Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Heileen

Heileen’s uncle just received stock to take to the New World. On the journey, Heileen meets many interesting people and discovers what secrets her uncle has been hiding from her.

This one is nowhere near as good as it sounds. It’s just some spoiled girl whining on a trip, and yet everyone wants her, even the women. I know, you’re probably thinking “homosexuality in 17th Century England, no way!” Yes, there actually is, and the characters are a little too open about it. Before I get over a hundred comments telling me that homosexuality did exist in the 17th Century, I’m not saying that it didn’t. I’m just saying that due to very strong bigotry, you wouldn’t find many open homosexuals walking the streets. No, that is not the only historical inaccuracy they committed in this game. I don’t really know that much about the 17th Century, but I do know that according to this article, some behavior we regularly take part in today would be considered crude in that time period. The characters partake in this behavior regularly, especially Lora. There are some references to historical events in the 17th Century, but the characters behave like they live in this time period. It’s very much like the Sherlock Holmes movies starring Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law, only without their charm driving the movie.

The characters themselves are not intriguing in the slightest. Despite Heileen’s whining, she’s loved by everyone on the ship. Come to think of it, that’s actually believable considering that the only other women on the ship are Lora, her uncle’s mistress, and Marie, who does not meet the standards of 17th Century beauty. It’s hinted that Marie is such a reject that she’s not even considered to be worthy of rape. Just so this review doesn’t become long and boring, I’m just going to sum it up in one sentence. Rape is not about beauty, it’s about power. Not to mention that Marie isn’t even that ugly. Sure, she doesn’t meet the standards of 17th Century beauty like Heileen does, and she doesn’t wear as little as Lora, but she’s not completely hideous. No wonder Marie has so many emotional issues. As for Heileen, I said earlier that it’s believable that she would be the most sought after on the ship. However, that does not explain why everyone is completely in love with her. Anyone who hates her is automatically labeled evil. The other characters Heileen can have a romance with are John and Lora. John is the bad boy sailor that Heileen’s drawn to, and I can see that. I just don’t see how she can fall in love with him in such a short amount of time. As for Lora, I’ve already said that she’s Heileen’s uncle’s mistress, so she and her uncle watched Heileen grow up. Yes, that’s right, Heileen hooks up with a woman who has been a parental figure to her. Anyone else thinks it sounds like lesbian wife husbandry?

The story is not historically accurate and the main character is a Mary-Sue. However, it’s still an interesting play through. I give this game 2 out of 10.

Cute Knight Kingdom

When you were a child, a strange creature told your adoptive parents that one day you would find your wings. Travel the kingdom and discover your destiny.

Like the last game, the story depends entirely on how you play it. Except this one has more suitors to choose from, and one of them is a girl. Another difference is that the last main character had no one to go to while this one has parents that are always there for her. There is just one thing that makes this game inferior to the last one. Cute Knight had two funny endings, one of which was laugh out loud while this one doesn’t. There is one ending that tries to be funny, but it just falls short.

Again, you have a choice of many different endings, and every single one that you collect ends up in the gallery. There are many different event endings, and if you turn 21 before reaching the end of said event, the game ends. Instead of clicking on random places, you are actually taking control of your character by moving her around the 2D graphic kingdom. You have many choices of classes and jobs, but you have to actually expend energy and concentration in order to do well in either one. What stats you have determine what ending you get when you turn 21.

Not very different from the last game, except for a different style and having to actually contribute to your jobs and classes. I give this game 7 out of 10, not worse than its predecessor and not better than it.

Jane’s Hotel

Jane dreams of owning her own five star hotel one day. In order to achieve this dream, she is constantly renovating her hotel so she can win the best hotel in town award.

Again, plot’s simple and there’s not a whole lot to say about the characters, so I’m going straight to game play. As usual, we have our typical time management game. Your job is to keep the guests happy and you have to meet the level’s goal or you won’t pass. After you complete the level, you can purchase upgrades in order to help make your hotel more beautiful. When you’ve purchased all the upgrades, you just have to get your hotel to 100% popularity so you can buy one extra star for your hotel until you get all five.

