Daxadillion
Barracuda
Barracuda
3,292 Posts

Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by Daxadillion on Jan 14, 16 12:36 AM
A thread for your reviews.

Edited on 01/14/2016 at 5:45:07 AM PST


 
9otters
Clownfish
Clownfish
860 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edit

[Post New]by 9otters on Jan 14, 16 4:10 AM
Based On Completed Game

Finally! A game I can get excited about! Grand Ma has become one of my favorite Devs. They are second to none in creating BEAUTIFUL and COMPLEX fantasy worlds, and interesting games to go with them.

Here we have a game that, in places, requires some thought as to your next move. You'll find the HOPs to be varied in difficulty...several with a new "pop-up book" look that I loved. Mini-games were also fun and varied...some that, for me, took awhile to solve. They DO have a re-set button...and I used it SEVERAL times.

There is a game gimmick, but they combined 3 games in one, so it didn't get to be so very tedious. In addition, I thought they used it with great restraint, so it wasn't over-used, IMO.

Good CE extras, with the usual strategy guide and bonus game. An extra bonus game is unlocked after finding all of the collectibles. They're called "observers" and there are 65 of them...animated eyeballs that do a good job of staying hidden. A banner will slide out to tell you how many to find in each scene. If we miss a few, we can pick them up in the extras.

Take note...the game won't automatically tell you the ones you missed. When you choose "Observers" in the Extras, you'll need to scan each location to find where you have to go.

There are also three surprise "Lucky Gifts" to be found, so be on the lookout. The cursor will not change when you run across them. You'll have to click around a bit to see if you get any responses.

Alternate Match 3 game for those who would like a break from HOPs. Four levels of difficulty to choose from. A nice, clear jump map and transporting hint button.

I have to say I thought the bonus game was a little short. BUT...I was hot on the trail of the remaining Observers...and I found one of the Lucky Gifts there. So...in the end I was ok with it.

The BONUS bonus was unlocked after finding the collectibles, and was a pop-up book HOP about the history of the Observers.

The game complexity petered out a bit towards the end, but all in all, I'm happy with my purchase. Grand Ma Studios put a lot of creativity and some new innovation in this game...and it shows. Thank you Devs and BFG. Hope YOU find some fun today. Happy gaming!

edit: Found all the "gifts", but two are not shown as found in the extras.

Edited on 01/16/2016 at 2:19:08 PM PST


 

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by shelterhill on Jan 14, 16 5:43 AM
Unlike 9otters, I was happy to see the demo end, the storyline was beyond me, the minigames difficult and plain boring. In some scenes the whole house moved when moving the cursor. Change in scenery took a while...

All in all, no buy for me, too bad, I do have the two previous ones, but only as SE's, because those eyes are not so interesting to find and collect.

Those who like it, enjoy!!

 
bfgWaimea
Salmon
Salmon
2,837 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by bfgWaimea on Jan 14, 16 5:45 AM
Hi Everyone,

Welcome to the reviews thread! Please feel free to post your thoughts and feedback on Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here. We appreciate the time you take to put your reviews together, as do the developers as well as your fellow gamers. 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.

Review Guidelines

1) Be sure to keep your reviews on-topic. Reviews in this thread should only be commenting on Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition.
2) Be respectful of the reviewers. Please keep in mind our Forum Rules and be respectful of our reviewers. They take the time to post here to be helpful. Please do not review the reviews of others.
3) Do not respond to someone else’s reviews with questions or comments. If you have any feedback about a review, or you feel that a review contains incorrect details about the game, please contact the poster directly via PM.
4) Do not review developers. While we do appreciate your feedback, we’d ask that you keep your posts in this thread dedicated to the specific game at hand.

When posting reviews please be courteous and refrain from posting spoilers. If in the event that a spoiler is needed, please remember to post with white text and a warning.

