Posts created by Lainie221

 posted in The Adventures of Mary Ann: Lucky Pirates on Aug 9, 12 12:53 AM
Puzzle Hero, Mean Girls, Puzzle Quest 1 & 2, 10000000 (10 Million) all have M3 battles, but they aren’t really like this game.

Robin’s Island Adventure, Hidden Wonders of the Depths 3, Big Kahuna Reef 1-3, and Cave Quest have the clear-the-path type M3 play, but they aren’t really like this game.

Tropix 2: The Quest for the Golden Banana is the closest game I’ve played that comes close to the variety present in this game, but it still isn’t quite like The Adventures of Mary Ann: Lucky Pirates!
 posted in The Adventures of Mary Ann: Lucky Pirates on Aug 8, 12 11:51 PM
Choose the heart icon from among your arsenal of power-ups and make matches of that tile to restore health points while in battle. You can also use barrels (not sure of the English term in the game) to restore points when not in an M3 battle. I was unpleasantly surprised when I ran into reefs and lost points while exploring to avoid the consortium of octopuses (octopodes) waiting for me. I hadn't realized that could happen!

Another option is to quit to the main menu as doing so doesn't appear to save the game. Actually, quitting the level to return to it later works as well.
I am more a classic adventure gamer than a HOG fan, but this game was interesting. It kept me engrossed in the story until the end.

I’ll get to the negative comments straightaway so that I can end on a high note.

The overacting detracted from my immersion in the story, and Jane Doe’s (no spoilers!) whinging truly got on my last nerve. I understand she was having a mental breakdown, but I would have preferred a voice filled with quiet, growing horror than the one with which I was presented (English version). Another minor annoyance was that the strategy guide didn’t keep up with my progress. Finally, while the idea of using a psychic—as in the movie Dreamscape—works, I think a doctor of psychology with a specialization in parapsychology (parapsychologist) would have been a better profession in light of our role in the game: a therapist for Doe, like the good ones in the 2006 animated film Paprika. The term psychic tends to cheapen our role as the term is too often associated with con artists bilking gullible people out of their hard-earned money.

Now for my compliments to Elephant Games for the many aspects I enjoyed about this game.

The game is a psychological fantasy thriller concerning multiple personality disorder—fascinating! The voice actor narrator who explained Jane’s past was perfect. Collecting flowers to purchase items to decorate the office was a great idea as was creating achievements for progressing through the game—anyone can win something. The presentation of the awards was classy too. More jewels would be added to an award, say for using no hints, so you don’t feel as if you’d “missed” any. The puzzles were excellent, & I get to replay my favorite—the ball rolling down a path through doors timed to block it.

The inventory puzzles are fairly logical: I used the interactive map to find & get to locales, not to tell me where to go. The achievement awards claimed there were over 15 H.O. scenes; I was surprised as there seemed to be very few.

Beautiful graphics, movies to replay in-game, interesting story, creative puzzles, logical inventory uses, and H.O. scenes I could complete w/o hints. Not bad, indeed. I would recommend this game to a friend.
 posted in Druids - Battle of Magic on Jun 10, 12 3:07 PM
Druids boasts large M3 boards, New Age-like background music, and animated elements to match in order to free the entrapped denizens of this magical world.
There are various impediments to clearing each board—at my present level, 20, there are metal and wooden tiles that need more than one match to destroy, and the beings trapped within might descend while still trapped, creating an obstacle in the new space it occupies. Some obstacles render the tile impervious to the player’s clicks and must be cleared by making nearby matches or by using the elemental power-ups. I play in untimed mode, so there’s no rush to clear the board, but sometimes it’s hard to see what kind of being is in the prison to match it to others of its kind because the prisons distort the being within.

I don’t imagine that the story is particularly gripping since I cannot recall any of it, but I don’t generally play games of this type for the plot. Each of these boards takes a while to clear because the boards are so large and have so many impediments to clearing. How anyone plays this game timed is a mystery to me (smile).
I am playing this game on the Mac (OS 10.6.6) and have experienced no glitches in 3+ hours of gameplay. When I learned that this game could be played by searching hidden object scenes or match3, I had to try it since I really enjoyed Phantasmat. This game has not disappointed me.

Loading times are very quick on my system, so backtracking to rooms via the map poses no problems for me. The map also includes exclamation points to help the player get to the correct room, even if he or she cannot remember exactly which time period held any particular puzzle. The hint button is used for instructions during the puzzles portion of the game—I haven’t had to use the built-in (CE) strategy guide yet. The hidden object scenes are challenging, but the sonar helps by providing a silhouette of objects on the list. And of course, if the player cannot find an object, he or she can always switch to the M3 mini-game.

