Posts created by elldee2728

 posted in Dark Canvas: A Brush With Death Collector's Edition on Jan 17, 13 6:53 AM
(Based on about 30 minutes of the demo)--

I think that the developer who gave us classy games like "Written Legends--Nightmare At Sea" and the "Nightfall..." wonders, has taken a step backwards with this one. I'll admit to being a fan of "dark and eerie" H0PAs, but sometimes, intro things like car crashes, rough seas, bad weather (rain and lightning/thunder), explosions, and disappearances of family members/professors at the the hands of some hooded figure, are probably getting a bit weary.

While the intro is scenic, it's a bit confusing to me. The storyline? I think we're the Mom, travelling to some distant Italian island, to find our daughter, who went there to visit an art gallery whose artist's paintings are futuristic. Some of the initial actions in this game don't seem to make sense. The options menu is good, but the cursor choice borders on the absurd--large is clunky, small is too small, and then there's the system one, which is no help. The graphics and color are good, though. The H0 scene I played was truly interactive, three ways--straightforward-listing, uncover something to find another item, and combine things to find yet another item. (This gameplay is a high point.)

Voice acting is OK, but not as quality-like as in an Edgar Allan Poe game. (I probably shouldn't make comparisons, though). There's a journal, but no map. Hint system is slow to re-up, but does prompt a next action. The SG is only available for two chapters during the demo (I guess, "Oh, so what!). So, no good idea about game length. Typical CE goodies, but I don't think this one warrants a CE price.

Regards, elldee

 posted in Time Mysteries: The Final Enigma Collector's Edition on Jan 15, 13 7:31 AM
(Based on 47 minutes of the demo)--

I said in another thread that I'm a "dog" for CEs. Well, not this one, I'm afraid. I usually enjoy releases from this developer, but this one just doesn't measure up, to me.

The intro is a bit of a head-scratcher, and the Options menu is very spartan--two sliders, cursor choice and screen choice (does that work for some? I hope so.). The storyline is a bit confusing--the villain (Vivianna) is a "good person/bad person/good person/bad person." I liked the voice acting ("Aussie"). The graphics seemed a little fuzzy to me. The size of the items in the H0 scenes made them pretty easy to find, and there was some interaction. Journal/Diary, but no map. Boo-hoo. That said, the hint system works outside the H0 scenes, which is a good thing.

To me, this one just doesn't stand up to some previous developers' games--e.g., "Nightmare From The Deep--Cursed Heart," "Time Mysteries--The Inheritance," 'Abyss--The Wraiths Of Eden." This developer hasn't gone backwards, like some others, but they're just on a plateau. Both and .

Regards, elldee
(I'll review this after about 30 minutes of the demo, and then about an hour of the purchased gane.)

Well, it's an ers game--some folks will be turned off simply by that. Not me! I always give ers a chance, and I'm glad I did with this one! Number four in the Edgar Allan Poe series--doesn't quite measure up to "Premature Burial," (number three), but still very good. Again, Inspector Dupin solicits our "detective" help in solving a mystery.

What a great intro, and a nifty Options menu! Three sliders--music, sound, voice. Choice of cursors and screen options. (Hope widesceen works for folks that need that). There are three gameplay modes ("casual" is pretty easy). Voice acting is good, and syncs very well with the characters' lip movements. The animations are excellent (e.g., waterwheel turning in the background); the graphics are typically ers--great colors; H0 scenes are interactive, not necessarily junky. Ya gotta love "Arthur," the Newfoundland pooch that helps with hints from inventory (if the item has a pawprint). You'll find him a few minutes into the game. The hint system works well outside of the H0 scenes. Typically, the integrated SG remembers where you left off. No map, which is a bit disappointing.

I have enjoyed the previous Poe stories, and this one doesn't disappoint. But as always, D/L the demo first.

Regards, elldee
(My comments are based on about 25 minutes of the demo, and then the purchase of more play time.)

Good game! Storyline--we're a constable sent to Sleepy Hollow in upstate New York to investigate murders (beheadings). Pretty true to the the Washington Irving tale.

The intro is entertaining; the Options Menu is simple, though--two sliders (music and sounds), cursor choice, screen choice (hope that works for some folks). The animations and graphic scenes are very realistic--the voice acting is quite lifelike, characters syncing well with the dialogue.

