bfgBaikal
Marlin
Marlin
8,624 Posts

Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by bfgBaikal on Mar 21, 13 12:43 AM
Hi Fishies!

What do you think of Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition? We’d love to hear all about it, as would many of the other fishies in our pond! You can now share your review on our website, just pop over to the Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition page here.

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Happy gaming!

bfgBaikal

 
bfgBaikal
Marlin
Marlin
8,624 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by bfgBaikal on Mar 21, 13 12:43 AM
Hi Fishies,

I just wanted to add to the OP: This thread has been reserved for reviews only.

If you have any questions about someone else’s review (even if you feel that their review contains incorrect details about this game) please contact that user directly via PM instead of replying to or quoting their post as this can develop into a discussion that is not suitable to the review thread.

While the reviews in this thread are first and foremost helpful to other players, they also tell us and all who were involved in making this game, what you liked/disliked most, what you’d like to see more/less of in future games, etc. This can only help us in continuing to provide better games, which is what we all want!

We want to ensure that everyone who visits this thread can easily find the reviews that they’re looking for, so the Moderation Team will be proactively removing any off-topic posts (i.e. non-reviews) that pop up in this thread.

For any non-review related posts, please feel free to create a "Comments" thread in this Game Forum if there isn't one already. You can always create a new thread for any game questions or tips.

Thank you!

bfgBaikal

 
Kamali
Guppy
Guppy
173 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Kamali on Mar 21, 13 12:58 AM
Wow, lovely game so far! beautiful graphics and interesting concept - reminds me of another game from a year or so ago where you pulled down a blind or clicked a light switch and the room changed to the same room but years in the past.

The hidden object screen I just played was also a puzzle, had to put objects where they belonged, then - in the same screen - had to find objects, and then the whole thing animated (one object moved to another and affected it and the second moved to the third and so on until eventually the final object was moved to reveal the item you take away).

I've seen enough - I'm buying it!!

PS, it filled my screen, and I've had no technical problems with it.

 
shorenuf
Dolphin
Dolphin
7,281 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by shorenuf on Mar 21, 13 1:12 AM
Sorry -- this will be just a brief review -- wretched day, totally exhausted.

I played the first in this series -- it was good -- the change of time and day to night was a different and interesting mechanic. It certainly kept your brain working, and the story line was curious enough to keep the game moving.

I totally disliked the second game, never bought the CE or the SE.

For some reason this story feels so much more intriguing even if not terribly new. Young girl inherits old family mansion in Greece. She summons the detective (now quite practiced from 2 previous Dark Secret adventures) because strange things are going on, particualarly downstairs in the crypt.

Also, the game play flows smoothly, and the requirement to change the scene from light to dark to accomplish a current task with an object from the past and vice versa feels like fun rather than a chore. The detective has a bit of a sense of humor.

The game has things we've come to expect and is missing some we definitely want…

No map
Non animated lip sync with the voice overs
No collectibles, morphing objects, or achievements
no task list, selectable or otherwise present.

Widescreen -- iMac running LION
Interactive HOS -- the one I encountered was "put things back"
Puzzles are fairly detailed
Artwork is interesting -- especially the animated changes in time
Characters are voiced
3 play modes, but helpful black bar info is present in all of them
Diary that records the events

CE content…

Rather Sparse:
-- a Bonus story; hard to tell from the description if it separate or related to the core game
-- replay mini games
-- Strategy Guide, 5 chapters plus Bonus chapter and extra mini game solutions

I recommend doing the demo.

Goodnight.

Edited on 03/21/2013 at 1:15:52 AM PST


 
cbtx
Stingray
Stingray
5,030 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by cbtx on Mar 21, 13 1:39 AM
Like the previous reviewer, I liked the first game in the series, and was very disappointed in the second. But the devs have picked themselves up, and given us an excellent game that is remarkably improved.

The story begins in the downstairs family crypt where an ill at ease soul is creating havoc, probably due to the upcoming eclipse. But it goes from there----and immediately turns into a very good story that is moved along with extremely unique and well done HOS and puzzles.
The HOS require you to both place objects back into the scene and find things within the scene to get to item you need.
The puzzles are great fun, and an interesting challenge. (love the portrait puzzle.)

