Suburban Timewaster

I play video games and review them.

Archive for the tag “point and click”

Gone Home (Steam Store)

When Katie comes back from college at midnight, she finds the house empty.  Where has everyone gone?  Explore the house as Katie and find out.

First, I’m just going to tell you that spoilers are unavoidable.  The entire game is about you going through the house and reading people’s letters, journal, notes and so on.  Many trailers will fool you and claim that it’s a horror survival game.  Even the beginning, where the house is up on a hill and empty on a dark and stormy night, will fool you.  I’m just going to tell you, it’s a story about Katie’s sister, Sam, learning who she is, in more ways than one.

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All the horror elements are little more than red herrings.  For those of you who don’t know, a red herring is a plot device meant to mislead the reader.  Take Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.  When you read the book the first time, you think Snape is out to steal the Stone.  Then you find out at the very end that it’s Quirrell.

The game takes place in the 90s and it shows.  For instance, there’s a plot element in the game about Sam’s girlfriend, Lonnie, wanting to join the army despite their Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy.  Just in case some of you aren’t familiar with the nineties, the army once employed a policy forbidding anyone to ask about anyone else’s sexuality.  Therefore, open homosexuals couldn’t serve in the military.  Thankfully, the government repelled it in 2011.  Lonnie is the rebellious social misfit always getting into trouble and wants to join the army one day.  As Sam points out, this clashes with everything about her.  Sam is even the one to point out how unfair the policy is.  Another instance is the marriage of Katie’s parents, Terry and Jan, falling apart because he won’t join Jan in activities such as couple’s bowling and ballroom dancing.  However, Jan wanting to have an affair with a co-worker didn’t help matters.  It even goes as far as mentioning shows such as Boy Meets Worlds on prime time.

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Despite Terry and Jan’s marriage problems, the former stuck in a dead-end job reviewing technological appliances while mourning over his failed career as a writer and the supernatural elements about a possible ghost in the house, the game is really about Sam and her relationship with Lonnie.  I should tell you that Sam’s parents don’t approve of her lesbianism, even going so far as to suggest that it’s a phase.  However, there are hints that Lonnie is a bad influence on Sam.  For instance, Sam skips school on Lonnie’s suggestion.  Some fans speculate whether Terry and Jan not approving of Sam and Lonnie’s relationship is due to homophobia or Lonnie’s influence on their daughter.  Personally, I think it’s both.  I think that Terry and Jan always imagined that both of their daughters would be straight and it’s shocking to them that things didn’t turned out as they planned.  However, if I told my mom I was a lesbian, she’d just be happy I wouldn’t be getting pregnant.  I also feel that, if Sam had boyfriend they regarded as a bad influence, they would’ve been able to handle it better.

I will admit that Terry and Jan are right about Lonnie being a bad influence and my reasoning is the ending.  In it, Lonnie backs out of joining the army and asks Sam to run away with her.  Sam then proceeds to sell all of the major appliances in the house and drive off to meet with Lonnie.  Let me summarize, Sam and Lonnie throw their lives away so they can be together.  Neither one of them has any clue how to live on their own nor do they have jobs.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve heard of teenagers filing for legal emancipation, but that’s only because the parents are so dangerous the child is better off alone.  Terry and Jan might be self-absorbed and prejudice, but there is no sign that either one of them is dangerous.  Sam also had a promising career as a writer and she’s throwing that away for Lonnie.  Don’t say that Sam can still make a living as a writer because she’ll be too busy working job after job to make sure she and Lonnie can still afford food and a place to live.  My only consolation is that Katie will immediately drive out, pick up Sam and talk some sense into her.  I’ll admit, this ending is horrible and the writers actually think it’s happy.  I just have one question.  Would they have gone through with it had it been a straight couple?

There’s not much to say about the game play, since all you do is look around the house for clues.  You pick things up, use them and you read various documents lying around to discover what’s going on.

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I’ll admit that using the mouse can be difficult since I couldn’t always get it just right.  I can say the same about using the keyboard.  You can also hear diary entries from Sam as you progress further and further through the game.  Occasionally, you can see Katie’s thoughts about certain things in the house, such as her getting disgusted by her dad’s condom in the drawers.

The game is intriguing, but expensive.  I give it 7 out of 10, great plot but not sure if three hours of game play is worth the price.

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The Walking Dead Game Season 2 Episode 5: No Going Back (Steam Store)


After Rebecca dies, the group now has a baby to take care of. Meanwhile, Kenny goes further and further to the dark side. Can Clementine help take care of a baby and try to keep her old friend from slipping into insanity?

This is the final episode of the season but I don’t think the Walking Dead video game series is over yet. As finales go, this one’s definitely the most heartbreaking. This is also the episode where your choices most affect the outcome of the game. I don’t want to spoil anything but I will say this. Your choices determine where Clementine’s loyalty lies.

