Posts created by cche

 posted in The Sultan's Labyrinth on Jan 19, 10 11:57 PM
Played the full evaluation hour, finished a bit less than half the challenges, as measured by the chain of dots that represents progress. A tidbit of story between each group of three or four challenges.

None of the challenges are particularly interesting as puzzles, find by silhouette, find all of a given item, place the pieces in the mosaic, find "identical" pairs -- I had to go by shape because color and size would vary, select the identical silhouette from among several subtly differing possibilities (I seldom got those on the first try and if you miss, the possibilities are shuffled, so you cannot just go by trial and error), and simple "put together by clue" puzzles. This is aimed at a less experienced audience I think.
Music was actually pretty good, matched theme and did not distract.
Graphics good and production values above average, perhaps a very little bit dark.
Hints limited to 3 per challenge, but I needed none.
Timed but I never used even a third of the 10 minutes offered.
Slightly sensitive with respect to movement while clicking; occasionally I would have to go back and click again because I moved the mouse as I clicked, but actually nice in that I could click forward quickly through the (basically meaningless) pair of screens between challenges, and even through the story screens. No annoying pauses while the next screen loads.

3.5 on my scale of 10 due to shortness and simplicity. Might get it at $2.99.
 posted in Runes of Avalon 2 on Jan 18, 10 2:23 AM
It is a very nice puzzle game, but not at the pace the timer requires, at least not for this dexterity challenged player. Were the Authors to have included a speed control, perhaps with scoring modifier, this would be among my favorites. As it is, I am not fast enough to complete even level 10 reliably.

Hmmm $6.99 times 10%... yeah. Worth maybe 70 cents to me. :-)
 posted in The Search for Amelia Earhart on Jan 16, 10 5:05 AM
Played nearly the full hour, two a third chapters or a bit more.

Had to work a bit to ignore the flashing skip button.

Music is reasonably long clips, but some may not enjoy the considerable dissonance at least to my ears in some of the chapters.

Graphics are just fair, and you only realize where a target of interaction is if you happen to move your mouse over it, or receive direct information from our heroine... "this looks like a drawer key". Inane, yes, but it does alert you to the fact you are getting something new in your inventory.

Timed and relaxed modes, and in this one, you better be pretty fast if you play timed. I had to redo most of the minigames 2 or three times before I could complete them within the 2 minutes alloted. Each chapter has 20 minutes allocated for 3 scenes of about 20 items. That I could handle.

Picture puzzles are made extremely easy at least at first; The first provides outlines of the pieces so you can match shapes. Later ones remain easy, but do seem to increase in challenge. The "flipping" puzzle becomes tedious once you understand what to do.

Probably the most annoying feature for the experienced player will be the fact that when you click an item correctly, your cursor goes away for a second or two while the game plays an animation of some kind. Nothing to do but wait until it comes back. This completely disrupts my normal search style which tends to go ...stare stare stare... clickclickclick.

"rough around the edges" is a fine description of the problems with this game. Feels like it was made in a hurry. I cannot say it is bad, the story is ok, the character imagery is not particularly well done, and all this detracts from an otherwise quite acceptable if easy iHOG.

2.5 of 10 on my scale. I haven't deleted it, but probably won't spend even $2.99 on it. Maybe some day it will turn up in a 99 cent sale.
 posted in The Mysterious City: Vegas on Jan 14, 10 4:32 AM
I generally agree with others who have written here, but you know I gotta stick my oar in the pond...
Played under 40 minutes to complete 9 levels or so (they're numbered, but my memory lost the number anyway).
Pattern appears to be 2 hidden object, somewhat blurry junkpile. Busy without being fun. Then a find the difference; not awful, but not particularly good either. A minigame with gambling theme; these allow you two choices of bet, and greatly simplified rules of play you "win" credits which translate to score somehow, and I don't care how. Tedious.
Next a couple more hidden object scenes and then another excruciatingly bad tidbit of "story" Our heroine is simultaneously impressed with the money and glamor of Vegas and supposedly businesslike and observant as an investigator (and doctor!).
You do get a choice of timed or not. Hints cost 2 minutes. Score depends heavily on time also.
Music is actually the best part of the game; the kind of elevator music I would expect to hear in a really dead casino.

Over all, a clunker at least in part because the theme demands LOTS of pizazz.
2 of 10 on my scale.
 posted in Feyruna - Fairy Forest on Jan 12, 10 1:29 AM
Didn't last long in this one, 11 minutes or so.