There are voiceovers, and the music is very good.

And the game play is smooth as can be and employs a day/night mechanic not often seen but works here very well, and is integral to the storyline.
And this dev has moved to the widescreen format that all the quality games employ.

The CE content includes the bonus story, strategy guide, and replayable puzzles. (I don't know how I'll do without concept art and downloadable music! LOL)

So much improvement and interesting story, gameplay mechanics, and a high fun factor translate to a buy for me!!

 
sassylassie
Angelfish
Angelfish
1,107 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by sassylassie on Mar 21, 13 2:13 AM
Welcome back OrNeon! I love the others in the series, and this one is a big WOW factor too. Definite 10/10.

Story: This poor woman thought everything was going to go fine when she inherited this estate until she realized she had an unwanted ghost. She showed us the coffin and the ghost spoke to us and the next thing we knew she snagged her up and now we have have to rescue her. So maybe he can sight see in Greece after the case

Graphic: Top notched team here. Absolutely beautiful.

Music: Awesome, fits the game perfectly

Mini games: Not too challenging, just right

H0G Scenes: Like Kamali said, you have to put the objects back. I love those type.

Hint System: Can be used outside of the H0Gs as well.

Awesome game and look forward to playing the rest of it. Be a fun day. Kudos to this team!

 
Nilosh
Clownfish
Clownfish
590 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Nilosh on Mar 21, 13 4:18 AM
I am glad that the series has continued and while I still do favor the first game, this one offers an interesting storyline. The graphics are good, voice-overs are few and the only game feature is your journal.

Personally the highlight of this game are the Hidden Object Scenes, they are varied and I especially love the ones where you need to place items back into the scene. Other than that, I still will stick to my guns and say that a CE game should offer more extras like morphing objects, collectables and achievements. Some may not find these extras interesting but in my opinion, its what seperates a SE game from a CE. As I never use screen savers or use any of the wallpapers, there just seems no point to spending money on extras that I have no use for.

Still a very intersting game with some interesting puzzles that are entertaining. I think that it really comes down to a matter of personal budgets and I personally will hold on to the extra cash for something that I can really sink my teeth into.

 
gryhndlvr
Guppy
Guppy
156 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by gryhndlvr on Mar 21, 13 4:54 AM
Very good graphics, good story and it seems like a really good game. Once again, you can change the lighting and go to another place within the same room.
HOS are varied, which I really like, but I think a CE should contain morphing objects, collectables, achievements......something....
Sorry, but I have to wait for the SE. It's just not worth it to me, even with the extra gameplay, ( bonus ) does not justify the CE price. It does not differ from a SE.
I still had 15 min left in demo play and it was over.
Short game?

 
Rebeca_Lily
Catfish
Catfish
1,515 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Rebeca_Lily on Mar 21, 13 5:00 AM
Kudos, developers!!!

I don't care about morphing objects - I never succeed to collect them, even when I play again; and really don't care about all the extras of the CE.

But I felt relaxed and from time to time I clap hands on the variety of play creations. Most like the change between the worlds (old-new, light-dark).

I can feel the love and the care you gave the game, and appreciate it!

The only option standing in my way is the lack of map. Adventurers don't mind this, but for a HOGer like me it's crucial, feel blind in the dark...

Thank you for the nice game!

 
KBEAR2045
Minnow
Minnow
280 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by KBEAR2045 on Mar 21, 13 7:04 AM
While I love the different HOS scenes, the graphics, mini-games and puzzles, it just is not CE worthy. With no collectibles and map it isn't enough for me to buy it. I will wait for the SE to come out and purchase it with a PCC.

I'm not sure how helpful the notebook is as I didn't check it often enough and didn't come across clues that would need to be stored there.

BTW, by map I mean an interactive one. Not only shows where you are but what needs to be still done and able to jump from location to location. I realize that with you having to change a room's illumination it may be a problem but at least it would get you in the right room.

Hint button though is very good to help you figure out where to use an item and where to go.

