Perils of Man

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Game: Perils of Man
Genre: Adventure, Indie
Developer: IF Games
Publisher: Vertigo Games
Release Date: Sep 10, 2015
Platform: PC / Windows 7
Overall rating:  7/10
Graphics: 9/10
Controls: 10/10
Level/Puzzle Design: 8.5/10
Sound: 9/10
Story: 9/10
Replay Value: 8/10
Community: N/A

The Point and Click adventure game Perils of Man (or The Perils of Man, if they make up their minds), by IF games, takes you on a journey through time. You play as Ana: after getting a present from her missing father, she wants to learn more about the gift, about him and try to find where he is now.

The game in itself is nice and short, controlled mainly by the mouse, though you can use your keyboard to call up the inventory, which was handy. The graphics might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I rather liked them – they have a bit of a cartoony look to them, and also reminded me a little of Coraline for some reason (however, Perils of Man has nothing to do with it). The 3D renditions of them move nicely, though I did miss the ability to run on double click, and in a couple sections they did bug out and ‘slid’ rather than walk. But I’ll go more on that later. The music was a delight to listen to, although I do wish it would have stopped when the game wasn’t in focus or was minimized. The sound effects and voices were really, really nicely done, making the game quite charming.

The dialogs and just the overall feeling of it all was reminiscent of the adventure games of old, just in a slighter… easier way. The puzzles weren’t as challenging, but they were pleasant to play through all the same. There was no oblique thought going into it about forming strange things to use as other things, all item mixing was logical and/or explained somewhere if it didn’t seem overly logical.

I do have to say my computer, as it’s not extremely powerful, tends to lag a bit on videos, and unfortunately lagged on Peril’s videos as well. Normally I try to skip them (which you can do here) and watch them later (after I’m done with the game) on youtube, or make a second play-through if the game wasn’t too long to see it with all the laggy cutscenes, but I found it hard to do with Perils, for the cutscenes contained only not parts of the story, but entire clues on what you had to do next. This was quite troublesome to me. As much as I love to watch carefully crafted cutscenes, what I like more about games is often to play them, after all. However, the cutsecnes weren’t too long, so if the videos work well for you they are worth a watch for the clues and the story alike.

As for everything else, Perils of Man ran quite fine in all chapters except one when she’s on a ship in the sea; the storm in the back lagged it terribly and it was quite a torture to get through it. It lagged even when the storm wasn’t seen through any of the ships windows or portholes, which was even more annoying.

Another thing that was really bothersome was a section in the theater, there is an area that links the furnace and cisterns, but unless you click in a very precise area, the camera won’t follow you even when you hear Ana walking away out of sight. I was pretty sure I clicked all over to no avail, and in the end had to turn to the forums for help. It wasn’t really a bug, but it wasn’t very well thought out either. What was a bug though was getting stuck in a couple areas on invisible walls, just because I tried to do two actions too fast. Then she would refuse to walk but you could still hear the steps sound effect. She would also end up walking but then not want to accept any further commands – no leaving the area or clicking on another item unless you reloaded the game. It wouldn’t had been so annoying if it hadn’t all started happening after I got “stuck” trying to enter the cistern, which had already frustrated me quite a bit.

Fortunately the game auto-saves (apparently) fairly often, so I didn’t experience any loss when I had to do the reloads.

Those little pesky bugs ended up taking away a good deal of my enjoyment of the game, hence I give it a lower rating than I would have if my play-through had gone smoothly. (I would’ve probably gone for a 9/10 instead of 7/10)

Despite that, the game is fun, the story is interesting and the ideas in it good, although I do feel like the ending didn’t quite resolve things entirely… and it reminded me of the good old adventure games of old, which is always nice.

I definitely recommend it, and hope you don’t encounter the bugs I did.

