Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “mystery”

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!

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.

Clue (Walmart)

Requested by onlyindreams145

Someone murdered Mr. Boddy and it’s up to you to figure out whom.  Play as one of six suspects, each connected to the victim, and figure out who done it.

The plot is the standard murder mystery that makes the game popular in the first place.  The characters themselves are the standard tropes you would find in a classic mystery movie.  Miss Scarlet is the beautiful femme fatale. Colonel Mustard is the decorated war hero. Mrs. Peacock is the widowed socialite.  Mr. Green is the corrupt business, or con man in this version. Professor Plum is the classic scholarly gentleman. The only difference, besides a change in Mr. Green’s profession, is replacing Mrs. White with the new character, Dr. Orchid.  She’s the adopted child of Mr. Boddy with a PhD in plant toxicology. Those of you who are familiar with Clue know that Mrs. White held the job of Mr. Boddy’s housekeeper. I don’t know why this change happened, but I suspected they did so in order to have a career-oriented woman as part of the game.  An article I found on the Washington Post only slightly confirmed my suspicion. Apparently, feminists ran a petition for the makers of Clue to change Mrs. White’s job to being a doctor or a scientist. In response, the makers decide to remove Mrs. White from the game entirely and replace her with Dr. Orchid.  They also made this new character Asian so not all of the characters will be white. Only problem is that the makers enforced an Asian stereotype, which might just be an accident. I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt on this one. Other people are a little upset about their decision to replace Mrs. White with Dr. Orchid because they don’t like change, my mom being one of them.  In all reality, I wouldn’t have known about this had my mom not bought the game from Wal-Mart. We thought we had the original Clue but we might have given the game away in a daily purge by accident. Therefore, my mom had to purchase this new version.

The characters aren’t the only part of the game that changed.  In the classic game, you play a character, roll the dice, go to a room, and guess who did it with what weapon in that very room.  If your friends have one of the cards you mention, then you know that you’re wrong. Then, if you’re sure, you can accuse someone with a specific weapon and in what room the suspect killed Mr. Boddy.  If you get it right, you win. If not, you’re out of the game. You have to separate the cards into three piles, suspect, weapon and location. Therefore, the solution changes with each game. The rules say that you can accuse any time, but my mom and I have this one house rule.  You can only accuse on your next turn as long as you spend the next two turns exiting the room and then re-entering again. Well, in the new version, you also have nine clue cards that you have to use if you roll a magnifying glass with the dice on your turn. If you roll two, you have to take two cards instead of one.  If you’d rather play the classic game, then the clue cards aren’t necessary. The game also added a new style for a two-player game. You have to take four of the cards and put each one in a different room. When you enter said room, you can reveal the card. It adds challenge to a two-player game, but the clue cards seem more distracting than actually being a part of the game.  However, that might be because I’m not a big fan of change.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I give it 7 out of 10; still adjusting to the clue card change.

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.

Endless Summer (Choices)

This is an unusual post because it’s not really a review as much as a recommendation. This game is one of my favorite Choices games due to having a great story, great characters and a huge mystery that’s up to you to solve. Your choices determine your relationships and if you can gather enough clues to solve the mystery of the island you’re stranded on. However, I warn you, completing the game 100% means you have to make in-app purchases.

I’ve made a decision to post more on my blog, but only post reviews once a week. From now on, I’ll be posting what I make in dollmakers, news about video games or board games, people’s Let’s Play videos and recommendations for interactive stories you can play on your phone. You can even give me dollmaker pictures you made, recommend Let’s Plays I can post and so on. Just make sure that what you suggest I post or recommend has something to do with either video or board gaming.

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.

Punished Talents: Seven Muses (Bigfishgames.com)

When a string of murders occur with striking similarities to Russell Pollack’s book, it’s up to his wife, Samantha, to clear his name.  Can she prevent herself and her husband from becoming the next victims?

Despite how simplistic the storyline is, I absolutely love it.  The suspense is quite intriguing and some parts of it are quite original.  My only problem was that it was too obvious who the killer was.  I figured it out instantly and I am not skilled at mystery novels.

The game play is your typical hidden object game.  You go from scene to scene collecting items.  Some items will require you to participate in a hidden object scene.  You will have to backtrack quite often to complete the game and if you get stuck, use a hint.  The map will guide you by marking whether you’re finished with a location, you still have something to do at the moment or if you have things to do there but don’t have the necessary tools to do so.

This game is simplistic yet addictive.  I give it 6 out of 10; not a bad waste of your time.

