Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by JustTheFacts on Jan 14, 14 2:07 AM
Get Out Your Punchcard Coupons


BASED ON DEMO

FIRST IMPRESSIONS

Don’t be mislead by the opening cut scenes for this game, which are basic, primitive, barely animated at all, just cartoonish art swirled around a bit really. The rest of the art is much much better. Still, it is a fairly cheaply put together game, and it is not a masterpiece. It does, as the blurb, remind me of older style classic HOGs.

SIGHTS & SOUNDS
Apart from the intro, the graphics are beautiful. Extremely sharp even on my large monitor, very clear, but also very dark. Not dingy, there is plenty of colour, but darkness shrouds everything in this game. This fits the mood of the game exactly. It is a dark one. There is not much animation anywhere in the game, least of all in the HOPs, and I miss it.

The voiceovers at first seemed quite reasonable but soon became, well... the girl’s scream was so poorly done I was embarrassed. And the mother has too many ‘statements of the obvious’ – “I must find my daughter!”, that sort of thing. The sounds in the background are pretty good and the music is harmless.

WHAT’S HAPPENING?
A small boy wielding an elephant toy kidnaps your daughter into another world/dimension something, and you follow, of course. Trying to find your daughter you find an empty castle, and eventually the boy.

He tells you a story about him and the elephant that seems to have no connection at all with the vampire (perhaps) master that makes him steal the children, or how he does it. The elephant’s story so far is only terribly sad and left me feeling quite depressed at the end of the demo. Although I admit, I am curious about what happened/s.

To be continued...

Edited on 01/14/2014 at 8:39:32 AM PST


 

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by JustTheFacts on Jan 14, 14 2:09 AM
Get Out Your Punchcard Coupons



Continued...

GAMEPLAY

Typical HOPA. Nothing very new or at all difficult. The HOPs are interactive lists where the interactive items are NOT highlighted. Or silhouettes. The puzzles balance the HOPs and are familiar. There is one puzzle at least that does not have a reset button that it really should have. However, when you run out of moves, it resets itself with a “you lose!”. Another puzzle is a simple match-3.

The adventure is basic. Inventory items are found with HOPs and puzzles, with only a few lying around, and they get used quickly. There is a jump map that does not indicate anything about your tasks. There is no journal. Tasks are available by clicking a rather neat little question mark in the top right corner. The hint is directional, and I found it useful. The demo took me 35 minutes on the easiest of 3 difficulty settings.

The bad news? Well, the game does not hang together properly, partly because the story does not make sense at this stage, and partly because the integration of puzzles etc. isn’t handled very well.

There are occasional lapses in localisation (a lamp is not a light bulb). To close a close up window you must use the “x”. The cursor doesn’t change when you are going to another location. And the limited animation does drag the game down a bit.

COMBINED IMPACT
For me, this is a nothing-much kind of a game. The graphics are certainly a treat, particularly in a stand-alone SE, but the rest is pretty ordinary. It will not be on my wish list, simply because I couldn’t form any strong opinions about it – and my wish list is already too long!

Many of you are going to like it, some will even love it. I’ll be interested in seeing the reviews on the completed game.

I recommend this game!

 
Nilosh
Clownfish
Clownfish
590 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by Nilosh on Jan 14, 14 2:41 AM
I am sorry to start this review with such a negative tone but SERIOUSLY, what was that all about? I have a headache after playing the demo, which truth be told, I quit after I go to the combination lock. Those who have gotten that far will no doubt understand. Graphics are poor, outdate, blurred and animation is poor. Last night I just re-played Hidden Expedition, Smithsonian and to say that graphics are good would be an injustice on my part. Trying to make your way through Hidden object scenes is like trying to wade through treacle. I made the mistake of choosing Monster Mode and discovered that the hint button was disabled. I had gone back, re-entered a new profile and then chose the easiest mode to allow for the hint button which I have to say has very limited use.