The hidden-object scenes are realistic, and not necessarily junk-pile style. The H0 scenes in "Mystery Legends--Sleepy Hollow" were quite a bit more challenging. Find golden horseshoes for achievements (I personally like "achievements" in CE games). And there are trophies to be won. (That's a good thing!). Inventory items can be combined to gain better things and further the game. Diary/Journal--Yes. Map--No.

Haven't played the entire game, to include the bonus chapter, but studying the Strategy Guide, I suspect that the game length would be pretty long.

I believe that this game is a good historical account (including "names") from a wonderful American author. Glad I got this for the BFG Monday discount.

Regards, elldee

 posted in King Oddball on Dec 31, 12 5:07 AM
I was hoping for something with a little substance. It's a good thing we've got several good games "in the tank," so we'll still enjoy ourselves today and tomorrow.

This offerring should have been titled "King Goofball" or "KingFoulball. I can't help but suspect that it came from a Penny Arcade at some carnival or amusement park!

Can't wait for this Holiday season to be over with. (I'm no "Scrooge"--it just hasn't been a decent one for us.) Oh well--

Happy New Year, everyone!

Regards, elldee
 posted in Reality Show: Fatal Shot Collector's Edition on Dec 20, 12 10:21 PM
(Based on about 30 minutes with the demo, and then a purchase of the entire game)

Well, I think that ERS has taken a step in the right direction, climbing back towards one of the top game-developer studios.

This is a good murder mystery based on a "Reality TV Show," with a rather shocking intro ( I love the Golden Gate Bridge), and a really nifty opening screen and Options menu. Three sliders, cursor choice (the game one is a bit clunky), screen choice (hope the widescreen one works for those who need it (BFG reviewer Cbtx?)).

This game (so far) is mostly an adventure--no H0 scenes yet (but no disappointment here). The hint system points in the next direction; the integrated Strategy Guide (118 pages) remembers where you are. When I do collect an item for the inventory, I find it much fun to figure out where to use that item. Voice acting? Really good, with mouth-syncing moving with the dialogue. Graphics? Beautiful, per ERS quality. Do clowns scare you? Then you might want to stay away. No morphing objects or achievements (as I can tell).

I think that this is a worthy CE, with the bells and whistles. But I say, try the demo first.

Regards, elldee

 posted in The Torment of Whitewall Collector's Edition on Dec 17, 12 2:14 AM
I'm a little bit behind on my remarks, but that's what an overnight hospital stay will do to ya.

First of all, this game is from the same developers who offered us "Strange Cases--The Tarot Card Mystery" and "Strange Cases--The Lighthouse Mystery." Both, pretty good games. Now, on to this one.

As Cherb noted, the opening sequence might require some "Dramanine" for folks that are sensitive to motion. Nice Options menu--three sliders for music, sound, and voice. Yes, voice--I think it's done well. Cursor choice (the game cursor is kinda clunky) and screen choice (good luck to those who need the widescreen option).

Storyline--girls in a 19th-century London were being kidnapped, and of course, we're being called in to investigate. No surprise here! This is a true H0PA, with emphasis on the "A." The music is very repetitive, so I turned the speakers down, if not off. Good gameplay modes (3); the characters are somewhat stiff and cartoonish-looking; the graphics are not "tops," but the H0 scenes are playable and interactive. I always like a Hint system that works outside the H0 scenes--points you where to go next. And an interactive map? Good deal. Mini-games so far? Pretty easy.

I really liked the first two games from this developer, but this one doesn't quite measure up. Still, it's a fun mystery. I bought the CE, but I could have waited for the SE. Test it for yourself.

Regards, elldee
As always, Valdy, thank you for your review and for your additional remarks!

I just finished the D/L for this game, and I noticed that I was immediately rewarded with an additional "Punch." Go, BFG!
 posted in Christmas Stories: Nutcracker Collector's Edition on Dec 4, 12 10:53 PM
OK, DW and I just finished this game (nay, "experience"). I've already written a review earlier, but I wanted to add some additional thoughts.

