Posts created by sfcali

 posted in Dark Parables: The Final Cinderella Collector's Edition on May 23, 13 12:52 PM
Hi, small question: I notice others mentioning a task bar and also indicators on the map when an area is active. I'm playing in casual mode but I have neither of those features. Is that usual? Seems like, if it's a glitch, it's an odd it's probably just the way it's supposed to be. But I do wish there was something, other than hints or strategy guide, to help point me in the right direction when there are sooo many objects and areas to keep track of. Just checking, then, that I'm not missing a feature that should be there.
 posted in Dark Parables: The Final Cinderella Collector's Edition on May 23, 13 10:49 AM
This was an instant buy for me because I'm a fan of the series which has, in my opinion, continued to get better with each installment. In fact, although not part of the series, Enchantia: The Rise of the Phoenix Queen was also an instant buy because I've come to count on Blue Tea for gorgeous environments, excellent graphic quality, lovely yet thinky puzzles, and the very enjoyable fragmented hidden object searches--and I usually hate hidden object scenes! Blue Tea Games, please don't stop doing what you're doing.

For the most part, The Final Cinderella was exactly what I was expecting/hoping for when I purchased it... Here are the exceptions as well as the highlights:

+ While still the standard, based-on-a-familiar-fairytale premise, the story has enough originality to remain interesting and engaging. As with Red Riding Hood Sisters, there is a wide cast of characters to interact with or learn about, and this makes the story more dynamic and fresh.

+ It really is dark, this Dark Parables. The authors managed to create an omnipresent sense of foreboding and a twisted morbidity that is surprisingly not overt or gruesome in a horror genre way. Instead, it remains very much fantasy through and through...a bit like Grimm's fairy tales often are.

- The graphic quality was not as remarkable as The Snow Queen or Red Riding Hood Sisters. They seem a bit more grainy and less dimensionally rich. That was a disappointment mitigated by the fact that it's still very well-made and aesthetically pleasing.

- There's an abundance of hidden object scenes so it feels a lot less vast and exploratory than Red Riding Hood Sisters. While they are still divinely beautiful, they're just too frequent for my tastes as it takes away from the flow of the adventuring.

Of course, there are many wonderful things to be said about this game and I echo all the happy remarks of the other fishies here. This game is a great addition to the series!

I played through the entire game once with absolutely no issues. Then I started a second profile to play again, and here's my problem:

I do not have any inventory, menu buttons or anything else. I'm in town, at the start of the game. I've grabbed the lantern so I can help the mysterious stranger, but my inventory won't pop up. Since there are also no other buttons, I have to close the game manually (it's in window mode instead of full screen, so at least I can just click close the window.)

I tried restarting from where I left off but the same problem occurred, so I had to delete the profile and start from the very beginning. Now all is better but I wanted to let you know in case there is anything else going on.

As a side note, I really wish I could go back into the game and look for the 1 acorn I missed without having to start from the very beginning. In the future, could there be chapter save points or something similar? Some games let you go back to the point just before the finale...that would've been a nice option in this game, too.


 posted in Azada: Elementa Collector's Edition on Mar 8, 13 6:13 PM
midori2 wrote:
themouse020 wrote:I agree that ERS has taken Azada in a direction which no longer interests me. I do wonder what demographic the designers are aiming to please - I'm a 62 year old puzzle gamer, and have no use for cute animals (or cartoonish bad guys, for that matter). This company has systematically turned Phantasmat, Puppetshow, and Azada franchises into games that only a child could love (just my opinion, mind you..). I do see some great reviews for the game, so there must be a market for this. Am glad that some fishies are enjoying the game. Just wish that we could start seeing games aimed at the less cutesy crowd, particularly those we loved in their original creepy forms. Bottom line is always sales - if enough fishies want to dress up cute animals, ERS will keep sending them our way. BTW, it is also pretty boring to hear the same musical backgrounds over and over again - if the company is making money, it should invest in some new music, and a game engine that can do graphics in widescreen. Until then, I'm not buying any more from these folks.

Yes, yes! I couldn't have phrased it better! Big Fish - please take note of what TheMouse is saying here - we're not all 10 year-old little girls playing games on our pink laptops in our pink bedrooms on our pink canopy beds! Some of us are adults looking for a challenge, which, by the way, the first developer of Azada completely fulfilled.

I agree completely. Those who enjoy ERS's productions will enjoy this one, no doubt. Afterall, Azada was a terrific franchise with a unique concept and some enjoyable gameplay. How much could be changed?

Unfortunately, too much. It is simply unfair tactics to keep "Azada" in the main title. When you order a double chocolate mocha with extra whip, you don't want to be handled a glass of Nestle's Quick and be told "it's good enough because, after all, it's also chocolate."

