects to find. Most of the HOS are junkpile, with the occasional silhouette scene. Let's take the first HOS, for example: This was divided in to three parts. The first was silhouette, the second was a small junkpile, and the third was a bigger junkpile. I applaud the developers for going outside the box with this and making the game slightly more challenging.
The puzzles were also fairly challenging. I was able to solve one, I think, but the others had to be skipped, which was a bit of a shame, but no surprise. The puzzles had clear instructions and some were fun to play.
The game also features a H.E.L.P Box, which stores clues about the investigation. It is not used much, but it's a nice feature.

The graphics are great. They're very well drawn and are nice and colourful. Each scene is so wonderful and clear, and the character designs are good. The voice-overs are standard, not over done or under done. I have no comment.


(TBC in a second post)

 
catbag8717
Angelfish
Angelfish
1,163 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by catbag8717 on Dec 20, 13 6:57 PM
(Review continued)

FEATURES
4 modes of difficulty: Explorer (easy), Expedition Guide (medium), Journey Master (hard) and Custom. Differences are hint/skip recharge times, sparkles, misclick penalties and the map function. I played Explorer.
Map- is interactive in explorer difficulty and very helpful. It tells you where there is something to be done.
Hint/Skip- both recharge at a reasonable speed for the difficulty, and the hint is helpful outside HOS. The hint also acts as a portal, and can transport you to the scene where your next task is.
H.E.L.P Box- as I said, it's not used much, but it's a nice feature. The H.E.L.P Box stores clues about the investigation, kind of like a Diary. I'm guessing this is used in place of the Diary.

CE EXCLUSIVES
Built in Strategy Guide.
Achievements.
Collectible cards (30)
Collectibe Smithsonian symbols (unsure how many)
Morphing objects- found only in HOS (17)
Bonus Chapter- unsure if needed.
Concept Art
Replay puzzles
Replay HOS
Something called “Souvenir Room”- unsure what this is, as it is only revealed after completing the game.
Music
Wallpapers

This game has A LOT of CE Extras, so those who are wondering, the CE is worth it! However, as I don't like CE Extras, I will be happy to wait for the SE. This is truly a 5 star game, and I can't wait to see how it ends.

 
claykitty
Seahorse
Seahorse
35 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by claykitty on Dec 20, 13 9:30 PM
Sorry to disagree with all the positive reviews, but I am quite disappointed by this game. I have been a long-time fan of the HE series and I find nothing about this game that carries on the excitement of the previous editions. Each of the others had similar characteristics: jewels, bugs, continuity. This one just doesn't seem to be in the same class as the others. I will wait a few days and try it again in case I missed the point the first time.

 
AussieMoo
Minnow
Minnow
259 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by AussieMoo on Dec 21, 13 11:10 PM
I'm with you claykitty. I'm really mad at myself for buying this, wasn't keen on the demo but thought would give it a go & went the whole way through without using a hint & bored silly - very linear, lots of random facts & cards, not much actually exciting or surprising. I can't even be bothered finishing the extra. Sigh.

 

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by daisyduck352 on Dec 22, 13 11:37 AM
I enjoy the Hidden Expedition games and this one is good too. Like the voice overs and has good graphics. Haven't played entire game yet but wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas!

 
poopysue
Shark
Shark
10,858 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by poopysue on Dec 22, 13 11:37 PM
meanbusiness wrote:I bought this game because I have all the others in the series, and was really excited about playing this one. However, there was somthing off about the game and it did not resemble the previous ones. I stopped playing for the night and went on the forum to see if anyone else shared my possible disappointment. I so agree with the review below. I now realize that HE Hope Diamond does resemble exactly a NG game. It is not a bad game, but the HE magic just disappeared. What a shame.

Hespera wrote:Based on the demo:

The fact that (yet) another HIdden Expedition game has been passed off to another developer is no surprise, as it appears BFG is no longer interested in developing games (although I'm sure they are reserving all creative rights).

Once again, (but not so much in your face as with Fate's Carnival), there is a loss of nuance and subtlety that was always present in BFG Studio games that I guess will remain forever the property of BFG Studios. Floodlight Games must have had more input from BFG with The Uncharted Island, or perhaps they just understood the subtleties better. Or maybe BFG Studios just stopped caring altogether and are willing to let someone else completely take over, in which case, they should just remove their name from the credits altogether.

But based on the demo, there is nothing in this game that resembles a Hidden Expedition game. It resembles a National Geographic game. And by that I mean the story is slow in developing and stilted in the telling. Random historical facts are offered by means of cards you can find throughout the game. (Truthfully, Eipix does a much better job with story development on their own and their other games have been much more exciting.) You wander around on your own far too long without knowing why you are where you are. The puzzles are ridiculously simplistic and facts are explained on an 8th grade level.