*Moderators will be removing any content in this thread that is not a review.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to PM any one of our Moderators.

bfgWaimea

 
cheekyoops
Guppy
Guppy
119 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by cheekyoops on Jan 14, 16 7:21 AM
Years ago, Grandma games were fun to play . Now they are no different than eipix, elephant and ers games .

 
greenshade
Guppy
Guppy
101 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by greenshade on Jan 14, 16 8:13 AM
This is a definite no buy for me... In the first few minutes there were too many needless tasks and puzzles.... if you like puzzles that keep interrupting the adventure part of the game you might like it.


 
mrm2006
Minnow
Minnow
279 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by mrm2006 on Jan 14, 16 8:22 AM
Reflections of Life: Dark Architect CE

The Kingdom of Gaudium is on fire and the King watches as buildings fall and his subjects run for their lives. Then, the Queen falls to her death ..... or does she?????

Graphics, music and sound fx were spot on. Voice overs were well done and I was glad to see lip movement (a pet peeve of mine - lol).

Casual, Advanced, Hardcore and Custom difficulties.

You are armed with an Album which contains cut scenes, a task list, an transportable map and an Owl helper. For some reason, I am totally into owls these days so I kind of liked this feature .... wish it talked. The 'hint' button also transports.

HOGs: Interactive. Just .... meh. Mini Games: Lacked instructions.

CE Bling: The usual fare, however, the area where the 'extras' are is done in an amazingly stunning way. I don't believe I've seen this before. Yes. You have to go look yourselves - lol. There are also ....
* 65 collectible guardians - there can be more than 1 in each area. Find them all to 'finish the painting' in the Extras area.
* 3 lucky gifts (?)
* A total of 3 games: Dark Architect (main game), Liberation and Magic Sight.

Not for beginners. Perfect for Experts. I think I would have enjoyed this game, however, the lack of instructions made it impossible for me to progress into further game play. Perhaps I was missing something? Except for the Strategy Guide, which you need to figure out the mini games, this game is not CE worthy. While it has 3 games and 65 collectibles, I was bored to tears early on.

Not a purchase for me.


ENJOY!

 
shripch
Dogfish
Dogfish
1,952 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by shripch on Jan 14, 16 8:41 AM
I'm with 9otters(do you actually have 9 otters?! Cool name). This game is a definite buy for me. Lots of puzzles, which I am learning to look forward to enjoying. At one time in my gaming experience I saw them as a road block to get on with the story. Now I take my time and work at them until I get it! And though the story has been seen before, it's okay. A new new story is hard to write, so let's give the developers some leeway on that. I'm not looking for Shakespeare here! It's the puzzles, collectibles, graphics, fantastic worlds to visit, and a variety of HOS that catch my attention. And after just a few minutes of trial, I know this game is going to satisfy!

 
Penny1942
Clownfish
Clownfish
554 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by Penny1942 on Jan 14, 16 8:55 AM
I very seldom give a 5 star rating to any game but this one gets my stars. Five stars GrandMa games! IMO this is a great game they have hit all the bells and whistles. Bright cheerful colors, sharp graphics, various types of puzzles (some I solve and some I skip), lots to do (finding eyeballs.. eeek), lots of evil but not dark demons to get rid of. I know the storyline... save the queen, daughter, princess has been done many times but, this is my kind of game. Now I'm going to go put it on their facebook page if they have one. Great work!

 
dancemom1
Angelfish
Angelfish
1,198 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by dancemom1 on Jan 14, 16 7:25 PM
Hi all! I seem to be getting later and later with my reviews these days. Must be the boring weather. As always, I review on the game play and let others review on the story line, as they are much better at that than I am. This is #3 in this series. I too liked the last one much better than the first, but I still have them both. This one started out with a lot of blue and purple, and I almost dumped the game right there. I kept playing and, even though the story is the same tired old thing, I found it better than I thought it would be. When I beta tested it, I only gave it a 3.0. Looks like the devs might have paid attention to the suggestions on this one. The colors did clear up and were quite nice. Voice overs were well done and fit the character, even with some emotion tossed in. Didn't pay any attention to the music, as I usually always turn it down. Sound FX weren't bad, but few. Animation was very good. Game play and graphics were also pretty good. I was pleasantly surprised. We do have a helpful owl that just seems to appear out of nowhere. He will get to locations we can't reach. You also have a couple of other handy tools to help find and decipher as needed. Not to keen on these, but it works with this game.

