by DEEP SHADOWS; BIGFISH GAMES
Story: When you signed up for a ghost tour at an old estate, you were just hoping to spend some time with your sister, who loves the paranormal. But the brochure never mentioned the real danger you would encounter the second the doors close behind you. Walls shift and corridors expand, creating a terrifying maze that separates you from your sister. Now you must outwit dangerous traps and find a way out before the house claims another victim. Summon your courage and get ready for thrills in this Hidden Object Adventure game! (BigFish Sales Blurb)
Desktop: Diary on Left; Inventory in centre; Hints and Map on Right.
Options: Basic but good.
Music: Suitable, increases the tension of the game, can be turned down so it’s not too intrusive.
Tutorial: Quick, efficient, helpful but not too annoying.
Play Modes: Casual; Expert; Professional.
HOPs: Straight Interactive Lists; Find Fragments behind each Item in List then assemble and use.
Puzzles: Interesting and Quirky; only a couple of annoying ones that I skipped – the Dust Puzzle very early on I skipped mainly due to time constraints.
Collections: Heart Medallions in each room/scene.
Graphics: Quite impressive; colourful; fairly clear atmosphere allowing; creative and imaginative within the bounds of the story.
Map: Interactive; with three different levels/pages. When you seem to have no Active ‘!’ on sites make sure you click on the other Floors/Levels because there may be one there.
Game-play: This is the usual Seek & Find, Point & Click, Back & Forth play of the majority of HOGs. However, this game moves quite quickly, especially if you focus. You are able to access Items needed in a location within that same location or an adjacent one, which allows you to pop back quickly, use it, gain the next Item or unlock the next chest, door, gate or whatever and move forward. This is really satisfying, and makes you feel more in control. the Story drives this game-play being crucial to all moves made, and the characters are 3D CG, well acted and presented. You can Skip the Dialogues, but I suggest you don’t do that as there are important messages re Tasks and Items needed within them. Towards the end of the Main Story, my Cursor began to ‘float’ a little, which was disconcerting and a little annoying. But when I moved to the Bonus Chapter, the Mouse/ Cursor was back under control.
Player Participation: There is a lot of this which is gratifying, and most of it plays well.
Satisfaction Factor: This was fairly high – for both the Main Story and the Bonus Chapter. The tension created by the clever Music added to this pleasure, as did of course the whole package experience of Graphics, Story, Characters, and Game-Play providing plenty of mental engagement with the Game.
Frustration Factors: Only the ‘floating’ Cursor, and my momentary confusion when I was stuck until I realised that the Map had gained another Level for me to check out.
Extras: Story; Collectibles; Achievements; Music; Wallpapers; Concepts.
Bonus Game: Bonus Chapter accessed through PLAY button on Main menu. This game is the continuation of the escape, and provides the final conclusion of the story. it is more of the same Game-play but without the benefit of a Map.
Jud House 20/05/2014
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