Edited on 03/21/2013 at 7:09:01 AM PST


 
Poutoule
Archerfish
Archerfish
41,630 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Poutoule on Mar 21, 13 7:45 AM
Played 40 minutes, regular

- 3 modes, regular, advanced, hardcore

- Integrated SG which only shows one chapter in the sample

- Voice overs

- Note book

- No map

- H0, 2 sorts, you put items back or play regular H0

- Very good mini games, quite inventive for some, not over difficult

- Hint very useful outside H0

- Gorgeous graphics

You arrive to investigate in a house where it seems evil tries to reign. As in all Secrets of the Dark, by clicking on a certain place, you move from past to present. Very interesting story, beautiful game, this is an instant buy for me , thanks devs....

Wanted to add, now that I bought it, that the game has 5 chapters + the bonus play. Still haven't played it yet, so can't say about the bonus play.

Edited on 03/22/2013 at 5:08:47 AM PST


 

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by NancySusan on Mar 21, 13 8:42 AM
I own the second game in this series, which I also had betaed. I liked it, although I found it a little repetitive as the game went on. This game, Ancestral Estates, hmmm, not sure about it. I ended up being impatient and skipped most of the mini-games after trying unsuccessfully to view things which flipped when you moved them. I'm dyslexic and I know my limitations -- I won't remember the moves. I didn't like the graphics that much, particularly in the older versions of the rooms -- very grainy and poorly drawn. I did like being able to click and change the era of a scene (and I liked that in the game I own), I liked being able to change an object within a time period by using another object, and the games where you replaced things were fun. I didn't check the SG, having established that there were no objects to collect/morphing objects, but the hint button works well outside of HOS's, etc., so I didn't need the SG. My trial came to an end after 42 minutes, which was interesting -- I usually use up the whole 60 minutes. But this seemed to me to be yet another evil something that needs to be defeated, and I didn't care enough. I will check out this game when it is an SE and see if I change my mind, but I wouldn't get the CE.

 
dancemom1
Angelfish
Angelfish
1,198 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by dancemom1 on Mar 21, 13 11:09 AM
Wow, one of the shortest demos I have had in a long time. . still had 29 minutes of play when it ended. I have the first two Secrets of the Dark games and enjoyed them both (the 2nd not as much as the 1st). This one is different.

Very nice graphics and game play. Games not difficult, but take a little thought. Music nice but I turn it down so it doesn't get annoying. Needs to have a bit more sound to the game and not just the music. Not a lot of voice overs, but well done.

Loved the HOGs. Very different and quite fun. You get tired of the same old stuff all the time, but this one is different by far. SG nice, stays on last page you left, nice hint system that fills quickly.

I especially like the fact that you don't have all the usual useless garbage under the bonus content. All I want to see is the bonus game and maybe replay some HOGs. Nicely done.

I really enjoyed this game a lot and I was not ready to quit when the demo ended. I have been laying off CE games, but I think I have to have this one. Definite buy for me.

As always, try the game for yourself and see what you think. We all have different tastes in games and you may not care for it at all. Thanks for the reviews.

 

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by daisyduck352 on Mar 21, 13 11:52 AM
Enjoyed the game and the graphics were great! I do remember playing the last game and this one is better. Like the IHOG's and has HOG"s too. Puzzels were a lot of fun. Can't wait until I purchase the game so I can see what happens next. Give this a 4 out of 5 stars..

 
Eucritta
Minnow
Minnow
204 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Eucritta on Mar 21, 13 12:50 PM
Based on the Demo.

Everyone else has covered the details, but I thought I'd mention that - based on the demo - the game has scads of cut-scenes, with a character popping up frequently to provide back-story and explain. The game so far as the demo is also very linear, with no opportunities provided to roam, and as a result it feels a bit like ... being relegated to the kiddie pool. With a flotation ring.

Which is a shame, as I do like the premise and very much enjoyed the first game in this series - a fast, fun game. But this, is just too much hand-holding for my taste, though I may re-evaluate it after the SE is released and there's a sale on.