If you're a fan of National Geographic games with random facts about obscure things; games with easy puzzles and aimless running about with weak stories - this is for you. The graphics are good, the voiceovers funny (but they always are) and the cutscenes overdone. But hey, it may be what you like, so give it a look/see.

I agree with you!

 
jan1949
Starfish
Starfish
54 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by jan1949 on Dec 25, 13 4:33 PM
This game is fun! Nice graphics and it seems easy enough to figure out what needs to be done. So far, that is -- I have only played the demo. The riddles are an interesting difference in this game and I like them because they aren't too difficult -- there seems to be a good hint to the riddle answer in the players riddle response. It is always nice to have control over the sounds because I prefer the voice to be loudest, all other in the background. Of course a lot of liberties are taken with these games, but we must remember, that is exactly what it is -- a game! Just have fun.

If I had not read Reviews, I would not have known about the items to collect and the morphing objects. Am I missing some information/directions on these type of game extras when the game begins?

 
Kashmiraka
Squid
Squid
61 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by Kashmiraka on Dec 28, 13 7:24 AM
I too was disappointed with this HE game, I think I finished in about 3 1/2 hours which is way too short, I seem to remember the previous HE games being much more involved, especially the Amazon one. The colors seemed really washed out and dull and the puzzles if you can call them that, so easy they were not even a challenge. For me personally, I know there is a problem when the funnest part of the game is the hidden object scenes! The game of the year is the new MCF Madame Fate, it was at least twice as long and much more challenging.

 
sparkers2005
Guppy
Guppy
121 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by sparkers2005 on Dec 29, 13 1:23 PM
i too was disappointed with this game. seemed like it ended way too soon. i thought it didn't have the quality of the other he games. amazon was my favorite.

 

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by CathyCatfish on Dec 29, 13 7:00 PM
when i sit back and say "wow! my demo time is up already?" i know it's a must buy for me! i think i might even spring for the CE, which i seldom do!

this was very enjoyable, everything worked well, i liked that i could set the custom difficulty level so that there was at least a *little* challenge...

i did find the music a little annoying, however, and will probably turn it down further when i return to play the game. it was just a little too... frenetic, i guess, for me.

but, that's the only negative thing i can think to say. i don't believe it deserves GOTY (i honestly think that should go to MCF: fate's carnival) but it certainly might be a contender if it had a little more challenge to it for those of us who have been playing for years and prefer to use the brain cells.

i didn't use the map, hint button or the SG, so can't comment on them.

the HOS were interesting in their variety and i'm not usually a fan of HOS, preferring the puzzles and adventure aspects.

i do want to see where this game goes, so i will spend a couple of those GCCs that are burning a hole in my pocket.

 
mendolyn
Guppy
Guppy
129 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by mendolyn on Dec 29, 13 8:39 PM
This game was awesome! I just got done playing the Collector's Edition and Extra Content and I couldn't be more pleased. For the first time in EVER I can say I'm happy I got the CE of a game.
Pros:
-Visuals are beautiful and creative. The developers incorporated many visual delights including solving stereoscope and old cinema film hidden object puzzles as well as multiple layered searches through books and furniture. You will also be combining and disassembling items to use on your journey.
-Music was great! I actually downloaded it to my computer to listen to later which is an option when you buy the CE and finish the game.
-Excitement without stress. The game felt very adventurous but relaxing at the same time. Some of the puzzles are challenging and some are quite easy. You won't break your brain on any of them but I really enjoyed most of them.
-Interesting story and an opportunity to learn. The game has many interesting features like collecting cards that tell you the history of the museum and the hope diamond as well as other bits of history trivia, which I loved. They don't force you to read it though so you can take it or leave it which is nice for people who want to speed ahead or if you're playing through again.
-Several difficulty settings to choose from. I chose casual because I just wanted to have fun and I did. You'll probably get a longer game experience by choosing a higher difficulty setting
-Voice acting was very nice and for the most part not annoying. I only thought one of the characters was obnoxious but you only see him briefly at the beginning and end so I was pleased with it for the most part.
-Lots of achievements to get by finding things such as the Smithsonian symbol in each location. There are morphing objects in the Hidden object scenes.
-The Hidden Object scenes for the most part are logical and not just junk piles. There are a few items out of place but I appreciate that for the most part the things you're looking for belong together in that location and don't look like someone dropped off a landfill on the screen. Some scenes use a list and others a silhouette hint.
-I really enjoyed the travelling aspect. You will not be running around some house/castle/estate the whole time, but instead will be given the opportunity to visit many locations/countries. I really likes this since it made the game feel less claustrophobic and isolated than many HOG's I've recently played.
-cont-

 
mendolyn
Guppy
Guppy
129 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by mendolyn on Dec 29, 13 8:41 PM
-cont-

-On the Collectors Edition you can replay the minigames and hidden object scenes in the extras section after you finish the main game plus there is a bonus game to play to finish out another short adventure.