HOPs were a mixture of silhouettes, place object in scene and interactive lists. They were clean and items were not difficult to find. We do play the same HOP multiple times and don't seem to move to new areas very quickly. You can also switch to a match 3 game if you get tired of the HOPs. Puzzles were extremely simple and took no time or thought to complete...too simple. SG didn't show much, but I only use it for the collectibles anyway. Naturally, this one didn't even show any of them. Hint system was very helpful and it does transport you to longer locations. There is a jump map, which is very clear and areas are identified quite nicely.

The only collectibles I found are the floating eyeballs and there are 65 of them. They aren't as easy to spot as you may think, but then you have to remember to look for them...that always helps. There is more than one in some scenes. They are disguised as something other than an eyeball at first look. The one thing I didn't care for, was the inability to go back to see if missed one or not. Once you "complete" a level, you can't return. I was a little disappointed here. It just seemed to need a little more. Maybe there is and I just haven't stumbled on it yet.

This game is nowhere near challenging, but something about it makes me want to keep playing. Not sure what, not the story line, but something. I think this will appeal to all levels of players. Yes, I am going to add it to my collection. By the way, I upgraded my rating to a 4.0.

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.

 
GaPeach1981
Dolphin
Dolphin
6,588 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by GaPeach1981 on Jan 14, 16 11:23 PM
dancemom1 wrote:Hi all! I seem to be getting later and later with my reviews these days. Must be the boring weather. As always, I review on the game play and let others review on the story line, as they are much better at that than I am. This is #3 in this series. I too liked the last one much better than the first, but I still have them both. This one started out with a lot of blue and purple, and I almost dumped the game right there. I kept playing and, even though the story is the same tired old thing, I found it better than I thought it would be. When I beta tested it, I only gave it a 3.0. Looks like the devs might have paid attention to the suggestions on this one. The colors did clear up and were quite nice. Voice overs were well done and fit the character, even with some emotion tossed in. Didn't pay any attention to the music, as I usually always turn it down. Sound FX weren't bad, but few. Animation was very good. Game play and graphics were also pretty good. I was pleasantly surprised. We do have a helpful owl that just seems to appear out of nowhere. He will get to locations we can't reach. You also have a couple of other handy tools to help find and decipher as needed. Not to keen on these, but it works with this game.

HOPs were a mixture of silhouettes, place object in scene and interactive lists. They were clean and items were not difficult to find. We do play the same HOP multiple times and don't seem to move to new areas very quickly. You can also switch to a match 3 game if you get tired of the HOPs. Puzzles were extremely simple and took no time or thought to complete...too simple. SG didn't show much, but I only use it for the collectibles anyway. Naturally, this one didn't even show any of them. Hint system was very helpful and it does transport you to longer locations. There is a jump map, which is very clear and areas are identified quite nicely.

The only collectibles I found are the floating eyeballs and there are 65 of them. They aren't as easy to spot as you may think, but then you have to remember to look for them...that always helps. There is more than one in some scenes. They are disguised as something other than an eyeball at first look. The one thing I didn't care for, was the inability to go back to see if missed one or not. Once you "complete" a level, you can't return.


Just to add on, you DO get to return to those scenes and find them once the main game is completed

Peach

Edited on 01/14/2016 at 11:26:56 PM PST


 
sfr8rfan
Guppy
Guppy
196 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by sfr8rfan on Jan 15, 16 3:06 AM
1 of 4
THE ROMAN COLOSSEUM, PONT DU GARD, STONEHENGE: DARK ARCHITECT BELONGS IN THIS GROUP OF ARCHITECTURAL WONDERS!

Typically, I have a visceral reaction to games that portray fantasy Queens in their introductory blurb. In the opening credits "GrandMA Studios" is represented by a kitten and a ball of pink yarn: another visceral reaction.

This was my lucky day. I pressed the PLAY NOW button on the screen after linking to Tomorrow's Game Today.

While this game will not change my general response to Fairy Princesses and Charming Princes, the reality is, this game is iconoclastic. It is certainly not what I expected and it has broken the mold...or, better, created a new mold.

WHAT A GAME

I've played the one hour trial. After that, I immediately purchased the game without any more hesitation. I had to have it.

