Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Fright (Bigfishgames.com)

When the bus crashes in a strange town, it’s up to you to heal the injured bus driver. Not only that, but strange things occur around town. Can you get the bus fixed and unlock the town’s mystery?

That’s right; it’s a horror plot and quite a good one. The mystery of the town just keeps you guessing and the animation’s so wonderful that the people actually look real. I don’t agree with a few things in the game. Unfortunately, I can’t talk about them because I don’t want to give away any spoilers.

The game play is your typical hidden object. You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory. You do have to partake in hidden object scenes but they’re more like putting items in the correct places until you get one object. Instead of a journal, you carry around a camera that takes pictures and describes the scene. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is intriguing yet boring. I give it 4 out of 10; terrific story, lousy game play.

Huru Beach Party (Bigfishgames.com)

Lindsey wants nothing more than to form a volleyball team for her school but the president of the sports association, Jake, refuses to spend money on it. Now she has to get a job at the beach in order to raise funds for her team. Can Lindsey get the money and show Jake who’s boss?

If you’re familiar with this type of plot than you don’t need me to tell you how it ends. However, I will tell you about the game play. You deliver items to the customer that requests them. Some items will require you to participate in a mini-game. During the game, you will have to purchase upgrades both in and out of level. The more stars you get, the more upgrades you can afford. Meet all the required goals for each level as fast as you can to earn the most stars you can.

This game is simplistic yet addictive. I give it 6 out of 10; a fun game for when you’re bored.

Hot Dog Stand: The Works (Amazon.com)

You’re in charge of your very own hot dog stand and you need to meet the goal before the game ends. Can you use all of your business skills to make your stand successful?

That’s right; I’m reviewing a game for little kids. I would have never even touched this game if it weren’t for an email from Christopher Doran about his upcoming game, Culina: Hands in the Kitchen (which is currently being greenlighted on Steam). One of the games that inspired him was this one. There’s nothing to say about the plot except the only characters you’ll find are talking hot dogs. Yet they’re okay with you selling hot dogs for people to eat. Is this a world where the human race enslaves living hot dogs and, if no one buys them, they serve them as food?

The game play is that of a typical business sim. You fulfill the items on your checklist. Then you buy products and sell them in your stand. Make sure you meet the goal before the game ends.

This game is stupid and weird. I give it 0 out of 10; don’t waste your money on it.

Reflections of Life: Tree of Dreams (Bigfishgames.com)

When a young orphan named Grace receives a visit from a man claiming to be her uncle, she discovers that, not only does she have a family; she also belongs to another world. Unfortunately, that world is in danger and her parents lie in a coma. Can she revive her parents and save her world from evil?

This plot is not exactly unique but that doesn’t make it any less interesting. It’s fun discovering the laws of the world Grace came from and why her parents gave her up. Not to mention that the plot has enough twists and turns to keep you guessing.

The game play is your typical hidden object. You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory. Some items will require you to participate in hidden object scenes. Any item that’s important to the plot goes straight to your legendary items bag. If a place is too high for you to reach, your owl will assist you. You also carry a crystal that activates hidden portals in mirrors. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 8 out of 10; thinking of buying the collector’s edition.

Awakening: The Redleaf Forest (Bigfishgames.com)

Queen Sophia’s journey to save her parents finally ends at Redleaf Forest. She has to destroy the evil Dreadmyre once and for all.

That’s it, the end of the Awakening series and it’s about time. In this game, you learn about the conflict between the centaurs and the dwarves. That’s right; you have to bring peace to two peoples in order to advance the plot. In the bonus story, you play an unknown nanny who takes care of Sophia’s kid.

The game play is your typical hidden object. You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory. Some items will require you to take part in hidden object games. You will have to play a mini-game in order to advance through the story and you will be backtracking throughout the game. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This series was fun at first but now it’s past its prime. I give it 4 out of 10; glad it finally ended.

Dark Parables: The Ballad of Rapunzel (Bigfishgames.com)

When the detective investigates poisonous pollen, she finds that it is in the control of the beautiful princess Rapunzel. Why does Rapunzel control the pollen and will the detective stop it in time?

That’s right; we finally got to the story of Rapunzel. This is your typical Dark Parables story with the mixture of different fairy tale characters. Other than that, I can’t say much about the plot.

