Posts created by cche

Thought I'd mention that I solved the "sticky planets puzzle" (I have a screen shot), but the game did not recognize my solution. I reset and used the walk through method which did work. Sorry, I don't remember how I solved it the first time.
 posted in Timeless: The Lost Castle on Jun 16, 14 1:52 PM
I have downloaded this game to my macbook pro with 15 inch retina display. The game is unplayable because the game display resolution is incompatible with any display setting on my mac. I am surprised no one else has mentioned this problem!
 posted in Fiction Fixers - Adventures in Wonderland on May 5, 10 2:46 AM
Played 30 minutes, completing 5 tasks. Based on story and game structure, I estimate 3 hours of play. It's an iHOG with easy puzzles and quite a lot of guidance built in. You do need to travel back and forth among locations, and the map is useful in letting you know where there are things you need to deal with, but you still need to click through successive locations to get to them. I like it better when I can travel directly to my destination by clicking on the map.

Graphics are decent, hidden object scenes are a moderate challenge though I have needed no hints.

Music is appropriate, and failed to irritate. That is good.

Story seems aimed at the 6 to 10 age range. I personally find this use of the classic jarring. Would have fit better with a Seuss story.

All in all, not a bad product; a bit "young" for me. 4.5 on my personal scale of 10. I'd probably pay $2.99 for it.
 posted in Magic Encyclopedia: Illusions on May 2, 10 2:40 AM
Played 50 minutes, making it most of the way through chapter I. (I think)
A FROG up to Alawar's standard. This one seems a bit easier in the puzzle department, and tougher in the HOG realm.

Graphics are bright where they should be, and nothing terribly difficult to find once you figure out where (or how!) to look.

Music is acceptable, clips are long enough that I don't find them irritating, nothing special though.

hints are unlimited as far as I could tell, but often not helpful.

All in all, a decent product. 5.5 on my scale of 10. Might buy it if I am feeling flush.
 posted in Deadtime Stories on Apr 29, 10 12:56 AM
Played 38 minutes completing one "recipe" and part of another. Not sure yet how many in total.

Graphics are very nice, hidden object scenes are junkpile with justification. No anachronisms, but a few items don't seem likely to stay where you find them.

Puzzles are nicely integrated into story and game structure, though so far there hasn't been anything difficult or original.

Music is nicely done, clips not long, but long enough to avoid irritation.

Story is fairly good so far, though I haven't got to much to judge by.

Altogether an above average iHOG which, if it is long enough will easily justify the price. Assuming 4 hours of play, 6.0 on my personal scale of 10.
 posted in Mystery P.I.: The London Caper on Apr 21, 10 2:46 AM
Played half an hour, completed 9 scenes, 3 puzzles. If this is similar to previous entries in the Mystery PI series, there will be 3 to 5 hours worth of HOG play in all.

Puzzles are quite easy, expect some increase in difficulty as the game progress.

Graphics are good, no turquoise bananas in an cerulean sky at least so far. Some simple combination puzzles, "put the bit where it belongs" for example. Unfortunately the instruction is not always logical. We are asked to tighten a screw with a drill bit, rather than the plainly visible screwdriver.

Music is exactly as in previous entries in the series; same clip, same repetitiveness. Not annoying exactly but very old by now.

Hints are limited by default, but you can change that in the options, as well as choosing "relaxed" mode. There has always been enough time for me to finish each chapter comfortably without need for many hints.

Over all, very much the same game with different trappings. If you liked the others, you will like this one as well. If not, at least you will know what to expect.
5.0 on my personal scale of 10, mostly because of decent value in length. Not a "must have" in my book.
 posted in Crime and Punishment: Who Framed Raskolnikov? on Apr 16, 10 1:06 AM
Played 15 minutes completing introduction 3 scenes. Not sure of length, but likely decent, based on the original story and progress so far. It's a reasonable iHOG; the "Genius Intelligence Agency" characters have a bit of personality, which is good, and of course the source material is truly wonderful. Tying them together is not a complete success in my mind. You must find certain items in order to reveal the text of the story. If you haven't read it, it is definitely worth the trouble.

Graphics OK, "hand drawn", style reminiscent of the art of the time and place. Hidden Objects are not always visible, but the scenes are not junkpile (except when that is appropriate) Nothing terribly difficult to find so far.

Music is very well done. Really helps one feel one is "there". Sound effects are much less effective.

