LizzieK
Whale Shark
Whale Shark
16,190 Posts

Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by LizzieK on Jun 6, 10 5:56 AM
I didn’t enjoy this game. I played through the Gorilla mission and part of the Diamond mission but found it boring. The hidden object list is written in small hard to see print. The hidden objects were much too difficult to see. Not just a few, but almost all of the hidden objects in the scenes were too small to see. I’m glad there was no penalty for random clicking because I found myself doing that a lot. My screen was full on red X’s buy the time it was finished.

I had the same difficulty with the small items in the find the differences scenes. I was constantly waiting for the hint to recharge so I could finish the scene. Perhaps this waiting added to the general boredom of the game.

One of the mini-games was a puzzle where you swap and rotate the pieces. You are given a small example of the complete picture to help you solve the puzzle. Each piece has to be moved to its proper place and rotated to the right orientation before it will lock into place. The problem is that there are 48 pieces in the puzzle and many of the pieces look very similar, especially the background pieces.

The process for successfully placing the background pieces becomes very tedious. You move a piece to where you think it might go and then rotate it all the way around. If it’s not the right piece, start again. To make this more difficult the “rotate” action is difficult to activate. If the puzzle had better mouse response for the rotation and if it had about half the number of pieces it might have been more enjoyable.

The best aspect of the mini-games in general was that the SKIP button was available immediately and you didn’t have to wait for it to charge up. I normally don’t skip mini-games but some of these were just too tedious.
In the Game Options you can choose to play in the timed or untimed mode. You can also play without the custom cursor. The other options are Full Screen and volume for the Sound Background and Sound Effects. The game will not save in the middle of a scene or mini-game. It will take you back to the beginning of the scene or mini-game when you restart the game.

I love Nat Geo films and television shows but I don’t think I have ever enjoyed a Nat Geo game. They are such a good company it’s too bad that they seem to be putting resources into these games and not producing enjoyable entertaining results.

Edited on 06/06/2010 at 8:59:35 AM PST


 

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by kris_cross48 on Jun 6, 10 6:26 AM
my gosh what an awful game...I kept waiting for the hour to go by, kinda hoping it would improve..it did a lilttle, but just a little or I was getting use to squinting. Be warned, if you have visual problems or don't like to squint 3 inches from your screen, don't try this one. IT really had the potential for being a decent game, but in earlier Nat Geo Games, things that are brown, are hidden in the dirt, green things are in the jungle. The plot line is sad with wild gorillas being killed and everyone is pointing fingers instead of trying to save them. A long time ago I'd see the Nat Geo logo ago whee, yippee. Now my reaction is...oh no, where are the reading glasses and my deepest level of patience. This is a no buy for me, which is disappointing and a definate uninstall.

 
burningswan
Lobster
Lobster
90 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by burningswan on Jun 6, 10 7:25 AM
It is a refreshing change to see a non horror educational game in HOG form, but unfortuantely this game falls short. Blurred, dark screens in which the objects , although not clear, stand out as they do not blend in with the background. These objects are repeated in subsequent screens. Very disappointing for something with so much potential. Wasted filler screens of travel and decent minigames.

 

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by carolemoore1961 on Jun 6, 10 8:17 AM
I just started the Diamond Mission when my hour was up. I agree alot of the stuff is hard to find, especially at the village with all the tools. The puzzle with all the pieces was hard and think that's where I ate up alot of my free hour but it got to be "I'm not going to let it win!" I got it but the 2 things I didn't like about the puzzle was you had to place your cursor just so-so to get the arrows where you could rotate the square...and then when it was in the correct place it wasn't colored different so when you tried to switch squares it wouldn't let you but you still wasted time trying. I skipped some of the dialogue and when it came to the quiz I thought I was in trouble...but I got 3 out of the 5...so I paid some attention to the clues that came up when you hit one of the palm prints. If nothing else comes up this month I will probably buy. I like a challenge sometimes and the small items gave me that. The 3 blue hints would be a big help...I only used the extra hints twice to speed it up and one was during one of the "find all in 90 seconds". The otheer NG games had very small items to find also so that wasn't a big surprise. But if you don't have somewhat decent vision I wouldn't even give this game a try. I'd give it 3 out of 5....

 
Eisteepfirsich
Dolphin
Dolphin
6,584 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by Eisteepfirsich on Jun 6, 10 8:36 AM
The game has very low quality what a shame it could be so good with Nat Geo pictures and content.
The pros: Nat Geo theme, graphic, option to play timed or untimed
The contras: Story is bad, objects are scattered like garbage, you get always a red cross if you click wrong, objects (clues) are often very tiny, game is very short (appr. 2 hours)

I won`t buy it. I hope the next Nat Geo game is much, much better

 
bfgZambezi
Dogfish
Dogfish
1,858 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by bfgZambezi on Jun 6, 10 8:59 AM
Hey Fishies!

I've gone ahead and stickied this thread as the official "Comments and Reviews" thread.

Please remember to post a big SPOILER alert at the top of your post if you're giving away plot details or solutions.

Thanks everyone and happy gaming!