I do not like standard hidden object scenes, so when I happily discover another installment in one of my favorite puzzle adventure series, only to find the graphics are different, the gameplay is different, the entire feel of the production is different, and only a loosely connected story about Azada brings it together, it's very disappointing. I'm not trying to be harsh on the developer here, but I think it's wrong to use the title if you're not going to stay true to the concept in full.
Okay. I did totally miss something the first play through by not paying enough attention. I apologize for saying this is an exaggerated issue.

Reading the character profiles helped clarify the backstory, but there really isn't enough in-game to make this more clear. I'm not taking issue with having such an event in the game as much as with how it was handled. In fact, I think it's pretty bold to put us in that moral dilemma, but it wasn't treated with as much seriousness as it needed... there should have been actions in the game to truly highlight this problem...maybe even a third option. Instead of it's being easy to hand a scroll off to one of the tribe leaders, there should be a warning to the player "Are you sure this is to whom you want to deliver the first scroll?" and much more in game actions and tasks to emphasize the heartbreak of the situation.

But it was so glossed over, I didn't even catch it in the first place. I didn't realize my character played such a part in the defeat of an entire tribe. That lack of empathy is the problem with the storyline, I think, not the fact that something disturbing happened in a game.
FritzBear wrote:Don't you think you are a little exaggerating, maybe just a little?

I have to agree, from my perspective, this isn't quite what happens in the game. The in-game events aren't a promotion of genocide...they're just an explanation of why the phoenix spirit rose up. As I saw it, it was emphasizing how horrible war is, making a statement against it, not trying to say it's all fun and entertainment.

Yes, the story is more intricate and involved, so it's not a in-your-face, thump-you-over-the-head anti-war message, but I distinctly got the theme that people need to stop fighting, stop disrespecting the land, etc. Unless I totally missed something (which is very possible) the letters from the deities you delivered to each tribe were to stop all the fighting, to stop the one tribe from attacking the other. The storyline does get a bit convoluted at the end, though [spoiler]whenitturnsouttheelfqueenjustwantedtoextendherloverslifeanditwasntsomuchaboutstoppingallthewar[spoiler] which strayed from the initial theme of "You mortals, with all your wars and destruction of the land, have gone too far and must be stopped."

I enjoyed the game so I'm going to replay it and see if I misunderstood what was going on. If, indeed, it is making light of mass genocide, then that's not a good find in a game. But if it was just trying to be not a fairytale but a true epic fantasy, then I think it's fair to include an unhappy element to the game. There are plenty of horror games out there that have harm come to children that are not promoting hurting children. I think this is much the same.
I just wanted to drop in and say this game is amazing and gorgeous and the most entertaining game I've played in a long while. Much appreciation goes out to the designers for creating such an enjoyable experience for me.

There are too many good things to list them all and not be long-winded, yet the big stand-outs which really set this over the top for me are:

*Fun fun fun hidden object scenes--they are a delight to look at as well as play. It's so refreshing to have the fragmented objects presented as actual images then have them all add up to something even more gorgeous as well as useful!

*Beautiful scenery full of details worth exploring

*Use of dialogue that is both interesting and realistic

*Believable characters who are likable and dynamic

*A well-developed storyline that held my interest and kept me immersed in the action.

My only complaint was the map... it was far less useful than I wanted it to be and it often did not properly mark where to go. This didn't really impede my progress much but it was disappointing to have such a flaw in an otherwise remarkable game.

What about the Collector's Edition features? Well... The bonus chapter is fabulous, doesn't feel tacked on but actually an enjoyable extra story/game to play. I wished that there were more puzzles to replay and also the ability to replay the hidden object scenes, though.

All in all, fabulous! My favorite game so far this year. Thank you so much, Blue Tea Games!

 posted in Otherworld: Omens of Summer Collector's Edition on Feb 3, 13 11:01 AM
Ah, thank you, snapnhiss! I played right past that without a second thought. When I think "mature content," I worry about much more bothersome stuff than birds and bees type stuff.

I wanted to know in advance if it something hurtful to Fiona, or other sort of extremely disturbing content, despite the fact that some horror games on here never got that warning when they should have it.

 posted in Otherworld: Omens of Summer Collector's Edition on Feb 3, 13 10:40 AM
Could someone give me a heads up/spoiler on what the mature content warning is about, please? I'd like to be prepared, if possible.

 posted in Dark Arcana: The Carnival on Oct 12, 12 1:24 PM
What I love about Artifex Mundi games is that extra bit of creativity they put into their productions to make them feel more entertaining. Plus I appreciate their talented artwork and writing. Everything comes together with clearly superb production values--this game wasn't just slapped together. Care went into it to make it good and that is easy to see as a player.

