STRANDED DREAMSCAPES: THE PRISONER


by  FRIENDLY CACTUS; BIGFISH GAMES

EERILY COMPELLING

Jud’s Game Rating:

Graphics                                           ****         🙂
Player participation (PP)          *****        😀
Satisfaction Factor (SF)            *****        😀
Frustration Factor (FF)             *                :I
Fair Play (FP)                                 ***            🙂
Tedium Factor (TF)                    
Nil             😀

Every passing day disengages little Emmy away from reality! Guide Helen Wheeler as she takes a risky journey inside the mind of her niece to get to the bottom of the problem. But be cautious! Childhood memories and wondrous fantasies are not the only things you will find here: the Dreamscape is corrupted. And you are not welcome. (BigFish Sales Blurb)

I like this game despite the over-atmospheric – thus blurry – Graphics.  As any of you who have read my previous posts will know, this is something that I am really annoyed by and frustrated with – I wish that more of the Game Producers would realise that they are doing their designers, artists, games, and profits a great disservice!  No-one will buy games that they struggle to see, and it discriminates against the visually challenged.  Yet I went against my usual rules and bought this game – this should speak volumes about the rest of the game quality.

The story is great – spooky, eerie, scary (for some) and dealing with the facing of fears and overcoming them, while outsmarting a mad psychiatrist and an alien alterego.  The story drives the game-play and is well embedded into this – there’s an urgency to hurry on and not stop the game till done.  Another really good feature of the story is that it validates the mismatched Hidden Objects in the HOGs.  You are searching through someone’s mind, which would be full of random Items representing their thoughts and imagined terrains.  So the clutter fits the story context.  For once you can legitimately forage through a lot of junk just to get the Item you want.

The Options are good; the Game Modes are Casual and Advanced; and the Map is Interactive which is great and to which I resorted in the latter half almost continually as the urgency to complete the game and to rescue the child increased.  The Puzzles are all fairly interesting, and mostly do-able – I only had to Skip a few, mostly because they were taking too long to resolve and I was tired and needed to finish the game, except for a couple that were awful.

I have since discovered that I missed the Collector’s Edition of this game, which probably sorts out the part of the ending that left me thinking well the mad psychiatrist didn’t get dealt with – no doubt that is in the Bonus Game.  Rats.  I wish they would complete the whole story in the main game and make the Bonus incidental to the main story.  Of course I didn’t know this till the end after I had bought the game.  However, this game is really good.  If you can afford to get the Collector’s Edition as I am sure it will resolve things.

The artwork is wonderful, colourful, very detailed, well-designed and imagined – just too hazy/blurry/atmospheric – I had to peer close to the screen (really bad for the eyes) in some of the HOGs.

I do recommend it though.

Jud House  5/11/2013

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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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