Cons:
- I wish it had been longer, but then I played on casual difficulty so it's not too surprising that it went fast. The bonus content was decent length and interesting with more bits of trivia and globe trotting so I liked it.
-This game does have a different feel to it than the other Hidden Expedition games so keep that in mind when you demo it. I think it stands alone just fine though but don't expect the same experience as the HE series.


Definitely give this one a try, it might just be my favorite game this year and maybe you'll like it too. Happy Gaming!

I recommend this game!

Edited on 12/29/2013 at 8:45:46 PM PST


 

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by SVenola2 on Dec 29, 13 11:11 PM
Having explored only the US and Mexico, this game is a great substitute for international travel until I can actually get to the places I want to visit. I have been to the Smithsonian Institution, but have probably visited only half of the buildings and maybe a quarter of the exhibits. The game is a wonderful collaboration between the Smithsonian and Big Fish Games, and I look forward to playing it again and again.

Edited on 12/29/2013 at 11:12:12 PM PST


 

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by scythe74 on Jan 4, 14 1:50 AM
A great game! Beautiful graphics! Ioved the puzzles. Exquisitely made??. Not simple and not complicated. Like, for example, the puzzle with presidents. I like the interface. Despite a lot of information, opportunities, etc., I have no sense of confusion. Definitely recommend!.

 
Hoglvr
Starfish
Starfish
42 Posts

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by Hoglvr on Jan 5, 14 5:46 PM
Great game, I had given up on trying to find a good HOG. Well I found one,this game I am tired of vampires and scary themes, this was quite refreshing. the extra content was a plus,please give me more of this kind of game, I loved it !!!!!

 

Re:Reviews for Hidden Expedition: Smithsonian Hope Diamond CE

[Post New]by JustTheFacts on Jan 8, 14 7:56 AM
BONUS CONTENT REVIEW

Love, Love, Love This Game!


Game review posted midway 1st page

STRATEGY GUIDE – of course.

BONUS CHAPTER
This game is an epilogue to the main game, which ended conclusively without it. It is another adventure with our mentor from before, and we end up in some of the same places, but with new locations in that spot. The story is as exciting, and of the same quality as the main game, offering some quite different and compelling puzzles, in particular the ending ones, which I really enjoyed. There are several other HOPs and puzzles, all of them new. One HOP scene is from the main game.

I can’t tell how long the game was, but it felt appropriate, and I didn’t feel at any time as if I was “going through the motions”, even though I was quite tired after the main game.

ACHIEVEMENTS & COLLECTIBLES
Achievements have a spot in the H.E.L.P. kit for you to view in-game as well as on the menu. There are 20 achievements are they are genuine – HOPs without a hint, puzzles without skip, that sort of thing, and a few relate to the collectibles and bonus games.

Collectibles are definitely fun. There are:
• 20 Info Cards providing background on the Smithsonian and the Hope Diamond
• 49 Smithsonian sun emblems throughout the game
• 17 morphing objects found only in the HOPs

The Smithsonians are fairly easy to spot, but the morphing objects are REALLY hard. I got an all-time low of 9/17. The info cards are placed to be found, and I doubt they are exclusive.

BONUS GAMES
The best reason for buying this CE is the bonus games. They are all over the place.

• To get into the gallery items, you must complete a very easy (but skippable) puzzle. For each type!
• Click on the Smithsonian symbol and you get a beautiful rosette indicating which emblem you missed where, click on them to go to the location and find it.
• Once you complete the bonus chapter you unlock a Souvenir Room which has a souvenir from each location. Find all of them by being transported to the location from the room, and you win another achievement.
• 17 Replayable HOPs allow you to improve your performance by – finding the morphing object, time, and hints.
• 15 Replayable puzzles.

GALLERY
• Wallpapers x 6
• Pix of cast x 22
• Music x 20 (an indication just how varied the music is in this game)
• Movies x 22

COMBINED IMPACT
Brilliant!

Edited on 01/08/2014 at 8:01:43 AM PST


 
 
 
 
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