In addition to the incredibly helpful interactive map, which is constructed in-game through a clever matching portrait to the correct background mini-game, on the Mac, it’s possible to enlarge the entire hidden object scene (by using CTRL + pushing the mouse’s surface upwards with an index finger—equivalent to using the PC mouse’s scroll wheel) to find those elusive objects. The M3 boards do get more difficult, but as a M3 fan, I really enjoy the challenge (as long as it’s UNTIMED, which this is!).

Thanks, BFG, for offering this game in the first place, then offering it half price during the 10 days of June sale.
 posted in Jewel Match on May 30, 12 8:47 PM
I had played Jewel Match 3 and enjoyed it so much that I later purchased Jewel Match 2. I saw Jewel Match as the DD on one of the BFG foreign language sites, so I tried it. Same soothing music and the jewels were as bright but no snazzy power ups that would blast through entire rows or columns. I got through to level 10 when I had one jewel to crush to finish—eh—lost one life! I played in timed mode since for the hour demo I thought it would be best to push myself to get through as many levels as I could quickly to see the variety of boards (but I understand that there is an untimed mode) and planned to play until losing a life, but the hour was up at that point anyway. That is a nice length of easy (less challenging) game play because I am horrible at timed mode and usually lose a life by the 2nd or 3rd levels!
The one problem I noticed was that the music would end abruptly at times to switch to a different track. That was quite jarring. It seemed that would happen when the sound effects got more powerful when a single match of 6 or more jewels was made.
If you like M3 games and have never played Jewel Match 2 or 3, you might like this one; otherwise, keep playing the more later versions as they have much more pizzazz.
 posted in The Blackwell Convergence on May 27, 12 1:37 PM
This game is an old gem that plays like even older jewels. I was transported to the past when games featuring Lara Bow and Gabriel Knight reigned supreme (circa late 80s—90s). You get to play two different characters in this point and click game. The inventory for this game never got overwhelming—you kept only what was immediately necessary to use—and you could converse with your partner for small hints when you got stuck. (Actually, it was best to plan moves with your partner regularly because some conversations were cues for the next game action. I “ogled” a name before the game had set up the action and received the address online but did not get the address placed on my map until I conferenced with my ghost partner.)
The graphics were the top of line for the early 90s, and the voice acting was sublime. I enjoyed the jazzy score during gameplay, and the music seemed to fit the mood of each scene. Even the credits were great: The photos of the voice actors appeared side-by-side with the characters they played. Further, like any great movie that plans a sequel, the audience should sit through the credits for a little surprise update!
Had so much fun with this one that I bought up all the games in this series (purchased at the BFG Memorial Sale blowout) at once! So very glad that I found this very short, but sweet, game.
 posted in Citadel Arcanes on Apr 5, 12 9:00 AM
Citadel Arcanes is a charming Match 3 game that provides players the choice to meet objectives in the time allotted or to skip the deadline and continue playing the game. I’ve been playing for about 21 minutes and have decided to purchase the game while the 2-for-one Spring special is available.

The music is serene and unobtrusive at the low volume I generally play my games. To play the M3 boards, you must click on an object and exchange it with a nearby object to make the matches. I found it a bit confusing that the object stayed on the mouse until placed, and I made the mistake of thinking I could pick up an object and place it anywhere on the board to make a match, but the game won’t allow that. It’s simply a different type of «swap.» So far, I’ve played a somewhat sideways (view) standard board and one where the matches move a treasure chest along a path to freedom. Again, the way the chest moved was different from other games of the sort in that it was «traveling» along a path and not «falling» from matches made beneath it. Once you play the game you’ll see what I mean. Another board type had the player make matches surrounding a building placed on the board to turn the tiles underneath gold.

The resource building aspect of the game allows the player to place trees, buildings, and roads where desired within the green highlighted area. As long as the player has resources, he or she may build freely to make meeting building objectives easier later on. Unless the land opens up at later stages, though, space will be at a premium. Worth the purchase price for me.
 posted in Mystery Trackers: Black Isle Collector's Edition on Apr 1, 12 11:34 AM
Being more a fan of point and click or adventure games, I’m usually hesitant to try a game that comes up in an “adventure” genre search but is labeled as a Hidden Object Game. I was, however, quite pleasantly surprised by this game. So much has been written up about this game—lack of widescreen display, collectible owls, even in H.O. scenes (which disappear after the scene if not discovered), live-action video mixed with static scenes, etc.—that I’ll only comment on what most impressed or amused me.

