Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the category “big fish games”

Dead Link: Pages Torn Beta Test

When your sister turns up dead, it’s up to you to find her killer.  Can you solve the mystery without being another victim?

Trust me when I say that the plot’s not that simple.  There’s a bigger plot at work and, spoiler alert, your sister might not be dead.  Only problem is that the main character can’t seem to figure that out, even with the evidence.  However, I do find the mystery intriguing in its own right.

The game play is typical of any hidden object game.  You travel between different locations trying to find different objects to add to your inventory.  Sometimes you have to complete a hidden object scene in order to collect some items.  You will have to complete mini-games to advance, or just skip it if you like to be lazy.  If you get stuck, use a hint.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I can definitely see myself buying it in the future.

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Dark Romance: A Performance to Die For Beta Test

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Raul’s in love with Christine and plans to propose to her before her next performance.  Unfortunately, a masked man kidnaps her and takes her to his home in the Opera house sewers.  Can Raul save his beloved before the Phantom carries out his evil plans?

I know what you’re thinking; it’s another Phantom of the Opera re-telling.  Which is somewhat true, but the writers took liberties that I found rather creative.  Be warned that I have slight spoilers ahead for those who didn’t receive the beta test.  So proceed with caution.  In this version, the Phantom’s name is Isaac and he’s not really in love with Christine.  He wants Christine because he’s obsessed with creating the perfect opera and she’s the perfect singer to bring it to life.

You’re also thinking that this game is about the hero rescuing the helpless damsel.  While that is somewhat true, you actually get to play as both Raul and Christine throughout the game.  You both have to work together if you want to stop Isaac.  The game play is the same for each character with you having to collect items at various locations and use them to advance throughout the game.  Sometimes you have to complete hidden object scenes or mini-games in order to advance.  You can find entries for a journal that, unfortunately, you can only view when you collect said entries.  You also have the option of collecting posters, instruments and gems throughout the game.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.  However, the hint won’t help you find the extra items.

The game is addictive and intriguing.  Unfortunately, it’s also the latest entry for a series I’ve never played.  While I would like to buy the game when it comes out, I’m not sure if I want to buy the whole series.

Off The Record: The Italian Affair (Big Fish Games)

After the Linden Shades incident, the reporter’s ready for a long deserved vacation.  When opportunity knocks on her door in the form of a chance to catch a gentleman thief known as The Fox, she puts her vacation plans on hold.

This is the sequel to Linden Shades, if you haven’t guessed.  In this one, it’s about confronting an Italian Robin Hood and finding out if he’s really redeemed.

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All I’ll say about the plot is that it takes an unexpected turn.

The game play is your typical hidden object.  You travel from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory.  Some items will require you to take part in a hidden object scene.

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Use these items at the correct locations in order to advance throughout the story.  If you’re stuck use a hint.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I give it 7 out of 10; a worthy sequel to Linden Shades.

Christmas Stories: A Christmas Carol Collector’s Edition (Big Fish Games)

Your uncle Scrooge writes you a letter, asking you for help.  In order to grant his request, you must work with his good conscience and the ghosts of Christmas to save him from himself.  Careful, because Scrooge’s evil alter ego seeks to undermine you at every opportunity.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, I’m sure that you’re familiar with the classic story, A Christmas Carol.  It is the tale of a rich old miser who must change his ways for the good of the world and himself.  This game chose to take a different turn by having you take the role of Scrooge’s nephew, Fred.  I’ll admit that this change is not one I’m crazy about at all.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against change and I do love the story Zombie Christmas Carol.  The only difference is that the zombie version managed to stick to the original theme of the story with an extra plot about the undead walking among them.  This version undermines the moral of the classic story.  In the original Christmas Carol, the three ghosts of Christmas visit Scrooge to scare him into changing his ways.  The Ghost of Christmas Past shows Scrooge his past, forcing him to observe memories from his traumatic childhood and demonstrating how it made him the man he became.  It also forces Scrooge to see the mistakes he’s made, such as choosing money over Belle, and showing the few bright spots in his life to make him see that he’s wrong.  Scrooge is helpless to change his past and the bad decisions he made, showing a deep regret for some of his choices.  The Ghost of Christmas Present shows Scrooge the life he’s missing, such as taking him to Fred’s house, and the depravity of the world he refuses to face.  It also demonstrates to Scrooge how he has the power to do something about this depravity.  The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come takes the appearance of the grim reaper and never speaks.  This is to demonstrate how scary and unknown the future can be.  Its job is to show Scrooge the future he will have if he doesn’t change his ways.  Let me tell you, said future is not a good one.