What I don't like about this game are the hidden object scenes. They're well drawn and neatly designed, but the "find this item from the list of random items" kind of searching is really dull and done to death. Even the Monaco card game was dull. Luckily those parts of the game are easy so I could move through them quickly and I did like to at least look at the artwork in them.

I'd love to see games from this designer that have no hidden object lists (like drawn) or who do it differently like Snark Busters (especially the third one) or who do something newish like Otherworld Spring of Shadows did with their search scenes. Combine that freshness with Artifex Mundi's excellent graphics and storytelling and it would be amazing!

In this case, the story of Jim the knife thrower and the surreal landscapes are the best part of an already very enjoyable game.
 posted in Dark Arcana: The Carnival on Oct 12, 12 1:11 PM
It is a bit quicker to get to the end because it's on the easy side of things, but it is very enjoyable. I spend much more money on going to the movies per person, yet this game is more entertaining and longer than most movies yet just as polished.

I'm of the mind that if we want to continue to get quality computer games, we need to support them. The market is turning its focus on mobile games and those are expensive to purchase/equip in the long haul, I hate to see game makers who try to be creative get overlooked just because they're not big enough. Time isn't the only factor. Does it feel like a complete game that was fun to play? Yes!

My main disappointment with Dark Arcana is I'm tired of the standard hidden object search scenes... I wish they'd be more creative and innovative there. Unfortunately, it seems that formula sells. When we get great new styles such as Snark Busters 3, players balk and cry because "it's not the same." Welp, the same gets very dull and boring, doesn't it?

I think players need to start judging for creativity and freshness, not because a game is lengthy yet formulaic or is just like the others you like. If I wanted sameness, I'd replay the same games. It'd be wonderful to have something different, even if it's only two hours long.
DMH5321 wrote:Truly, I don't think these characters are strong women. They mostly lounge around and wait to be rescued. Then they say,"Thank you, Detective." This is not my idea of strong. I am not offended by the clothing or lack there of. This is fantasy after all.

Well, true... Except that the detective wouldn't even be alive if not for Ruth. For years they have been protecting the woods, too. Of course, there has to be a reason to bring you, the player, into the story. Unfortunately, if they were doing too much, you'd have less to do and less fun doing it. All these stories are silly that way but there is a narrative that explains where the others are at any given time... they're out working on something else, we just don't get to see much of it.

 posted in Dark Arcana: The Carnival on Oct 8, 12 9:32 PM
It is pretty standard fare in terms of hidden object scenes... And there are quite a few but at least they are spaced apart, not one after the other. In truth, I dislike standard Hidden Object Searches such as this. But, the rest of the game makes up for it. Why do I play H.O.G.s when I hate these kinds of searches? Because they rarely make games like Drawn, i.e. straight adventure style. I put up with what I must so I can enjoy the other bits of the games.

But developers please start doing something different, like more fragmented objects searches or multiples of one kind of objects. Or something new. This style is way too played out; it feels like all the same thing from other least stop repeating the scenes!
gruniongrama wrote:Not offended at all, beautiful artwork, these would make awesome costumes. Let's get more offended over what is offered at the stores to young women and girls.

What a good point and so succinctly put, too! Thank you gruiongrama for bringing the topic into perspective.
 posted in Lost Head on Oct 3, 12 2:07 PM
I got this on my iPad after first trying it on my computer. It is much much better/easier to play on a tablet with multitouch controls. On the other hand, this is still a fun physics puzzle game catering to those who enjoy physics puzzles.

The third chapter with all the fans is the most fun... you can't really judge the game by the first 10 levels as they are a bit too easy. Once you get to the part with pulleys and trampolines and such, it's more dynamic and more challenging. That is also where playing on a computer, some of these levels would be near impossible. I don't think this was a good game to port to a download.

The collections and achievements are nice extras but I couldn't find the achievement list. I also wish there was clear messaging about what is needed for 3 stars on each level.

My rating: 4/5 stars overall. It has enough unique qualities to make it different from all the other physics puzzles (Cut the Rope, Where's My Water) while still providing the same type of enjoyment. Not quite on the same level as Cut the Rope, Where's My Water, but it's a worthwhile game (on the iPad at least).

I wanted to add one more comment to my review and touch on an issue that has come up in another thread: the characters' costumes.

This is a topic that has been brought up in discussions of other games, but it is perhaps most notable here because the Red Riding Hood Sisters are dressed like femme fatales, showing skin, sexy shoes and provocative poses.

