AMARANTHINE VOYAGE: THE OBSIDIAN BOOK – Collector’s Edition


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by EIPIX; BIGFISH GAMES

FABULOUS SCIFI, FANTASY!

Story:  A long month of waiting, rising tensions and utter silence has passed. The stakes are high, and the fate of the harmonium radiation research team is still unknown. The CCPP decides to send one of the best agents – you – to find out what transpired.
As you land on the frozen mountains of Iceland, a mysterious helicopter passes above you. CCPP didn’t send reinforcements, and the question arises – did someone else find out about the important research of your scientific team?
As you traverse the narrow pathways and ice coated cliff sides, you will discover the findings of your scientists, and their conclusions will be borderline impossible. The investigation will pull you deeper into the research of harmonium energy, its possible uses… and abuses.
Prepare yourself for a journey that will change your life and your perception forever.  (Big Fish Sales Blurb)

Options:   Good.

Main Menu:   Gorgeous Graphics of course, with Twitter and Facebook links

Music & Voice-Overs:   Both are really well done, both suit the game-play and the storylines.  Imaginative yet not intrusive nor discordant.

Extras:   Play Bonus Chapter; Play Mini-Games; Making of; Play Alternative HO (Bubble Popper); Play HOPs; Movies; Collectibles; Pictures; Souvenir Room; Music.

Amaranthine Voyage: The Obsidian Book Collector’s Edition > iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac & PC Game | Big Fish// >

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Desktop:   Harmonium Collector, Guide, Menu (Left); Inventory/ Lists (Centre); Achievements, Book, Objectives, Hint, Map (Right).

Tutorial:   This is efficient as always, with choices for a Full, Partial or Skipped Tutorial.  The Info given is relevant, necessary, and helpful, and can also be accessed via the Main Menu.

Graphics:    Glorious snow scenes; Loading and Music Load Menu graphics really great – love the use of musical instruments that are different for each game.  The quality of the Graphics is excellent, though the Opening Movies are a little pixellated due to my large screen.  The attention to detail within the Graphics for all aspects of the settings, characters, attire, equipment, architecture, weather, and terrain is meticulous, providing an authentic experience when playing – there are no moments of discord, nothing that feels out of place.

Play Modes:   Casual; Expert; Insane; Custom – the latter is great, and allows you to turn off the Penalties for Over-clicking.

Map:   Interactive, easy to use, informative – hugely helpful to keep yourself on track and to save time.  The Map Key lets you see where the Active sites are – if none are showing check your Inventory in case there is action needed there between Items.

HOPs:   These are varied: Silhouettes open Lists; Silhouette Connections; Morphing Items that open Lists; Lists.   These are interesting, engaging, mostly visible with interactive Items aplenty. 

Puzzles:   Mini-Games can auto-solve by using Skip – or you can resort to the Guide to get the gist of things if really stuck.  Some Puzzles are random actions, which can be a pain, and which I usually Skip if I don’t get a fairly quick resolution.

Amaranthine Voyage: The Obsidian Book Collector’s Edition > iPad, iPhone, Android, Mac & PC Game | Big Fish// >

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Collections:   Magic Book (40) per scene – any missed can be collected after completion of both games.  Collect Harmonium Crystals, needed to recharge your Harmonium Collector Powers of Mending, Cleansing, and Phasing, throughout the scenes.   The Souvenir Items are collected by re-visiting all the scenes upon completion of both games – they are an added Extra, and some may need actions in order to locate them.  They are Fun!

Game-play:   After charging the Harmonium Collector you can use this to Mend Items small as a Cup and large as a Bridge; to Cleanse Black Shadows/Magic from locations; and defeat Monsters and Black Magical Creatures with the Phasing Power.  The story drives the game-play which is always great, as you become immersed in both story and play not wanting to stop till you’ve resolved all the issues.  And of course you think you have several times – this is always when the next twist occurs and you have to resolve it to continue.  You also have a little helper for some of the game-play, which is great, though you do have to rescue him as well.

Player Participation:   This is high – not just with the highly interactive HOPs and Puzzles, the Point & Clicking searches throughout for useful Items, but also the sorting searches moving items aside with the cursor until you find the Hidden Object you want.  Of course there are a huge number of misplaced items, knobs off doors and drawers, keys missing, name-plates, statue-pieces, etc all gone astray and needing to be found and replaced.  The game is one of continual Player Participation.

Frustration Factors:   Slight graphic clarity problems in some of the HOPs, and the odd Puzzle instructions not quite clear or detailed enough.  I find it frustrating that as the story is resolved, it is rushed and quickly shut down.  The Player needs to feel the story resolving, and that what follows the Climax gives a full completion to their journey/quest – this provides the Eucatastrophe, the euphoria that accompanies a happy ending – even if that ending is going to lead on to further adventures.

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Bonus Game:    This is a Prequel to the game, which is interesting, and pleasing – it’s not so bad if you’ve only missed what preceded a game than what followed it, by buying the Standard version instead of the Collector’s Edition.  The game length is excellent; the story intriguing and well devised, with the same playing parameters – so you need to keep collecting the Books.

Satisfaction Factor:   A hugely satisfying experience, as I expected it to be.  I bought it as soon as a Sale was available.  I highly recommend it to all SciFi and Fantasy fans.

Jud House 9/05/2015

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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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