Posts created by cche

 posted in Matchmaker: Joining Hearts on Feb 9, 10 1:23 AM
Played about 3/4 of an hour, completing two of I am not yet sure how many pairings. Based only on download size and my own intuition, I will guess there are eight to 10 couples to match. If so I would take three to 4 hours to finish.

Graphics are clean and bright. H O scenes have roughly 20 items to find, mostly consistent with the story, in fact a bit simple mindedly so. Some modes of concealment are quite challenging.

The hint system is cute, cupid points toward the object when you hover on him, and fires an arrow to identify it exactly if you click. The hover is free, the click causes it to recharge over 30 seconds or so. The game is not timed, but you do get an improved score for rapid sequences of correct clicks.

Music is light, a single loop for each location, if I remember, not irritating, but not interesting.

Puzzles so far include finding pairs of identical items in side by side scenes, and locating a larger number of similar items to fill a "gift". (Some challenging concealment again.) Really just more hidden stuff.... and matching your couples, which at least to start is merely comparing lists. There is potential for more interesting matching challenges but so far it is dull time.

Story is saccharine sweet, with little to offer in the area of interesting characters and essentially no plot.

Over all, a moderately challenging HOG with few pretensions and good production values. Not a game for me but I believe many will enjoy it. 3.3 on my scale of 10
 posted in Mishap: An Accidental Haunting ™ on Feb 8, 10 4:28 PM
Played an hour and a half, completing two chapters and a bit out of eight. -> at least 6 hours play for me.

Graphics are clean and bright, if a bit busy. H O locations are often not logical, but I didn't come across any blue tomato in a blue sky type concealment. As others have said, these are the main content of the game and quite enjoyable.
Hints are unlimited, but recharge fairly slowly; however if you complete a screen (there are 4 per chapter, and you can move among them), the hints are immediately recharged. I didn't find myself wanting to use them though, especially after I began to get a feel for the game style.

Puzzles are a bit strange, for example in one you are presented with a hammer cursor in a china closet. Not too hard to guess what to do, but uh, why?? Ghost puzzle searches are fairly simple, seem more intended to provide comic relief.

Each chapter ends with an arcade/time management task, and these seem to demand some reflexes. I cope, but am not entertained. They can be skipped.

Music is well done and consistent with theme and style; reminds me of the calliope at the county fair. Loops are fairly long and varied. Added a certain sense of fun for me. Sound and visual effects also consistent, though I believe younger viewers will enjoy them more than I do.

Story develops slowly, and makes a good framework for the whole quirky design.

Over all, I am enjoying the game well, though I am more of a puzzler than an H O fan. 6.5 on my scale of 10. May well buy it at $6.99; sure to if it turns up at $2.99.
 posted in Nightfall Mysteries: Curse of the Opera on Feb 7, 10 2:06 AM
Played for 50 minutes, solving several puzzles and about 10 H O screens. reaching somewhere mid-chapter 2 of 7.

Graphics are good, but a bit dark, hidden objects screens are generally moderate. At least one glitch, an oval blur named as a lady statue, when there is actually a real (large) lady statue in the picture. Had to take a hint. Not sure how that got past Beta test.

Music is a little eerie, and not long loops, you will probably turn it down pretty soon. I did.

It seems that considerable effort was put into the story and voice acting. It shows, though it is not enough to overcome the sense that the game was rushed to market.

Interactive puzzles are pretty good, so far, though not entirely logical. There are items to be found in very unlikely places.

Hints recharge quickly, but I didn't use many, as I didn't find the play or search tedious; I just spent a little more time. Good work designer!

Over all, I am pleased with the game, and will likely spend my 6.99 for it. 5.5 on my scale of 10
 posted in Veronica Rivers: Portals to the Unknown ™ on Feb 6, 10 3:03 AM
Edit to add comments after finishing game
Played the full hour. Completed roughly a third of the game based on walkthrough length. -> 3 plus hours. Nearer 5 for me.

Graphics are excellent. Interesting scenes, with some effort to create a different ambiance for each scene. Soundscapes work to advantage as well.

Music is not memorable, but I do think there was some.

H O screens are moderate junk pile, some invisible velcro but not a lot. Some items quite well hidden I found these challenging, though I have not used a hint yet. There may be some "i" to this HOG, but I haven't run across it yet.

In addition to search by name and search by silhouette, there are additional "tools" provided by our heroine's PDA. Something that acts a little like an infra red scanner, and another that is a little like an orangey UV scanner. These basically require you to methodically move the scanner over the screen clicking when the device activates (with a little sound and visual cue). Tedious. There is also a photo logging mode which requires you to find the spot in the scene that matches an image on the PDA. It makes no sense at all, but at least it is a sort of H O challenge. There are also a few find the difference scenes. The one I did was not too difficult.

