Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the month “March, 2014”

Dark Parables: Jack and the Sky Kingdom (Bigfishgames.com)

The Fairytale Detective is back and this time he/she has to investigate the Sky Kingdom. The only ally he or she has is a mysterious treasure hunter named Jack.

The Dark Parables series is back and this time it’s taking on Jack and the Beanstalk. This game also takes on the legend of Rumpelstiltskin. I don’t have much to say about the plot except that you discover the back story of it as you go.

The game is typical hidden object. You travel throughout the scene collecting items for your inventory. You also have to partake in hidden object scenes but instead of finding a list of random objects in order to only add one to your inventory, you have to collect the pieces of the item you get.

You can also collect hidden parables to slowly discover the story of how everything came to be. The Collector’s Edition includes bonus content such as more game play.

This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 8 out of 10; the Dark Parables series hasn’t died yet.

The Great Gatsby: Secret Treasure (Bigfishgames.com)

When a young architect appraises the mansion of the late Jay Gatsby, a shady man kidnaps her roommate. Now she must find Gatsby’s secret treasure before her roommate dies.

I’m going to spoil something for you, you find out nothing new about Gatsby. You travel through his mansion and discover the story you already knew about if you’ve read the novel or have at least seen one of the two movies. You don’t find out how Gatsby went into business with Wolfsheim, or if he killed a man. If anything, it brings up more questions like why Nick Carraway left his notes all over Gatsby’s mansion or how the main character can visit the past and collect items. The game explains that she has a great imagination but so do I and I’m not retrieving any items from it. As for the storyline that takes place in present time, it’s nothing more than an excuse plot.

The game play is your typical hidden object game. You travel from scene to scene and collect items for your inventory. Some will require you to partake in hidden object scenes.

As I said earlier, sometimes you can visit the past and collect items from there. The map will help you determine where you have to go next. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is addictive but not very intriguing. I give it 6 out of 10; a wasted opportunity.

Cadenza: Music, Betrayal and Death Beta Test

When a young woman visits her father at the Jazz Pepper Club, she finds everyone inside paralyzed.  Can she fix this before they die of thirst?

The game takes place in the 1960s and is about a former band with a dark secret.  So far, the plot seems to have some supernatural elements.  This being a beta test, I can’t really go in depth about it but I will say that I love the scenery.  Of course, that might be because I have a soft spot for retro.

The game play is your typical hidden object.  You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory.  You can use them in certain locations in order to advance throughout the game.  The main character will record her thoughts and objectives in her journal from time to time.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I definitely plan on buying the full version.

Classic Adventures: The Great Gatsby (Bigfishgames.com)

When Nick Carraway visited his cousin Daisy, he was just hoping to make it big as a bonds salesmen.  He had no idea that he’d get caught up in so much mayhem.

Anyone who’s read the book or at least seen one of the movies knows how the plot plays out.  I’ve done all three and had to play this game due to The Great Gatsby being one of my favorite novels.  For those of you who know nothing about the story, it’s pretty hard to sum up while avoiding spoilers and condensing it into a few sentences.  All I can say is that it’s about dreams vs. reality, the carelessness of the rich and a deconstruction of the American Dream.

The game play is that of hidden object.  During cut scenes you have to collect a certain type of object enough time for points.  You play through hidden object scenes in order to advance the plot.

You can also partake in mini games just as typing out the words as they come (my absolute favorite).

When you’re done, you can use the points you’ve accumulated to purchase decorations for your house.

This game is addictive but not really all that intriguing.  I give it 3 out of 10; unless you’re a diehard Gatsby fan, you’re better off reading the book or watching one of the movies.

Roommates (Winterwolves.com)

When Anne and Max signed up for dorm living at their college, they had no idea how chaotic it would be.  Can they accomplish their goals while dealing with their crazy roommates?

Remember when I said that this game was a spiritual successor to Summer Session?  Believe me when I say that this one is a huge improvement.  One of the differences is that instead of a shy guy trying to get a girlfriend, you can play as shy girl trying to break out of her shell or a rebel guy trying to make sure his band gets a big break.  Anne and Max both have four romance options with Rakesh and Isabella being romance able for both while Dominic and Sally are only romance able for Anne and Max respectably.  Anne and Max can also romance each other and the story differs depending on whose point of view you play from.  One thing I really like about this game is that the characters are unique in their own ways.  They’re also considered attractive in their own ways instead of following one standard of beauty.  In the games Always Remember Me and the first two Heileen games, Marie and Amy were both considered average looking at best.  Anne is not a case of Hollywood Homely but rather I’m Not Pretty.  The difference between the two is that the former has the other characters agreeing with the character that says she’s not pretty.  The latter has only the character thinking this while everyone around him or her disagrees.  Another thing I like about this game is how characters like Isabella and Sally are portrayed.  Any other writer, such as the writers of That 70s Show, would portray a woman like Isabella as a bitchy slut with no morals or standards.  Instead, she’s portrayed as a woman who acknowledges her sexuality but will not do anyone who asks or do whatever her current significant other wants.  She’s just a sexually active young woman and there’s nothing wrong with that.  Sally is a vegan animal rights activist who would either be portrayed as a nutcase for her beliefs or as in the right all along and everyone should follow her example.  Instead, like Isabella, she’s just different and there’s nothing wrong with that.  The other characters are also different, such as Dominic with his rule upbringing and Rakesh with his art.  The only things that bother the other people about them is that Dominic is too strict while Rakesh has no respect for people’s boundaries when it comes to his art.  Anne and Max also develop throughout the game without changing their core identities.  I don’t want to give anything away, so I’ll just leave it at that.  However, I will say that Anne’s a nice change from the female characters that usually star in dating sims, at least the ones made by Winter Wolves.  Many of them, like Nicole, are outgoing and love fashion.  Anne is shy and prefers the comfort of a quiet library to a loud party.  I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with Nicole but it’s nice to have something different and more relatable to me for once.  In addition, there’s this one scene where you find out that Dominic likes video games and Anne admits that she herself has played them.  It’s a welcome change to shows like the Big Bang Theory where even the scientist girls have no interest in video games, D&D, or comic books and makes a big deal about them doing those things for the first time.