First of all, we're "smell the roses, smell the coffee" gamers. So we enjoyed this game for probably 6+ hours, not including the bonus episode (which we've just started). What's not to like about an animated "candleman," a climbing kitty, and a sword-wielding "Nutcracker"?

The sound track/music track only get better as the game goes along, but to me, the colors, graphics, and inventory are what made us want to just enjoy the screens!

This "two-tusker" studio has quite surpassed other earlier premier develop-ERS. I'm surely a believer in trying a demo first, but if I know that this particular developer is giving an offering, I'll probably D/L without a second look!
 posted in Christmas Stories: Nutcracker Collector's Edition on Nov 30, 12 11:27 PM
(Based on nearly the complete demo, and, no doubt, purchasing the full game and playing (enjoying) a bit of the whole thing!)

There have obviously been many very astute reviews/comments prior to this, but I felt the need to express my opinion and award a medal to those responsible for this gift. Yes, this is based on Tchaikovsky's wonderful piece of work, but it goes a little further distance.

First of all, the "two-ivory-tusk" developer wearing a Santa Claus hat is quite a nice opening touch. Then the intro--I felt like I was in the middle of a winter snowfall The Options menu is full of goodies--four sliders, screen choice, cursor choice, and "Gamma" choice (brightness). Three gameplay modes too. Keep the speakers on--with eyes closed, I could have sworn I was in a theater with "The Nutcracker" playing.

The storyline is engaging--Prince is turned into a Bavarian Nutcracker, Princess is absconded and turned into a doll, all by the doings of a nefarious "Rat King." Let's rescue her and return things to normal, shall we?

Voice acting? Superb. Graphics? Neiman-Marcus couldn't decorate a Christmas tree any better, and the colors are real "eye-candy"! Cut-scenes? Ever seen a "Rat-Army" marching in step to music? The Hidden-Object (H0) scenes are some of the most interactive that I've ever enjoyed, and challenging but not frustrating. The "inventory" makes complete sense. The hint system is awesome, as is the Strategy Guide (remembers where you are--and eight chapters plus the bonus gameplay--good game length?).

This may be a "Holiday" style of game, but I think it could be enjoyed year-round by all ages (we're "seniors," but my guess is that our DD and DGD would like it just as much!). The "two'tusker" developer has continually surpassed some of the other big-time creators--this one out-distances the competition by quite a bit!

Regards, elldee

 posted in Murder, She Wrote 2: Return to Cabot Cove on Nov 30, 12 5:53 PM
Personally, Legacy Games isn't necessarily known to me for too many fun offerings, but "Murder, She Wrote 2" is a heck of a good time. It's composed of three very bright-colored, head-scratching mysteries that don't involve the occult or vampires or dark-souled witches (at least the first two episodes don't--I haven't had a chance to enjoy the third one yet). The first two stories seem to last almost as long as ALL of the initial release.

Two gameplay modes, sound and music sliders (you'd swear that both come right from the TV show), and gorgeous Autumn-colored graphics that you'd expect from that time of season in Maine. The voice acting is authentic, and occurs in-and-out of all the scenes, unlike some other games that just give you a "taste" at the beginning and then defer to written-only dialogue. There's one spider scene, and a bit of blood, but nothing that would turn me off.

There are considerable Hidden-Object scenes; they're very artistic, and include six typewriter keys to find to "up" the hint system, which is very helpful outside of those scenes This kind of H0 list doesn't include those missing letters, but you can still find most of them pretty easily. The H0 system is a typewriter at the bottom-left of the screen. The game could use a map, though, because there is a bit of travelling. A journal (bottom right) has both a "Clue" section and an "Objective" section--they're quite helpful.

The characters (Jessica Fletcher, Dr. Seth Hazlett, Sheriff Metzger, among other townsfolk) are well-portrayed, but stiff and sometimes inanimate. But their dress-code and "Manie-iac" language and accent are appropriate.

Lack of a map, and no real replay value? Four stars instead of five.

Regards, elldee
 posted in The Beast of Lycan Isle Collector's Edition on Nov 25, 12 10:23 AM
From the same developer that gave us Empress of the Deep I & II, this is a bit disappointing.

Three sliders, but only two gameplay modes. I've been "handheld" b4, but this game holds both of your hands. BIG arrows (again) and sparklies. Do you like H0 scenes? None in the majority of the demo that I played.

