Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by denjens on Nov 20, 12 11:36 AM
I am a huge fan of HOG and adventure games but not this one. The tutorial was no help, the strategy guide is zero help, and the game was slow for me. I didn't like that I couldn't click thru the conversations. When I preview a game I will click thru so I can play then if I buy I take more time. I am seriously debating if I want to buy this game for the discount or just say forget it and pay full price for CE games. If the discount wasn't offered I wouldn't buy this game at all.

107 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by ibn1984 on Nov 20, 12 11:37 AM
Different is an under statement for this game. It took me awhile to get the hang of the game play, but after the demo was finished, I still wanted to play more. It wasn't because I liked the game, I want to see how all this comes together, (if it does). I didn't care for the MCF before this one either (Escape from Ravenhearst). It had too many morphing items, that was considered to be the HO scenes. I passed on that one. I'll probably get the SE when it's a DD, or the Catch of the Week, just to complete my MCF collection. Anyhow, this one has morphing items, that according to the reviews, are hard to find. I didn't know it had morphing items. It has interactive HO scenes where the items are not all in one area, but (where?) you ask yourself. I like a challenge, but I don't know about this. There's quite a bit of for this one. Another reviewer implied, is this the reason for the special on this game? Buy for full price, and get another CE for 50% off, and you'll have a full punch card. Well, I guess that can sweetened the pot. I'll give it a go, just to see this through. It's interesting when developers are not afraid to step outside their norm. But don't step too far out, remember, Madame Fate, and Dire's Grove are the favorites.

Edited on 11/20/2012 at 12:31:19 PM PST

204 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Eucritta on Nov 20, 12 11:44 AM
Such a disappointment. I've enjoyed almost all the MCF games, and 'Dire Grove' is one of my all-time favorites. But this? What a mess.

The interface is clumsy. The delays between scenes are annoying and distracting. The strategy guide is next to useless since it only provides information on the *last* puzzle reached - no backtracking allowed. Gameplay is strictly linear and there are long stretches with nothing to do, especially since it appears - based on the demo - that none of the backgrounds have incidental clickables and readables that might flesh out the story and give context to the puzzles. Which is another problem: the story is just so much scaffolding, with all the interest of a flow-chart. On top of which, you're stuck with Cassandra, a character so annoying I kept hoping I'd run across some duct-tape and a canvas bag.

I did like the whole-room HOS. The other puzzles, however, were mostly lackluster, a lot of slogging with no incidental payoffs - nothing that revealed something about the characters in the story, even though the information and objects were associated with them.

And then I came up on a puzzle with moving live-action pieces, which I was *physically* unable to complete. I'm severely arthritic, and even with my best trackball, I was unable to control the pieces to the degree necessary. Other commenters have indicated there are a fair few of these puzzles, too.

And so that's that. Even if I wanted to play it the rest of it, I couldn't.

1,506 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by chiari_survivor on Nov 20, 12 12:00 PM
MCF Shadow Lake, worth a try but might be a bit short for fast players, and a bit too easy.

You were asked to come meet with Cassandra Williams, played by Lea Thompson, the mother from 7th Heaven days, who is a psychic that also works with a TV show called Ghost Patrol. You arrive in the deserted town of Bitterford, Maine to the small motel you arranged to meet at and you get very little help from the quickly departing ghost patrol crew but they(he) was not impressed with you either especially since you did not recognize him as a ”movie star” that you should want to get a signed autograph from …..thus you begin your journey with the new MCF Shadow Lake.

Game requires 1024MB RAM and 1564MB hard drive. Option setting allows you to set your music, effects or environmental sounds volume. Check marks for windowed & high def as well as subtitles & hardware cursor. Casual or Expert also known as “ Quit holding my hand” game mode, but I doubt the game will be difficult enough for the hard core expert gamers as the clues are everywhere in what is written or said in dialogs. Extras listed on the main menu page were screen savers, back grounds, Making of … and finding of 50 morphing objects, and you will be able to return to all previous locations to find the items if you still have not found them all by the end of the game, plus the final one or two chapters are also the bonus content.

This game is mostly a light adventure with hidden objects scenes and mini games. Mini games made sense in the context of the story and the process of moving forward in the game. Demo time covers the first 2 of the 11 chapters. The Drive Motel was chapter 1 and the Shadow Lake Penitentiary was chapter 2. The moderators have added the chapter names to the forum pages so a bit of a sneak peek by reading the chapter names.

