Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by pondprowler on Apr 17, 14 12:34 AM
A thread for your reviews!

Edited on 04/17/2014 at 8:36:58 AM PST

590 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by Nilosh on Apr 17, 14 1:54 AM
As investigative reporter, your vacation is abruptly cut short with a phone call beckoning you to Venice where the infamous thief La Volpe (The Fox) has struck again. A relic has been stolen from the Museum and you find yourself following clues that lead you to right to The Fox. According to his story, he has been in retirement for five years and is being framed by an ex partner, Gabriella. He has laid out clues that you need to follow in order to trap the real culprit and once again make headlines.

Once again these developers do not disappoint with their stunning graphics, beautiful artwork, well acted voice-overs and special affects. When I see a game begin with a message to turn up the volume, I know that I need to done the earphones and prepare myself for a real treat.

Although I do have to mention that the beginning of the game is intensely familiar; being a journalist and meeting a stranger at a café, opening a box with a message in it. Did we not just do that recently in Final Cut? I am sure some will complain that we are seeing a pattern here with storylines and game mechanics, which seems to be apparent with many game developers. However, I find that I enjoy these types of HOPA games and have yet to become bored of them so I continue to add them to my collection. I suppose one day I will tire of them and look towards something new.

We begin with three modes of difficulty with customized settings added on. Game tools include a journal, jump map and a special camera to use on certain scenes (which we have also seen). There are a variety of Hidden Object Scenes to play, some with silhouettes and actions that need to be taken, some with mini games involved and some with standard list of items to locate; all easy to solve but entertaining non the less. Puzzles are plenty and there is a lot of backtracking to do but the map will help out with that. Mini-games are interesting but not very challenging which is something I wish developers would consider in the future. Extras are plenty to boot and for those who enjoy them, you won’t be disappointed. There is a list of collectables that includes travel guide papers, photos, fox figurines and letters that make out a word in the main menu. There are achievements to earn as well as a souvenir room which will probably require you visiting scenes to find an object at the end of the game. There are also extra puzzles and HO scenes to play along with the bonus game.

Yes, I realize we have seen all this before and I anticipate we will be seeing more of these games; that is unless developers come up with something completely different. Still I liked the story and the scenery as well as the game play. Although I do wish they had made The Fox look a bit more interesting as he looks like a regular Joe. An Italian affair has adventure, intrigue and some interesting puzzles and I will be buying it once I come across a sale on Ces. Have a great week-end everyone.


Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by JustTheFacts on Apr 17, 14 3:40 AM
Gloriously Artful*****


In a word. Beautiful. All of it. Everything about it. From the first seconds, this game is beautiful. And classy. And extremely professional. In a different league, really, to the first Off The Record, which was a great game, but for reasons that didn’t specifically include the beautiful art and sound.

Everything works. The opening cut scenes are interesting, in an investigative journalist way, not insane crashes or wild witchery, and beautifully crafted. Venice is, of course, a great location if you want to showcase some artwork of your own. The sound tracks are also great. The music is mostly light and airy, gentle – creating an atmosphere that is delicate with a whiff of intrigue. But there is plenty of variety. The voiceovers are excellent. Again with that Eipix signature dialogue device, lip synched cameo shot, with the larger shot still. I loved the sound of gulls. It never occurred to me to think of gulls in Venice, but of course, it makes perfect sense.

You are the journalist who investigated Linden Shades (first Off The Record game), now famous. Le Volpe, The Fox, an art thief who allegedly retired 5 years ago, has committed another heist at the Museum in Venice. You are supposed to be going there for a holiday, but your boss has got a lead, and you would never knock back a chance to find this character, who has managed to remain both anonymous and at large. So you’re off on a working holiday now, with little time for the sights. The story has some interesting twists almost immediately. You’ll have to keep on your toes.

This is easy gameplay for the most part, there’s plenty of help with a directional hint, and interactive jump map. The map has spectacular aerial shots of the locations. Lockable inventory. Journal with notes. Later, tapes with interesting historical info. You also have a camera. This is used in specific situations where it can, with the help of an acquired special filter, and via a mini-game, reveal otherwise hidden information. There are also inventory plus items that combine or require extra actions.