Storyline is OK--our friend has disappeared on a "Lycan" island. Let's find her in this "Adventure," less H0G. The voice acting is marginal, as are the graphics.

There's a journal and a non-interactive map. The hint button is HUGE, but it's helpful outside.

This is a short review, but it's my first thoughts on the game.

Regards, elldee
Oh boy--another offering from one of my favorite developers--"M-I-S," if you know what I mean! (Robinson Crusoe and the Cursed Pirates," " The Fool," "Dorian Gray..." I played about 1/2 hour of the demo in the Casual mode and went straight-away to buy. I read some of the tech issues, but we're playing on an HP 23" desktop--haven't experienced any problems (knock on wood).

I love the premise--an old-fashioned, 19th century London mystery (a la Sherlock Holmes?) with all the scenery and dialogue (which is a bit long at times) that goes with it. Voiceovers good so far, graphics beautiful, one H0 scene (interactive), one unique puzzle.

A lengthier review may come later--just wanted to get my two cents in now. I read a recent "review" (?) that stated that the reviewer played the entire game in Hard mode in two hours--I don't see that happening in this household (or many other households, for that matter!). As they say, you can't tell the length of a game by the size of the D/L (think "Phantasmat").

Regards, elldee
 posted in Forbidden Secrets: Alien Town Collector's Edition on Nov 11, 12 10:52 PM
Apparently, some folks just don't get the point of the majority of posts in this thread. To me, ALL means ALL. I could certainly live with an "Except the TGT" admission, but that's suspiciously absent on the homepage. We wouldn't have to "Learn More" if a disclaimer flag was right up front.

There also seems to be some derision about "$14.00" vs. "$13.99." I like to "round off" things, so a penny here or a penny there doesn't seem important to me.

I've bought this game (as a loyal BFG member), and so far (40 minutes?), it is great, as most of this developer's products are.

Mr_Russ is absolutely right--if this game would have been released on the upcoming CE Thursday, this thread would probably never exist.

Regards, elldee
 posted in Forbidden Secrets: Alien Town Collector's Edition on Nov 11, 12 1:31 PM
JanG7 wrote: I think BFG is being very fair about members not recieving the 1/2 off disount for this game today. The game doesn't release for everyone until tomorrow. We already get the game a day earlier at the members price vice when non-members buy the game tomorrow, they will have to pay $19.99.

Either fork over the bucks and buy the game today, or wait for another sale for these devs (which doesn't happen often), I'm tired of the belly aching. Suck it up and buy, or wait for a long time to get the game cheap.

I haven't payed the bonus chapter yet, but this is a great game.

Hey JanG7--Let's see now--I get the privilege of purchasing this game ONE day early for $14.00, right? As a member, I pay a $7.00. membership fee. Assuming that I buy just one game per month, I've forked over $21.00. Can you not agree that the home-page ad should apply to ALL BFG customers, whether members or not?

"Belly-aching" and "Suck it up" aren't phrases that warrant gracious responses, BTW.

elldee (no "Regards" here)

(P.S. Did you have to "pay" for the Bonus Chapter? Not me.)
 posted in Forbidden Secrets: Alien Town Collector's Edition on Nov 11, 12 12:21 PM
I just read what I consider a rather weak excuse/apology for BFG stepping on its necktie with regards to this fine developer's games.

How about going to a local pharmacy and expecting a "sale" on Vitamins? Only to have a cashier tell you (upon checkout) that the price is only for non-pharmacy-customer card holders? Do I have to go home and log in to that pharmacy's website just to "Learn More"?

If I see a poster or a billboard that blatantly advertizes a "sale" or a "half-off" deal, I expect that to be honored, no matter what. Why should I wait 'til "tomorrow" to join the Pharmacy? Oh-oh--I should have joined yesterday?

I've been a stalwart BFG member for quite some time, but I surely disagree with the home-page's claim about a sale for this developer's games. BOO.

I still think that does a bang-up job of providing gamers with good products, but I sometimes have to scratch my head when I think about the Public Relations.