Puzzles are not at all puzzling at least so far. These are common types, untangle the lines, move tokens to their matching locations, and very easy. It seems more that the authors are increasing number of steps, rather than number of choices. Not good. You are also asked to draw runes on your PDA to match those shown on "tablets" I find this difficult, and not in a good way. Reminds me too much of second grade, learning to write the numbers and alphabet. I was no good at that either.

Story is decent, well supported by the scenery, some nice (brief) cut scenes and Veronica's (written) monologue. Translation to English quite good, noted only "evidences" as evidence. ETA: not as good later. There is a fair amount of story, but I was not seriously held up by it. Continue buttons are provided, and the graphics are attractive.

Hints are unlimited I hear, but I didn't test them. karolyneb felt they were a little hard to use. (Thanks karolyneb!)

Over all, strong production values, reasonable length, ok story, mediocre game design and poor puzzle value. Not a mix this puzzle lover favors. HOG lovers would be more pleased I think. 3.2 on my scale of 10. I did buy it at $2.99.
 posted in Epic Adventures: La Jangada on Feb 5, 10 1:16 AM
Played for half an hour, completing three chapters of 8. This suggests a very short game, an hour and a half or so, if the remaining chapters are similar to the first few.

Graphics are good, H O screens not difficult though some items are small. Items consistent with story, and reasonably placed. Not a junk pile to be found so far.

Music is appropriate to the period, and context, not irritating.

Hints are unlimited, but at least 30 seconds to charge. I haven't needed any.

Puzzles also carefully fit to context, easy by design to this point.

Story is excellent, not too surprising considering the Author is Jules Verne.
Pacing is very slow, not an uncommon characteristic of the books of that period.

Over all, production values are very good, voice acting well done (story is written in first person, so just one voice). Images appear to be hand drawn, and again appropriate to the period and context. It is a nicely illustrated story.

Nicely done, but I am not at all sure there is enough of it to justify a $6.99 investment. I will revisit again if it turns up as a daily deal. 2.8 on my scale of 10.
 posted in Sarah Maribu and the Lost World on Feb 4, 10 2:40 AM
Played the whole hour, and am about 25% done, by the map -> 4+ hours.

Game seems to be aimed to share with younger audience, 8-10 year olds will be able to play it without too much help. It is a nice game for us older folks too.

Graphics are clear and bright, Hidden objects vary from right out front to partially hidden, search is by picture, but object in scene may be in different orientation or shadowed or lit to cause different appearance. Everything makes visual sense.
Good work. Some objects are "tools" which you select and click on active areas. These mostly make some kind of sense, at least in a kid logic kind of way.

Music is not so good, repetitive due to short loops and insufficient variety.

Puzzles are consistent with theme, and even amusing. Not difficult once you grasp the style of the game. Took me a few minutes to catch on.

Hints refill after a little while, but you probably will not need many.

Story is minimal, and trite, but then who cares?

Over all, a nice light iHOG; perhaps a good break from the heavier work of recent offerings.

4.0 on my personal scale of 10, Will surely buy at $2.99; not so sure at $6.99.
 posted in The Blackwell Legacy on Feb 4, 10 1:24 AM
Played 53 minutes, looks like I am about a third done, by the walkthrough.
Most of your time will be spent in trial and error, it seems. There does seem to be just a little replayability, as one can save the game and try alternative interaction menu choices.

Characters are not at all bad, and story is of some interest. Music is original, and acceptable, even nice.

Game is made on a shoestring, even for 2007. Graphics are very low resolution, but that is ok for this game type. The authors stay within the game engine's limits.

A basic interactive adventure which appears to be the author's first effort. It is a good first effort, but I am not sure it is worth $2.99.

I will pass on it this day.

 posted in Penny Dreadfuls™ Sweeney Todd on Feb 3, 10 10:32 PM
Finished the game in roughly 5.5 hours.

Graphics are good, expected better though I cannot say exactly why. Hidden object scenes are done reasonably well, junk pile, but no invisible velcro or threads... I did find I needed the occasional hint, and at least once a blurry item was lost against a blurry background. Items were consistent with period, if a bit heavy on valuables and torture toys.

Music was appropriate, moderate length loops, only noticable if you spent more than 10 minutes in a location, but you will. Sound plays a key role in at least one puzzle. You won't be able to solve that one with the sound off, unless you use a walkthrough.

Story is exactly as expected, and game design is a pretty good fit to the story. The "singing" chapter introductions actually fit pretty well, in creating character and carrying the plot forward. I didn't really mind that it wasn't great.