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Showing Tonight: Mindhunters Incident

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Game: Showing Tonight: Mindhunters Incident
Genre: Adventure, Casual
Developer: Phime Studio LLC
Publisher: Phime Studio LLC
Release Date: Nov 12, 2015
Platform: PC / Windows 7
Overall rating:  7.5/10
Graphics: 7/10
Controls: 10/10
Level/Puzzle Design: 8/10
Sound: 7.5/10
Story: 7/10
Replay Value: 6/10
Community: N/A

Showing Tonight Mindhunters Incident Title

Showing Tonight: Mindhunters Incident is a Point and Click game with some Hidden Object scenes and undertones, created by Phime Studio. I say this is more a P&C game because really, there’s only about 3ish HoG scenes, the rest I wouldn’t consider to be exactly hidden object per se.

In this game you take the role of a man who falls asleep watching the movie “They Ate My Clapper”, and thus wakes up in this movie world, tasked with finding the missing crew. To be honest, while the story on paper sounds good, in game it was rather confusing. Alien artifacts, mind powers and mind control, horror? I’m not sure if it’s going for paranormal (which was my original assumption) or something else, and by the end of the game I’m still unsure of it.

The game has various chapters, all interconnected in locations (you’re not locked out of any of the areas), and a final bonus chapter which you can only access by completing the entire game. It’d be nice if they’d put an option to play the bonus chapter separately from the main story, and if they had asked/warned you about playing it instead of tossing you into it right after the main story’s finale, leaving you even more confused.

That said, and despite the occasional item appearing out of what I felt was thin air, the game was fairly logical. Meaning for most things you needed actual tools (a shovel for digging something up) rather than finding an oblique way to go about it.

The puzzles varied in complexity, some really easy, some much harder, some seemed to be more trial and error than anything, which was a bit disappointing. The main ‘thing’ of the game seemed to be the silhouette puzzles, in which you were to match an item with its silhouette via turning it around with arrows. It wasn’t too difficult, but after the first two or three times it lost its novelty and having to do them in nearly all the important puzzles got quite bothersome, to the point where some I just skipped to move along the story faster.

On the puzzles that require some note to complete, while you can’t hold the note up at the same time of the puzzle, accessing it is still easy and not as bothersome as in other HoG games. You also don’t have to wait to collect every piece of a puzzle before you put it in its place, which is quite nice.

My only real complaint was the jukebox puzzle, in which either I was missing something obvious or you weren’t really given a hint on when you were sort of heading in the right direction with it, which ended up making it quite frustrating for me. It was probably user error, but there you have it.

On the other hand, Mindhunters also had a couple mini-games which were fun to play.

Showing Tonight Mindhunters Incident

The sound effects and music can get a tad repetitive, but they’re relatively nice and seem to fit the game okay. The voice acting, however, left a lot to be desired, even if they aren’t precisely the worst I’ve heard.

The graphics are quite nice, particularly the detailed backgrounds; the animations aren’t too bad, even if they could be a bit more fluid. Some of the scenes could benefit from a bit more research on how things look – for instance the driving scenes in which you saw the people from the front inside the car.

I rather liked the quick travel map, even if I wished each section would have had its sub-sections as quick travel as well.

All in all, I quite enjoyed my playthrough and would certainly recommend it to HoG and adventure fans, even with the small downsides. I’ll be looking forward to see what else Phime comes up with in the future.

Showing Tonight Mindhunters Incident

 

[Early Access] Erwin’s Timewarp

 

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Game: Erwin’s Timewarp
Genre: Adventure, Indie, Strategy
Developer: Jayanam
Publisher: Jayanam
Release Date: Sep 21, 2015
Platform: PC / Windows 7
Overall rating:  4/10
Graphics: 7/10
Controls: 6/10
Level/Puzzle Design: 3/10
Sound: 2/10
Story: 2/10
Replay Value: 1/10 (at current state)
Community: N/A

 

Erwin’s Timewarp is an adventure game. You play as the pet dog of some scientist who built a time machine and sent you to the past, and you’re tasked with finding various pieces of this machine in order to return to the present.