I'm playing on a Mac Book Pro using Operating System 10.9.5. I'm playing the game in the "Hardcore Mode."

FUN FACTOR
I bought immediately. I must be having a great time.

VISUAL/SOUND QUALITY
What you see: A cavalcade of color. Bright reds and oranges, blues and greens. Nothing particularly soft or pastel-like in this game. The colors reach out and grab. They don't just invite. They pull you in.

Objects are clearly drawn. Characters are particularly well-drawn: often times feelings such as fear and trepidation, anxiety and relief are poorly portrayed in the games we play...because they're difficult emotions to capture. This game does so better than I've ever seen. Usually game artists resort to comic strip-like simplicity because of the challenge of accurately portraying such foundational emotions. GrandMA's designers did not take the easy way out. Visually, this is a real treat.

The "movie" at the beginning of the game depicts a geologic explosion of massive proportions. This cataclysm gives the design artists an opportunity to flex their creative muscle: we view the destruction of a very Roman-like urbanity in ancient times. We see a city exploding, viewing it from above, from below, from the side. Each perspective bringing the devastation front and center. There is some very serious artistic rendering...nearly worth the price of admission just to see this "live" art on the screen.

A balcony and its balustrade crumble as in an earthquake and "the Queen" free-falls backwards. Her face is a catalog of emotions. At that moment I sensed the beginnings of something great.

To be continued...

 
sfr8rfan
Guppy
Guppy
196 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by sfr8rfan on Jan 15, 16 3:08 AM
2 of 4
What you hear: Great background music that speeds up and slows down, grows louder or softer, appropriately, based on the urgency of the moment. It has the sound of excellence and I feel like the developers paid particular attention to the details of voices and sound effects, and most definitely the score which frames and supports the game.

Lip synching combines what is seen and heard and at this point it's the only negative I have to say about Dark Architect. It's very poorly done. BUT, in the context of the rest of the features of the game...who cares. It's a very minor annoyance, and still far better than not even taking a stab at lip-synching. It's surprising, to me, though, in a game which displays technical superiority in every other aspect. I hope GrandMA will work on this in the future.

LEVEL OF CHALLENGE
Absolutely excellent, based on the level of difficulty chosen for gameplay.

Difficulty Modes: As I mentioned, I chose HARDCORE. This level features an unchanging cursor (called an "icon" in the menu). There is no indication of the work to be done anywhere. If you don't click, you might as well turn off your computer. I don't recommend hardcore mode for Carpal Tunnel sufferers. There are 2 other set modes plus a custom mode.

If you are up for a serious challenge and are willing to spend hours (OF KNOCK YOUR SOCKS OFF FUN) to play this game, I heartily recommend jumping in with a blindfold and handcuffs. Eschew the extra help and experience the thrill of discovery.

Collectibles: Called Observers, these are well-hidden. The only relief is a notification if you've found all the available "observers" in a scene.

I briefly switched to casual mode to see if the cursor changes when hovering over collectible items. IT DOESN'T!!!! Three cheers for not robbing gamers of a very expensive challenge (considering the cost of Collector's Edition). Conversely, this remarkable restraint alone, given the trends in gaming today, justifies the purchase of a CE, in my opinion. I believe there are 65 collectibles throughout the game.

To be continued...

 
sfr8rfan
Guppy
Guppy
196 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by sfr8rfan on Jan 15, 16 3:10 AM
3 of 4
Hidden Object Scenes: There are various types, and this game refers to them as Hidden Object Puzzles. You can read all about them in the reviews of others who may have already completed the game. (Personally, I prefer to skip "previews of next week's show" and enjoy the mystery of what's to come.) In any even, suffice it to say that there is a serious degree of creativity shown in the few HOG I have encountered thus far. There isn't one plain "list find" among the very few I played. In one, there is a list. I had to find the items...but then there were accompanying challenges. The challenges are really the "mini-puzzles." I HOPE the creativity doesn't wain as I progress. There is no indication that it will.

Mini-Puzzles: Are referred to as Full Screen Puzzles to distinguish them from the mini-puzzles which accompany HOS. There seem to be far more mini-puzzles than HOG.
While I have yet to encounter something completely new, I think each puzzle I've played has had a very distinct twist which adds challenge. Some have referred to them as mainly easy, but I think there's a very satisfying level of challenge.

