BEYOND: STAR DESCENDANT – Collector’s Edition

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Story:  Thomas’s birthday started out so well, but among his presents was a strange device carrying a mysterious message claiming to know the truth about his past. When Thomas leaves to meet the mysterious stranger behind this message, it’s up to you as his mother to find Thomas and bring him back home. Travel across the universe, journeying across strange new planets, and gathering clues to discover Thomas’s true origin and the dangerous power growing inside of him. Can you convince Thomas to come back home? (Big Fish Sales Blurb)

Options:  Good as always, with plenty of choices.

Main Menu:  Screen down Left side leaving the screen for the full Space Image.  Spectacular.

Music & Voice-Overs:  These are both great – Music suitable for space travel, and actors creating authentic characters for us to relate to.  Volume control is yours in Options so you can play full blast or or with background musical support.

Extras:  Soundtracks; Hidden Object Gallery; Jigsaw;Bonus Hidden Object Game; Collectibles; Character Gallery; Wallpapers; Achievements.  Bonus Story is under START.

Desktop:  (Left) Thomas (son, helper); (Centre) Inventory, Lists; (Right) Notebook (Cluse, Objectives),Map, Achievements, Collectibles, Hint, Guide, Menu.

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Tutorial:  As usual this is efficient and can be Skipped if you choose.  They provide a Special Features only option which I usually use, in case there are unexpected twists for the game.

Graphics:  As with the previous BEYOND game, the SciFi graphics are magic!  Fantastic!  So clear, colourful, and delicious that you can’t wait to dive into and explore them.  This is a forte of Mad head Games.

Play Modes:  Planet; Nebula; Galaxy; Cluster (Custom).

Map:  Colourful, easy to use, and very helpful as usual.  It matches the Graphics brilliance of the overall game.

HOPs:   These are shown as Planet and Stars sparkling – cool.  The usual interactive Lists, Shapes, and Fragment Assemblage searches, plus Storybook pop-ups and unusual Cursor actions.  There is a Morphing Object to find in each HOP (which you can reclaim later if you miss some), but some of these are hard to find.  It requires a fair amount of staring at the screen trying to detect the movement as it morphs – this is a rather mind-numbing experience.

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Puzzles:   Use the Hint button for the Puzzle Instructions which are surprisingly poor.  I suggest you Skip the ones that don’t work properly, or are unfathomable.  You can of course check the Guide to see if they can clarify the situation.  Just don’t waste time if it’s a struggle, as that interferes with the game and story flow.  I found the Navigation Puzzle to be really cool, and the Bird Call puzzle to be faulty.  The Roller Coaster was so good, but really icky re motion sickness. 😀

Collections:   Rockets. Morphs in HOPs.  Missed Collectibles can be found after both games end which unlocks the Bonus Hidden Object Game (which is a total clearing of the site) and the Jigsaw Puzzle.

Game-play:   This entails  the use of Portals that take you to many amazing locations.  The story drives the game-play forward, with the use of the Map to keep it moving steadily.  So you don’t get too bogged down in a lot of going back and forth through sites – of course if you prefer to do that, you can.  It’s logical path is satisfying

Player Participation:   This is high as always with Mad Head Games.  You have to open all sorts of things using lots of items and Puzzles/Mini Games.

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Satisfaction Factor:  As far as the story and game-play goes this is quite high.  It is a great SCIFI game – I wrote ‘Fabulous!’ at the top of my notes.

Frustration Factors:   Apart from the poor Puzzles instructions and odd glitchy Puzzle, the only other frustration is with the slow opening of the game, with unmoving Black Screen making you think you need to either re-click or back out and start again.Have patience, all is well.  Just slow!  This also occurs when loading between scenes.

Bonus Game: This was good, but initially it’s quite confusing, because you think you are reopening the Main Game.  However, I suggest you check the Collectibles in the Extras Menu before you open the Bonus Game then in the Task Bar once you have begun the Bonus Game – you will see that some are collected which will clarify that you are indeed in the Bonus Game.  And of course, then the game will carry on and you will realise it anyway.  The story is good and lengthy, and therefore satisfying.

I highly recommend this game to all SCIFI fans!  It’s a great sequel despite the minor niggles.  I look forward to the next sequel.

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Jud House 11/09/2017

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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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