Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom in Review – These Golems Don’t Want A Ring

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I’ve always considered the Artifex Mundi logo sort of a stamp of quality when it comes to adventure and hidden object games, and Lost Grimoires is certainly no exception to that rule.  While this may not be the most challenging offering in its genre, the story is compelling enough to keep you until the very end and there’s enough game play that you shouldn’t feel slighted in that department.  The hidden object scenes seem a bit superfluous, though the mini-games serve the correct purpose of acting merely as an occasional distraction instead of stalling the game too often.  Overall the game is well balanced, and the addition of the concept of alchemy to help solve some puzzles is a nice bonus.
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Vulture Island in Review – Donut Games Does It Again

 

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While it seems like several developers have “mastered” the art of churning out casual games one after the other, Donut Games is one of the few companies that has managed to do it with consistently high quality.  In the last couple of years they’ve started publishing some more complex offerings as well, the latest of which is Vulture Island.  On the surface it might seem like a simple platform game, but it has an inventory system that reminds me of the classic “Dizzy” games from the golden age of gaming.  It also veers away from the traditional “beat the first level, move on to the next” trope in a way that makes it much more interesting and satisfying to complete than your average Super Mario clone.  Platform gamers should rejoice in this new take on the genre, and those that find the all too linear storytelling of a traditional platform game dull might just find something they like here as well.
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Forgotten Places: Lost Circus in Review – No Scary Clowns Here

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I have already reviewed the second Forgotten Places game a while back, but I was impressed enough that I decided it was time to check out the first one.  I have to say that I’m a bit disappointed we may never see a third entry in the series, because for the most part I didn’t want to put this one down.  What intrigued me the most was that unlike some series where subsequent entries seem to vary only in content, with the Forgotten Places series the two entries feel like completely separate games.  I think the second game, Regained Castles, offers a bit more polished of an adventure game experience, but Forgotten Places: Lost Circus is still a charming adventure game in its own right.
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Isoland in Review – We Got Shipwrecks, Pyramids AND Aliens

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The adventure game landscape seems to be leaning heavily towards hidden object games or room escape style game play, so I’m always thrilled to see what I consider to be a more traditional style of adventure game. It’s even better when that game is actually fun to play, and Isoland certainly kept me going until the very end… when I was thrown a bit of a curveball. I’m not really happy with how the game ended, which I’ll explain later in a bit of a spoiler-y way (I don’t know how else to do it), but despite that I still think Isoland is definitely an adventure worth the asking price and probably more.
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60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure coming September 22nd

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If nothing else, Mad Max showed us that a post-apocalyptic future can be really bad.  Apparently, the folks over at Robot Gentlemen decided to toy with the idea that even a grim future – which just happens to take place in the 1950’s – can be sprinkled with humor.  If Home Improvement took place in a Fallout type atmosphere, that might give you some idea of what to expect from 60 Seconds! Atomic Adventure.  After receiving much acclaim for the PC version of their game, Polish developer Robot Gentlemen decide to bring their sarcastic survival adventure game over to the iOS platform in all of its 50’s PSA inspired glory.
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Lifeline: Whiteout in Review – The Series Keeps Getting Better

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Whiteout is the fourth installment of the Lifeline series, following two outings in space as well as a wierd tangent in some mystical otherworld.  This time around we follow the progress of V. Adams, a man trapped in a snowy wilderness that has no idea who he is.  He’ll communicate his situation to you, and in turn you’ll give him advice as to what course of action to take next.  These games are very much like the old fashioned Choose Your Own Adventure books in that there is no inventory to keep track of or puzzles to solve.  Up until this installment that has been a big issue for me, because the lack of those elements really makes it feel like there are no consequences for your actions.  However, I finally ran into something in Whiteout that I had not experienced in this series before: death.  Amazingly, that makes a world of difference in how I perceive the games.
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Deadly Puzzles: Toymaker HD in Review: Not Your Children’s Playthings

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If I mention the likes of Big Fish Games or G5 Entertainment you’ll know what I’m talking about in an instant, especially if you’re a hidden object game fan.  Artifex Mundi, on the other hand, might not ring any bells.  If it doesn’t you should look them up, because their iOS games have received some of my highest accolades where hidden object / adventure games are concerned.  Knowing that, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that I was excited to see them start publishing under their own moniker on the App Store.  I finally had the chance to check out one of their titles, Deadly Puzzles: Toymaker, and it’s fair to say I couldn’t put it down (well, except when I had to go to work).  It wasn’t quite what I was expecting, as it forgoes the now standard object puzzle elements for a straight hidden object / mini game combo, but it just goes to show that in the right hands such a combination still works.  With this as an example I can’t wait to dig into more of their iOS titles. Continue reading…

Forgotten Places: Regained Castle in Review: A Tale Worth Remembering

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When it comes to hidden object games, Big Fish Games and G5 Entertainment seem to have dominated the mobile market.  However, if more developers / publishers start turning out games like Forgotten Places: Regained Castle, the “big two” might actually start facing some serious competition in this genre.  The game is certainly not without its flaws, but it’s one of the best “third party” hidden object games I’ve played in quite a while.  This is actually the second in a series, and I hope it does well enough to warrant a third installment.
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Royal Trouble: Hidden Honeymoon Havoc HD in Review: Not So Happily Ever After

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It’s hard to believe it’s been over 3 years since we last saw Loreen and Nathaniel, but the outrageous couple is back and ready to start their life of Happily Ever After.  In this sequel to the wonderful adventure game Royal Trouble: Hidden Adventures, our royal duo has just gotten married and are embarking on their honeymoon.  Naturally chaos ensues, leaving us with a wonderful adventure full of quirky characters to meet, plenty of puzzles to solve and no hidden object scenes to scrounge through.  Unfortunately there is one little side hunt that just slightly mars an otherwise stellar offering, but if I didn’t have something to complain about I’d probably be lost.
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Lifeline: Silent Night in Review – Great Story, Minimal Game Play

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Lifeline: Silent Night is the third in a series of “interactive conversations” from 3 Minute Games.  On the plus side, this chapter of the series returns us to the adventures of Taylor the astronaut, because the second installment went off on some weird mystical tangent that was anything but engrossing.  The problem with Lifeline, and with this style of game in general, is that I feel more like I’m taking a psychological exam then playing an adventure game.  I applaud the fact that they take a completely different approach to telling a story, but in the end I find that the mechanism actually removes me from the narrative instead of drawing me into it.  It’s a shame, because the story deserves more.
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