THE AGENCY OF ANOMALIES – CINDERSTONE ORPHANAGE Collector’s Edition


by ORNEON; BIGFISH GAMES

Jud’s Game Rating:

Graphics: ****  Player participation (PP) *****  Satisfaction Factor (SF) ****

Frustration Factor (FF)  *     Fair Play (FP) **** Tedium Factor Nil

Considering this was an enjoyable game, I wrote very few notes.  This indicates that I was too busy playing it to take time out to write.  Mind you as it turned out I could easily have done so, as the Demo version ended well within the 1 hour of free trial – always disappointing.  We should at least be allowed to play the trial for an hour and not be given a set number of levels to play.

There was much going back and forth, but not to the point of tedium.  The player involvement is continual, which keeps the interest levels up.  The story is interesting – it’s a little easy to be cynical about this when games are churned out constantly, following similar storylines, and often identical openings – car crashes, or portals, or kidnappings.  In this game you gain powers from each spirit/character you meet, which gives another dimension to your tool-usage, as you search for the machine parts that will free them, to live or pass on – I am not sure as I have only played the Demo and not reached the end yet.

The graphics are okay with this game – clearish in places and hazy due to atmospherics in others.  There is a Bonus Adventure with the Collector’s Edition, plus a Strategy Guide, Mini Games and Achievements in Extras, and Regular and Advanced playing Modes.  there are the usual sparkling Hidden Objects sites, individual items scattered around to find and use, puzzles to open locks, doors and gates, and, despite only gaining one item per HO site, a fairly logical progression in the story and gameplay as you resolve tasks one at a time to reach your goal.

On the whole I recommend this game, and will probably buy it.

Update: 24/05/2012

I did buy it.  And I have now completed the Main Game, and am about to play the Bonus Game in Extras.  The story of this game is really excellent.  The gaining of powers continues, bestowed on you in return for restoring special belongings to each child.  These are unusual powers and awfully convenient, adding another dimension to the search, locate, repair and restore game-play.  And the game is fairly lengthy, which is also cool.

The Graphics can be a little obstructive at times, you do need a little more assistance with game-play than is given some of the time FF, and some of  the Puzzles are fun and those that are annoying you can Skip through – which I do without hesitation.  Puzzles should be interesting, tricky, and require ingenuity, but they MUST be playable and solvable!  I think I collected all the ‘Teddy Bear’ Postcards – but am a little unsure.  I don’t know if they were there to help unlock the Bonus Game, but I shall find out when I begin it shortly.

I still think this is worth playing and buying – even if you just buy the Standard Game there is plenty to do and satisfaction to be had.  The Strategy Guide makes a lot of difference, but is only there in the Collector’s Edition.  However, remember that if you go to the sales page for the game in BigFish Games you will find a Walkthrough there that you can read any time that you don’t have to pay for, and can add to your Favourites too.

Highly Recommended.

(C) Copyright  Jud House  16/02/2012 & 24/05/2012

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About judsartwork

I write reviews of Adventure and Hidden Object games that are Crime, Fantasy, SciFi, Renovation, Travel, Quest and/or Mystery by genre. I have a Masters in Writing (2006) and have been writing novels, both crime and fantasy for many years; plus Haiku, verse, and prose both fictional and literary. I am also an artist of modern, Acrylic, textural and hard edge work, underwater, fantasy, expressionist, and Cosmos paintings. I use mixed media (Acrylic, Watercolour, Pastels) in textural Monoprints, finding surprises to expose within each work. Having both an analytical and creative mind has meant that I have strong powers of observation, and the persistence required to follow computer problems through till I solve them. Of course I am not always successful, but am willing to ask for a little help in order to then unlock the main problem myself. My Troubleshooting Blog, 'Problems and Solutions', was the result of my tenacity.
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