 
Pickles77
Minnow
Minnow
264 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Pickles77 on Mar 21, 13 1:49 PM
reeaaalllyyy on the fence with this one .........first of all, I have those black bars on each side, only game that I have ever had that did that..even checking aspect ratio did nothing... I am not much of a puzzle person so the mini-games did nothing for me....I would rather have FROGS or IHOGS than put the items back kind of HOGS, don't much like those....the graphics are indeed beautiful and I love the music...unfortunately, the negatives far outweigh the positives for me...no buy here...all of you that enjoy the game, have fun!

 
thistle809
Angelfish
Angelfish
1,207 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by thistle809 on Mar 21, 13 2:51 PM
Based upon playing the demo, I will wait for the SE because I suspect this game will be quite short. One of the previous reviewers said it is 5 chapters plus the bonus play and the demo covers Chapter 1. I took my time, did not skip any dialogue; played the mini-games, spent time enjoying the graphics, used only one hint (when I could not remember where I needed to use an inventory item) and still only spent 42 minutes on the demo. At that rate, the main part of the game would last approximately 3.5 hours. Much too short for me to spend the money for a CE. The storyline is very interesting, the graphics are beautiful and the music is good. The HO scenes are varied in type - some are "replace the object", some are "find the object" (interestingly interactive). The mini-games are fun and interesting with very good instructions. I like this entry in the series better than either of the first two. The hint system is excellent. You can navigate rather well even without a map because if you are stuck, the hint will actually show a picture of where you need to go.

 
tj1147
Clownfish
Clownfish
654 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by tj1147 on Mar 21, 13 3:01 PM
From my allotted demo time of 35 minutes til demo ran out - I don't like the game.

Black bars top and bottom. Very slow movement of objects into inventory. Tiny print the the H0 scenes. Slow movement of the animations. Even though I clicked "no tutorial", I get lots of "instructions" everywhere. Puzzles took too long to skip - if it is a puzzle I KNOW I cannot solve, I'd like to skip it right away and get on with the game - some puzzles I just cannot solve. I cannot comment on voices (if any) or music as I do not use the speakers in games. Too many notes to read.

The hint button did work well in the H0 scenes I encountered in the demo (but they were extremely crowded and somewhat blurred for the most part). Very hard to know where to replace some items. The "light into dark" and vice versa is nice. The graphics (except the H0 scenes) were good for the most part. The story seemed as if it might be interesting if I could have played long enough.

Due to the above, and the fact that I have the first game as a CE and the second as an SE, I won't buy this one. (I suppose this shows that I have lost interest in the series.)

Try for yourself...not everyone will dislike the game and many will really enjoy it.

 
saphhire
Herring
Herring
329 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by saphhire on Mar 21, 13 4:07 PM
thistle809 wrote:Based upon playing the demo, I will wait for the SE because I suspect this game will be quite short. One of the previous reviewers said it is 5 chapters plus the bonus play and the demo covers Chapter 1. I took my time, did not skip any dialogue; played the mini-games, spent time enjoying the graphics, used only one hint (when I could not remember where I needed to use an inventory item) and still only spent 42 minutes on the demo. At that rate, the main part of the game would last approximately 3.5 hours. Much too short for me to spend the money for a CE. The storyline is very interesting, the graphics are beautiful and the music is good. The HO scenes are varied in type - some are "replace the object", some are "find the object" (interestingly interactive). The mini-games are fun and interesting with very good instructions. I like this entry in the series better than either of the first two. The hint system is excellent. You can navigate rather well even without a map because if you are stuck, the hint will actually show a picture of where you need to go.



FOR A CE A MAP SHOULD BE INCLUDED. WHAT IF YOU FORGOT WHERE THEY ARE SHOWING YOU? CE'S SHOULD INCLUDE ALL THE BELLS AND WHISTLES....NO BUY HERE I WILL WAIT FOR THE SE

 
sunnyglow
Clownfish
Clownfish
804 Posts

Re:Reviews for Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition

[Post New]by sunnyglow on Mar 21, 13 4:50 PM
Personally I don't like the games from this dev. This is just a personal taste on my part. The game is too dark and somewhat boring. When I almost fall asleep in a game, to me that is a no go! It just moves very slowly for me. I must admit that I like the variety with the HOG scenes. They do provide some variety in that aspect. I had high hopes for this game. However, it is the same old, same old with just another storyline and slight variations on the puzzles. Also, no map which makes it twice as irritating an already boring game. Sorry, not my cup of tea, but I see that some do like this game. Try it for yourself, you may like it.

Edited on 03/21/2013 at 4:52:25 PM PST


 
 
 
 
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