Posts created by fauxgina

 posted in Mystery Case Files®: Escape from Ravenhearst™ on Jan 2, 12 7:22 AM
I was having the same problem -- I was clicking on the four dark dots as indicated on the mirror to light them up/turn them gold on the lock in the cellar. However, what worked for me was clicking all the OTHER dots on the lock to make them gold and leaving the four shown on the mirror dark. I think the logic of this puzzle seems to be the opposite of what many players think it should be, which is why it's causing frustration. Try that and see if it works.
 posted in Dark Parables: Rise of the Snow Queen on Dec 31, 11 2:25 PM
Just finished the latest Dark Parables game and I loved it just as much as the Frog Prince one before! Beautiful graphics, interesting story, gameplay that kept me engaged... One little tiny niggle would be that there were perhaps too many "create a path out of X number of colored discs," but as puzzles they were a challenge without doing my head in, so I really am just being nitpicky. When a game is as awesome as this, all I can really do is nitpick!

Regarding getting lost on the map, if you find yourself getting lost towards the end of the game when you've activated most of the rooms in the castle, try hovering over the room on the big version of the map to see the name of it, which may jog your memory. I didn't discover this until the last few minutes of the game, although I personally didn't find it problematic during gameplay.

I adore the Dark Parables games -- it's not often a series of games comes along that truly captivates me, but this one has my full attention. It speaks to the little girl inside of me, what with the fairy-tale themes and beautiful style/design -- but since the graphics are so gorgeous and can be quite dark and intricate (without being too dark or complicated), it's definitely a grown-up game, and I appreciate not being pandered to just because the stories center around classic fairy tales.

I highly recommend this series, and feel Blue Tea Games keep going from strength to strength. Can't wait for the next one!
 posted in Midnight Mysteries 3: Devil on the Mississippi on Aug 21, 11 2:03 AM
I feel a bit mixed about this game. I'm glad I've bought it -- sometimes I buy something and play it and feel cheated that I spent my hard-earned money on it. I certainly don't feel that way about this game. It's more the story element that has left me wondering what the game itself was trying to do.

In the previous Midnight Mysteries game, "Salem Witch Trials," the developers did an excellent job of weaving together a story that combined Nathaniel Hawthorne's guilt about the history of his family (i.e., Judge Hathorne) with his literature to create an interesting amalgom of truth and fiction. "Devil on the Mississippi" does not do this very well, I don't think -- not in relation to "Salem Witch Trials" -- and I think that's what disappoints me most about the game. I wanted to see far more of Twain's literature in the game. Sure, there were nods to "Tom Sawyer" (and perhaps a couple other works with which I'm not as familiar), but the game also missed out on Twain's razor-sharp wit and humor. They tried to incorporate it a bit (in the opening scene with "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated," and again on the stairs in Samuel Clemens' home about someone's money being tainted -- "t'aint mine and it t'aint yours"), but I think they largely failed.

This game seemed to be far more about Shakespeare, Marlowe, and the demon Mephistopholes than Twain. I can sort of see the connections they were trying to make, but I don't feel they did Twain justice in this game like they did Hawthorne in "Salem Witch Trials." I think the developers tried to do far too much in this game and lost sight of what it is advertised to be about: Mark Twain.

As far as other aspects of the game, I can't really fault the it (nor do I want to). Graphics are great, music and sound effects are good and there are very few that are annoying (the electric zapping in Tesla's lab really got on my nerves though), I love the combination of hidden object and adventure, etc, and the puzzles were good. The story element just really let the game down, in my opinion.

I hope they return to more like "Salem Witch Trials" in the future -- creating games about great American authors that take a bit of license and create a story that plays with what the public knows of them, what they public doesn't know of them, and how it all ties together in their works. Maybe the next author could be Herman Melville. Think of all they could do with "MobyDick" and "Bartleby the Scrivener"!
 posted in Golden Trails 2: The Lost Legacy Collector's Edition on Jun 26, 11 2:36 AM
I never buy CE games anymore, but I do like to play the 1-hour trial for CE games when they come out just to see how interested I will be in purchasing the SE game when it follows a few weeks later. When I saw there was another "Golden Trails" game, I was definitely interested.

I recently re-played the first "Golden Trails" game on a whim because I enjoyed it so much when it came out and I hadn't played it for many months. Maybe that is partly why I was so bored by the trial for this CE -- the two games are incredibly similar and there doesn't seem to have been any development in the series between games. Although the theme of "The Lost Legacy" is so far removed from the Wild West images that the phrase "Golden Trails" brings to mind, it is apt that the devs used the same name for both games, because they are cut from the exact same cloth. Don't get me wrong, as far as games go they are good, but if you've played one you really don't need to play the other because there's no real difference. The mini-games and puzzles are also not as good as in the first one, in my opinion (although maybe I just felt impatient at the fact that they were more challenging because I didn't really care what else was going on in the game and didn't feel rewarded for completing them myself. I cheated on most of them by clicking "Solve puzzle," which I normally don't like to do.)