It is a mouse sweep game at heart, move your fairy cursor around the screen collecting goodies while avoiding baddies. Collect magic balloons to gain some protection from baddies.

Those with good reflexes and coordination will do well. I lack both.

Music is light, and at least within the few minutes I played consistent with the story, such as it is. "Evil is invading the land you are to protect. Fight to keep the land pristine."

Graphics are bright; sharpness is not relevant in this chase fest.

Not a bad game for those that like the type, but I have seen better ones, if only I remembered where...
 posted in The Fall Trilogy: Chapter 1 on Jan 10, 10 1:57 AM
I played for 50 minutes or so. Completed 3 puzzles and some progress on a fourth.

It is an interactive adventure with echos of Indiana Jones. Your character knows a fair amount about the things you are dealing with and provides a degree of guidance. Simple hint system with not too bad delay before you get another.

Graphics are good. I am using the 3D free view, wherein one can right click and drag to change her view to face in any direction at all. This takes some getting used to, as at least for me, the mouse controls were counterintuitive. I also get some visual discomfort from the distortions resulting from the technology. Fortunately working slowly and not jerking the controls gives a good working area for puzzle desigh

Puzzles so far are moderate dificulty,given the guidance of your hero
From time to time you discover that some set of items should be found and your progress is stopped until you meet the requirement EG finding all the stone fragments to piece together a cover that fits a puzzle.Once fragments are assembled, you aquire additional capabilities...

I plan to buy, and to report back here with a more complete report
Music, ambient sounds, ...
I got truncated!
I think I meant to say that the music and ambient sounds fit well and didn't irritate.
 posted in The Serpent of Isis ™ on Jan 9, 10 2:26 AM
I too like this game. estimating by the walkthrough, I have completed a third of the game in one hour.

Music is well done; the clip is not very long, but it doesn;t irritate.

Graphics are ok. Junk pile, but not overwhelming. Some items are hard to see, but all in all, fair. I have used perhaps 5 hints and have about 20 in reserve.

Puzzles are quite easy, nothing really new or special there.

Ambiance is well above average, and story is fun... Our lead character has a broken nose; kudos to the authors for this. :-)

Over all pretty good if brief.

5.8 on my scale of 10; May well buy it.
 posted in Heartwild Solitaire on Dec 29, 09 10:52 AM
Very pretty implementation of an old but good pair matching solitaire game.
Those who have played "Aloha Solitaire" (also from Sandlot games as I recall) will find this one very familiar.

There are some new twists among the levels though, including a kind of challenge level wherein you are asked to quickly find all the matches to a given item.

Music is pleasant, but the clip isn't very long, and It will pall for me after a while.
The story will appeal to some, and not to others. I am not intrigued.
 posted in The Mirror Mysteries on Dec 29, 09 2:49 AM
Nice design in a small and fairly easy interactive H O game.
Graphics are good to excellent. Story and game "play well together"

Music is not irritating, but not special.

I completed just under half the mirrors in an hour, so expect just over two hours total play. For this reason, it will go on the "Maybe at $2.99" pile.

This would be a pretty good introductory game for the genre.

3.3 on my scale of 10
 posted in The Mirror Mysteries on Dec 29, 09 2:44 AM
one on the right looks like it belongs there, but click it.
Don't exactly remember where i got the other, but it is oriented exactly as shown in the lower box. Good luck!
 posted in Great Adventures: Lost in Mountains on Dec 29, 09 1:26 AM
40 minutes or so into the game, 3 of who knows how many objectives complete.

Kind of cartoony sim combined with a mystery story of sorts, though I have made very little progress on that aspect of the game.

Music is bouncy and seems a bit inconsistent with the story, but the whole game has that upbeat feel. I will soon get tired of the music.

The sim aspects of the game (you need to keep your characters fed, rested and happy for maximum performance) really do not add to the story. The puzzles so far are simple, and consistent with the story.

The 45 degree angle view of "3-d" environment is a waste of imagery. It clutters up the screen without improving play experience.

I am sure many folks will enjoy this game, I am not one of them.
 posted in Broken Hearts: A Soldier's Duty on Dec 18, 09 1:27 AM
Seems to be an OK HOG, but not for me; the story isn't my quart of tea.
The other features don't compensate.

Graphics are bright and reasonably clear. H O screens aren't exactly junkpile, but there is a lot of invisible velcro. The variety of hints and the system of charging hearts is a reasonable design. Didn't need any in the 4 screens I played taking less than 20 minutes.

Music is forgettable, but I noticed it was a loop. Not good.