Puzzles range from very easy to somewhat difficult, with degree mostly determined by the amount of guessing you need to do. Some of them are rather clever. Interactive puzzles usually made sense, but not always. I needed to consult the walkthrough at least once.

Hints for H O screens are unlimited, but recharge quite slowly. Most likely you will not need a second hint before it recharges though. No built in assistance for interactive tasks in the standard edition. You are merely reminded that the guide is available only in the Collector's edition.

Over all, an excellent value for your $6.99. 6.5 of 10 on my personal scale.
 posted in Hidden in Time: Mirror Mirror on Feb 1, 10 10:32 PM
Finished game in just under four hours.
Graphics good, clean and bright enough, Hidden Objects are not too hard to see.
Game seems aimed at a less experienced or younger audience, though a few parents might object to the messages written in dripping red on the paintings.

Music is ok, not annoying; in truth I didn't even notice if it was consistent with theme.

Generous supply of hints in the form of mirrors, three per screen, with a limit of 6 in hand at any time. Timed mode only, but it is unlikely you will run out, except possibly in the last puzzle, which is the only one where the instructions actually leave you something to figure out.

Story is fairly good, told through two distinct message styles.

This is primarily a HOG with some very simple interactivity. You will not need to strain your eyes or your brain, but production values are better than average.
3.5 on my scale of 10. I did pay $2.99 for it, and am satisfied.
 posted in Hidden Secrets: The Nightmare on Feb 1, 10 3:42 AM
Just finished the game; I had to skip one puzzle because as drawn, it is insoluble. Solution shown in walkthrough at gamezebo does not follow rules given for puzzle. See discussion "roads" in this forum for details.

Other than that egregious error, the game is well done.

Took me about 3 hours to complete.

Graphics are fair. interactive H O screens are a little dark and often I could not tell what the object I had found was supposed to be. There are only a few objects to be found and used or combined to solve the interaction. Not difficult in itself, but I did spend more time than I like "scanning" with the mouse to locate a sparkle. Owners of slower systems will suffer as the sparkles take a moment to appear, so would need to go rather slowly, I think.

The time constraint for each chapter is shorter than the last. At the end I had just 6 seconds left when I completed the last puzzle. If you run out of time, you must start the chapter over. I had to do this in the last two chapters. Hints are costly.

Music is just ok. The authors made an effort to inject excitement with it, but you've heard it all before.

Story is better than average, though if you have read or watched a mystery, you will know all by about chapter 3. Voice acting is weak, but functional.

The puzzles are the meat of the game. There is a pretty wide variety of puzzle types, and most are going to be easy for experienced puzzle solvers. None are tedious. Beginners may find them quite challenging, especially with the time constraints.

Over all, I appreciated where the authors put their effort. Production values are good enough, but not good. I definitely got my $2.99 worth. Would not have wanted to pay $6.99. 3.0 on my scale of 10
 posted in Hidden Secrets: The Nightmare on Feb 1, 10 3:16 AM
Checking the solution in the walkthrough at Gamezebo, the second tile from left in the bottom row seems to act as a straight section.
 posted in Hidden Secrets: The Nightmare on Feb 1, 10 3:11 AM
I am fairly sure that the third roads puzzle has no solution. There are an odd number of open ends on the tiles. At that point I chose to skip, since each open end must pair with another.
 posted in Lost Secrets: Ancient Mysteries on Jan 31, 10 4:47 PM
Played 55 minutes, completed 3 of 10 chapters.

Graphics clean and bright. Complete three junk pile H O screens each of which also contains one item you will need as an element in a puzzle. Solving the (easy) puzzle gains access to a fourth H O screen to complete the chapter. H O screens look to contain about twice the (out of context) items you are asked to find, so likely a little bit of replayability. Object searches are fairly easy. There is a hint system, wherein you accumulate "intuition points" by finding things, and may spend them: 1 point for a silhouette, 3 points for a picture, and 5 points for location pointer. Used 3 silhouette clues in 3 chapters. I felt that even the hard to find objects were fairly hidden.

Story is dialog and static images, ... ancient sect guarding secrets ... not very interesting.

Music is short loops, but not irritating anyway. Egyptian theme with a bit of a beat.

Over all, a rather uninspiring effort, not bad exactly, but less value to me than the otherwise similar big city adventure series.

2.5 on my scale of 10. I might buy it at $2.99, then again I may not.
 posted in Lost in the City on Jan 31, 10 3:28 AM
Played most of an hour, completed 8 chapters of 40. Four to five hours for me.

Graphics are ok, magnifier available, but more provides focus than magnification.

Good combination of puzzles and hidden object tasks, though all are quite easy.
There are timed and untimed modes. In timed, 3 wrong clicks costs a time penalty, as does using a hint. You have 10 minutes for each chapter, and I used 3 to 5 minutes per chapter, including several penalties.