But wait I am getting ahead of myself. I really should start with the story which I normally would if I understood who is who. There is Helen and her daughter strolling through the park. Then we see this creepy boy appear, a vortex and both Helen and her daughter disappear, but apparently not to the same place. So now we have Helen who is reading a diary of Susan and her 'Handyman' Jack. So who are they? Anyhow, we need to get into the castle according to the daughter's frantic phone call.

After my first hidden object scene which entail rummaging through a car trunk in the semi dark with a flashlight that really is of very little use, I realized that some objects are interactive, you just need to figure out which. Thankfully I got to use the hint button which saved me precious time. So now I find myself fishing for the key and then I need to cut the fish open in order to retrieve the key, how charming.

SO now I have a map and thankfully it allows me to jump from one place to another. I again have to click away in the dark and discover another puzzle which after realizing, there is no reset button; you just need to wait until it resets itself. Suffice to say, after having encountered the safe I gave up after several attempts and decided that nothing about this game peaks my interest and will I call it a day. Sorry folks, but it is just a very poorly made HOPA game with an ambiguous story and my eyes just cant take much more.

 
clk017
Seahorse
Seahorse
27 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by clk017 on Jan 14, 14 3:24 AM
Thank you, Nilosh, for the heads up on this game. I tried it and agree with everything you said. I lasted only about five minutes before deciding that this game is not for me.

 
biomix
Dogfish
Dogfish
1,854 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by biomix on Jan 14, 14 4:59 AM
No widescreen = No buy

 
mmemubon
Guppy
Guppy
112 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by mmemubon on Jan 14, 14 5:19 AM
biomix wrote:No widescreen = No buy

 
moondances
Lobster
Lobster
87 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by moondances on Jan 14, 14 6:00 AM
Cutting a live fish open to retrieve a key? Gross!!! I quit at that point-I play games to have fun, not be sickened-And I hate HOGs that require a light to see the objects-I do not recommend this game

 

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by muddydrive on Jan 14, 14 6:08 AM
made it through the demo but was not impress with the game. Items so small in HO'S I needed hints just to finish them, I rarely need hints in HO'S, so not a buy for me.

 
KBEAR2045
Minnow
Minnow
280 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by KBEAR2045 on Jan 14, 14 7:27 AM
I usually get most of the HOS games but not this one. There is no map, no widescreen or full screen. Just black bars but then again you can hardly see them because of how dark the graphics are.

The skip and hint buttons take forever to fill, even in easy mode. As pointed out, the HOG scenes are a little interactive but you really have to click around to find out which items interact. The graphics are so dark it is hard to find the items.

I wasn't happy about the scene with the elephant-too sad. In the beginning you came across a wolf that had a thorn in it's paw and I never did find anything to help it out. Demo was short-one of those that when you reach a certain point it stops.

There was mention of a bonus game when you purchased the full version but even that was not enough to entice me to buy this game. Not even with a PCC or a DD.

 
fluffyalso
Guppy
Guppy
139 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by fluffyalso on Jan 14, 14 8:01 AM
Tedious at best. Lasted 18min. Previous reviews are spot on. Dark and dreary with no indication where to go. Has several of my pet peeves in a no buy game. Have to hit little "X" in corner of all popups to get back to game. Non-lockable inventory. Tiny HOG with findables in dark corners or edges of screen. Whole game graphics dark. Sorry, no buy or finish demo for me. Someone did say there was no map, but I found one and to it's credit you can use it to move around game sorta.

 
sassylassie
Angelfish
Angelfish
1,107 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by sassylassie on Jan 14, 14 8:26 AM
KBEAR2045 wrote:I usually get most of the HOS games but not this one. There is no map, no widescreen or full screen. Just black bars but then again you can hardly see them because of how dark the graphics are.

The skip and hint buttons take forever to fill, even in easy mode. As pointed out, the HOG scenes are a little interactive but you really have to click around to find out which items interact. The graphics are so dark it is hard to find the items.

I wasn't happy about the scene with the elephant-too sad. In the beginning you came across a wolf that had a thorn in it's paw and I never did find anything to help it out. Demo was short-one of those that when you reach a certain point it stops.

