by HIDDEN HALLOW STUDIO; BIGFISH GAMES
CLASSIC SCI-FI ADVENTURE!
Story: Stranded In Time takes you on a fun and exciting adventure to explore a mystery out of this world! What seems to be a little weekend get-together with an old eccentric uncle turns into a fantastic journey through time and space.
Play as Olivia – a young sceptic woman from a big city. Join her Uncle Peter and writer Nick on an exploration of an abandoned church that hides a secret that is beyond any wild dream! Meet fun characters and solve tricky puzzles. Only you can find the key to an enigma that is older than history itself! (Big Fish Sales Blurb)
Options & Main Menu: Very Basic. The game is not Wide-screen. MM is clear graphically and easy to use as a result.
Music: Can only Mute Sounds and Music, not turn them down, which is a shame – the music is fine but too loud.
Voice-Overs: None – just lots of Dialogue windows. Make sure you read all of them, though it can be a little tedious, as you need the info they give you.
Desktop: Inventory Satchel, Journal (L); Hint, Menu (R)
Tutorial: Gives windowed full Tute showing different Cursor formats at the Start – then you’re on your own.
Graphics: Love these – like an early Sci-Fi animation. Clear, colourful, uncluttered, imaginative, visually stimulating, without interfering atmospherics. The clarity is crucial as some of the items, especially pieces of shattered crystals, are TINY, but you can still see them. So for once I’m not complaining about HOs being too small (even though they really are).
Map: NONE – real handicap – I suggest you make notes as you go – not the kind that are in the Journal, but pics of the ‘Door Runes’ and what’s behind them for example. It will just help keep you from wasting time going round and round, getting frustrated.
HOPs: None. This is a Classic Adventure game, where you search your environment looking for ways in and then ways out, picking up odd Items and solving Puzzles.
Puzzles: Some of these were cool – but some of them were time-wasters. If they were random, or didn’t resolve logically first try, I Skipped them. You may be a Puzzle buff and have good wrists that can take lots of mindless clicking actions – you’ll like them then.
Game-play: All of the above actions, plus you may need to resort to the Hint as you go, in lieu of a Map. The Hint shows you a bubble window with the next place you need to be. That’s it – that’s all you get. Also this game needs you to do things in a certain order – though of course you have no idea about this until you click on an Item and try to place it only to have it rejected. Don’t fret, or think you’ve suddenly become a Dummy – you haven’t. You have the right place for it – it’s just not needed there yet. Relax into the rhythm of the game – it’s an earlier format, like the MYST Series, where you need to explore with very little guidance.
Player Participation: Obviously high.
Frustration Factors: The real bug-bear is the lack of a Map. This causes quite a bit of B&F (back & forth) that usually tires me out. Plus till you settle to the style of the game-play, a lot of clicking. The continually having to open and close the Inventory Satchel, to access the Items for use, is quite annoying, and creates extra clicking, and frustration. You also need to do this in order to Back out of a location, because the Cursor only activates at the very bottom of the screen, behind the opened Inventory bar.
Satisfaction Factor: This is surprisingly good when you consider how on your own you are. Graphically it’s an enjoyable environment, though you don’t realise at first that it’s going to be Sci-Fi. In fact you pop back and forth between Reality and the Surreal. The story is of medium length – certainly not a long game. It also ends with the sense that there may be another game to come.
I really liked this game, and highly recommend it to those who don’t mind a Classic now and then.
Jud House 19/04/2016
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