Personally, I like these costumes. I feel it goes very well with both the lushly detailed environments and with the action-filled storyline. I do believe it adds to the overall look and effect of the game in a positive way, increasing the entertainment value.

My only complaint about the Dark Parables series is the mystery about "The Detective" because we never know more about this detective's background and why they're doing what they do (unless it was explained in the first game of the series, which I haven't played yet).

But there is enough to suspect the time period is modern, at or near the 20th century at least, even though the fairytale worlds are timeless era set in the Black Forest. This seems to make players want clothing that "fits the period" and can be incongruous to players' immersion in the game environment. I don't think the fix is to change the costumes but to drop more hints about the time period.

Regardless, I speak as one who doesn't expect--in fact, doesn't want--realism in my games. The impossible quest for realism has ruined many an online RPG in my time, and I'd hate to see it ruin the HOPAs that I also enjoy. There is no way to put realism in fantasy worlds. Just make whatever it is you're crafting be logical according to the game world, and you're fine.

So keep the eye candy in Dark Parables. I wouldn't mind seeing a few more handsome men added to the lot, too.
bella81762 wrote:
read61 wrote:As usual a really beautiful game from these developers (I just love their artwork) and the right mix of FROGs and puzzles. I thought the game seemed a little short but it played so well I am not complaining. Now I just have to play the Bonus Game (and I agree, I really like that it is something that is stand-alone, not related to the main game). My only (mild) dislike about this parable is one that has already been addressed in another thread - the way these ladies are dressed; not even close to the time period of the game and a bit too over-the-top, however this is just a game and we usually have to suspend belief when we enter these realms anyway, right? Apart from that I thought the game was well done and I really liked the twists it contained, kept me guessing till the end.

i dont think the game is in the time period you think it is....the detective is using a cassete recorder in the opening cut even tho the game references some of the past games,,,and feels like olden times,,,i have no clue what century the game wants us to think they are in

I think the assumption is the fairytale world exists eternally in much the way Neverland or any other magic world continues to exist.

eedebeep wrote:It's funny how people get so worked up over a posting!

1. I'm not really offended, irritated would be more accurate

2. relax, it's just my opinion!

Laflamme, loved your response at least you're honest!

It's rather unfair to start a discussion, get responses, then tell us to "relax" because we're "so worked up over a posting!" None of these replies "worked up," they are having a conversation that you invited, you yourself using the word "offended."

I'm sorry, I'm truly not tying to be hostile; this kind of "bait and switch" doesn't serve a discussions board very well, either. People will just be less likely to respond if we're only told we're "so worked up." And by implication that one respondent is "at least...honest" then the rest of us are not? I'm still not offended, but I can't say this is a fair way to start what could be a interesting discussion.
For one, I'm not offended; no insult was issued my way. But, as a one time morpg (multiuser online role play game) fan, I actually like the costumes. They fit with the adventuring slant of this story and remind me of the fantasy realms style game I used to play.

I'm a straight female but I still enjoy the showmanship and aesthetics of the characters' costumes as much as I enjoy the beauty and details of the settings. I think they fit in very well with the fancifulness of the environment and the actually plain suit of leather armor someone would've worn in such a time period would be much more boring and less colorful, even if realistic. Besides, there is nothing else realistic about this game, why should that be?
RenaissanceMom wrote:Just demo'd it. Sigh. It's definitely a beautiful-looking game, albeit strange to see these nubile and sexily-clad "sisters". (You'd think they'd want practical attire for rugged forest living instead of exposing those tender bare thighs, right? Ah well. )

As always, I find these Parables frogs relaxing to play, and I'm sure I'll pick this up at some point. But it lacks any attempt at challenge whatsoever. The Frog Prince was definitely more of a game, whereas this one is all about 'pick this item up, place it here, you need a key, here's a key..." It's very charming to look at but you are pretty much literally led around without having to think much if at all.

If for instance you consider the MCF games and the strategy involved in solving them (those door puzzles!!), and then games like this, well so much dumbing down has taken place. I know we all like a pleasant relaxing game now and then, but it seems like it's been a long steady diet of handholding and simplified pseudo problem-solving. The candy's been dandy, but I miss the real nutrition.

At the risk of being off topic, have you tried Rite of Passage: The Perfect Show? That one had some challenging minigames in it...and the extra chapter of the CE was also very good.

I agree, this game was definitely on the easy side. But, sometimes I want an easy game... the focus was on just the adventure and the minigames did a good job of letting me feel like I was part of the story without stumping me so much I was pulled out of the story.

Where The Red Riding Hood Sisters is weakest is in the morphing objects... they were too random. I think they should just either be in a scene or not be in a scene. I gave up on looking for them.

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