HOPs: all silhouettes so far, but... one is progressive interactive, another is replace the silhouetted objects, another has zoom in windows with mini-word lists. Some, the scene involves only 4 or 5 objects, cuts to another place and another small silhouette list. I preferred the panning found in other Eipix games. Puzzles, not many and none that I’d call hard. Which means too easy for the hard core crowd. Way too easy. But there are 3 difficulty levels, plus a custom level. You receive useful cards, such as press pass, which are kept in a separate section of the inventory. Adventure play is straightforward, intuitive mostly, but fun. Plenty to do.

I love the interface, but it is a little crowded, with journal, achievements, collectibles indicator, menu, and guide on the left and map, useful cards, hint, camera, and I’m sure at least one other thing I have forgotten on the right. I found myself backing out when I didn’t want to, or pressing the wrong thing if I got sloppy.

There is so much fun to be had after the game that it’s almost too complex to explain.

Collectibles: 36 fox figurines. Not easy. I did not find one! 10 travel guide pages. 16 letters of the alphabet. Morphing objects in the HOPs – I forget how many. I found one. All the other beauty is definitely distracting.

Achievements, lots of both performance and story. Displayed from main menu in a gallery in the museum, also accessed from the journal. I like the way the achievements are grouped together by type into different show cases or other furnishings.

Gallery items: Wallpapers, screensaver?, concept art, music. Making of photos and behind the scenes video. Even pix in the credits, according to my understanding of one of the achievements.

Replayable HOPs (10), and puzzles (30)!, which are accessed by a simple puzzle.

An in-game SG of course, the bonus chapter, and an area in the extras called the Terrace, which I’m guessing is a souvenir room for another 36 collectibles.

A glorious game filled with beauty, art and intrigue. A high brow and more sedate version of “Smithsonian Hope Diamond”.
I recommend this game!

19 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by lw2016 on Apr 17, 14 3:41 AM
Played the demo and liked it very much. Well done and interesting.
But in my opinion too many collectables.
However I will probably wait for the SE.

341 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by gamblebug on Apr 17, 14 3:50 AM
I like this game,but will also wait for a sale on Ce's.I own the other two meantioned in sale .So off to finish playing demo,enjoy fishies

1,911 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by bfgWendwater on Apr 17, 14 8:35 AM
Hello Everyone,

Welcome to the reviews thread! Please feel free to post your thoughts and feedback on Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here. We appreciate the time you take to put your reviews together, and I know other gamers and the developers do as well. We just have a few guidelines to keep in mind when posting. Our goal with these is to keep the thread tidy, easy to navigate and helpful.

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1,198 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by dancemom1 on Apr 17, 14 11:01 AM
Hi all. Well, after yesterday's game, this one is a real find! The graphics and game play were very well done. Very nice clear and bright colors, along with a little bit of history as you move through the game. Nice music. There is a map, but I didn't use it, so not sure how well it works.

The voice overs were very disappointing in that you are suppose to be in Italy, but the only person with an accent was the gondola driver! Sort of takes you out of the scene. Our "fox" definitely needed an accent and to be a bit more Italian, meaning dark and sexy (yes, I said it). He looks like the corner grocer. However, this game has some very nice HOPs...some are the same as usual, e.g. silhouettes and interactive, but they are a little different and fun. The puzzles were pretty easy so far. And, guess what?? You have a click penalty in this game! That's something we haven't seen in a very long time. SG is the same, except that I noted that it did not show the HOPs like all the others. The one thing I didn't care for was that the SG does not automatically go to the next chapter as you play. Very annoying. Hopefully it stays on the last page you played.

There are a lot of achievements and even more collectibles. There are 52 fox figurines, which are not difficult to find, but you really have to look for them. The 10 travel pages and the 16 alphabet letters are a lot more difficult to see. They are small and well hidden, so look hard. There are also morphing objects to locate. I found three outside the HOP, so don't know if they're in them as well. I have to look closer.

Even though I did not care for the first Off the Record, I do like this one. I was drawn in fairly quickly and disappointed when the demo ran out. I had actually just gotten to the 2nd chapter and only had one minute left of play. This is a definite buy for me, but I will wait for a good special. Just can't keep buying CEs every day. I think this game will appeal to all levels of players.

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

1,952 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by shripch on Apr 17, 14 12:00 PM
After playing the demo I think I'll wait for a sale to buy this one.
Beautiful graphics, soft and pastel like a great watercolor view of Venice, lots of collectibles (too many?), good story line, etc. But I'm still locked into Cadenza, and want to enjoy this one on it's own.