****Drive Motel, Shadow Lake Penitentiary, The Warden’s House, The School, The Teacher’s House, Downtown Library, The Coroner’s Office, Trestle Road, The Church Grounds, The Relic, & Grimes Quarry.****

The 50 morphing objects seems to be the only really difficult part of the game as I was able to complete the demo time with leftover minutes on the clock and I used only one hint which I had tried using the correct item in the correct way just not the correct spot to use the item. But I did not need to use the strategy guide at all. For me it seemed fairly logical as to what you needed to do to accomplish the tasks outlined in the journal. Be sure to listen to what is said as well as read the journal. Unless you like it hardcore and in that case, try to not catch all the clues.

****In the opening story clip what appears to be an ivory rhino horn with hieroglyphics etched on it seems to affect the different people that it comes in contact with. It’s purpose or intent is not known at this point.****

The psychic uses her gift as a “psychic” and the spirits draw pictures through her. She hands you a stack of drawings and you must locate those pictures lining up the pictures exactly, to the actual scenes. There was only 2 true HOG scenes during my demo time up to the return to the penitentiary and 1 of them actually covered 3 rooms to find the listed items. Many hidden objects required you to move or combine other items. Each location on the map will reveal itself once you have completed certain steps. Once an area is unmasked then you can travel instantly from or to any other location. The hint button works well by giving you just a small hint if you are close to where you need to be, but if you are several rooms from where you need to be it tells you more information to get you back on track where you need to be. The game seems to want you to know WHY you need an item or be past a certain point before it lets you pick up some of the items, not just that it looks like an item that would come in handy in a typical Adv/Hog. If you want an example, highlight to read

****I tried to use the antenna wire to get the guest book but I could not get the book until AFTER I had read the message in the journal plus got the thought message about the guest sign in and a message about whether her phone could still be somewhere close. Until the different parts of the safe’s code is posted in the journal the game did not allow you to put the code into the safe, no guessing in other words. ****

Once you complete the tasks in a location for Cassandra she has a vision and you must move the pictures around to create a complete picture. Moving the pictures around seemed to be difficult and burdensome when it should have been fairly straight forward to accomplish.

Fun and enjoyable though on the easier side of games if it truly is as short as 3 hours then it would not be worth CE prices in my opinion, those who are concerned with game content should wait to see if “dark arts” or rituals are involved as they are not evident through the second chapter. There was a scene where the warden shot a gun at an escaping prisoner so be aware that the game content may not be appropriate for all players.

217 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by LadyBlue0321 on Nov 20, 12 12:15 PM
Biggest cons in this game are the horrible "floating" puzzles and the melodramatic Cassandra (which you can't skip) I did buy it, and have to say, wish I'd have waited for SE version.

Another pet peeve is the Map - yes, you can jump to other locations, but you arrive at least 3 clicks (typically) from where you need to be.. umm why?? It's not like the scenery changes. Oh and don't forget to take your ladder everywhere.

667 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by barbee44 on Nov 20, 12 12:26 PM
I gave the demo a try and I liked the game a lot. It was different and I liked the puzzle at the beginning, I liked figuring out things, so it was all good. But, then I got to the HOG scenes and just cannot stand the eye strain. Because you are looking at the rooms at a distance I had a real hard time with it. I didn't mind the cut scenes or the real actors... but I do mind eyestrain. My poor old eyes are in bad enough shape now.

<edit>I also wanted to mention, in case any devs are reading... that I didn't buy the last MCF game either for the same problem. At the top where the you read the comments, even on my 24 inch screen are too small to read easily for us older folks. Even with bifocals on. I'm sure it wouldn't cost much to make them a tad bigger.

Edited on 11/20/2012 at 3:27:25 PM PST

170 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by heleanthia on Nov 20, 12 12:40 PM
I saved my credit so that I only had to pay 6.99 for this game and WOW I am so glad that I waited.

I have all the other MCF games(EXCEPT Escape from Ravenhearst which was a simply gross and unappealling game.)
I loved 13th Skull and Dire Grove but THIS is the best..

I think the live acting is very well done, NOT overly dramatic but good heavens, it's a dramatic situation !

I really enjoy that it is so different; I think it is much more like an adventure game which I far prefer to HOG games (but even this games HOG scenes are terrific...and I really enjoy matching the pieces of paper to the scene. )

I could see how the floating boxes might be hard for some folk and I think there should have been another way of doing this part...