There was mention of a bonus game when you purchased the full version but even that was not enough to entice me to buy this game. Not even with a PCC or a DD.


Why should there be a bonus game? It's not a CE. Nor a mention of one.

Edited on 01/14/2014 at 8:28:11 AM PST


 
bfgWendwater
Dogfish
Dogfish
1,911 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by bfgWendwater on Jan 14, 14 8:43 AM
Hi Everyone!

What do you think of Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant? We’d love to hear all about it! You can share your review here in the reviews thread, and on our website as well. Just pop over to the Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant page HERE.

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bfgWendwater
Dogfish
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Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by bfgWendwater on Jan 14, 14 8:43 AM
I also wanted to add that 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 for the review thread.

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(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.)

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Coco157
Seahorse
Seahorse
34 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by Coco157 on Jan 14, 14 11:17 AM
I believe the negative reviews are well deserved. This seems to be an old game which may have been slightly re-worked, but my system is still responding to the old cookies and gave me a 'trial expired' message when I tried to download the demo. Poor form, BFG. Some of us 'old elephants' don't forget!

 
dancemom1
Angelfish
Angelfish
1,198 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by dancemom1 on Jan 14, 14 12:11 PM
Morning all. I read all of the reviews and get a lot of very useful and helpful information from them all. However, I always try the game for myself, since my tastes may be quite different from anyone else's. After running through the demo, and quitting with 37 minutes left in play, I must say "HUH?" This is a very confusing story, one that really does not flow well and most movements don't make any sense at all. Dialoge is even worse "Cathy told about it," "What a mercy." Okay, not familiar with this dev, so I give them the benefit of the doubt.

That said, the story is nothing new. Cursor did not change when I clicked off the custom mode. There is no locking inventory bar. Music isn't too bad. Voice overs are a bit silly and unrealistic. Game play was choppy but no glitches. Graphics left a lot to be desired..very old school and very dark.. There is a jump map that you will use frequently and the locations are well identified. The hint system is helpful, and fills quickly, but I had to click on the hint more than once to get it to finally kick in and work.

HOGs are extremely dark and junky, so items are not that easy to find. You have to do a lot of searching and clicking around in dark corners and hope you land on something. Puzzles aren't difficult, but you cannot reset if you mess up. You have to wait for it to reset itself...very maddening.

Couple of other oddities...since when does a puppy with a thorn in it's foot turn into an adult dog when you remove the thorn? Cut open a fish to get a key...harf! It just seems like everything was just thrown together in hopes of a playable game. Well, you can play it, but I doubt that even a beginner would find this one fun. I rarely do not recommend a game, but I find it difficult to find anything good about this one. Sorry, no buy for me today.

As always, try it for yourself and see what you think. We all have different tastes in games and you may find this to be exactly what you are looking for. Thanks for the reviews.

 
JulieJay
Catfish
Catfish
1,555 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by JulieJay on Jan 14, 14 12:42 PM
Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure.

Gameplay was very smooth.

Graphics not brilliant but I've seen worse.

Puzzles - a bit easy in the demo - hopefully get more interesting

HO scenes - find by word list (interactive but not colour coded so you have to move around to where your cursor turns into a hand) and also find by shadow

Map - yes, transportable and shows active areas.

Objectives - yes but very basic.

Any hidden extras i.e. morphing/collectables/achievements - not so far as I could see. However it does promise bonus content even though it's a standard game i.e. not CE *****

Voiceovers - yes, a bit dramatic but didn't get on my nerves too much.

Inventory - does not lock in place.

My verdict - not for the poor sighted as HO scenes can be a bit challenging and for that reason, not for those after an easy ride. This is a buy for me.

