Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “hidden object games”

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.

Mortimer Beckett and the Lost King (Big Fish Games)

Mortimer Beckett just fixed time and now he’s in a magical kingdom.  His new mission is to complete the crown and find the missing prince.  Can he save the kingdom from tyranny?

I’m sure many people who’ve played games like this know how this will end.  Still, if you want to go into this game fresh, skip this paragraph.  The lost king is Mortimer’s uncle Jerome, which means that Mortimer is the prince.  However, this makes very little sense in terms of story telling and lineage.  For starters, no one seems to remember a sibling disappearing with the king.  Another thing is that, when the ruler has no children, the sibling is next in line for the throne.  I assume Mortimer’s father and grandfather must have died for him to be next in line for the throne.  Don’t worry; he turns down living in a magical kingdom in order to go back to a normal life.  However, it would have made more sense to make Jerome, Mortimer’s father instead.  Other than the confusing ending, the style and plot are your typical fantasy story, which is rather enjoyable.

The game is a typical hidden object and, this time, you’re not looking for fragments.  You have to find the item whole and use what you collect to get either more items or pieces of jewelry for the crown.

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You can also play mini-games to help further the story.  Like the last game, you get to use a rechargeable hint.  Unlike the last game, clicking the hint button actually directs you to where you’re supposed to go instead of just finding objects and trusting you to figure out the rest.

This game is beautiful and addictive.  I give it 6 out of 10, two points off for the confusing ending.

Mortimer Beckett and the Time Paradox (Big Fish Games)

After building the Ghost Machine, Mortimer finds himself traveling through time.  His mission is to assemble a time bomb and close the portal.  Can he accomplish this before it’s too late?

Once again, we have another excuse plot.  This one is about time travel, which can be fun if handled correctly.  In this game, they handle it about average.  While the scenery is quite amazing and the characters you talk to are fun; you can find yourself looking at and collecting items that didn’t exist in the time you’re currently in.  For instance, you can find a modern day telephone booth located in a time before Edison invented the light bulb.  You also collect a beach chair in Ancient Egypt.  Clearly, the developers didn’t care about historical accuracy when they designed this game.

The game play is standard hidden object similar to the last game.  You use the map to visit different locations in each time and collect fragments of four objects.

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Let me warn you, some objects are very difficult to find, if not impossible.  You also have the option of exploring one room deeper to find all of the objects.  This can sometimes sneak by you, making you feel stuck in the game, believe me.  When you assemble an item, you can either put it back in its place or use it to advance the story.  You can also play mini-games, but be sure to collect the hints for them in your journal before trying to solve them.

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Like the last game, you have the option of using a hint when you are stuck.  Fortunately, you have an unlimited number of hints.  Unfortunately, you can only use it to find items and, if you need to do something else to advance the story, the hint won’t tell you what.

This game is addictive, but simplistic.  I give it 7 out of 10, one point more than the last game for unlimited hints, but a few points taken off for obvious historical inaccuracies.

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.

Fairy Tale Mysteries: The Beanstalk (Bigfishgames.com)

When a shadowy figure tricks a young boy into buying a set of magic beans, the Grimm Brothers call on the aid of a recent graduate from their institute.  This young novice’s mission is to find the beans and stop the giants from ruling the land once again.

Anyone who’s read Jack and the Beanstalk knows where the inspiration came from.  The only difference is that instead of Jack being the hero, he’s the dude in distress who’s in over his head.  Your job is to rescue him and to stop the evil giants.  On the way, you’ll see cliché after cliché and help arrive in the form of a dues ex machina.  As for your character, you know absolutely nothing about him or her except that they graduated from an institute.

The game is a hidden object, meaning that you travel around and collect items for your inventory and use them in various locations.  Some require you to participate in hidden object scenes.  The only thing that separates this game from other hidden object games is that when you click on something you need to fix or add items that you don’t have, a column will show up at the bottom with a list of objects that you need for a specific task.  Objects in the area are solid while objects in a different area are transparent.  If an item needs work for you to get, the object will be locked.  Oh, and if you’re stuck use a hint.

This game is simplistic yet entertaining.  I give it 6 out of 10; a fun take on a classic fairy tale.

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