Puzzles are not especially demanding so far.

You get a hint in the scene, and finding an axe is said to gain another hint, but it seems that they do not accumulate. Don't click the axe until you need a hint. In addition, the hints do not help in the situation where what you need is in another room. (Bug?)

Over all, I find it pretty good, though not a definite buy for me.
4.6 of 10 on my personal scale.
 posted in Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer on Apr 14, 10 1:16 AM
Played just under half an hour, exploring one of what appears to be at least 8 areas. Dialogue is good, and story design appears to be decent. As usual with these RPGs I have a lot of trouble figuring out what I am supposed to be doing, particularly at the beginning. (I didn't get past the beginning here.)

There is a set of 4 icons which provide access to the user interfaces, as well as an inventory where useful items you have or acquire appear. Interaction with the environment involves choice of left or right click on area with or without first selecting an item from inventory. Not clear to me why sometimes you need a left click and sometimes a right click. The icons give you (left to right) a book with several sections, journal (begins empty), dialogues (which after initial dialogue still appears empty), and reports which shows earlier cases. second is a cell phone with a couple numbers you may be able to call. Didn't try those yet. third a question mark which briefly indicates screen locations of interest. fourth is a brief case which brings up the main menu.

Graphics are quite good, with 3D animated movement around the area. As usual I spend more time than I like waiting for our protagonist to walk from point to point around the rooms.

Music seems to be quite good.

Story concerns an apparent serial murder case designed to keep the gore to a minimum while maintaining considerable tension and a dark story line.

Over all, high production values and probable good length are encouraging while patience will be in considerable demand. Yep, it's a pretty typical RPG.

5 on my personal scale of 10; I might buy it.
 posted in Love & Death ™: Bitten ™ on Apr 13, 10 1:32 AM
Played the full evaluation hour, completing one night and most of a day. Can't say how long it is, but based on story progress, this will easily exceed 3 hours for me.

It is an iHOG adventure with amusing if cardboard characters. Puzzles are well integrated into the story line, and fairly easy. Searches so far, entirely reasonable.

Graphics are bright and clear, well drawn cartoon style.

Music is nothing special, but at least on my system, it does not intrude. (I have noticed that many games default to the settings I used to have to set by hand. Not sure if this is a feature of later Windows design or just game makers doing what I prefer...)

Needed only one hint so far, and haven't used one of the game features, collect enough "golden leaves" to make a potion that hints at the future... There seems to be plenty to keep one busy.

Over all, a nice iHOG with unassuming but original design.
5.5 on my personal scale of 10. May adjust this upward after further play. Will likely buy it.
 posted in 3 Cards to Dead Time on Apr 13, 10 12:14 AM
Roughly 6 hours of play for me. HOG with puzzles, but the story is the thing. It contains clues you will need to solve later puzzles. Three levels of difficulty, with the distinctions being mostly the number of objects you must find and the availability of hints. I played on the "gamer" level, which for me resulted in a nice balance between story and search. Most of the puzzles are moderately easy, though there was one which I chose to look up in the walkthrough, a "connect the dots" with extra dots, and I had no idea as to what I might be trying to draw. Solution did connect to the story, but there is so much story that I simply couldn't see an answer. HOG screens are a pretty good challenge. Nothing really tiny or invisible, but a few items are hard to identify. I found that I was using all the hints and needed more, yet I felt that the answers were for the most part reasonable. In gamer mode, if you click an incorrect item more than 5 times, you will need to start the scene over, so after a couple tries you will be able to solve the scene. That was OK with me. There is some replay-ability, as there are more categories of items to find than are used in a given play. (Often an item will appear in more than one category; click it for one category and it is found in all categories, so if you are having trouble with one category it pays to try another.)

Graphics are good, though I sure wouldn't have minded a bit more sharpness. HOG scenes usually had some ambient activity, often of the creepy sort. Not much to shock one, but those who dislike horror tales should probably give this one a pass. The cut scenes well done, though it seems much is sacrificed to keep cost and file size under control.

Voice acting is well above average, and there is a great deal of it.

Music is original, but there seems to be just one (fairly long) loop Not irritating, but not special in my mind.

The story itself is told in a fairly disjointed manner; which together with the fact that it is told in small segments makes it a bit hard to follow.