***** Bonus content is art, music and wallpaper - no extra game play

After playing full game... played in easy mode, no skipping or hints used - 3 1/2 hours

Edited on 01/14/2014 at 4:04:47 PM PST


 
sunnyglow
Clownfish
Clownfish
804 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by sunnyglow on Jan 14, 14 2:52 PM
I want to assure everyone this game is not from the great devs, Elephant. Here we have a "nightmare " game from a new dev. This is game from a dev I have never seen on this site. A "demon child" kidnaps your daughter and, of course, as a good mother you are in search of her. "Nightmare" takes on many meanings for this game. There is of course the "nightmare" for the mother in finding her daughter. The other aspect of the word "nightmare" here is having to play this game for any length of time.

I read the reviews and personally I think JTF is a very nice person to have spent the time outlining the complete game. JTF - you deserve the "Joan of Arc Martyr" award. BF should thank her for the very kind reviews. To me, this is a dreadful game. There are those dreaded black bars. Another commentator has written that you can change the settings, and if this were a decent game, I might do that - but it isn't, so why bother? The graphics are one dimensional - almost sticklike. Again, I wonder if this game has been sitting in someone's vault for a long, long time. The phone in the game is old school technology. I had a phone like that about 5 years ago. The HOPA scenes contain items which are very difficult to find. The "muzac" is okay and you don't have to listen to it to play the game. There is voice, which is not common in the SE games. I did not encounter any puzzles for the short amount of time I played the game.

I just cannot stop laughing at this game. The animals sounds are hysterical. I have no idea if the animal sound by the lake is supposed to be a dog, wolf or "unwise owl." I could only stand 15 minutes of this game before giving up. However, I must admit, while playing it, I found it mildly amusing because it is so poorly constructed. I give this 2 stars out of 5 stars - and that is being generous.

 

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by webby8 on Jan 14, 14 4:34 PM
Toooooo dark ! Poor graphics. Cheaply and poorly made .Was this by the Games 101 class ?

 
steve_san
Clownfish
Clownfish
586 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by steve_san on Jan 14, 14 5:15 PM

A Game Even an Elephant Should Forget

Since many fishes quit after only a few minutes, I'll recount the story (this is all revealed during the demo so I do not consider it a spoiler, but don't read the next paragraph if you don't want to know.).

You and your daughter are enjoying a lovely day in the park when unexplainedly a young boy appears with an elephant toy. He causes you and your daughter to be sucked into a portal and get separated. When you awake, your daughter telephones and tells you she is trapped in a castle, before ringing off with a terrifying (or not) "Ahhhhhhhhh!" Eventually you make it to the castle and discover the boy, who says he is sorry and relates this story: He used to live in the castle with his parents when one night a robber broke in and killed both his parents. The robber was about to kill the boy too, when the boy's pet elephant (yes, pet elephant - c'mon it's a game!) intervenes and sacrifices himself for the boy. The elephant and robber die, but what emerges is an evil vampire who forces the boy to kidnap children. Your task, the boy says, is to get a certain cross artifact and use it to defeat the vampire and get your daughter back. Got it?

Besides the appallingly convoluted story, the game itself is very mediocre. It did not pique (that's correct) my interest. I thought the drawing and artwork were fine, done in a realistic style. The hidden object scenes were more difficult than the standard game, owing to a darker palette and partially hidden objects. There are varying types, such as silhouette. Objects that required additional action to find are NOT highlighted or otherwise indicated, adding to the difficulty. Mini games were quite easy. Music and sounds were hardly noticeable, voiceovers fine (except your daughter's, which failed to terrify).

The scenes also do not close automatically when finished, you have to close them using the "X." One plus - you do not have to click on keys to turn them, just put them in the lock - finally a game gets it right!

But that's about all they got right, so I can't recommend this one unless you have a free coupon.


 
snapnhiss
Pufferfish
Pufferfish
1,483 Posts

Re:Reviews for Midnight Macabre: Mystery of the Elephant

[Post New]by snapnhiss on Jan 14, 14 6:13 PM
I'm intriqued enough to use a PCC to find out why they inserted an adorable baby African elephant into the story and then treated him so cruelly.

I don't think the game's as bad as so many have made it out to be but it's definitely not up to the standards we've become accustomed to. However I think that's why I'm enjoying it, it's so bizarre and kind of retro.

 
 
 
 
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