Reviews by Prince_of_Cats

75

Hidden objects and puzzles

Prince_of_Cats | April 4, 2011 | Review of Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena

If you have played a hidden-object game before, you probably know generally what to expect. There are a few puzzles dropped into the mix, but the game hangs on its hidden-object mechanic.

Unlike others of its kind, this game hide things in logical places and usually relies on clever placement rather than oversized or undersized items. The puzzles also make sense more than some other games of the genre, hard enough to make you work, but easy enough that they rarely become frustrating.

With fairly strong stories and a good attention to detail, the Samantha Swift games really are quite enjoyable.

80

Hidden objects and puzzles

Prince_of_Cats | April 4, 2011 | Review of Samantha Swift and the Golden Touch

If you have played a hidden-object game before, you probably know generally what to expect. There are a few puzzles dropped into the mix, but the game hangs on its hidden-object mechanic.

Unlike others of its kind, this game hide things in logical places and usually relies on clever placement rather than oversized or undersized items. The puzzles also make sense more than some other games of the genre, hard enough to make you work, but easy enough that they rarely become frustrating.

With fairly strong stories and a good attention to detail, the Samantha Swift games really are quite enjoyable.

80

A pleasant surprise

Prince_of_Cats | April 4, 2011 | Review of Midnight Mysteries The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy

I came to this game not expecting to be impressed, but I gave it a shot anyway. I am glad I did.

The game concerns Poe's ghost asking the player to solve the mystery of his death before he is dragged to Hell. It is not amazingly inspired and deviates little from other hidden-object games, but the writers and designers have infused it with a curious charm.

The graphics will not blow you away and the core mechanic is largely unchanged. The game hangs on its ambiance and it does it well, drawing on the work of Poe without relying on it.

In the end, it is not the most innovative of games, but what it does, it does well.

85

Playing to their strengths

Prince_of_Cats | April 4, 2011 | Review of Majesty 2: The Fantasy Kingdom Sim

The first thing you should know is that Majesty 2 plays like an updated version of the original game, but this is not a bad thing. As a fan of the original, it was good to see that the developers were obviously fans of the original game.

While it would be easy to think of this game as 'more of the same', there have been a number of small changes to improve the gameplay. The design team have obviously used the time they saved by preserving the original feel of the game, tweaking and streamlining the game to suit a modern audience. As well as a 3D engine with more control over the camera, the character classes and their guilds have been modified in what I think is a positive way.

In conclusion, I think this game was made by fans of the original and certainly seems like it was made for fans of the original too. Most of the changes are subtle and leave you saying 'I prefer it this way' when you even notice them, while the engine changes make for a smoother experience. In all, a very good effort at bringing a classic to the modern audience while still letting old fans recapture their sense of wonder.

70

A vampire-themed hidden-object game.

Prince_of_Cats | April 4, 2011 | Review of The Dracula Files

It should come as no surprise that this is basically just another hidden object game. The basic mechanic is finding a list of items and then moving on to the next screen.

The basic variants are all there, like searching with a torch in a dark room and finding ten of a single item, but it hardly breaks new ground. I am not sure this is a bad thing, since it is playing to the target audience, but it doesn't jump out as a prime example of the genre.

The arts styles are mixed, with some well-made game-screens for the object-seeking and some fairly typical 'cartoon' art for the characters and their conversations. While it can be a bit of a clash, it doesn't really detract much from the game.

The story, curiously for this style of game, is not bad and the individual screens are integrated well into the narrative. It might be a bit of a cash-in on the current taste for vampires, but it is obvious that the game was not just thrown together. As an example of its genre, this is not a bad little game.

90

An irreverent take on the fantasy genre

Prince_of_Cats | April 4, 2011 | Review of Magicka

Magicka is, first and foremost, just plain fun. There's nothing very deep or serious about it, no profound meaning or complex plot. It is a game to play with some good friends, definitely a case of the journey being more important than the destination.

The basic game involves combining 8 elemental magic-types to create powerful attacks that burn, zap, blow up or just squish hordes of enemies. Or your friends... While not a PvP game, friendly-fire is a big part of the game; one of the first things you learn is how to resurrect your friends after accidentally immolating them or knocking them into a pit.

So... Why not 100% then? Well, the game is a little buggy. It keeps getting better, but it was released a little early. Some in-jokes have popped up around this, such as the 'Crash to desktop' spell which can remove monsters (and players) from the game, which lessens the sting, but you will probably still see a couple of issues. My other big issue is that, playing single player, it just isn't quite so much fun. It is still funny and enjoyable, but you can tell that the game was made with co-op in mind.

All in all, Magicka is a great game for people who want something light and enjoyable. It doesn't take itself seriously and doesn't need to be taken seriously either. For players who don't mind blowing themselves up and can laugh at themselves, it is perfect.