Regards, elldee
 posted in Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden on Oct 30, 12 12:49 PM
(After about 20 minutes of the demo, then the purchase with a PunchCard Coupon)

Well, in spite of the fact that we can't even HINT at the developers, this seems to be a wonderful game! They (the developers, not BFG) must spend hours, if not days or weeks, creating a game like this!

Oh sure--the storyline is that our MALE fiance is missing--have we seen that b4? But this time, it's in the deep blue sea, so the scenario is quite a bit different.

The intro is very descriptive, and the Options Menu is THE best! Sound and music sliders, three gameplay modes, AND an automatic Widescreen mode (Hooray for you, Cbtx!). (Other developers--did you get the message?).

A journal, a map (no jumping, though), and a hint system that re-ups really quickly (a deep-sea diver's helmet). The H0 scenes are beautifully graphic, and they're interactive, as well. The voice acting is excellent, as is the animation during cutscenes. I liked the sound effect as you click on a hidden-object--like "Sonar." You can also play a "domino" game in lieu of the H0 scene.

I'm a licensed SCUBA diver, and I have to admit that this is a very realistic underwater game! There are other "deep-sea" games that are very good, but this one sets the bar even higher! Kudos to the developer, and to for offering this as a Standard Edition.

 posted in Dark Arcana: The Carnival on Oct 28, 12 12:19 AM
twinsoniclab wrote:[quote=elldee2728
If it weren't for the shortness of the game, this might almost be worthy of a CE. A "last chapter"? Good deal. Can't find that last H0? Play a card game called "Monaco" to knock out one H0 item at a time.

Regards, elldee

I'm a little confused. When I played the Monaco game it skipped the HOS. It was one or the other for me.

(My response)--

I do believe you're right--I got a little confused myself. I think I got this mixed up with Dreamland, where we can play a Match-3 game to eliminate a hidden object. Sorry!

Regards, elldee
 posted in Dark Arcana: The Carnival on Oct 27, 12 11:27 AM
Artifex Mundi? Oh, goody! I hardly needed to try the demo, but I trusted my better judgment and did the trial, just the same. I've learned some hard lessons by trusting the developers' prior releases. This one doesn't disappoint, although it does have a few shortcomings.

Hooray! This time, the storyline involves a missing Mommy rather than a kidnapped child or a "possessed" boyfriend! Mommy gets locked into a funhouse and gets absorbed by a bunch of mirrors.

This is a H0PA, with more "adventure" than H0 scenes. Mini-games are aplenty--the "five monkey" puzzle is a particular challenge. The H0 scenes include interaction; there are very good voice-overs, although the lip-syncing doesn't necessarily go smoothly with the dialogue. The graphics are excellent, but the character movements are a bit stiff. Three kinds of gameplay--hints and skip buttons re-up pretty quickly. You'll love the "monkey" that helps you out--you'll find him/her early in the game. A journal/diary? Yep. A map? Yep, but no help.

This game displays some old-fashioned "carny" scenery--carousel, ferris wheel, "hammer of strength" (ring the bell) etc. Very reminiscent of my childhood!

If it weren't for the shortness of the game, this might almost be worthy of a CE. A "last chapter"? Good deal. Can't find that last H0? Play a card game called "Monaco" to knock out one H0 item at a time.

I'm happy with this purchase--use a BFG Punch Card Coupon or BFG Game Club credit, and it'll be even better!

Regards, elldee
 posted in Botanica: Into the Unknown Collector's Edition on Oct 22, 12 8:53 AM
BoomZap has surpassed just about all other developers with this latest release. Valdy, Cbtx and other astute observers have commented on all the strengths of this game, so I'll keep this concise.

First of all, the $4.00 discount for a CE of this quality is impressive--thank you, BFG! I've paid full price ($14.00) for CEs that are far less worthy than Botanica. Silly me!

The storyline (Dad disappeared 20 years ago, now we're a biologist/botanist searching for him--go through a portal), the voice acting (superb), the graphics/color (very artistic), and the hint system are "par excellence." BoomZap's "Awakening" series is certainly classy, but Botanica sets the bar a bit higher with this game. Three game-play modes just add to the enjoyment/challenge here. More of a PA (puzzle/adventure) than a hidden-object type of game. Travel on a lizard or dragonfly? What fun! And achievements? Just an added bonus!

Regards, elldee

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