I agree with other reviewers who wrote that shooting bandits to earn hints and "lucky" items is something these games could do without. I particularly dislike the achievement windows that pop up throughout the game reminding you of how many bandits you have "killed." Please, "Golden Trails" developers, leave that part out of the next game! It's superfluous and unnecessary, particulary in a series of games that are otherwise quite bright and fun.

Maybe, maybe I will get this when it's a Daily Deal... Meh.
 posted in Princess Isabella: Return of the Curse on Jun 19, 11 4:56 AM
Thanks for this list, Kel -- if it weren't for you, I never would have found the last part!
I think part of the problem is that so many games have come out with what the developers have called a "strategy guide" which is actually an out-and-out walkthrough. People expect to be able to open the so-called strategy guide and have it tell them exactly what to do at every step of the way. But if you think about the terminology, a strategy guide should do little more than offer suggestions as to what the next step might be -- which this guide does.

That said, I appreciate that a walkthrough called a "strategy guide" in a CE has become the norm, which means people have come to expect something very specific when spending the extra money on a CE.

Evidently, developers stray from that formula at the risk of frustrating players and getting negative reviews.
A few people have complained about the strategy guide in this game, and I agreed with them until I thought about what a strategy guide is: it's something to help point you in the right direction. I think people are so used to getting an out-and-out walkthrough with a CE that is called a "strategy guide" that it has caused some frustration here. It is helpful, it just doesn't tell you exactly what to do at every step.
I'm waiting to buy the SE of this game, but that's just because I don't ever buy CEs anymore (not worth it for me). Having played the trial version of the CE, here's what I thought:

- Graphics: Very good. Not sure what some other reviewers meant about the graphics being blurry -- some of the cut scenes were blurry, but actual gameplay graphics are beautiful.

- Sequelness: I like the fact that the sequel to the first "Princess Isabella" game has taken the best bits of the first game (the graphics, the two-locations-in-one thing -- cursed followed by uncursed) and moved on with it. The first game took place almost exclusively inside a castle, and in this new game you have a lot more to explore outside. You can definitely tell you're playing a game in the same series, but it's not a tired re-hashing of the first one. This is probably the biggest selling point for me.

- Difficulty: I've only played the trial, so I am very aware that I can't comment on overall difficulty. However, the beginning has been very easy. I found some puzzles a bit more challenging once I got out into the forest, but the reason they were challenging is because the objectives weren't explained brilliantly. This may improve as the game goes on.

- Annoying bits: The fairy's voice, the tinkling bells, the "ta da" fanfare, the bright flashes of light... other people have commented negatively about all of these aspects of the game, and I'm in the same boat. Maybe if they weren't so pervasive it wouldn't be so irritating, but the devs could do with downplaying that in the next game. As it is, you're experiencing several of these things at once every few minutes, and it soon starts to grate. This game has a unique flavor to it that is, I must admit, partly created by these elements, but I think they could be toned down by several degrees and the game wouldn't lose any of its character.

A few people have complained about the strategy guide in this game, and I agreed with them until I thought about what a strategy guide is: it's something to help point you in the right direction. I think people are so used to getting an out-and-out walkthrough with a CE that is called a "strategy guide" that it has caused some frustration here. It is helpful, it just doesn't tell you exactly what to do at every step.

Bring on the SE so I can keep playing!
 posted in Garden Dash on Apr 10, 11 8:16 AM
This Dash game is a bit of a strange cookie. I did the Beta for it, and was quite impressed -- good graphics, cute story, I liked the concept and found I was able to play and feel challenged without feeling overwhelmed. I also felt the learning curve was quite good.

I've found that the Dash games tend to get very difficult towards the last couple of "chapters" (groups of levels), to the point that it is impossible to progress to finish the game. For that reason, I waited until I got my punch card reward to purchase this game so I wasn't actually spending money on it. "Garden Dash" does not seem to follow that trend, however... I thought it was quite easy, perhaps verging on not being terribly dynamic. I finished the game in about 3-4 hours played over two days, and I remember wondering when it was going to get difficult. Don't get me wrong, I'm glad it didn't get too difficult because I get very frustrated when I feel I can't finish a game because it's just too darn tricky to get the right combinations in the amount of time given. The clock in this game was not at all unforgiving, and I was able to finish 90-95% of the levels at Expert.