The game play is your typical hidden object. You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory. Some items will require that you take part in a hidden object scene. You can use the map to figure out where you need to go. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is dull. I give it 2 out of 10; I wasn’t in a game playing mood when I played it.

Kim Kardashian: Hollywood (iPhone App Store)

You’re just working a boring job as a sales clerk when Kim Kardashian shops at your store. At first, you thought it was just something you could brag about to all your friends until she offers you a modeling job. Can you keep up with the hassles of celebrity life?

That’s right; I downloaded a celebrity fashion game on my iPhone. As someone who fantasizes about celebrity life, I couldn’t resist. The game’s simplistic in its nature. You take job offers where you can get them and try to become the number one A-list celebrity. You can also go on dates and check your Twitter feed. Changing your outfit every now and then will also get you even more fans. After a while, you eventually get to number one and there’s no reason to play it anymore. I think they should add an update to where, if you don’t do anything for a while, you’re in danger of losing the number one spot. It would be motivation to keep playing.

This game is simplistic yet addictive. I give it 3 out of 10; nothing more than an escapist fantasy.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4 Amid the Ruins (Steam Store)

After escaping Carver’s imprisonment, Clementine and the rest of the runaways try to find each other. Can everyone reunite and find another safe haven?

That’s right, episode four of The Walking Dead and boy is it intense. I can’t spoil the game but you have people dying left and right. One of the characters will die no matter what you do. Not to mention that Clementine, the girl who acted as Lee’s morality pet, can commit acts of cruelty in the name of survival. At first, I thought this episode was brilliant until a conversation with lukebbtt led me to discover that most of the characters are only there for Clementine’s growth. There are characters that exist outside of her, such as Kenny who’s completely broken with Rebecca’s baby being his only reason for living. After everything Kenny’s been through, he is not right in the head and it shows by how he’s trying to recreate his family instead of accepting their deaths.

The game play is the same as every other episode. You pick dialogue choices for Clementine. Sometimes, you have to explore the scene and inspect objects to move the plot forward. Other times, you’ll have to make crucial decisions at key moments. One decision was so hard for me that I had to pause the game to think about it. Keep your guard up when the walkers attack, because you’ll have to press the right keys to get out of there alive.

This game is intense and additive. I give it 9 out of 10; I was upset for hours after playing this.

Space Legends: At the Edge of the Universe (Gamehouse.com)

A simple mission to collect flora samples from the planet Apriol turns deadly when a storm hits. To make a bad situation worse, Steve succumbs to injuries and needs to get back to Earth for medical attention. Can Elizabeth pilot the ship to Earth in time?

You would think this game takes place in space but it doesn’t. It takes place on a steam punk planet that Elizabeth has to save. First, she has to land the ship on a nearby planet and find a way into the castle. Then she has to use primitive medicine to save the planet’s princess. Finally, she journeys to the forgotten place of the planet in order to discover its steam punk origins.

The game play is that of your typical hidden object. You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory. You will have to backtrack but the map can instantly take you where you need to go. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is addictive but misleading. I give it 6 out of 10; they should have picked a different name.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3: In Harm’s Way (Steam Store)

After being kidnapped by a ruthless man named Bill Carver, Clementine and the rest of the group try to escape from their prison. Can they find new allies and flee this place without incurring Carver’s wrath?

I loved this chapter and the inclusion of the characters. Carver was actually my favorite in this one as he justifies his actions. True, he is a tyrant, but he believes that he’s doing what’s best for the group. I’m not saying that I agree with him but I do see his point. This is a zombie apocalypse and you do have to be ruthless to survive. However, pure ruthlessness is not going to save the day. I also love Carver’s interactions with Clementine as he compares her to himself. An amateur writer could have easily turned Carver into a pedophile. Instead, Carver admires Clementine’s strength and will to survive. She is what Carver wants the next generation to be and what he wants his supposed child to be. I don’t like how the characters from 400 days were demoted to cameo appearances with the exception of Bonnie. I do like Bonnie’s portrayal as she starts out weak and slowly gathers her strength.

The game play is the same as any other chapter. You make dialogue choices for Clementine, only what you pick doesn’t affect the story as much. You explore the area at certain times as well. You can also take part in quick action scenes where you have to press the right button at the right time. Failure to do so will kill Clementine.

This game is addictive but a little rushed. I give it 7 out of 10; they really need to focus on their characters a little more.

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