Nicole (Winterwolves.com)

Nicole’s excited about the college life only to discover that it wasn’t all she imagined it to be.  Three girls have been abducted from her campus and messages from the culprit tell her that she’ll be the fourth.  Can Nicole find romance while keeping herself from becoming the next victim?

For those of you who haven’t played the game, I have to warn you that there are spoilers in this review.  This game is not your typical dating sim.  From the very first scene, it’s clear that there is far more going on then hooking up with boys.  You have to solve a mystery while pursuing a guy. 

If you go there alone, you don’t get to solve anything.  I like to think that this is less about a knight in shining armor saving a damsel in distress than it is about saying that there is safety in numbers.  Celso Riva is working on the yuri version of this game so we’ll just have to wait and see.  The guy’s you can pursue are Ted, the hotheaded southerner, Jeff, the eccentric scientist, Darren, the shy computer geek, and Kurt, the social football player.  My personal favorite would have to be Ted because he has a touching storyline about his family and his temper’s not to the point where he gets abusive.  Kurt, on the other hand, had a scene that was used as a joke but it made me feel uncomfortable.  In that scene, he was trying to kiss Nicole even though she was saying no and she had to throw an alarm clock at him to get him to stop.  Maybe they were just playing and I took it the wrong way.  Jeff was also another love interest I had trouble with because he was way too easily forgiven.  True, he never killed anyone but he did experiment on humans like they were guinea pigs and pretty much ruined their lives.  I know that, as the player, I was the one to make the choice, but I think a far more interesting ending for him would be Nicole doubting whether she could trust him.  I like screwed up relationships but I would prefer if the author admitted that they were screwed up.

The game play is similar to Always Remember Me with a few differences.  In that game, you only tried to raise a particular stat if you wanted the special ending for a certain guy.  In Nicole, you have to raise a certain stat for a guy if you want their normal ending.  The only way to get the special ending is if you max out the clues stat and view all of the mystery scenes. 

You visit difference locations and do certain activities in order to raise each stat.  You also have to choose between two responses when having scenes with certain boys.  If you pick the correct one, it will raise their affection level.  Another thing that separates Nicole from Always Remember Me is that you have to buy five gifts for a certain boy if you want any chance of pursuing a relationship with them.  In Always Remember Me, you only had to buy a few stat-raising items and one thing for only one of the guys and even that wasn’t necessary.

This game is romantic with a hint of mystery.  I give it 9 out of 10; some of the suspense scenes had my heart racing.

DinerTown Detective Agency (Bigfishgames.com)

Bernie the bookworm loves detective fiction more than anything.  Therefore, when he comes across an ad to become one, he teams up with Flo to solve fifty crimes to send in.

The plot’s not as serious as you would think.  Instead of solving murders, you have to figure out who’s sticking gum all over Flo’s diner or who’s partying with animals late at night.  Some scenes hint that there’s a much bigger plot in DinerTown but it’s not anything serious.  The only issue I really have is that in one scene, Mr. Smith said he didn’t know Flo when in Diary Dash we learn that The Smiths wouldn’t have their farm if it weren’t for her.

The game is not your typical hidden object.  You go from scene to scene solving individual mysteries.  First, you collect the objects in the room.  Some require a magnifying glass, an eyedropper, or a fingerprint brush to find them all.  Then you participate in a mini-game to eliminate three of the six suspects.  Finally, you ask people questions about the last three suspects to find out who the culprit is.  In some scenes, you take part in a mini-game that helps you solve the actual mystery.

This game is addictive and amusing.  I give it 9 out of 10; I snickered in some scenes but I wasn’t laughing aloud.

Yousei (Sakevisual.com)

Kangai joined a group of psychic teenagers who are under the watchful eye of the government.  Now a murder has occurred at a college campus that he and his new friends will have to solve.

The story is a mystery and it delves deeper into a couple of the characters’ pasts.  One ending will even reveal the truth about said characters.  The story introduces new characters and one character from the first game returns.  When you unlock the epilogue, you find out that the story’s not quite over yet.  I’m not sure what they’ll do with the next game but I have seen Winter Wolves and Sakevisual talk about a Jisei in Fairbrook game on twitter.  I’m not sure if they’ll go through with it and I don’t think it’s going to be the next game.

The game play is the same as the last two.  You pick a response for Kangai and then you travel through the area asking questions.  You can review your cell phone for hints or review the information you’ve gathered on your notepad.  You also have the option of giving Kangai glasses, which doesn’t really affect the plot.  Getting certain endings will unlock other such extras and pictures for your gallery.  It will also allow you to view the epilogue.

This game is fun and intriguing.  I give it 9 out of 10; I choked up a bit on some parts.

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