Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “hidden object”

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.

Mortimer Beckett and the Book of Gold (Gamehouse)

When Mortimer inherits his uncle’s museum in Snuggford, he gets the task of protecting the Book of Gold.  Unfortunately, a sheik desires the book for sinister purposes. Now Mortimer must team up with Kate and prevent the book from falling into the wrong hands.

Mortimer’s back and, like Sally, he’s joined the cast of Delicious.  This time, he teams up with Patrick’s sister, Kate O’Malley, who longs for adventure.  I have to admit, this is the first time I’m hearing about this characterization. However, they don’t really do much with Kate except use her as a false love interest and hint that she makes perfume.  That last part went the way of Francois’s interior decorating business. Kate is now Watson to Mortimer’s Sherlock Holmes, even if she thinks she’s the hero and Mortimer’s the sidekick. There are even hints of romance between Mortimer and Kate, which, if you ask me, really isn’t necessary.  The writers just believed that, because it’s a man and a woman hanging out, there must be romance between them. Unless the man is gay, then he just gets subtle hints of his orientation and no romance. I will give the writers credit on not turning Mortimer into a dogged nice guy. He’s just a regular man with a crush who doesn’t feel entitled to Kate and only follows her vigorously because she has the Book of Gold in her backpack.  They even have Mortimer admit that he’s never been with a woman because he feels that his life is too chaotic for romance. That’s right; they actually reference his past adventures. Spoiler alert, at the end when Kate says that she’s not sure if a life with Mortimer is right for her, he doesn’t pressure her into staying.

The storyline has a tendency to pad, such as when Kate falls into a hole and needs to get out.  The worst offense would have to be when the police arrest Mortimer because they mistook him for the notorious criminal Jackal.  This serves no purpose because we never hear about this Jackal again. All right, it serves one purpose and that’s to rub the Mortimer and Kate romance in our faces.  The game will do this quite often, so be prepared. However, this is an adventure storyline about an introverted guy and an extroverted girl teaming up to find an artifact, which can quickly become a tired old gender cliche.  You can easily make Kate and Mortimer good friends without ruining the storyline.

As I said, this is a story about a thinker and a doer.  The plot does fall victim to the Straw Vulcan trope at one point, with Mortimer and Kate arguing over a map.  Mortimer has trouble deciphering the map, so Kate follows her intuition. She ends up with the Book of Gold and Mortimer, who wants work extra hard at deciphering the map, ends up poisoned.  Mortimer has to solve a puzzle only for a poisonous spider to bite him, which begs the question of why someone would put a puzzle there and have the reward be a near death experience. Instead of chalking this up to dumb luck, the story treats Kate as being in the right.  There’s another instance where the game does not delegate the tasks to the characters properly. Mortimer’s job is to call for help while Kate looks for clues. Since Mortimer is the detective and Kate the social newcomer, I feel that it should be the other way around.

These aren’t the only problems with the storyline.  For instance, when Kate first meets Mortimer, she mistakes him for a janitor.  I don’t know about you, but if my car broke down in front of a museum and I met a well-dressed man, I wouldn’t think he was the janitor.  Don’t forget that Mortimer became famous for thwarting the Crimson Thief and, if Kate really does want adventure, there’s a chance she might know who he is.  The biggest problem would have to be the artifact in the title, the Book of Gold. What is it about the Book of Gold that makes it so important that people are willing to kill for it?  What does it do other than come up with random sayings everybody knows? When you make a game about the artifact in the title, you have to come up with a good reason for why it would be important.

The game play is actually unique for a hidden object.  You go through the map and play each level in the same style that you would play a Gamehouse time management game.  

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In each level, you collect pieces of the items to add to your inventory and use them to advance throughout the story.  

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You get a green checkmark for using no hints. Unfortunately, there are no sparkling objects to hint where you need to interact.  Therefore, you have to guess where you’re supposed to use certain items. Like in many hidden objects, you get to play mini games.  

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However, there are no instructions for how to play them, so you just have to guess blindly. Be prepared to consult the walkthrough for The Book of Gold quite often.  You also find the mouse and get hidden challenge levels for diamonds. You have to complete the challenge levels in a certain amount of time if you want the hourglass, which also serves no purpose other than bragging rights.  You use the diamonds to purchase artifacts at an auction.

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I did some research and, from what I could fact check, most of the info is historically accurate.

This game is fun but flawed.  I give it 6 out of 10; only slightly better than the last game in the Delicious series.

Mortimer Beckett and the Crimson Thief (Big Fish Games)

When a mysterious thief goes from country to country stealing valuable artifacts, it’s up to Mortimer to stop him.  Will he be successful, or is this one challenge too great for Mortimer Beckett.

I have to say, this is the first of the series that deals with something that’s not supernatural, science fiction, or fantasy.  This one actually plays out like a mystery novel except you know whom the culprit is.  You just don’t know what the culprit’s up to.  In some ways, the game reminds me of a Sherlock Holmes story where Arsene Lupin challenged him in the same manner.

The game play’s a little bit different from the last two games.  You still go around collecting items to add to your inventory through the map.

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However, you also have the challenge of collecting pieces of various tickets.  After finding the artifact, you use the ticket you assembled to go to the next country.  I have no idea why someone would tear up tickets and leave them scattered in hard to find places, but it saves money on travel.  Sometimes, you might have to play mini-games and ask citizens for help in order to advance through the story.

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If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is rather addictive.  I give it 7 out of 10, a classic mystery with a modern day twist.

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.

Mortimer Beckett and the Secrets of Spooky Manor (Big Fish Games)

When Mortimer Beckett visits his uncle’s mansion, he finds it infested with ghosts.  To make matters worse, his uncle’s disappeared from sight.  It’s up to Mortimer to rescue his uncle and assemble his invention, the ghost machine.

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Those of you who follow me know that I’ve been mainly focusing on catching up on the Delicious games.  One of the games in the series is Mortimer Beckett and the Book of Gold.  However, I had no idea that, like Sally, Mortimer had his own game series before joining the Delicious cast.  Therefore, I decided to check it out before playing the Book of Gold.  The storyline in this game is an excuse plot, so there’s not that much to say.  However, I will tell you that, contrary to what I say in the first paragraph, the ghosts are not dangerous.

The game play is standard hidden object with you visiting each room and collecting items.

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Your goal is to collect the pieces of the four items in each room.  After that, you can use the items to either put them back in their proper place or solve more puzzles to connect the ghost machine.  You only have a limited number of hints in each section of the mansion, so use them wisely.  It’s possible for you to miss a detail entirely because, when I got to the last room, I couldn’t connect the ghost machine.  I thought that I gathered all of the pieces and found myself worried about a bug.  It turned out that I forgot to check one room entirely to get the battery.  I was very relieved that I didn’t have to start the game all over.

This game is fun and simple.  I give it 6 out of 10, a nice little diversion from boredom.

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