In this game, the ghosts each make an appearance.  However, spoiler alert, you get to change Scrooge’s past.  I’m sure you remember the scene in the original story, when Belle didn’t like the man Scrooge became and broke off her engagement. Well, in this version, Scrooge tried to propose to Belle but the evil alter ego steals the ring and Belle gets angry, thinking Scrooge played a cruel joke on her.

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Don’t worry, you can get the ring and change Scrooge’s present so that he and Belle not only marry, but also get to have children of their own.  As I said earlier, the whole point of the Ghost of Christmas Past is to show Scrooge how bitterness and greed consumed him.  While Scrooge is helpless to change his past, he can still learn from it.

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The Ghost of Christmas Present asks you to take a letter to Scrooge from Bob Cratchit asking him to get medicine for Tiny Tim.  Unfortunately, said alter ego took the letter and tries to destroy the medicine.  That’s right, Scrooge’s current misery isn’t because he let greed and bitterness consume him.  It’s because a little demon goes out of his way to sabotage him at every opportunity.  The Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come makes its appearance and it talks.  The whole point of this spirit is that it doesn’t talk.  You also get to see Scrooge’s miserable present, which doesn’t make sense considering that you changed his past.  He’s not the same man anymore, so he wouldn’t have a bitter future.  There are also two other plot issues, such as Fred saying that he misses Fan.  Since she died giving birth to him, he wouldn’t remember enough about her to miss her.  Another one is that, when you first get to Scrooge’s house, he has a Christmas tree.  The whole point of the story is that Scrooge hates Christmas.  Why would he put up a tree in his house?

The Collector’s Edition comes with an extra story line where you explore kitty cat world and help Sherlock Cat find Santa Cat.  It’s An American Tail with felines.

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I’ll admit, this story is adorable but it really has no point other than to get you to shell out more money.

The game play is actually quite fun, with you going around and collecting objects to add to your inventory.  You can use them to advance throughout the story.  Some items require you to take place in a hidden object scene for you to collect.

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You also play mini games that you have the option of skipping.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.

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While this game seems like the typical hidden object formula, it also has one extra addition.  Remember Scrooge’s good conscience, who comes with you?  He can animate objects in order to help you with your quest.  In the extra storyline, this feature changes into a magnifying glass so you can collect paw prints.

This game is fun, but undermines the original story.  I give it 5 out of 10; making an adaptation that completely ignores the message severely damages the game.  However, the addictive game play makes up for it.

Mystery Tales: The Other Side Beta Test

The Twola TV Company’s giving away free super TVs all over town.  Only issue is that the police keep getting reports about dead bodies in front of these television sets.  Is it a coincidence, or are these TVs deadly for viewing?

I’m sure you already figured out on your own that there’s something suspicious about these TVs.  The actual mystery is about what is up with these TVs.  In the first few minutes, you know something’s wrong when your partner, Natalie, passes out in front of hers.  That’s right; it’s the damsel in distress cliché.  The use of this is particularly grating when you discover that Natalie collaborated with you on several other previous cases, all of them involving the supernatural.  Wouldn’t she know better than to fall into such an obvious trap?  If that wasn’t enough, one of the characters is a scientist with anti-television views people haven’t had since the 1950s.  Needless to say, this incident actually makes his argument stronger.  Despite these plot issues, the mystery is intriguing and I really would love to solve it.

The game play is typical hidden object with you going from room to room collecting various items to use in different locations.  Some items require you to participate in hidden object scenes.  If you’re having trouble finding items, use a hint.  Let me tell you, I’ve only had to use the hint a couple of times throughout the beta test.  You can also play mini games that are easy to follow but, if not, you can skip it.  I’ve only had to skip one game, which is a good sign.  During the run, you collect notes and diary pages with only the former available for viewing.  You can read the latter when the full game comes out.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I can see myself buying the full version in the future.

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