I’m bowled over by the interactive map that not only tells you where you are at the moment (an “X” marks your spot) and where you still have tasks to complete (an exclamation point “!” AND a list of tasks summarized in writing) but allows you to teleport to buildings within a location. I particularly found the map useful while I was completing a puzzle whose clue appeared in a book in an alleyway, several clicks away from the actual puzzle. I could even teleport to a couple of different points inside a building and not just in the general area of a spot I wanted to be, so instead of, say, 8 clicks, I could get there and back in 6 (counting the 2 clicks for the map). This doesn’t sound impressive now, I realize, but in the game, it’s really wonderful, especially if you don’t quite remember where a clue or object is; the backtracking is made so much simpler!

I’m amused by the occasional total lack of logic to the player’s actions. Spoiler alert! (highlight to view text) ***

a fire breaks out, and the player needs to put it out FAST! Oh, but you need to play a hidden object scene and find things like a FEATHER, and finish making a tool to open up a locked object that will help you get another object to work that will eventually lead you to the tool you need to put out the fire. . .

*** Too funny!

Sorry, there are so many other solutions to tasks that could be done in many other ways than the game actually requires, but I can’t reveal them without totally spoiling the game. Those moments didn’t frustrate me though because the player is never left too long in the dark or far from the tools needed to solve the problems the way the game wants the player to proceed. Also, the comments from the player’s character are funny (consider the following paraphrasing as I cannot trust my powers of memorization): “That could work in a perfect world,” or “If it could be done that way, I’d have finished my investigation long ago!” Priceless.
 posted in Magicville: Art of Magic on Jan 5, 12 11:28 AM
I’ve played about 25 minutes of the demo and plan to purchase as a DD. I didn’t find the subdued color palette “dark” or “dreary”, simply soothing to the eyes. The flashy M3 games are fine, but every once in a while, my eyes need a break! My observations are as follows:
• The load time for the M3 screens is a bit slow, but there is a loading bar that runs across the bottom of the screen that looks a bit like a sideways shooting star for the 3 seconds it takes the game to load the next screen. Times might be longer on slower computers.
• I haven’t gotten too far, but the 3 mini-games encountered were pleasant (I plan to skip the pipe puzzles should they appear as I detest those; fortunately, thanks to the responsiveness of the developer, the skip button is now included in the game), and I completed them with no trouble. Hints were even available for these puzzles.
• I particularly enjoy the fact that the items discovered upon completion of a board have been used in the mini-games, and the “use,” “look,” mode is indeed reminiscent of the style of my much-loved parser-based adventure games of the 90s. Some players, though, may hate that style.
• The M3 boards are small (so far) and easily cleared. While I am currently playing in untimed adventure mode, I’m tempted to start a timed game (smile).
• This game is a buy for me at $3.
 posted in Heroes of Hellas 3: Athens on Oct 29, 11 9:10 AM
I'm new to this series, but I'm quite pleased that I tried Heroes of Hellas 3: Athens. The match 3 part (chain matching) is different from most I've played in that the wild cards (bombs, coins, lanterns) will allow the player to match ONE of the items with 2 or more of the wild cards. A bit of a cheat, perhaps, but I like it!

The boards are varied and take a while to clear since on the higher levels, you must free keys to unlock parts of the board, but when one lock opens, other parts of the board become encased in ice or locked between boulders, or buried under “monoliths” (metal-like stones). Although I play in un-timed mode, the game provides a bit of exhilaration on some boards because tiles at random will become frozen while the player tries to collect artifact pieces or all the golden tiles. Fortunately, the deities will assist the player once several of their preferred colored stones are collected. These power-ups vary and include re-shuffling the board, clearing all gems of one color, destroying several ropes, stones, or other impediments from the board, and (my personal favorite) dispersing 15 gold coins (wild cards that also serve as currency in the game for rebuilding Athens) on the board.

As for the actual controls while matching, I found that if I tried to move too quickly in a curving chain, the controls balked. There is a visible arrow (small, yet visible) that shows you what direction the game thinks you're going in, so you can correct it. Not a huge problem. Plus, despite there being a re-shuffling power-up, the player isn't penalized when there are no matches (at least in un-timed mode; I haven't tried timed mode); the board automatically reshuffles. There are many simple awards to obtain for such things as asking the gods for help three times, bursting a number of tiles, collecting a number of gold coins, and so on. Very relaxing.