3 on my scale of 10.

 posted in Fishdom on Dec 18, 09 12:59 AM
Played the demo for 40 minutes. Nice match 3 with achievements and screensaver. In truth though, I prefer the Big Kahuna games. They're less busy, and some very nice puzzles. Perhaps those come later in this, but then I have played through both Big Kahuna Reef games and those are the ones I will keep coming back to.
 posted in Samantha Swift: Mystery From Atlantis on Dec 17, 09 1:31 AM
Started with the new build. For me it is also less polished than the first two. I too miss the transition indicators, and the element of finding things in one place that would be used elsewhere. Perhaps the developers were definitely trying to squeeze more H O into the $6.99 package, and sacrificed the other elements?

I enjoy the ultra competent and well funded team in the Samantha series. Just a little fantasy fun but a good point for the games.

With 30 minutes just before sleep, I think I am near the end of the Alaska chapter, so as with others I do not expect to get more than about 3.5 hours of play.

Note to developers: Interesting is not the same as hard, nor is waving the mouse mouse over the screen the same as finding a solution. Best would be graduated clues beginning with small hints and ending with (perhaps) a sparkle. I understand that you want to make a game that many different levels of player can enjoy, but this technique is not very satisfactory, at least in my view.

Music is good, graphics fine, story, ok so far, H O screens fairly easy, interactive puzzles rather arbitrary, with little real motivation to figure them out.
4.5 on my scale of 10, but could change if I do buy it.
 posted in Season Match 2 on Dec 17, 09 12:39 AM
I have played for 32 minutes. Match mechanism is similar to 4 elements, though there are more "power ups", and the match screens alternate with a variety of hidden object puzzles.

Timed and relaxed modes available.

Music seems to be a single loop, and not too long. Will become irritating after a while.

Not too difficult at least in the earlier levels.

At $2.99, and based on comments in older threads, this is a fair value. Not my kind of game though.
Re: lack of hype, perhaps this was a way to fast track delivery of the game to BFG?
Oops, was just rushing back to correct myself.
Not quite; He did say that it would be soon. I interpret that to mean some time in the next few weeks.
 posted in Mystery Case Files®: Dire Grove™ on Dec 15, 09 10:09 PM
cche wrote:I have played it for about half an hour. Excellent design, however I really do not enjoy being startled and listening to screeching terror. Have bought it despite this, but I surely hope that the next MCF will take us in a calmer direction. I don't play these games to get stressed out.

Well the good news is that the screechiness was limited to a relatively small part of the game.

I have just completed it; roughly 6 hours in two very intense sessions.
Graphics are excellent, highly detailed and definitely create an appropriate ambiance for the story. H O screens were fun to look at, and reasonably consistent junkpile. Of course there is my favorite nit-pick, many useful objects seen and even found on lists that we don't get to keep. I know it is supposed to be a puzzle, but...

Path through the game was quite well managed, and interactive puzzles were good on the whole. The camera angle often left me feeling like the thing that worked shouldn't have been possible. It is really tough, though, to give good perspective through a flat screen; so I won't complain (much).

Transitions were VERY fast considering quality and detail. Someone really thought about how to make the game operate smoothly, and I GREATLY appreciate it. It would be bad enough traipsing back and forth through the icy cold without having to wait while each new scene loads. This will particularly benefit folks whose computers are near minimum system requirements.

Minigames were moderately tough, demanding more patience than thought, but again, kudos to the designers and programmers who took the trouble to make things work smoothly.

Story was very well done, presented through text, video and imagery. It kept me glued to the game. I also much appreciated the sense of closure achieved with the ending. Good work, authors!

Music was good, though possibly the weakest aspect of the game; our hero(ine) must have had a very nice MP3 player plugged into his or her ears to have music like that in this ice fest.

In summary, this game fully meets the standard set by previous MCF games. Polished, original, and a huge value for your games budget dollar. 8 of 10 on my personal scale of casual games. (There is always room to improve! )
 posted in Gotcha: Celebrity Secrets on Dec 15, 09 3:06 AM
Completed chapter one of 5 in 47 minutes ==> nearly 4 hours of play for me.
Graphics ok, hand drawn cartoon imagery, bright and colorful. H O find by clue, image, and silhouette so far. Not difficult but I was using the occasional hint.
Looks to have good re-playability, as many more figures in the screen than we are asked to find.
Story is simple and cutesy.
Integrated puzzles are quite easy, at least in chapter 1.
Music is appropriate, and not irritating.

I rate it 5 of 10; Not at all bad, but not for me.
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