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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Fire: Ungh’s Quest in Review – Not Your Typical Caveman Adventure

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There were several adventure games in 2015 that stood out for one reason or another, but Fire: Ungh’s Quest was by far the most unusual one that still managed to be enjoyable.  A wacky plot, plenty of challenging puzzles and some crazy supporting characters has kept me engaged for the most part.  Unfortunately, the need for a walkthrough has been a bit of a turn off.  In the end though, helping Ungh recover his fire has been primarily been a rewarding experience.
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Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD in Review – Another Fine Myth from G5

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Myths Of Orion: Light from the North HD was the second to last hidden object game released by G5 in 2015, and it has been a pretty decent way for me to end out the year.  It hasn’t been my favorite title I’ve played over the past 12 months, but it has certainly been entertaining working my way through the different lands in the game.  The story is interesting enough, though pretty standard for a fantasy game, and there are plenty of locations to explore and puzzles to solve.  I do wish the game would have been balanced more towards object puzzles than hidden object scenes or mini-games, but overall it wasn’t too skewed.  While G5 has stronger options in their collection, you could certainly do a lot worse than Myths Of Orion as well.
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Frankenstein: Master Of Death in Review – New Twist On An Old Tale

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I’ve been addicted to hidden object adventure games ever since I first played one, but in the mobile world I’ve focused primarily on the offerings from G5 Entertainment and Big Fish Games.  It’s not that other developers or publishers don’t release such games, but typically they don’t have nearly the production values from the “big two” of hidden object games, and quite frankly are often not all that fun.  There are exceptions, however, and as you’ve probably guessed Frankenstein: Master Of Death is such an exception.  This retelling of one of the most classic monster stories hooks you from the very beginning and doesn’t let go until the final confrontation – and while you know before the end what you’re dealing with you’ll be surprised when the reveal is first made.  If you’re looking for an independently published hidden object game worthy of appearing in the catalog of one of the major players, this is just such a game.
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Agent A: A Puzzle In Disguise in Review: Spying Is Cool Again

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Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to take on the role of Agent A and help track down the nefarious Ruby LaRouge.  Is the game full of cliché?  Yeah.  But that’s part of the charm.  Whether intentionally or not this game pays homage to the greats like James Bond and Get Smart, with an attitude akin to modern classics such as Carmen Sandiego.  There was never a moment where I felt like banging my head on the wall, though at times things felt a bit too easy, but in the end it was all orchestrated in such a way that I never wanted to put it down.  There are a few stellar examples of tap and click genius among the horde of Hidden Object variants, and Agent A is certainly one of them.
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Lost Souls: Timeless Fables Collector’s Edition HD in Review – Didn’t Really Get Lost In This One

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The concept of entering paintings or books in order to travel to another world is certainly not a new concept, even in the realm of games.  The first title in the Lost Souls series covered the painting side of the subject, and now Lost Souls: Timeless Fables handles the book side of things.  I didn’t get the chance to play Enchanted Paintings, but I have played other games with a similar theme, and to be perfectly honest Timeless Fables felt a bit flat in comparison to those other titles.  It’s not a bad game, mind you, but as I’ve said before, in such an over-saturated market as the hidden object genre being mediocre is almost worse than being bad, because at least a bad game still has the potential of standing out from the crowd.
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Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers in Review: Rose Colored Glasses Might Be Required

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I feel a certain bit of irony as I write this piece.  Over the past 10 years, most any time I’ve written a review of a third person perspective adventure game I’ve made some sort of reference to the legendary Sierra On-line games catalog.  Now I’ve finally gotten the chance to play one of these legendary games on my iPad and I’m not sure what to make of it.  The game is Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers 20th Anniversary Edition, and in my defense, I never actually played this particular game the first time around.  Still, I believe it’s regarded as one of the best non-Williams Sierra games from the “old days”, and yet I’ve really struggled to get into it.  As a result of that I didn’t get very far into the game before my time ran out with it, but I’ve decided to give you my impressions thus far, rather than an actual “review with a rating”.  It might feel like a review, but I’ll leave that distinction up to you.  (For those curious, I say my “time ran out” because I was playing the game through Testflight, a system which allows me to play the entire game without buying the IAP, and my Testflight build has expired).
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