Not really much of a plot, but the game is addictive. I give it 6 out of 10, fun and, like Diner Dash, the beginning of a new line of games.

Campfire Legends: The Babysitter

The girls around the campfire return with a different tale.  This time it’s about a student who agrees to babysit for her university’s dean.  Little does she know that a lunatic watches her every move.

Like the last game, we have a standard horror movie plot and characters with the main one not suspecting a thing.  Only this one actually makes a little more sense than the last one does.  Though I don’t get how you can buy a house and not know that someone else is living in it.  The main character here is a college student hoping to get into med school.  That’s why she took this job in the first place.  What’s sad is that if she hadn’t been so ambitious none of this would’ve happened.  At the end of the game, you get a clue about who the girl telling the story really is and how she knows all this.

The game play is pretty much the same as its predecessor.  You look for items, and you don’t have to collect anything extra just to add only a few items to your inventory.  You also have five hints in the form of fireflies.  If you run out, you can just backtrack and collect some more.  If that’s not enough, after you beat the main game you can play in Haken’s Journal Mode.  What you do is collect different items in different locations, just like a true hidden object game.  When you’re finished, you receive a page from Haken’s journal explaining bits and pieces of the game’s back-story.  Trust me, totally worth the extra minutes of playing.

This game is both fun and chilling.  The ending scene does a better job as a cliffhanger than the last game did.  I give this game 8 out of 10, a perfect adaption of my favorite urban legend.

Special Enquiry Detail: Engaged to Kill

A killer is on the loose.  His target, young women about to get married.  It’s up to detectives Turino and Lamonte to catch the killer before more people die.

The plot, standard murder mystery stuff.  You got the false trails, the forensic science and the odd couple pair of detectives.  The killer especially loves leaving bibles at the scene of his crimes, highlighting passages that he thinks applies to his victims.  You also see how truly different Lamonte and Turino are, but they work well together side by side.  Turino is also not afraid to risk her life for the job, since she has no problem with using herself as bait.  I could just take the plot more seriously if it weren’t for the bad voice acting.

The game is hidden object and it shows.  Like many other games of this genre, you are collecting useless crap just to add a few items to your inventory.  You also get an unlimited number of hints that don’t really take that long to recharge.  You play a huge assortment of mini-games that you can skip after a certain amount of time if you’re having trouble with it.  You will do a bit of backtracking to get a few items you need to advance the plot.  You are also given a list of tasks to complete and a map to travel to different locations.  If that’s not enough, you can combine items in your inventory.

The game is a standard detective story/hidden object game, though I could have done without the voice acting.  I give this game 6 out of 10, not a bad waste of time.

 

Go Go Gourmet

When Ginger’s Grandpa goes on a quest to find the world’s hottest chili recipe, she inherits a small beat up old building.  In order to fix it up, Ginger must work under wacky restaurant owners and learn new recipes.

The plot is simple, but funny.  Each restaurant owner has their own wacky quirk.  My favorite is the one in charge of the Asian restaurant.  He’s a fat guy who wants to get in shape, and does so by working out at an irregular pace and eating three boxes of fat-free cookies.  While working at the restaurants, Ginger also receives calls from her eccentric grandpa who has all sorts of wacky tales to share.  During the game, you get the feeling that Ginger’s the only sane woman in her world.

The game play is a cross between hidden object and time management.  Different customers request different dishes and you have to complete them before they get angry and leave.  You also have to collect different ingredients around the kitchen in order to complete the recipes.  During the game, you can revisit the building and use the money you make for renovations.  At the end, you are cooking in the kitchen and you get a visit from each restaurant owner you worked for throughout the game.

The game is not only fun, it’s also quite humorous.  There were some parts that had me laughing out loud.  I give this game 9 out of 10.

Ice Cream Craze

Jan dreamed that one day she would inherit her parents’ ice cream shop.  Little did she know the shop has not done well in business.  In order to convince her parents to sell the shop to her, Jan takes over and promises them that she will get the ice cream shop to bloom in 60 days.