Music is ok, loop not long, and not particularly good, but not irritating.

Story is the main feature of this game, and it kept me playing. Puzzles, H O tasks and story well integrated.

In all, I like the game despite relatively low production values. Developer has sacrificed in the right places to get the game in within budget.

5.5 of 10 may buy at $6.99. Certainly will at $2.99.
 posted in The Clumsys 2: Butterfly Effect on Jan 30, 10 1:43 AM
Played for 59 minutes, completing 5 of I am not sure how many inventions.
Graphics are good and clear, junk pile H O, but not at all overwhelming.
Music is ok, not distracting.
Story is weak. But then it isn't aimed at an adult listener. Maybe a 6 to 9 year old. In that context, it isn't bad at all.
For the interactive part, you get to find a number of pieces, but either the game assembles them for you, or you are required to place each piece in order. Not much to figure out, just a little trial and error, at least so far.
Game is not time limited, but at chapter end you get a summary of your performance: real time spent, game time, hints used, and "wrong click" ratio.
There are gadgets you can use to help with tasks, I made one, and tried to use it, but ran out of "energy" before seeing it work. Could be useful, and possibly amusing. Hints are also available, and I think recharge. Used only 1 or 0 in each invention.

Given the number of gadgets suggested in the game, I imagine there are several time periods for us to cover, and I was nearly finished with the first, (1800-1900 I think). Looks like at least 3 hours of simple puzzles and a bit challenging H O.
I think I liked the first Clumsys better, but this one certainly isn't bad.
3.5 on my scale of 10, worth $2.99.
 posted in Rasputin's Curse on Jan 25, 10 11:52 PM
Played the full hour. Moderately tough HOG with minimal interaction.
Music is classical, appropriate to the period, and pretty well rendered. Nice.
Graphs are only fair, not grainy on my screen, just a little blurred.
Game pace is very slow, partly because the authors tried to push the game engine to its limits. Most scenes have several active elements (spinning fan, tassel moving in the breeze). Result is that mouse clicks are a bit touchy, and interactive spots require patience as the mouse does not immediately change color when you move onto one of them. Go slow, and you will find what you are looking for. For the most part, so far anyway, the containers that hide special objects are at least mostly logical. Yes, a teddy bear in a kitchen cabinet isn't sensible, but it IS a cabinet.
As others have commented elsewhere, you are sometimes required to guess just what the authors had in mind by things like "tea cabinet". It was not at all clear. More patience required, or use a hint. Hints recharge in about 30 seconds, so one can get through even very difficult patches without spending an age.
Some items are rather small, but at least I didn't note any serious trickery (No purple lemon against a purple background kind of idea).
Story will be a matter of taste. Others have given details. Starts like a soap opera plot, not sure if it stays that way.

3.5 on my scale of 10. Might buy it at $2.99.
 posted in Million Dollar Quest on Jan 25, 10 3:20 AM
Yes, similar to Mushroom Age with its strengths and weaknesses. Seems like a good variety of challenges, graphics clean, sometimes hints are not helpful (for example the problem with the key for the cart. I had to wait and use a second hint in the closet. That did help.

Music is not too annoying, at least so far, and over all, a pleasant pastime. Just over 30% finished at the hour mark, so just over 3 hours in total. May well buy.

4.5 of 10 for me.
 posted in The Sultan's Labyrinth: A Royal Sacrifice on Jan 24, 10 1:33 AM
iHOG with fairly easy H O screens, and fairly simple puzzles. Sometimes I had a little trouble discovering where the puzzles were though. A hidden puzzle object!

Played the full hour evaluation, completed at least 9 levels. Each level is 3 screens, you move among the screens locating the bits and pieces you need, solving easy problems along the way.

Graphics are clean, music is ok. Argh, I cannot remember if there is an untimed option. Certainly the time limits I had were more than adequate.

Very similar to the earlier game in the series, The Sultan's Labyrinth. Story line is another tale of the 1001 nights variety.

Not a bad game, perhaps 2 hours for experienced players, a good beginner's game.

3.5 on my scale of 10. Might buy it at $2.99.
 posted in The Sultan's Labyrinth: A Royal Sacrifice on Jan 24, 10 1:22 AM
I was able to get all the hammers. there were at least 5.
yes, you need to get the last piece of the teeth, to get one of the hammers, (I managed to get it last), which requires solving another puzzle. It is not necessary (by my experience to do all the hammers on the wall at once.

Good luck!
 posted in Green Moon on Jan 23, 10 7:03 PM
The inventory may be limited, but it is more than the 8 visible slots. I clicked the left and right arrows to get at them. Have others been going that?
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