This game plays out just like the previous ones. You pick dialogue choices for Clementine during certain parts of the game. Other parts have you take control of Clementine and explore the scene. Like previous games, you will have to make a decision at crucial moments and any decision you make influences the plot big time. One more thing, there are action scenes you’ll be required to take part in where you have to press the right key at the right time. At the end of the game, you’ll see what choices the other game players make.

This game is addictive and tragic. I give it 9 out of 10; it was quite an emotional blow.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 4 Amid the Ruins (Steam Store)

After escaping Carver’s imprisonment, Clementine and the rest of the runaways try to find each other. Can everyone reunite and find another safe haven?

That’s right, episode four of The Walking Dead and boy is it intense. I can’t spoil the game but you have people dying left and right. One of the characters will die no matter what you do. Not to mention that Clementine, the girl who acted as Lee’s morality pet, can commit acts of cruelty in the name of survival. At first, I thought this episode was brilliant until a conversation with lukebbtt led me to discover that most of the characters are only there for Clementine’s growth. There are characters that exist outside of her, such as Kenny who’s completely broken with Rebecca’s baby being his only reason for living. After everything Kenny’s been through, he is not right in the head and it shows by how he’s trying to recreate his family instead of accepting their deaths.

The game play is the same as every other episode. You pick dialogue choices for Clementine. Sometimes, you have to explore the scene and inspect objects to move the plot forward. Other times, you’ll have to make crucial decisions at key moments. One decision was so hard for me that I had to pause the game to think about it. Keep your guard up when the walkers attack, because you’ll have to press the right keys to get out of there alive.

This game is intense and additive. I give it 9 out of 10; I was upset for hours after playing this.

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 3: In Harm’s Way (Steam Store)

After being kidnapped by a ruthless man named Bill Carver, Clementine and the rest of the group try to escape from their prison. Can they find new allies and flee this place without incurring Carver’s wrath?

I loved this chapter and the inclusion of the characters. Carver was actually my favorite in this one as he justifies his actions. True, he is a tyrant, but he believes that he’s doing what’s best for the group. I’m not saying that I agree with him but I do see his point. This is a zombie apocalypse and you do have to be ruthless to survive. However, pure ruthlessness is not going to save the day. I also love Carver’s interactions with Clementine as he compares her to himself. An amateur writer could have easily turned Carver into a pedophile. Instead, Carver admires Clementine’s strength and will to survive. She is what Carver wants the next generation to be and what he wants his supposed child to be. I don’t like how the characters from 400 days were demoted to cameo appearances with the exception of Bonnie. I do like Bonnie’s portrayal as she starts out weak and slowly gathers her strength.

The game play is the same as any other chapter. You make dialogue choices for Clementine, only what you pick doesn’t affect the story as much. You explore the area at certain times as well. You can also take part in quick action scenes where you have to press the right button at the right time. Failure to do so will kill Clementine.

This game is addictive but a little rushed. I give it 7 out of 10; they really need to focus on their characters a little more.

Fables: Wolf Among Us Episode 3: A Crooked Mile (Steam Store)


After Bigby discovers Ichabod Crane’s obsession with Snow White, he’s made Crane the prime suspect in the murder of Lilly and Faith. Is Crane the killer or is there a larger force at work greater than Bigby and Snow could ever imagine?

That’s right, I wrote spoilers in the very first paragraph. It’s not easy reviewing a video game episode by episode and trying to avoid them. I’ll try to avoid spoilers for this episode, so all I’ll say is that the plot’s thickening up. I do like that they didn’t romanticize Crane’s disgusting obsession, as they tend to do in other media regarding an ugly guy liking a beautiful girl. Instead, they compared Crane’s obsession with Snow to Bigby’s love for her, saying that it’s okay for Snow to get with the big tough guy. Considering how the comic books turn out, they might not have had a choice in that one. I also like that they’re showing Snow getting more ruthless as the game goes on. I’m starting to think this whole game is about the character development Snow and Bigby go through to become the people they were in the comic books. Later on, a popular urban legend makes an appearance and, let me tell you, this character’s as creepy as they come. Bigby finally goes full-blown wolf, something the game has been teasing us about for quite a while.

The game play hasn’t changed in the slightest. You explore scenes and make dialogue choices for Bigby when prompted. Some choices determine Bigby’s relationship with the characters, so you can bet that some of them have a major plot point for the story. When you’re done, you can view the Book of Fables you collected and compare the choices you made with other players.

This game is intriguing, addictive and a little creepy. I give it 9 out of 10; the climax of the game.

Mind Snares: Alice’s Journey (Bigfishgames.com)


When Alice crashes her car into the river, she has to take a journey through her subconscious mind to regain consciousness. Can she survive and follow her dreams when she awakens?