285 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by divaprods on Apr 17, 14 1:42 PM
I'm in the minority but I didn't like this game. The scenes were too bare and the game play too slow.

6,975 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by minesita on Apr 17, 14 3:14 PM
Hi ,

Same as almost everybody I'll wait for some special sale to buy this nice game!

I agree with the image of the Fox, so disappointing !

Is difficult for me to find so many collectibles !

Enjoy it ,

ETA - Happy and safe Easter !!!

Edited on 04/17/2014 at 3:15:46 PM PST

391 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by ladygem6 on Apr 17, 14 3:48 PM
think I too am in the minority here. I don't like the game at all. The music is bland and uninteresting and the graphics are washed and pale. To me, the characters are boring and the story line is silly, along with the confusing directions. Their speaking is totally wrong for the country. I know I am maybe being picky but this game just didn
t set with me at all. I am so disappointed. Maybe I'll try again at another time and it might be better. I'm a bit under the weather here so we'll see.

I will read the reviews later and see how things go. Enjoy all!

804 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by sunnyglow on Apr 17, 14 5:12 PM
"Benvenuto a Venezia" as you, an aspiring journalist on vacation in "Italia," pursue a case involving an infamous retired cat burglar, "La Volpe. " It seems he has reappeared after years of retirement involving himself in another crime spree. But not all is at it first appears. He contests his innocence to you and promises you an exclusive interview if you can clear his name of the crimes. Is the burglar his former partner Gabrielle who he feels is framing him? Simultaneously, Gabrielle is following you around telling you that her former partner is "playing" you and that he is the true culprit What is the true story concerning the burglaries in Venezia?

Fighting off the "piccioni" (pigeons) (and boy there are millions of them there), frequenting the glass shops near St. Mark's Square, and eating "gelatto" you will find clues solving the mystery. And guess what? You get to amble around "Venezia" through the "canali sporchi" (dirty canals - aka Typhoid Alley) by gondola with the Italian bearded Pillsbury pasta dough boy. Yeh, right. So very realistic. I would so go off with "fur face" unescorted and he probably has "roamin" hands. (He looks like a "paisano" with "roamin" hands to me- terrible I know - but he could be from Rome)

Sorry PixIES - to me, this is not one of your best games. First, the accents are atrocious! My "amicos italianos" would probably make certain you "sleep with the BF fishes" in the canal if they heard those accents! Geesh! A positive is that there are three levels and you can customize your game. The best part of the game is the storyline. From there it goes downhill. The interactive HOP scenes are decent. The silhouette scenes are just plain boring! There is no game which is substituted for the scenes. The graphics and "muzac" are decent. The puzzles are boringly easy. You do have collectibles which are foxes and letters of the alphabet. I rate this game 4 "stellas" (stars) out of 5 "stellas." No "la dolce vita né il dolce gioco" here. (Neither the sweet life nor the sweet game)

Edited on 04/17/2014 at 5:14:20 PM PST


Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by NancySusan on Apr 18, 14 6:02 AM
I betaed this maybe 2 months (?) ago, and despite some reservations -- this is undoubtedly the prettiest Venice ever, in fact, it never looked this good, and a good bit of it is probably not totally authentic, and most of the accents are pretty horrendous, but the game is great. I'm going to go and play the demo and remind myself why I've been waiting for this to come out to get it, then I'll edit this.

Later: having played the demo, I still like collecting all the foxes, letters, scrolls, and morphing objects, the color values, and the game play, which is, while not terribly difficult, was fun. Yeah, the utter lack of Italian accents was bizarre and the fake ones almost worse, but again I liked the game enough to decide to buy, although I'm going to wait for a sale. One of the things I particularly liked was the different types of HOP's, particularly the one which began in one place and zoomed into several other areas before you were done. Kept my interest in a way HOP's rarely do normally. I actually liked the camera, making shapes, etc. and the story is interesting. If I had any criticisms, besides the awful/non-existent Italian accents, it's that sometimes scene changes went black very briefly, and that you have to hold down the mouse button to lift and move objects. Also it's not true widescreen on my 23" monitor, but then again it's not the egg effect either, for which I was grateful.

