by MARIA GLORUM GAMES; BIGFISH GAMES
Story: The League of Light needs your help solving another exciting case! Children have been going missing in the town of Blake’s Mountain in the days leading up to the fabled Red Moon. No one really knows what will happen on that night, but everyone agrees it can’t be good… Strange creatures creep through the shadows, and the citizens fear for their safety. Can you uncover the secrets of Blake’s Mountain and rescue the missing children in this spooky Hidden Objects Puzzle Adventure game? We believe in you, detective! (Big Fish Sales Blurb)
An engaging narrative, compelling, well devised, which flows well and keeps you emotionally hooked – you want to see the quest through to a satisfactory conclusion.
Desktop: Crystal Ball, Journal (Left); Inventory/Clues/Lists (Centre); Map, Hint, Helper/Scarecrow (Right).
Options: Good; includes Gamma setting to adjust Light/Brightness.
Tutorial: Good; informative, brief, efficient.
Play Modes: Casual; Experienced; Masterful; Custom. I always choose Custom given the chance.
Map: Interactive; good Graphics, easy to use and to see; helpful. If no ‘active’ symbol shows you know there must be an Item in your Inventory that needs repairing, assembling, or extra components. The Map evolves as the game progresses, and though you sometimes need to go back to collect the odd Item, you are mostly concerned with the few sites around each new area.
Graphics: Gorgeous colours; imaginative; detailed; atmospheric and dark where necessary but not overall. There is a fair variation in the sites so you don’t get bored as you move to a new area – there are some elements of surprise, while still following the game’s pattern and story logically.
HOPs: Interactive – so diverse, so many varieties it’s hard to list them all. They are clever, unusual, and some are complex, some simple. They include story Mini-HOPs where you find and replace Items within the pages of the story. This keeps you totally involved in the story of the game as you learn about its back-story. Below is one example of a HOP – the Graphics are clear despite the gloom, so Game-play is more enjoyable.
Puzzles: Also really diverse, mostly fun to play, a few that had to be Skipped due to lack of logic, randomness, or time constraints – you reach a point where you don’t want to be overly delayed from resolving the dramas of the game.
Game-play: This was really good – you are engaged in the play from the start. The use of the Map speeds up Play considerably, though you don’t feel compelled to use it all the time as the action focusses on the immediate sites. The Controls and Navigation function well which leaves you free to enjoy the game. You are assisted by a small Scarecrow friend, to collect some things beyond your reach, and to scare birds and creatures if he can.
Player Participation: This is good – there is the usual Back & Forth, Point & Click activity, as well as the extra activity within the HOPs and Puzzles.
Satisfaction Factor: Once again this was an immensely satisfying game, with a well-resolved outcome, that left me wishing that the Producers and Publishers didn’t have this system of splitting games into Standard and Collector’s Editions. How nice to just have all this Collector’s Edition material in every game!
Frustration Factors: The is a slight delay between scenes – especially new scenes. You just want to get on, but need to take a breath and allow the scene to appear.
Extras: As I didn’t trial or purchase the Collector’s Edition, I missed out on these – no doubt Bonus Game, Strategy Guide, Play HOPs, Wallpapers, Music, ScreenSavers, and possibly Play Puzzles, and more.
I really liked this game and bought it using a Discount Coupon as soon as I could. So naturally I recommend it.
Jud House 17/11/2014
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