The main character, Alice, works at a dead end job and is too afraid to follow her dreams. You can guess that the message of this game is don’t be afraid to take risks. The problem is that she does have a family and, I hate to break it to you, but when you have kids, you can’t really take risks like that for your own sake. We never find out what her husband does for a living so, for all I know, he probably makes enough money for Alice to quit her job and achieve her dream of opening a bookstore cafe. I do like the symbolism that they go for in the dream world but I can’t go into detail about it for fear of giving away spoilers.

The game play is your typical hidden object game. You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory. Some items require you to participate in hidden object scenes in order to collect them.

You can use the items you collect to advance throughout the game. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 7 out of 10; a brilliant use of symbolism.

The Walking Dead Game Season 2 Episode 2: A House Divided (Steam Store)


When Clementine and her new friends have to find a new home, she runs into a blast from her past.

Now she has to choose between her old life and her new one.

For those of you who haven’t played the game, be warned that there are spoilers. I said earlier that Clementine gets a blast from her past and that comes in the form of Kenny. Not only does Clementine have to choose between him and her new friends, she also sees how much Kenny has changed. As for how, let’s just say that losing your wife and son in a zombie apocalypse doesn’t do much for your mental health. Let me tell you that Kenny’s not the only one affected to such a degree. Nick also shoots a good person out of fear and anxiety and Clementine’s the one who has to convince the dead person’s friend to forgive Nick. Characters from 400 days make an appearance in this episode and if I had known that they would be signing up with the bad guy, I wouldn’t have been so determined to recruit every single one of them.

The game play is the same as always. You explore scenes and examine various items, sometimes adding objects to your inventory. During cut scenes, you choose what you want Clementine to say or do. Make sure to do so before the time runs out, unless you don’t want Clementine to say anything. Keep in mind that what you choose has a tremendous impact on the story. You also have to participate in quick time events where you press the right button to make sure Clementine comes out of the zombie apocalypse alive.

When you’ve finished the game, you can see how your choices match up to the other players.

This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 9 out of 10; shocking but didn’t get the emotional impact the last episode got out of me. Of course, it would be hard to top having to kill a dog.

Dark Parables: Jack and the Sky Kingdom (Bigfishgames.com)

The Fairytale Detective is back and this time he/she has to investigate the Sky Kingdom. The only ally he or she has is a mysterious treasure hunter named Jack.

The Dark Parables series is back and this time it’s taking on Jack and the Beanstalk. This game also takes on the legend of Rumpelstiltskin. I don’t have much to say about the plot except that you discover the back story of it as you go.

The game is typical hidden object. You travel throughout the scene collecting items for your inventory. You also have to partake in hidden object scenes but instead of finding a list of random objects in order to only add one to your inventory, you have to collect the pieces of the item you get.

You can also collect hidden parables to slowly discover the story of how everything came to be. The Collector’s Edition includes bonus content such as more game play.

This game is addictive and intriguing. I give it 8 out of 10; the Dark Parables series hasn’t died yet.

The Great Gatsby: Secret Treasure (Bigfishgames.com)

When a young architect appraises the mansion of the late Jay Gatsby, a shady man kidnaps her roommate. Now she must find Gatsby’s secret treasure before her roommate dies.

I’m going to spoil something for you, you find out nothing new about Gatsby. You travel through his mansion and discover the story you already knew about if you’ve read the novel or have at least seen one of the two movies. You don’t find out how Gatsby went into business with Wolfsheim, or if he killed a man. If anything, it brings up more questions like why Nick Carraway left his notes all over Gatsby’s mansion or how the main character can visit the past and collect items. The game explains that she has a great imagination but so do I and I’m not retrieving any items from it. As for the storyline that takes place in present time, it’s nothing more than an excuse plot.

The game play is your typical hidden object game. You travel from scene to scene and collect items for your inventory. Some will require you to partake in hidden object scenes.

As I said earlier, sometimes you can visit the past and collect items from there. The map will help you determine where you have to go next. If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is addictive but not very intriguing. I give it 6 out of 10; a wasted opportunity.

Cadenza: Music, Betrayal and Death Beta Test

When a young woman visits her father at the Jazz Pepper Club, she finds everyone inside paralyzed.  Can she fix this before they die of thirst?

The game takes place in the 1960s and is about a former band with a dark secret.  So far, the plot seems to have some supernatural elements.  This being a beta test, I can’t really go in depth about it but I will say that I love the scenery.  Of course, that might be because I have a soft spot for retro.

The game play is your typical hidden object.  You go from scene to scene collecting items for your inventory.  You can use them in certain locations in order to advance throughout the game.  The main character will record her thoughts and objectives in her journal from time to time.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I definitely plan on buying the full version.

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