Over all, I found it quite enjoyable and well worth the price.
6.5 of 10 on my personal scale.
 posted in Haunted Manor: Lord of Mirrors on Apr 9, 10 1:27 AM
Played 53 minutes, stopped by end of trial content. (5 chapters of 17 according to the walkthrough)
Graphics and animations are very good.
Sound effects fit ambiance, but are repetitious and hence lose their value quickly. Story seems OK, not particularly engrossing. Those who remember 7th Guest and 11th Hour will know how good this could have been.
Play is very straight forward, puzzles not at all challenging, at least for me. Example: decoding a message by merely clicking on the symbols shown; little reasoning involved. Note that some items on your list cannot be found until other actions are completed. This can be discovered via hint, but is not directly indicated.
I always had a hint when I needed one, but I didn't really need any.

Over all, a well executed iHOG which lacks that spark that makes me want to keep playing.

2.6 on my personal scale of 10. I'll pass on this one.
 posted in Dominic Crane's Dreamscape Mystery on Apr 8, 10 1:44 AM
Crashes on my Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit system, even in windows XP compatibility mode. Windows 7 is not listed as a supported system, so not a "support issue" per se, but I thought folks might like to know. (attempts illegal memory access)

Error details:
Problem signature:
Problem Event Name: APPCRASH
Application Name: dominic.exe
Application Version:
Application Timestamp: 2a425e19
Fault Module Name: ntdll.dll
Fault Module Version: 6.1.7600.16385
Fault Module Timestamp: 4a5bdb3b
Exception Code: c0000005
Exception Offset: 00058b72
OS Version: 6.1.7600.
Locale ID: 1033
Additional Information 1: e8ad
Additional Information 2: e8adce1c2b9e7be834b4063ac3c53863
Additional Information 3: e8ad
Additional Information 4: e8adce1c2b9e7be834b4063ac3c53863

 posted in Dora Saves the Snow Princess on Apr 5, 10 9:22 AM
This is aimed at young children. Bright simple graphics, simple games and puzzles, and an annoying young voice that is trying to be cute and exciting and fails on both counts.

Unfortunately, it plays very slowly and ignores clicks while running the talky clips and animations. I spent most of my time waiting, and I cannot imagine that this would be entertaining even to a very patient youngster.

 posted in Lost in the City on Mar 22, 10 12:07 AM
Structure is 40 chapters each with a page of reading, and a variable number of tasks each of which may give you some additional comentary. Tasks may be hidden object, very easy logic puzzle, picture, interlocking rotation, or connect the dots. Played through the entire game in two sessions, roughly five hours for me, in classic mode. Relaxed mode is untimed. Note that there is a good deal of bonus material which you may gain access to by "buying secrets" using money earned as score for completing tasks. Play in relaxed mode may limit your access to this material. Play is generally very easy, needed only 2 hints, and used walkthrough for final sequence puzzle because game did not display the required symbols for me. Strangely, after I consulted the walk through the symbols DID display, and puzzle turned out to be quite easy.

Graphics ok, somewhat blurry, but nearly everything you must find is identifiable. You can right-click to activate a magnifier, but at least for me it was useless as it only magnified by about 5%, and did not improve clarity.

Music is fairly short clip, but not terribly bothersome. Fits atmosphere well.

Story is above average, with enough twists and turns to keep my interest, but just barely.

Over all, plenty of activity for those who like a less challenging game. Experts may enjoy the story, but will not be challenged. I chose to pass it up at $6.99, but at $2.99 it is a good buy. 4.3 on my scale of 10.
 posted in Alice in Wonderland on Mar 20, 10 11:22 PM
Played half an hour, now dealing with junklord and duchess's guard. Maybe 2.5 hours for me. Quite short.

First few moments the music caught my attention and I thought "oh that's nice". Unfortunately, that is about all the music there was. Far too repetitive.

Graphics just ok, though as art they're pretty nice. Seek and find just doable on my VERY bright screen.

Yes, the author really needed to think more about how nature's lightning behaves. This was just thoughtless. Could even have that many flashes, but NOT evenly spaced.

Story ok, as far as it goes. Didn't really expect more.

Puzzles aren't puzzling, and not interesting either.

I never needed a hint, so cannot attest to its quality.

Over all, Pretty but that isn't nearly enough. 1.8 on my scale of 10. Not even worth $2.99 to me.
 posted in Millennium Secrets: Emerald Curse on Mar 20, 10 10:16 PM
Played the hour with brief interruptions in advanced mode. Looking for statues for the fountain at the moment, and a hole in the wall, I think. Based on other reviews that would seem to indicate 3-5 hours for me. Haven't needed a hint.