I was a bit disappointed at the end of the game -- it's a bit anti-climactic. The pace of the game gets set quite quickly and doesn't really change throughout the game. While I appreciated that the pace didn't go crazy as it usually does in Dash games, I also found it a little boring.

I don't know, I did enjoy the game and will play it again at some point (if only because I know I can finish it), but it wasn't by any means my favorite in the Dash series. It is definitely a casual game, which is probably why it appealed to me as much as it did.

 posted in Dark Parables: The Exiled Prince on Mar 27, 11 9:37 AM
This game is awesome, awesome, awesome! Graphics are excellent, story is compelling, music is enjoyable -- really, really enjoyed it!!

True, I used lots of hints to find items that were well-hidden, and I have to admit I skipped a lot of the puzzles. There are an inordinately high number of puzzles with four panels that you have to rearrange to meet some specific criteria, and I didn't care for them. But the overall experience of playing the game more than compensates for the parts of it that aren't ideal.

melissasignal wrote:...when I read that someone decided it's a "no buy" after only 10,15, 20 minutes into the trial, I'm thinking the reviewer was simply impatient and their review is a waste of my time to read.

It's funny you should say that because I just "played" the demo for 16 minutes ("played" in quotes because at least half of that time was spent watching poor quality acting) and uninstalled it from my computer, never to download again, and certainly never to buy. I don't normally slate a game after such a short period of time playing because I appreciate that I have experienced a very small percentage of the overall game... but I think the reason I feel justified in being able to dismiss the game after a quarter of an hour is that MCF has a long history and I have come to expect a certain standard.

Live actors: Maybe if the script they were working to was any good, they would be more effective. I was turned off from the first minute when the little girl asks her father to read her one last chapter before bedtime -- he briefly mentions a pirate captain, but there is no story attached to draw you in, and all of a sudden it's "time for bed." This would have been the perfect opportunity to draw the player into the spirit of the game, but the sequence is over before it has even really begun.

"Interactive" interviewing: This was a big turn-off as well. When talking to people, if they finish a thought, a button comes up whereby you can talk to them about a specific subject that came up in their spiel -- but you can't choose a question to ask, you just click the button and start another spiel. I think it's supposed to feel interactive, but the execution feels contrived.

Music and sound effects: Annoying. I felt like I was watching an episode of "Roseanne" in a creaky old house.

I don't really know why this game is so far removed from Dire Grove, which was excellent. The interplay between live actors and animated environment worked well in DG (perhaps the video clips made it more palatable), the story was creepy and immediately engaged the player... It was just better in every way. This game looks like it should be of the same high quality, but it falls flat on its face from the very beginning, in my opinion. I'm simply not interested in pursuing the case because I don't know what the heck the "case" is about or why I should care about it.

Thumbs way down.
 posted in Wedding Dash 4-Ever on Dec 5, 10 11:45 AM
mkastor wrote:You have made it so impossible to reach goals after Level 5.0, it becomes frustrating and agonizing. I gave up after almost 2 solid months...MONTHS...of trying to conquer 5.1 and uninstalled it off my computer. My suggestion for Wedding Dash 5? Take into consideration that people play games to have fun and unwind. Don't make the goals so impossible to reach.

I loved Wedding Dash 4-Ever up until Level 5. It took me countless attempts to finally pass 5.1, only to get stuck on 5.2. I gave up on finishing the game because, as you said, I wanted to play to have fun and unwind, not to be frustrated to the point of wanting to smash my computer to smithereens because I missed the next level by 100 points. Learn a lesson from this, Playfish!
 posted in Wedding Dash 4-Ever on Sep 4, 10 8:00 AM
I managed to complete level 5.1, much to my celebration.

Much to my chagrin, I got stuck on level 5.2.

 posted in Wedding Dash 4-Ever on Aug 21, 10 4:19 AM
I love this game, and I enjoy a challenge, but level 5.1 seems impossibly difficult! I'm glad I'm not the only one who's found it so hard. The only clue the game gives you is in the tutorial screen where you see Derek and Janet with a little heart between them -- I don't know why it doesn't go into more detail than that. I know that by the final level we as players are past the point in the game where we wants to waste time being shown how to do things, but the least the game could do is show us what we're looking for, like a little heart appearing over the couples' heads, or at least what the flirt bonus looks like when you get it; as it is, the flirt bonus gets lost in the other scores that pop up, and I didn't know I was getting the bonus if I wasn't looking for it, and even then I only noticed as a fluke.

Chaining is VERY important in this level, and getting all of one course out before beginning the next shouldn't take so long that the guests ready for the next course start getting angry and losing you points. Another good tip is to memorise where the roses are and pick them all up before you begin seating guests, because it would suck to finally scrape through the level points-wise and miss Quinn's gift!