The game play is that of your typical dating sim.  You have to plan the schedule of the character you’re playing while trying to romance one of the other characters.  You do have the option of skipping events in order to save energy.  If you want to successfully romance a character, you have to raise your stats high enough for them to take an interest in you.  You can do that through part time jobs or pay to partake in certain activities.  You can also attend class and study in order to keep your grades high.  Max and Anne’s storylines are sold separately in case you would rather just play as one of the characters instead of exploring the game through both of their perspectives.

This game is addictive and hilarious.  I give it 10 out of 10; it definitely didn’t disappoint.

Fables: Wolf Among Us Episode 2: Smoke and Mirrors (Steam Store)

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Just when things were quieting down in Fabletown, another murder occurs and this victim shares similarities with Snow White.

In this episode, the game goes further into the dark side of Fabletown.  You see just how unlucky some of the Fables were and what they had to do to support themselves.  I don’t want to give anything away but you get to meet a well known fairy tale character, only with the little known original ending.  The only problem I have in the story is a slight continuity error but it’s not one I’m going to get too upset about.

The game play is the same as the last one.  You make dialogue choices at the right time and sometimes you have to make decisions that influence the story.  Unlike the Walking Dead video game, the decisions aren’t as crucial.  You can make deductions and participate in quick time events.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I give it 8 out of 10; can’t wait for the next episode.

Burger Island 2: The Missing Ingredient (Gamehouse.com)

After setting up the perfect beach burger hut, Patty has to deal with a rival franchise trying to steal her glory.  Unfortunately, due to the tiki guy’s abduction, Patty can’t make new recipes.  Now she has to rescue the tiki guy and find the location of the great sauce.

Like the last game, there’s not much to say about the plot of this one.  The game play is exactly the same as the last one with the only differences being that eggs and nachos replace the french fry and shake levels and instead of buying new recipes you have to create them in an experimental kitchen.  Try to reach the minimum goal for each level if you want to advance throughout the game.

This game is addictive but not very entertaining.  I give it 4 out of 10; it doesn’t match up to its predecessor.

Fables: The Wolf Among Us Episode 1: Faith (Steam Store)

When Snow White and Bigby Wolf find a young woman’s head on their apartment entrance they set out to find the killer.  Now they must search all of Fabletown to solve the mystery once and for all.

For those of you who don’t know, Fables is a comic book series about public domain characters having to flee their homeland and reside in New York.  While not part of mainstream pop-culture, the shows Once Upon A Time and Grimm wouldn’t be around if not for this series.  Fables is also the inspiration for a series of hidden object games called Dark Parables.  The storyline for this game focuses more on the detective noir aspects than the comics ever did.  The game also shows you how much many fables had to leave behind in order to live in our world.  I don’t want to spoil anything but let me tell you that some fables really can’t adapt to our world very well.

The game play is the same as it was in The Walking Dead Game.  You make dialogue choices for Bigby Wolf and make decisions for him at crucial moments.  The decisions here aren’t as sadistic as the ones in The Walking Dead due to this game having a more detective nature.  You also explore certain scenes and collect what you can while investigating crime scenes and connecting the evidence.  Another aspect that makes it different from The Walking Dead is that you can collect information on Fabletown and its inhabitants to review later.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I give it 8 out of 10; a worthy prequel to Fables.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 1: All That Remains (Steam Store)

Lee’s dead and Clementine’s all on her own in an unforgiving world.  Can she find allies that will help her live to fight another day?

As you can see, the main character switched from Lee to Clementine.  Now you have to see how everything that’s happened has changed the little girl that Lee saved.  Let me tell you there is one scene involving a dog and I was bawling so hard that I had to stop the game for a while before I could go back to it.  Oh, and remember when I said that the decisions you make in 400 days influence the storyline in season 2?  So far, I’m not seeing how but I’ve only played the first episode.

The game play is the same as it’s always been.  You pick dialogue choices for the main character, explore the scene and collect items for your inventory.  Sometimes you will have to make difficult decisions that influence the storyline.  You also get to see what others picked in their play through.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I give it 10 out of 10; as I said earlier, it made me cry.

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