SHIVER: POLTERGEIST


by ARTOGON; BIGFISH GAMES

INTRIGUING, SPOOKY CRIME!

Story:  After inheriting a manor in England, you begin to explore the Kangale Estate and discover its history in Shiver: Poltergeist! Ricardo Chellini’s life is incredibly dull and full of repetitive tasks that leave him unfulfilled. One day, however, he receives a letter informing him that he’s the sole heir to an incredible manor in England. Travel with Ricardo to his new estate and discover its terrifying history in Shiver: Poltergeist, an incredible Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game! (Big Fish Sales Blurb)

Options & Main Menu:   Both were okay – clear and user friendly, but minimal.

Music & Voice-Overs:   Both were very suitable, though I turned the Music down to quite low.

Desktop:   Hint, Journal, Menu (L); Inventory, Lists (C); Torch, Camera (R)  NO MAP!

Tutorial:   Quick, Efficient, and makes you take actions before it proceeds, but you can opt out at any time.  I would do so, except I need to make sure that there isn’t game-specific information that I will need.

Graphics:   These were disappointing due to their extremely drab, gloomy, atmospheric, colourless lack of visibility.  Such a shame as they were really well-devised and detailed for the setting of the narrative.  Even with my super new curved screen I couldn’t improve them much.

This is as colourful as it got.

Play Modes:   Casual; Advanced; Expert.

Map:  None.  This was a real handicap, as you were forced to remember which path led where and what was at the end of them that needed doing.  This is turn meant continually Pointing & Clicking and going Back & Forth – always a pain in the wrist.  It also caused continual use of the Hint to save making mistakes that in turn caused more P & C and B & F.  You could always make your own Map as you proceed, but unless you not the Items at each site on it, you will still have to remember what is where.

HOPs:   Interactive Lists, with atmospherically blurred Graphics, though some were improved by the use of the Torch.  It seemed that this could be used in any dark or gloomy sites, and of course were necessary in others which remained unusable until the shone the Torch.

Puzzles:   Most were simple, logical, and enjoyable.  Although information for them goes into the Journal which can be easily accessed, I recommend you make notes as you proceed.

Game-play:   Apart from those mentioned above, this game required the Player to go into ‘exploring mode’, searching every inch of each site, collecting Items, using Items, and playing HOPs for more Items.  Items weren’t assembled on the Inventory by the Player – rather they were automatically assembled once each were clicked.

Player Participation:   As you may have gathered, this is continual.

Satisfaction Factor:   By this stage you may be wondering why I bothered to buy this game, let alone finish playing it.  It’s because the story was intriguing – it held my interest, and made me want to see where it went and what happened.  Fortunately for me, this game actually finishes with a proper ending, followed by the lead-off into the Sequel or Collector’s Edition Bonus Game story.

Frustration Factors:   Mainly the gloom.  I hate peering at a screen, leaning in when I know that won’t help.  And the lack of colour was so depressing – colourless graphics don’t add anything to the story, as the world isn’t colourless.  The story drives the game – in this case really well – and the colour would have added even more.

I do recommend this game, but would suggest you trial it first.

Jud House 10/12/2014

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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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