The hidden object portion comes up very seldom, and the sparkles provide nudges for hiding places the player must reveal before the object can be found. It's a piecing together hidden object scene (FROG). Some of the objects are fairly well hidden, but I’ve only used the hint tool a few times and mainly just to get on with the M3 part of the game.

This game is not at all difficult (perhaps too easy for many) but a good way to unwind when one is taking a break from more addictive games.
 posted in A Fairy Tale on Oct 15, 11 10:03 PM
I tried the one-hour trial of this game and really wanted to like it; I’m a big fan of M3 and puzzle games. The visuals are gorgeous, the music is melodious: I was looking forward to a low-stress romp through the enchanted woodlands. The reviews for the game led me to believe that it would be relaxing, but I found it to be far from relaxing.

I felt very tense clicking around for matches, trying to get that pick and gem before one of them slid off the grid (but failed to do so many times because they appeared several seconds apart so that when the pick appeared, the gem wouldn’t until the pick was nearly off the grid, or the pick wouldn’t appear until the gem slid off) watching for the power-ups to be lit at the same time, etc. I finished levels quickly and racked up the points, but I didn’t much enjoy the experience. I quit at the “Village Hero” rank with 472,230 points and 18 minutes remaining in the trial. And all this rush was even before the timer would be introduced. . .
 posted in Heroes of Hellas 2: Olympia on Oct 2, 11 7:17 PM
sue1958 wrote:This game has just been released on Alawar's website but there are problems with the downloads. Error messages come up saying the product is damaged & to contact the publisher to get a new copy. Hope it comes out on Big Fish real soon. The downloads there always work.

Whatever problems existed when you tried have been resolved (evidently). I got a copy of the game earlier today and no error messages appeared. It also plays with no errors.
 posted in Heroes of Hellas 2: Olympia on Oct 2, 11 7:14 PM
You probably know by now, but Heroes of Hellas 3 is out, and it is fun. Just do a general internet search. I like it so much that I think I'll try the earlier H of H games here on BigFish Games.
 posted in Chocolatier: Decadence by Design on Sep 25, 11 5:24 PM
I heartily agree with AbyBess. The game is a bit hard to pigeonhole.

I know that this isn’t a new game, but it is new to me. I began playing Chocolatier: Decadence by Design early this afternoon. When I looked up, it was 7 hours later! I cannot believe how addictive this game is, and unexpectedly so (for me).

Your goal is to be CEO of a floundering candy factory. You can take side quests and keep them on the back burner for a while until you complete other quests. Just don’t put those quests off for too long, or the customers will withdraw the deal. Don’t worry, you usually get two to three months + to complete them.

It is not a typical time management game or empire building game. While there are some deadlines to meet (there is a calendar, and when you travel around the world for ingredients, to sell your goods, or to check on production at your various plants, the game tells you how many weeks have passed), the rush I felt was in getting my ducks in order quickly to prevent the interruption of production or to scout out the best market deals on produce while the price was right.

I like the music and the production lines. It took me a while to realize that the candy production line was a shooter game. I kept the tool stationary while waiting for the candy trays to come to me. That bit of arcade action was fun. You get to retry if you don’t complete as many trays as you’d like for production. However many trays you complete with all the ingredients becomes the standard for production; i.e. complete 10 trays and each week the plant will produce 10 crates of product unless you run short of ingredients. The coffee plant is a match 3 shooter. Nice variety.

The only thing I’m not wild about is the barter system. No matter how nicely I think I ask for a discount, the vendors get angry and shoot up their prices! Perhaps most are better negotiators than I am (smile). I’ve got to get back to the game before it’s tomorrow already.
 posted in Val'Gor: The Beginning on Sep 16, 11 11:10 AM
I've started playing Val'Gor on the Mac OS X Snow Leopard platform. The descriptions for items in the store describe the item just before the item my mouse is hovering over. With the little money that I have, it's not much of a problem because I can keep scrolling over to the next item (to the right) for the item's description to the left. I was just wondering if that's only a Mac glitch or because the game has been updated for Lion.
 posted in My Life Story: Adventures on Aug 18, 11 11:14 AM
Do you know if this game will be out for the Mac? I, too, am a big fan of this type of game (life experience, not HOG or time management per se)!
Go to:   
KEY:    Unread    Read    Sticky    Locked    Announcement    Moved    Moderator