Graphics are clear, if not pretty. Animations are faintly disturbing, but tolerable.

Music is repetitive, though not irritating. Doesn't really add to the game.

Story is above average so far. Voice acting ok to good.

Play semi-logical, though you will also succeed if you just click everywhere. Author gets an extra kudo for the text comments which are often moderately subtle clues.

Also a plus, you get additional guidance at the outset, though it took me a few minutes to realize that I could not just scan the mouse to find clickables going forward.

Over all, above average, but not a must-buy for me. Maybe I'll pick it up if I run out of other nice games, or more likely grab it if it comes by at $2.99.

3.7 of 10 on my personal scale.
 posted in Vampireville on Mar 14, 10 3:04 AM
Agree with Poodlebear on all her points. Would guess (based on my reaching mid-chapter 6 in an hour and the story progress) that there are 10 to 12 chapters. ==> 2 to 2.5 hours of play.

Story line is quite funny, and game play is click fest, but hints are unlimited with about a 30 second recovery rate.

Music is not irritating.

Nice light tongue-in-cheek iHOG worth $6.99 unless you are a cheapskate like me. I can wait to see if it goes on sale.

5.5 on my scale of 10, unless someone discovers there are lots more chapters. would be 6.5 and a likely buy if it had 20 chapters or more.
 posted in Apparitions: Kotsmine Hills on Mar 13, 10 3:12 AM
Played about 40 minutes, completiing 2 and a quarter of what I will call chapters; structure seems to be dialog; set of 3 flashlight H O, one "special" H O, one minigame. I am not sure how many chapters there are. Didn't find a walkthrough to check, and I certainly am not motivated to find out by playing!

Graphics OK; scene lighting via flashlight varies from top to bottom of screen which just feels wierd, as you would expect the brightness to vary with distance to what you are trying to see, rather than where it is on the screen. There are the usual issues with language translation I think. I had to do a bit of guessing what is meant by "ladle" for example. Not overly difficult on the whole. The Special uses different mechanisms to do seek and find. Also generally poorly done. Either you are just scanning your cursor over the screen to until the right number comes up, or you are doing a standard H O search with a blurrometer.

Hints are easy to come by, 3 supplied at start, and two more available in each H O screen (ghostly faces). I didn't need any.

Scoring system is annoying rather than motivating as well. It was not clear to me where there is a time element to the calculation. H O searches got me around 250 points including found faces which are said to add a bonus.

Music very poor. A single clip about 20 seconds long, repeated (as Herb Caen would have said) "ad infinauseum".

The two minigames I dealt with were more annoying than puzzling. Clickity click to get rid of roaches: my score? 0 of course. Then a badly designed "Mastermind" puzzle. My score again 0. Oh well.

Story OK, dialog sequences are easy to deal with. Animations are "why bother".

Over all, this could have been a decent game, but it isn't; sorry! Perhaps the problem is that it is too realistic! I would not be surprised if an infrared scanner really does seem like a blurometer to the uninitiated! 2.0 on my scale of 10. Just might buy it at $0.99, if I happen to be bored that day.
 posted in Nightfall Mysteries: Curse of the Opera on Mar 11, 10 12:38 AM
bump for mac users
 posted in Geisha: The Secret Garden on Feb 10, 10 2:45 AM
Played nearly a half hour. Roughly 12 levels, but game length doesn't matter too much, as replayability is very high.

It is a nice variation on match3 play, only allowed horizontal moves, but those are unrestricted. (no match required, and often best play is to set up more complex matches before starting a cascade. In timed mode I rarely found I had time to really do much planning though. In the early levels the goals are also very easy, so it takes a bit of avoidance to get your maximum reward. This game does require some mouxterity in the timed mode, so I am at a significant disadvantage there.

rewards are powerups, and "dragons" which increase time, money, and free replays.

Graphics are clean and bright, but not particularly interesting. Music is the same; I'd soon turn it off. After each level, you may use your coins to purchase elements which you can "paint" into a Japanese garden scene. I have seen prettier ones.

Over all, game play is the point for this game, and that is good. For the rest, it is not bad anyway. I am not a match3 aficionado, so my rating is a bit lower than it might be otherwise: 3.8 on my scale of 10. Might buy at $2.99.
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