The plot’s pretty simple, young girl with a dream wants to keep her dream alive.  The game play is the typical time management game, with you selling ice cream to your customers each level and meeting the goal by the end of it.  Ice cream comes out of the conveyer belt and you stack different flavors on a cone, a cookie, a brownie, or a pie depending on the customer’s request.  After each level, you can purchase upgrades to help you beat the game.  The design of the shop looks like a fifties diner.  Don’t ask me if the game takes place in that time period, or if that’s just the architecture of the shop, because I don’t have a clue.

There’s not a whole lot to say about this game.  I give it 6 out of 10, not great, but it does help kill time.

Campfire Legends – The Hookman

On a campfire trip, one girl tells the story of the real Hookman.  In that story, a girl named Christine books a cabin for her and her boyfriend, unaware of the looming terror that lurks in every corner.

The plot is that of a typical horror movie.  A psycho killer is stalking a teenage girl and her boyfriend, the police don’t listen to her and the whole danger could have been avoided in the first place if everyone wasn’t acting like a bunch of morons.  I also don’t get why a teenage girl’s parents would agree to leave their daughter alone with her boyfriend for the weekend in a cabin in the middle of nowhere, unless they didn’t know her boyfriend was going to be there.  Still, leaving their daughter alone in a cabin sounds like some pretty neglectful parenting to me.  Not to mention that you find the characters’ medical files all over the place with no explanation of how they got there, and Christine’s boyfriend appears and disappears at random places, again no explanation given.

The game play itself is a standard hidden object game.  You search around the area for items and collect them.  Unlike other games of this variety, you’re not collecting a bunch of random crap and only keeping a few things in the inventory.  You can also use fives hints if you’re stuck and you can collect new hints in the form of fireflies.  Did I mention that there is chilling music playing in the background?  It feels like the Hookman’s actually coming after you.

The plot is cliché, but the game play is quite fun.  Quite a few times, you’ll exit out of the game purely through fear only to go back because you can’t resist the hold it has on you.  I give this game 7 out of 10, perfect for Halloween.

Journey

A hooded figure takes a long journey.  Along the way, he or she will meet others like him or her and discover what happened to the place where he or she is traveling.

That’s exactly what the game is about, some unknown character travelling.  You don’t know why they’re doing it, what they hope to accomplish, or even if the character’s a girl or a boy.  All you know for sure is that when you reach the end of the level, some being shows you artwork of a lost civilization.  The people here only seem to communicate through music notes and body language, and the only thing close to voice work is the sad song that plays through some parts of the game.  The whole plot is left to your interpretation.  Is the traveler a lost alien from another planet researching the remains of the one he or she is left on?  Is the traveler a result of an evolved race of humans who have reached the point where speech is no longer a necessity?  The reincarnation of a member of the race he or she is studying in order to advance to a higher plane of existence?  What happened to the civilization that the traveler’s researching?  Did they kill each other fighting for resources and destroy the planet along with themselves?  There are so many different interpretations that it’s up to your brain to decide which one’s the true one.

The game play itself is very unique.  Like I said, the only way people seem to communicate in this world is through music notes and body language.  During each level, you meet one person who is playing the game.  Is it the same person or is it a different person throughout each level?  There’s no name to identify who you’re traveling with and you can’t even type messages to communicate to the other person.  It’s not until you reach the credits you even find out who you were travelling with in the first place.  The character might as well have been controlled by the computer.  You don’t even have to cooperate with the person if you don’t want to.  If they’re more interested in exploring the ruins than in getting to the end of the level, you can just leave them there.  If the situation’s reversed, you can just let the person go ahead of you.  The characters also have a long ribbon attached to their robes that allows them to take flight.  How long you can fly depends on the length of the ribbon and how much power is in it.  You can gather more by using you ability to make notes to collect energy from flying ribbons (yes, I am aware of how stupid that sounds), or your companion can use that ability to grant you power.  You can also do the same for your companion.

The plot itself is open to interpretation, but the music and artwork really help set the mood.  Not to mention that the way player interaction is handled, it actually feels like you’re traveling with a stranger.  I give this game 8 out of 10, the perfect game for an aspiring writer.

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