I am only on chapter 2 but am loving this, so back I go....
thanks Big fish and congratulations on another fun game..(I have jumped a few times; good thing that it is day time

Edited on 11/20/2012 at 12:43:09 PM PST

259 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by MJ_Mystery on Nov 20, 12 12:51 PM
I haven't played the whole game yet (I'm only as far as the school at the moment) but so far I am loving the game! I love how you need to look everywhere for items in the hidden object lists. The story has got me on the edge of my seat and I have had at least five "Gotcha!" moments, including (hidden for spoiler just in case) what I think is a raven smacking itself against the window of the penitentiary entrance. I have actually jumped and screamed more than once when things like that happened. I do miss the achievements that were in games such as Dire Grove and 13th Skull, however it doesn't seem to take away much from this game that there are not any. I personally love the cut-scenes and the real life people in them, although I do miss the drawing ones like in Madame Fate. On a scale of one to ten stars I give this game... 10 out of 10 of course. Thanks for such a great game and I'm already looking forward towards the next Mystery Case Files next year!

147 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by StarThrower on Nov 20, 12 1:02 PM
Well, in fairness I only completed the demo, but find I agree with many of the reviews so far.

I do not like live actors at all.
I don't like the inventory panel mechanism.
Puzzles and tasks were way too easy (for me).
I don't care for the frequent trips to the story teller and then to be told "do this, do that".

I did not have the lagging between scenes as some reviewers mentioned, but then I am on a Mac

I do like the different treatment of the HOS. I did like the floating boxes, but one is enough.

I found it interesting that so many reviewers mentioned Madam Fate and Dire Grove as being favorites...same here.

Overall, my dissatisfaction comes more from there not really being anything new, and game play as being too easy (or not challenging enough) for me. In the hour demo, I have been to 3 map locations, so I am guessing this game is going to be quite short compared to other MCFs.

If what a few reviewers said is true about the bonus chapter being quick and easy, I'll hold off for the SE (I have no interest in the other extras, so a CE to me should be worth much more game play considering it is double the cost).

315 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Sprattie on Nov 20, 12 1:05 PM
I was wishing for something different and I guess this is it. I've completed the demo (or half of it, since it crashed and froze at Rm 1 of the hotel (sound got out of sync, Cassandra disappeared, I ended up at the prison with no pictures, and the surtitle kept telling me there was something in Rm 1 but the map wouldn't let me go back there.) Anyway I got about 35 minutes in and have an eyestrain headache.

The graphics are perfect, realistic and almost photographic, and the live action was very welcome. Terribly overacted but at least they're real people. HOS cause massive eye strain, especially Cassandra's pictures. Can I hope there are no more of those in the game? Maybe if I hold my breath? I so want to play a game that's an adventure happening in a real location.

I reached the floating-boxes puzzle and actually have the beginnings of blisters on my finger from rubbing it so hard on the touch pad. Nothing else works. Some puzzles are just a pain for MacBook users, and this is one of them.

I understand at some point I'll be looking for morphing objects, and that I'll have to double back to find them. Ho hum. They'd better be pictures of George Carlin morphing into George Clooney if they want to keep me entertained.

6,211 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by spyque on Nov 20, 12 1:13 PM
I am taking a break from the game, and that's ONLY because I am starving! This game has drawn me in with the music, graphics and story line. I can't even explain it. Yes, the puzzles really make you think, yes the floating squares are annoying but I have been doing them successfully. I don't think it's too easy. (at least for me) I'm so hypnotized by this game that I know that there will be little else to drag me away from it.
(and back I go.)
Really like this!

1,998 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by dogmama on Nov 20, 12 1:44 PM
I've only played about 50% of the game so this review is based on that . So far, this is my favorite MCF game since Dire Grove. I'm having a lot of fun and a few s moments too <LOL>. They put in the MOs just I hoped for (50 spread out during the game) and I MUCH prefer this way of searching for HOs as I had really gotten bored with the same old, same old. The only thing I'm not thrilled with is the dang live jigsaws cause I seem to have a lot of trouble with them . I had to reset one because a piece got stuck and I couldn't move it . But so far, I'd definitely give it out of !!

Edited on 11/20/2012 at 2:44:47 PM PST

79 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by mainegamer on Nov 20, 12 2:36 PM
Others have given much more concise reviews and there's not much to add, save one small correction for the game developers. If you were trying to make the game more realistic by using real Maine communities, you did a good job overall but there is no such place as "Bitterford". It's "Biddeford". Small point, I know, but we Mainers are accused enough of being backwards and unable to spell. I loathe this Stragegy Guide. No, I HATE this SG. I also thought the pond inhabitants had been pretty clear after last year's MCF entry- the morphing objects need to go away and never come back!