Edited on 04/18/2014 at 11:07:16 AM PST

586 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by steve_san on Apr 18, 14 8:05 AM
The Italian Affair is Off The Hook

As an investigative reporter, you have been assigned to travel to Venice to follow up on the latest museum theft by La Volpe (the fox). After you arrive, you discover there is a twist to the story, as well as a mysterious woman who is stalking you.

The first Off The Record - Linden Shades was a good, fairly long game with a strange story line dealing with powerful artifacts, rituals and forces. This one begins with the theft of one of those artifacts.

The story is set in Venice, and it is an extraordinarily clean, pristine and idealized version of the famous city. Oddly though, no one here has even a trace of an Italian accent. The heaviest accent detected during the trial was one that, if anything, sounded Swedish. There is lip synching of the dialog.

That aside, the play is fairly standard with a plus: the hidden object scenes are multidimensional, sometimes panning through three or four mini-scenes. The difficulty level is fairly low, but they are so pleasing to look at that it can be forgiven.

Puzzles and mini-games fit very well into the story, but were not as impressive as the hidden object scenes. There were some actions that required clicking in a precise spot as well. This being Italy, you also get to ride a motor scooter.

The story advances slowly as you collect clues left by La Volpe as to the mystery behind this latest theft.

The Collector's Edition is aptly named. There are four, that's right four, collectible items: foxes, scrolls, morphing objects, and letters of the alphabet. There are also achievements, pseudo-achievements and pseudo extras.

The combination of artwork, game play and collectibles make this Affair worthy of strong consideration. This one may belong On The (GM) Record.

Edited on 04/18/2014 at 8:06:19 AM PST

119 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by cheekyoops on Apr 18, 14 8:06 AM
Way too many sillouette / blob HOPs.


Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by daisyduck352 on Apr 18, 14 10:01 AM
Don't care for the game. Hate games that involve a camera and just too involved for me. I enjoy playing a game that I can understand what it is that I need to do and this one I don't. So guess I won't buy this one... no enjoyment.. Give this 2 out of 5 stars..


Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by quarlesqueen on Apr 19, 14 3:40 AM
HAPPY DANCE, HAPPY DANCE..... LOVED the first OTRLS with it's many collectables, which is what made it so special for me, and have played it several times, which I don't normally do, with games I've purchased . EPIX are the ONLY developers, who give this many collectables, which is why, I LOVE THEM, and can't wait for their games, to be released, THANK YOU !!
They always give me, EVERYTHING I want in a CE, so I am SOOOO excited, for this new release, collectables, a camera to use, YIPPEE cannot download fast enough.

Going to be in gaming heaven today THANKS developers !!!!

73 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by FritzBear on Apr 19, 14 5:33 AM
I suppose I'm out of the chorus, at least the main chorus… I didn't like this game enough to decide to buy it after the trial period. There is a kind of "déjà vu" in every scene and, even though I do realize it's a game, not a documentary film, so it's logical to idealize places and to transform them in something else, I'm quite disturbed by the unnecessary mystification of Venice. When I noticed a truck appearing in St. Marco square I told myself I could not stand that any longer.
St. Marco bell tower has been transformed in a totally bizarre and messy architecture in its interior and I'm sure that keeping on the game I'd find other too "free interpretations" of this kind.
Besides all that I think that to make a character appear like Italian just making them repeat " Ciao and ciao" it's not enough. Ciao is a very colloquial Italian greeting which is reserved only for people one is in very familiar terms with.
I wish all the fishies less fussy than me a great time playing this game. For me is a no-buy.

1,952 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by shripch on May 2, 14 4:59 PM
I think I may be in the minority here, but I really liked this game I liked the setting,the characters, the art work (not the best, but at times quite lovely), most of the voice overs, and the collectibles. And the bonus game actually finished the original story line. I came close to not buying because of some of the negative reviews, but I decided to give it a try and I'm glad I did.


Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Off the Record: The Italian Affair Collector's Edition here

[Post New]by feenix2011 on Jun 8, 14 11:29 AM
I agree with all the positive reviews for this game. I truly enjoyed myself the whole way through. I did think that the bottom left of the screen with the SG, notebook, etc. was too close together and I do agree about the accents or lack of, I should say. But other than that, I thought the HOS were interesting - and I don't say that often (!!), and the mini-games fun, not too hard, and some were quite unusual. The hint button refilled fast which is always a plus, the map helpful and I guess I just can't say enough good things about this game!! And the fact, that there is a terrific sale going on this weekend, didn't hurt either!


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