Patience is not one of my virtues, but I have to say I've tried this level about 20 times already and although I'm annoyed I'm not ready to give up yet. Once I got 20 measly points away from the 13,000 goal. Bah!
 posted in Echoes of the Past: The Castle of Shadows on Aug 15, 10 8:04 AM
I agree with the reviewers who have said that there are too many puzzles and they are too random. I played the first EOTP and thought it was pretty enjoyable; I'm sure I even beta'd this one, and thought it would be worth buying when it came out.

If you are not a fan of puzzles, don't bother with this game. If you are not a fan of puzzles that don't make much sense (i.e., no real logic/pattern can be used to solve a large number of these puzzles), don't bother with this game. If you don't like going back and forth with very little idea of where exactly you're going or why, don't bother with this game.

I've never bought a game that I've trialled and hated it so much. I can't be bothered to finish it, even using the online walkthrough as a guide. The music is bizarre considering it's set in a castle (kind of reminded me of the "DinerTown Detective Agency" music -- which is very good game, by the way), the storyline is just as random as the puzzles, the scenes are quite dark and dreary and don't really inspire me to want to explore them... Sorry, but this one is a big miss for me personally. I give it .

Perhaps I'm being too harsh, but this game really did not meet my expectations after the first instalment. However, I'm sure there will be loads of people that this game will entertain. I guess I just ain't one of 'em.
 posted in The Fifth Gate on Jul 16, 10 7:20 AM
I'm not really a time-management game sort of person because my threshhold for frustration is so low -- I'm big into hidden object games. That said, I loved this game. I thought the graphics and design were beautiful, the gameplay was fun, I was addicted! I kept finding myself thinking about the game while I was at work, looking forward to getting home so I could play some more. I played for 1-2 hours at a time, most nights this week, and it took me a week to finish the game, so it lasted a very decent amount of time.

I loved the potion-making aspect of the game. There is an element of strategy to this game (although that's probably true of all TM games), and the learning curve seemed fairly generous, without feeling like it was easy. The game was a challenge without being impossible.

The only other TM games I've played are some of the Diner Dash ones, which I loved, and this is easily on par with those -- just with a different vibe.

The music was also good! It's quite relaxing, which is nice in TM games where you're feverishly clicking and trying to get it all done. Really put me in mind of "Viva Pinata" for the XBox360.

Definitely give this game a go!
 posted in Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air on Jul 11, 10 1:54 AM
Someone complained about the map not being explored enough. Well, perhaps the girl's travels will continue in the next game, using this same map and travelling in this same balloon!

Yeah, that was me. I did acknowledge the fact that it felt obvious that there was room for at least one sequel to this game based on that feature. Specifically, I wrote:

I liked the idea of using a map to navigate around different areas -- but there was so much of the map that went unexplored! I imagine that future games in this series will invoke the rest of the elements -- water, earth, and fire -- so that goes some way towards explaining why the map was so underutilized in this game.

You make a good point when you say that you take each game as a separate entity. Based on several factors (the shift in main character, the new way of moving around the landscape in the game), I'd say this game is intentionally not in the same vein as the previous three DC games with Faye as the main character-- which is fair enough. "Stand on the shoulder of giants" and whatnot. Unfortunately, whether it's part of the same series or not, it doesn't seem to have met with most players' expectations.

It's great that you enjoyed this game so much, and I think that even though I felt it was a waste of my time to play, developers can only try to make a game they think people will like. It just sounds like they failed to meet the standards they'd set for themselves with their previous games (in the opinion of what seems to be the majority of their fan base). I hope that more people feel like you do about the next instalment, but I think in order for them to do that, the developers need to take some of the quite constructive criticisms we've seen here to heart when they make it! At the very least, for you and others like you who thoroughly enjoyed this game, the series can only move from strength to strength.
 posted in Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air on Jul 9, 10 12:39 PM
divegal wrote:I've only played the demo so far and, based on the walkthrough I can see that the game is terribly short, though that's never as much of an issue for me as what the game is like.

And that is truly disappointing for me. Who is this girl with this strange accent and a storyline that has nothing to do with the first three chapters?

The girl is actually the daughter of the main character of the first three DC games (can't remember that name right now). At the end of "DC: The Chosen Child," Lyra was still a very young girl. Apparently we don't need to know what happened in the years in between the end of the last proper DC game and this poor excuse of a continuation of the series.
 posted in Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air on Jul 9, 10 12:35 PM
Yup -- that's the end of the game, Valdy! Brilliant, isn't it?

I hate cliffhangers.
 posted in Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air on Jul 9, 10 12:34 PM
Valdy: At least one fishie in the pond has enjoyed this game!

XanthFan: I love your suggestions for making future DC games more challenging. I totally agree with your assessments of the problems in this game.
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