Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “beta test”

Rite of Passage: Bloodlines Beta Test

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When a reporter visits her childhood friends, she finds herself in the middle of a murder plot.  Can she find out who did it without becoming the killer’s next victim?

The plot is your cliché murder mystery, with a friend of a prestigious family trying to figure out who the murderer is.  Be prepared for some slight spoilers about the game. For starters, one of the servants is romantically involved with the family’s wealthy daughter.  However, clichés are not always bad as I found myself intrigued by the secrets of this very family and wanting to find out who the murderer is. In addition, it’s the closest I’ll ever get to attending an interactive murder mystery play.  One thing I had a problem with was when you come across a red herring where a woman who loved the son poisoned him for spurning her. When you confront her, she confesses that she did poison the son, but she meant to give him the antidote later.  Whether or not she meant to give him the antidote, the law still needs to punish her. If you shoot someone, the police won’t pardon you because you meant to take the bullet out and heal the wound later.

The game is your typical hidden object with you exploring various locations and collecting items to progress further in the game.  Some items require you to participate in hidden object scenes and you can even play mini-games. You also have a book filled with information about each of the characters that you add to as you find out more about the story.  If you’re stuck, use the rechargeable hint. I actually didn’t find the game hard to understand, so I rarely used it.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I am most definitely buying the full version when it comes out.

My Brother Rabbit Beta Test

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When a little girl falls ill, she and her brother imagine a childlike world where they can escape their troubles.  This world stars their stuffed bunny rabbit as he tries to find water for a dying flower.

The game is unique but, other than that, there’s not much to say about it.  I like the creative telling of the storybook world, filled with wonder and possibilities.  Meanwhile, we have the painful reality of a little girl having a terminal illness. The story itself has the style of an interactive picture book, with no words and only pictures to guide you.

Unfortunately, the game play does not live up to the design.  It is your standard hidden object, with you having to locate certain items and use them to advance the story.  Sometimes you have to play mini-games in order to advance the storyline. If you’re stuck, use a hint. Unfortunately, this game is so confusing that I found myself spamming the hint button more than once.

This game is unique, but that’s about it.  I have no interest in buying the full version.

Persian Nights: The Moonlight Veil Beta Test

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When the twin moons of Persia approach their full phase, the Academy restricts the students from using magic for their own safety.  Unfortunately, this is when Melika’s sister goes missing. Now she’s alone as she searches for her missing sister.

This is a fantasy story with a mystery twist.  I’ll admit, I didn’t go into this game expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised.  I loved the artwork, the setup of the world and the interaction between the characters!  I never even played the previous game in the series and I had no trouble following this game.

The game play is your typical hidden object with you collecting items and using them in various locations.  Some objects require you to take part in a hidden object scene. This game has an added bonus of giving you a loving companion who can breathe fire when full and eat fire when hungry.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is very intriguing.  I’m definitely buying the full version when it comes out!

Uncharted Tides: Port Royal Beta Test

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When Mary Jane receives a message telling her that she might find her missing father, she sets sail and makes a new thief friend named Jack.  Can they find her long lost father or is this a trap set up by a clever villain?

The story is one of a pirate adventure starring the characters of Mary Jane and Jack.  Honestly, it didn’t really interest me but, after Shadowplay, it might have had a tough act to follow.  Mary Jane is the typical tomboy pirate while Jack is the typical thief.  A pirate named Jack, now where have we heard that before?  Yes, there’s a mystery about what happened to Mary Jane’s father but, in all honesty, it just doesn’t interest me.

The game play is typical hidden object with you searching various locations for items that you can use to help progress through the game.  Some items require you to participate in a hidden object scene.  You sometimes have to play mini-games in order to advance and, if you’re stuck, you can use the rechargeable hint.  I often found myself using that hint though I don’t know whether it’s because I couldn’t remember where anything was supposed to go, or I just didn’t care enough to fully participate in the game.

This game is average at best.  I have no interest in buying the full game when it comes out.

Shadowplay: Harrowstead Mystery Beta Test

When you and your friends try to solve the ancient mystery of the disappearance of Harrowstead, you find yourselves at the center of a supernatural phenomenon.  Is this the same phenomenon that destroyed Harrowstead? Can you stop it from destroying your town?

The storyline is a mystery with a supernatural twist, one of my favorite type of genres.  I’m sure many of you know that the town of Harrowstead is a work of fiction. However, those of you familiar with Roanoke know that there is history like this in real life.  In this case, inventing a fictional town works more to the story’s advantage because it gives the writer more freedom. It’s also a sequel to another game but the storyline is so simple, you don’t have to play the original to know what’s going on.  Trust me, I didn’t even know it was a sequel until the survey pointed it out to me.

The game play is typical hidden object with you going to various locations in the game.  You can pick up items scattered throughout. Some of these items will require you to participate in a hidden object game.  You can also complete mini-games, which you can skip you find too hard. The game has a rechargeable hint option so that you can use it whenever you get stuck once.  However, the game is not complicated to follow as I completed all of the mini-games and only used the hint option once. When I did the latter, it pointed me to take something that I honestly should’ve figured out on my own.  Let’s just say it was one of my stupid moments.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I’m definitely buying the full version when it comes out.

Argonauts Agency: Golden Fleece Beta Test

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When Jason gets news about a legendary Golden Fleece, he assembles the Argonauts Agency to go find it.  Will Jason succeed where others failed?

This story is a fun re-telling of the Greek myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece, much like Disney’s Hercules.  I’ll admit that I enjoyed it and there is a reference where you have to rescue Medea in one level.  For those of you unaware of the original myth, Medea was Jason’s wife, who helped him complete the trials to earn the Golden Fleece.  Jason repays Medea by divorcing her in order to marry the princess of Greece.  Trust me when I say that it didn’t end well.  I’m hoping it ends better for them in this game.

Once again, I received the offer to beta test a game that’s about town building.  I just hope this doesn’t become the new norm.  In the game, you have to use workers to build bridges, factories and anything else that can help you achieve your goals for the level.  Jason just stands there until he has to defeat a Minotaur or collect a papyrus.  The Minotaur was actually Theseus’s deal but, in the Disney Hercules series, Hercules got himself involved in a whole ton of adventures that he never took part of in the original myths.  Unfortunately, the beta test comes with two bugs.  The first is when I couldn’t click on the Minotaur to advance through the level until I got a lucky break.  The second is when I beat level ten and the game wouldn’t let me continue.  I hope that Big Fish Games will fix these bugs when they release the full game.  Anyway, you have to earn one star in order to advance throughout the game.  The faster you complete each level, the more stars you earn with three being the maximum amount.

This game is fun, even with the bugs.  I think I might buy the full game when it comes out.

Meadow Story Beta Test

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When an erupting volcano destroys the village of the Halflings, they must find a new place to call home.  Can they recreate a village with the same serenity?

The plot is a simplistic fantasy story and, for those of you who don’t know, Halflings are Hobbits with a different name.  The game play, on the other hand, rather shocked me.  I’ll admit, this isn’t the first time Big Fish Games sent me a beta-test, but it is the first time I’ve received one that wasn’t hidden object.  This game is a mixture of a village sim and a time management game.  You gather materials and use them to create different buildings.  Then gather materials from those buildings and use them to either make more or upgrade the ones you already have.  Meet the quota in order to advance to the next level.  How well you do depends on how fast you complete the level and what difficulty you picked at the beginning of the game.  You can pick regular, hard, or, if you’re not looking for a challenge at all, you can play the game in relaxed mode.

This game is beautiful and addictive.  I’d definitely buy the game when it comes out.

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.

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.

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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