Skip/Hint: Oddly, there isn't the ability to completely disable skipping and hinting buttons, but in hardcore mode the skip refreshment time is 8 minutes. Yes. 480 seconds. The hint refreshment time is 2 minutes. In custom mode both can be set at 500 seconds maximum. This is pretty close to not having skip or hint available.

To be continued...

 
sfr8rfan
Guppy
Guppy
196 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by sfr8rfan on Jan 15, 16 3:11 AM
4 of 4
STORYLINE
A universe constructed of many worlds is under attack by an evil monster (the source of which I have not yet discovered). Its initial personification reminds me of a cross between a White Walker (of Game of Thrones fame) and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.

Speaking of White Walkers, the devastation that is caused by the Evil One (for lack of a defining name) comes in the form of "ice as destruction." Earthquakes are another destructive force oft-referenced in Dark Architect. Both cases symbolize the inverse of architecture.

I'm not sure where the story is headed but I know that it is framed by the Platonic concepts of Good and Evil. The story is interesting. Yes, it's fantasy, of course. Do yourself a favor and suspend your disbelief. You'll enjoy using the various fantastic tools you discover in your effort to overcome Evil and ensure that the Good prevails..

As a consequence of the beauty of the game's sights and sounds, the challenges of the game's HOS and Puzzles, and a fascinating and ever-developing story line, I think this game has a chance to be my all-time favorite. Clearly, it's my favorite of the "fantasy" genre already.

I strongly recommend this game. For those of you who, like myself, find "fantasy" themes less than attractive, generally, do not be deterred. The theme has not only not been a distraction, it is part of what makes this game so attractive.

 
sfr8rfan
Guppy
Guppy
196 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by sfr8rfan on Jan 15, 16 3:49 AM
Review Addendum:

As with all games, Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition, is loved by some and hated by others.

I love the game, but I am a puzzle lover and this game has puzzles galore. Even the HOS have puzzles attached to them. The game itself refers to Full screen puzzles and Mini puzzles. Full screen puzzles are what we typically see as mini-puzzles and mini-puzzles are smaller screen puzzlers that must be solved in order to find things and to complete HOS.

If you don't like puzzles and HOS you will not like this game. I myself typically like a game which is story-driven and, certainly, considered more an adventure and puzzle than HOG.

I find great value in this game...so far at least. I've only played just over an hour. I was moved to buy it after the trial. This is a rarity for me anymore. This game is special.

 
ushina
Jellyfish
Jellyfish
10 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by ushina on Jan 16, 16 6:22 AM
greenshade wrote:This is a definite no buy for me... In the first few minutes there were too many needless tasks and puzzles.... if you like puzzles that keep interrupting the adventure part of the game you might like it.

I couldn't have said it better...NO buy for me either.

 
Micha1234
Clownfish
Clownfish
910 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by Micha1234 on Jan 17, 16 8:20 AM
greenshade wrote:This is a definite no buy for me... In the first few minutes there were too many needless tasks and puzzles.... if you like puzzles that keep interrupting the adventure part of the game you might like it.



It wouldn't be so bad if the puzzles were actually good. Instead they're repetitive and boring......I'll pass.

 
sulia
Seahorse
Seahorse
32 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by sulia on Jan 17, 16 12:22 PM
I have enjoyed the game so far, but I seem to have found a glitch in the kitchen area, there is nowhere on the screen to place the element badges. An element fits into each indentation on the stair, I can't find either of the two remaining, the element badges won't fit, and I can't find where to put them? Any ideas? Thanks

 
9otters
Clownfish
Clownfish
860 Posts

Re:Please post your REVIEWS for Reflections of Life: Dark Architect Collector's Edition here.

[Post New]by 9otters on Jan 17, 16 11:52 PM
Sulia

I sent you a message about the elemental badges.

It took me a while to find your question. Hope it is still helpful.

Using the "Create a New Discussion" thread to ask questions about a game will probably get it noticed sooner.

Edited on 01/18/2016 at 12:02:52 AM PST


 
 
 
 
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