Edited on 11/21/2012 at 12:11:27 PM PST


Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by lazydogblue1 on Nov 20, 12 2:47 PM
oops - says a lot that I referred to Cassandra as Clarissa! And I'm quite a pedantic person. I've obviously not even taken her character's name on board. Hope others are enjoying it a bit more than I am. For me, the humour (often dark humour) that I loved in previous MCF games is lacking.

Oh well, the coroner's office beckons...perhaps Charles will be there to liven things up...

Still, it's a better game than many non-MCF games. I'd give it 6 out of 10 so far.

804 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by sunnyglow on Nov 20, 12 3:14 PM
Nice to see some old faces returning to review! Haven't heard from some in quite awhile. Casual Gran used to give the best and most detailed reviews ever. Glad to see her back. Anyway, this is a very large game and it is very interesting to me. I will purchase to have something to keep me occupied during the Thanksgiving holidays. Thanks for giving us the CE early this week. I am not certain if there will be one on Thursday or not but I imagine BF staff will be home celebrating Turkey Day. And a happy early Thanksgiving to everyone at BF and gamers as well. This game to me is interesting and I will definitely enjoy playing it. I like supernatural stuff anyway and this mystery seems interesting. This is a day of ghosts I guess. Just finished a ghost movie for my students today before the holidays so this fits in nicely.

1,198 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by dancemom1 on Nov 20, 12 3:17 PM
I was so excited to see a new Mystery Case Files game...that didn't last long. Graphics weren't bad and game play okay. Music okay, weird way to play some of the the HOGs, nice "jump" map. Odd story line. No game instructions, didn't even know there were morphing objects until I read some of the reviews and still couldn't find them.

My jaw dropped when I saw Leah Thompson in this game. Actually looked closer to be sure I wasn't imagining things. I know times are tough, but in a video game??

Really didn't like the SG at all (too messy and doesn't tell you anything). Hint system isn't worth anything either (have to watch close just to see where the hint goes) and it doesn't point you in any direction if there is nothing to do in a particular scene. Can't "speed click" through dialoge, and skipping loses a lot, usually.

I have 5 of the other MCF games and really enjoyed them, but this one leaves a lot to be desired. I personally feel like they are backing up, rather than going forward. Extremely disappointed and will not be purchasing, even with the "special" today.

As always, try it for yourself and see if it suits your style. We all have different tastes in games and you may find it quite enjoyable. Thanks for the reviews.

115 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by lionscat on Nov 20, 12 3:31 PM
I am so disappointed in this game. No widescreen!!!! What gives? I was so excited to see this release and now I am down in the dumps. Waaaaahhhh, cry cry. There are of course other problems that earlier posters have indicated, but the biggest is NO WIDESCREEN. Shame of you Big Fish!!

118 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Kayen59 on Nov 20, 12 3:42 PM
I have only played this game for about 30 minutes, it just creeped me out. I dont really get the hee bee jeebees from a game, but this one gave them to me LOL. I suggest playing this game with the lights out if you are man enough. So far this game gets 2 thumbs up from me.

7,498 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by Joyfullady on Nov 20, 12 3:44 PM
Based on Demo - First a question - where are the creators of the original 4/5 MCF games. Suggestion - find them and hire them back quickly - they had some real talent and imagination.
* Causal and Expert - filled screen with no black lines.

* Has a strategy guide that has no content - worthless; and you can't go to other pages. Does it by scene you are in.

* Map - a transport foggy map of sorts - not impressed

* Very cheesy videos and Leah Thompson - needs acting lessons and I really like her. Sad performance - laughable.

*Detective File - would be nice if you could read it - print font too small. This was the same in most of the objects and the top remarks.

*I think the game is trying to be spooky - very dull black and white/sienna colors.

*Story line - not getting it yet. Maybe we actually needed the hour of play to catch on.

after reading Gingergal's post on the whole game - I won't be buying this occult and demonic game!

Edited on 11/21/2012 at 7:50:23 AM PST

37 Posts

Re:Reviews for Mystery Case Files: Shadow Lake Collector's Edition

[Post New]by timbermoon on Nov 20, 12 3:47 PM

It depresses me when a series gets worse as it goes along, but MCF manages to do that. This game is cheesy and overacted (and I hate live acting in these games anyway - I find it jarring), the hidden object scenes are strange and unsatisfying, and the strategy guide and interface are just...well, weird. I feel that my intelligence and credulity have both been insulted.

Not even the offer of half-price CEs could tempt me to saddle myself with this misbegotten venture into low-budget reality TV. I have deleted the game, and now I am going to go do something more fun than playing this demo was, like check the expiration dates on my dairy products.

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