Starting the game you’re able to put it in various resolutions of window mode, and you can also choose to play at full screen; this is something I usually really appreciate as I don’t always like to play certain games in full screen. However, there’s little else in the form of proper menu and options. The only sounds to be found in the game at its current stage were also only in this menu, and unfortunately, the music was completely awful to me. I could not click out of the menu fast enough.

Visually the game is kind of cartoony. It’s relatively good looking and the textures are nice, as well as the details on the areas; for an indie unity game in 3D/top-down/isometric view it ran surprisingly well on my computer, so kudos to the dev for that accomplishment. I usually have a lot of optimization issues with indie games on unity.

As I mentioned before, there’s little in the way of sounds or music outside the menu, and that is almost a blessing considering my dislike for the meny music.

You’re also tossed into the game with little in the form of tutorial, explanation, or back story. In fact you’re only told a couple times about what’s going on and what you’re supposed to do and find. If you didn’t read the description on the steam page, you’d have no idea what you’re supposed to do until you encounter that alien – which btw, I’m still wondering why there’s an alien there.

The puzzles are fairly easy to follow on what you need to get in order to do what, but the way of interacting with things is a bit uncomfortable. Sometimes objects will highlight but not pop up hints, the icons offered as menu aren’t clear on what they do until you click them and find out, and they won’t appear until you’re in some particular range and angle from the item. Still, the rest of the controls (mostly movement wise) are fairly good despite this.

What makes the game a bit harder is that you have to spend quite a bit of time trying to figure out what to do at the start, and you CAN die (and you can save, too, so be sure to save): some characters will hurt you, and you must also keep yourself fed through the game, which I guess is an interesting twist for an adventure/puzzle game, but frankly I’m still unsure if it works.

The character animations for the dog and companions are fairly good, but the human animations leave much to be desired. There were also some bugs in which, for instance, you’d get stuck against certain things.

All in all it seems like an ok game, and I can see some potential in it which is why I would recommend to keep a watch on it if it sounds interesting; but it really needs a proper introduction and a brief tutorial. I understand Early Access is expected to not be completely functional, but there’s “we’re still testing out things”  and then there’s “this shouldn’t really be open for sale and/or the public as a whole yet”.

If you like adventure games and want to support the dev, I’d recommend it, it’s an ok game with what it has so far. I can see potential in it, but currently it’s not something I’d recommend to just about everyone.

Post Mortem: One Must Die (Extended Cut)

 

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Game: Postmortem: One Must Die (Extended Cut)
Genre: Adventure, Indie, RPG
Developer: ???
Publisher: ???
Release Date: Aug 15, 2013
Platform: PC / Played on Windows 7
Overall rating:  3.5/10
Graphics: 6/10
Controls: 7/10
Level/Puzzle Design:7/10
Sound: 6/10
Story: 7.5/10
Replay Value: 0/10
Community: N/A

 

Review

The country is at war, and the choice you make can change the fate of an entire Nation…. or, you know. Not.

In this extremely, extremely, super duper extra short game that is definitely NOT worth the full price you play an angel of Death, or Reaper if you will, sent into a fundraising Gala to reap the soul of one person. Who you reap is up to you: You must move around the only map this game has in existence, talk to people, discover secrets, and eventually choose one person to die.
That, or you can go in, pick the first one you talk to, and you’ll be done with the game in under 5 minutes.

While the story it’s trying to tell about the nation is great (the socio political talk and opinions placed into the characters speech and the history of the place is quite deep), and while the ide that who you choose to take in the end might affect the fate of the Nation is pretty darn awesome, the game falls on its face once you’ve played through it once.

There’s no new maps, only the fundraising gala, to replay over, and over, and over. And there’s not even a reason to do that. The choice of who you kill in the end is not as important as they make it sound; and not even the reactions of those you kill in the very end are different: they always react the exact same way and say the exact same thing.

And this was the extended cut

In all, the game had a great idea, but fell short on the execution. I would only advise getting it if it’s under a dollar (or even less), free, or perhaps bundled. Otherwise, it’s really not worth the money as you’ll only be playing it once and it’ll take less than an hour to get through it fully. Just watch a Let’s Play of it.