by ELEPHANT GAMES; BIGFISH GAMES
Story: There are screams heard in Silent Hollow… Trouble at the Mystery Trackers headquarters means you’re called in to help. With a few extra abilities, not to mention your trusty sidekick, Elf, you just might save the day!
Uncover the treachery of a centuries-old turncoat … (Big Fish Sales Blurb)
Options: Great! Has the usual Gamma setting which is always good if your screen doesn’t have it’s own brightness setting.
Main Menu: Also great! User-friendly, with gorgeous graphics.
Music & Voice-Overs: These are perfect for the story, the setting and the genre. they can be adjusted in Options.
Extras: Extra Game Play; Wallpapers; Concept Art; Video; Music; Secret Room; Achievements; Dossier; Pets; Shop.
Desktop: (L) Map/Globe; Menu. (C) Task; Inventory. (R) Strategy Guide; Toad/Hint. Map also gives access to Achievements, Pets, Shop.
Tutorial: This is quick, efficient and not too intrusive.
Graphics: These are really great, with infinite attention to the smallest details, authenticity for each setting to match both the story and the genre. They are colourful, atmospheric, imaginative, and enveloping.
Play Modes: Casual; Advanced; Hardcore; Detective. I had to use Casual as there was no Custom setting.
Map: Interactive, informative. I had to resort to this often to speed up the game-flow, and to establish the location of the next active site. I usually knew what needed to be done next and where, but using the Map enabled clean moves to the right location without floundering around trying to work out the right route.
HOPs: Interactive Lists. There weren’t as many HOPs as there were Puzzles and Mini-Games.
Puzzles: There was a good diversity of Puzzles and Mini-Games, some deviously clever, others more mechanical, and a few random-clicking non-logical and totally Skippable.
Collections: Mystery Trackers Pets (13); Coins (to spend in shop).
Game-play: During the game, at intervals, you receive from the Trackers Society’s gadgets (innovative devices), certain Powers – Pyrokinesis (to create fire), Hypnosis (to use on and restore cursed colleagues), and a freezing power which proves unexpectedly useful. You need to keep an eye on their icons on the bottom bar so that you don’t forget to use them. If you are at an impasse, check and see if they are lit in case you need to use one of them to progress. You can also use Hint if you are stuck – it will point you in the right direction, but not spell it out entirely. You also receive a Mystical Lens with which you scan each scene to find special Items or Coins.
Player Participation: Plenty of activity for those who like to do it all themselves.
Satisfaction Factor: As the game is really long, and resolves the main issue at the end, the feeling of satisfaction is there.
Frustration Factors: Only the usual suspects – those random clicking/swapping/ sliding Puzzles that follow no logic or pattern.
Bonus Game: I was impressed by the length of this game, which involved time-travel that needed the use of the Mystical Lens to temporarily transport modern Items into the past to replace ancient Items. It also exposed Coins. I advise use of the Map and Hint to assist when Information is lacking. You also collect the last few Trackers Pets. Unfortunately you cannot collect any you missed upon completion of both games, as you can with some other producers’ games. The Secret Room allows a little Play to open each door, to then play a HOP or occasionally a Puzzle/Mini-Game to gain special Detectives’ Portraits which you then place in the Tree at the glowing top of the screen.
I highly recommend this game.
Jud House 8/08/2015
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