-bfgZambezi

 
hannah57
Clownfish
Clownfish
760 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by hannah57 on Jun 6, 10 9:19 AM
I really don't enjoy HOGs as the objects are just too hard to see. I found this game to be kinda boring, but thats just me. I like adventure games without the hidden objects and spot the differences.

 
ember89
Flounder
Flounder
2,103 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by ember89 on Jun 6, 10 9:38 AM
national geographic... that says it all for me... i have NEVER liked one of their games and don't think i will start now... skipping this one!

good luck to the rest of you!

 
KitKat5169
Dolphin
Dolphin
6,099 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by KitKat5169 on Jun 6, 10 10:14 AM
Couldn't have said it better, LizzieK. You did a wonderful review.

It's a big NO for me also.

 
peeshee_1951
Stingray
Stingray
5,444 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by peeshee_1951 on Jun 6, 10 10:27 AM
I love HOGs and love NG stories. I love learning about endangered species. Having said that I did not like this game, The puzzle when you had to turn the pieces around was very tedious and I love puzzles. The pieces were so close in color (dark) I finally had to just skip to get on with it. (at least they gave a skip option). The chapters loaded really slowly. This might be a good game for students to learn about different species in a different way especially if they're not good readers. I tried to get into this but it just bored the heck out of me.
The diamond & coin collecting just seemed to be an added burden instead of fun.


 
12george
Guppy
Guppy
102 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by 12george on Jun 6, 10 11:25 AM
This was not a good game. because it was too dark and hard on my eyes and boring....Make more games that are bright and easy to see for us seniors....Not gonna buy this one....

 
meisie99
Minnow
Minnow
291 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by meisie99 on Jun 6, 10 11:31 AM
Well I must be one of the exceptions but I thought the game was good. I got through the first mission only using a hint maybe three times and that was due more to timed trial than because I couldn't find everything. I found the puzzle to be challenging and totally absorbing. I could do puzzles all day but prefer difficult ones. The facts were interesting and informative. The hidden object part was ok, not great but I really appreciated the wide variety of game play. I did find the story interesting.

The only reason I'm not buying this game is because it is too short. I finished the first mission with 15 minutes to spare, and that was with reading everything including the newspaper find the differences. Also, i read the 'hand' tidbit, collected all batteries and gems.

I wouldn't like to see Nat Geo give up on creating games. I think they could do a better job and encourage them to keep trying.


 

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by WolfenRaindancer on Jun 6, 10 11:35 AM
I started with the diamond mission...kinda relaxing, and not as bad as some posters made it sound. It is in a similar vein to the other Nat. Geo games. Some items are a bit hard to find, but I have only used a couple of hints. I did skip the first puzzle-jigsaw type game, as I just didn't have the patience for it just now. This is the fourth game I have bought this month, and used a punch card credit for three of them...I usually use those credits for games that I will play but didn't consider worth spending bucks on...this is one of them, lol. Yes, I am spoiled, too, by the great ones, but as a hog addict I will take what I can get.

 
care___916
Clownfish
Clownfish
988 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by care___916 on Jun 6, 10 12:47 PM
LizzieK Thank you so much for your review!!!!

This could have been a great game. A game that isnt for me.

Be happy


 
gameslvr
Clownfish
Clownfish
553 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by gameslvr on Jun 6, 10 12:57 PM
Well, I agree with Meisie and Wolfen... - I enjoyed the game a lot and only had to use a few hints. My eyes are not great but I didn't really have that much trouble finding the items. I have to say I skipped the picture puzzle because I thought that was just too hard but I enjoyed the graphics and the information. Didn't get to finish so I don't know how long the game is but I've read a couple of posts that say it was too short so there is good and bad.

 
Itsupikachu
Flounder
Flounder
2,158 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by Itsupikachu on Jun 6, 10 1:26 PM
Thank you for an excellent review, Lizzie! It doesn't sound like a very good game and, if you found it tedious and boring, I know I would. It really is too bad because while I didn't much care for the first Nat Geo game, I do like the "Z" (?) one-(I can't remember the whole name of it.)

 
Svengoolie
Seahorse
Seahorse
28 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by Svengoolie on Jun 6, 10 3:07 PM
Pretty short game, then again I'm new to this hidden object stuff so maybe they'd all feel short to me. I likely would have finished within the hour if I didn't spend all the time doing the puzzle. When I got to the hexagon puzzle in the diamond mission, I immediately skipped.

Anyways it wasn't bad, and I definitely liked the minigame at the end of missions. People complain about objects being too hard to find... why are you playing these games if you just want them to be easy? If you had a hard time finding certain things, I think that means they did their job. Plus, they give you so many hints that there's not any reason to have trouble with it.

 
bigdave02
Minnow
Minnow
228 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by bigdave02 on Jun 6, 10 4:46 PM
Not for me.Found it very boring.

 
ingram02
Starfish
Starfish
59 Posts

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by ingram02 on Jun 6, 10 6:44 PM
Halfway through the second mission by the time my hour was up. Crappy graphics, all you had to do was click on the clearest items to find the "hidden" objects. Poor quality game. No buy for me.

 

Re:Your Comments and Review for Explorer: Contraband Mystery

[Post New]by grandmagamer49 on Jun 6, 10 6:48 PM
I'm baaaack! Played for about 1/2 hr.s worth and must admit the game is b-o-r-i-n-g! For some people the game may just be one that they enjoy but for me I need more challenges. Some of the items are hard to see. The graphics are beautiful but the game is too repetitive. I'll pass this time....

 
 
 
 
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