by ALAWAR GAMES; ALAWAR STARGAZE; BIGFISH GAMES
GREAT FUN; MIRRORS; CRIME!
WELCOME TO THE CLUB – Join Kira Robertson as she sets out to find the Snark, an elusive creature few people have seen and no one has caught. Can you decipher the clues, solve the puzzles, and piece together the objects you need to track down your target? Follow the Snark through mirrors, into inside-out and upside-down worlds and join the Snark Busters club in this fast-paced and exciting Hidden Object game.
ALL REVVED UP – tells the incredible story of Jack Blair, a world famous racecar driver who puts his career on hold to catch the Snark. Join Jack as he jumps between the real world and the inverted realms inside of mirrors in an attempt to catch his quarry. Solve whimsical puzzles, explore worlds of exquisite detail, and keep your eyes peeled for hundreds of cleverly Hidden Objects!
HIGH SOCIETY – Investigate the dastardly deeds of a wealthy socialite and prove your fiance is not a thief in Snark Busters: High Society! Love, envy and revenge join forces to make the hunt for the Snark more exciting than ever in this all-new hidden object adventure! Solve riddles that reveal pieces of the larger puzzle, follow the trail of clues through mirrors into the backward world and chat with charming ghosts. Can you catch the Snark? You’re closer than ever!
Options & Main Menu: As the Series progresses these both move from the very basic Options and Menu to good basic, then on to the beginnings of extra settings that we now take for granted in all the new games.
Music & Voice-Overs: These also move forward from really irritating repetitive Music and No Voice-Overs in the first two, to good Voice-overs though a little out of sync occasionally, and a variety of Music melodies that are not so intrusive and actually match the events in the game. This does however, also give a really annoying but character-suitable voice to the TV Scandal reporter, Jessica Marrey, which makes you not want to bother listening to her drivel – not quite what the game creators had in mind, but it is a step up from the pages of dialogue you’re supposed to read on the TV screen. By the latter part of each game you are past caring.
Extras: None. And while I’m here, No Notebooks or Maps.
Desktop: 1. Menu (Top Left); KIRA (Left); Inventory of Item Fragments to find (Centre), with an extra box on the left side for the occasional piece you want to move to another site; Hints (Right); Skip Tutorial (Top Right).
2. Menu (Top Left); JACK (Left); Inventory of Item Fragments to find (Centre), with an extra box on the left side for the occasional piece you want to move to another site; Hints (Right); Skip Tutorial (Top Right).
3. Menu (Top Left); ELIZABETH (Left); Inventory Circles for the occasional piece you find or gain to move to another site(Centre); Hints; Compass (Right); Skip Tutorial (Top Right).
Tutorial: These are quick, efficient, and can be Skipped if you choose.
Graphics: These are great! Unusual and captivating. they’re illustrative, delineated, colourful, imaginative, and great fun. They support the nature of the story and the game really well. If you trial any of them you’ll see what I mean. If they are a little blurred at all, I just didn’t care because they are such fun. Besides my super curved screen with it’s magic game button on the back sorted out most of it this time through. 😀
Play Modes: Only available in the 3rd game via Options – Regular; and Expert.
Map: None in all of them. However in the 3rd game there is a Compass, which turns out to be just a direction pointer.
HOPs: As mentioned, in all of these you collect fragments of or parts for items that then assemble and can be used where needed for the usual opening of things. You probably know the drill. So they’re not really HOPs in the usual way. In the 3rd game, these have a circle format – a Wheel of Circles opens from the hotspot in the scene showing the shapes of the parts required to complete the surrounded item. It’s a click and drag the parts onto the circles action which is quite fun. Those that are not in, or are hidden in, the site are indicated for you to locate later.
Puzzles: Some are fine. Some are annoying. Most can be Skipped, look carefully for the Skip sign it’s in different places for each game. HINTS show via drop-down magnifiers. Both HINTS and SKIP are slow to recharge – but at least they do so.
Tips: 1. Bell Puzzle – bong bell sequence fast, before their lights go out. At the Switch-board change Power from Bridge to Gazebo and back to visit each.
2. The Dinosaur Pose Puzzle is a bit touchy – make sure you pose the tail as well as the head and legs.
3. The recurring Mini-game of Focussing the Photo Negatives prior to printing them seems hard to handle until you realise that when the +/- button (positive/negative) turns green it is correct, so you can press the red process button to proceed.
Game-play: In games 1. and 2. this entails opening the site and launching into a clicking sweep across it, picking up bits and pieces that are obviously not meant to be there. When you’ve found what you can then look down at the Inventory Bar below and see what parts shapes are left, and locate them. If they cannot be collected yet, then they will remain a solid colour (red) until they have been unlocked by other actions taken elsewhere. Or, of course, you could look at the Inventory Bar first and painfully locate each piece one at a time if you don’t want the fun. In game 3. as mentioned the format is different, but the fun stuff can still be done if you’re brave and don’t care if you have circles opening and closing across the screen as you find the random items. You do have to wait for the action to be completed before you can use your mouse again, which is a minor discipline, but bearable.
As the Stories shows, these are MIRROR games – BACKWARD MIRRORS, that are of course Portals to the same location but inverted, usually messed up, and often very warped. It’s a clever idea as you get to visit the sites in two different versions within each side of the mirror. You have to pop back and forth through a multiple of these within one main location of sites, so you have to keep alert and not lose your way. The Hint will help you work out which one is the active site by leading you there in steps, but it’s less frustrating if you can remember where things were. I highly recommend that you take notes all the time.
You will also find Overclicking Butterflies – if you click a few quick times on one spot – that pause your cursor for a few moments. Nothing too vile – unnecessary, but not evil.
Player Participation: As you have probably gathered this is full-on! And great fun on the whole.
Frustration Factors: Mostly the lack of Notebook – though often the info you’ve gathered is put on the screen beside the relevant Puzzle. Some however don’t do that, so you need to make notes. Tip: Make notes continually, for everything, because the one thing you don’t note down will be the thing that doesn’t place the info with the Puzzle and you’ll have to backtrack to the source of the info to get it down in the right order.
Satisfaction Factor: This is high. The fun factor, the surprises in Game-play format, and turn of events, and unexpected locations make all three games really worth playing – and buying.
I highly recommend this Series.
Jud House 22/08/2017
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