tehuti88's Profile
 
 
 
Stat Summary
 
  • Average Rating:
    3.9
  • Helpful Votes:
    81
 
  • Reviews Submitted:
    27
  • First Review:
    March 20, 2014
  • Most Recent Review:
    February 13, 2015
  • Featured reviews
    0
 
 
tehuti88's Review History
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Explore Dr. Blackmore’s latest experiment in a Haunted Halls: Fears from Childhood, a terrifying Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game!
 
Overall rating 
Liked it!
4 / 5
4 of 4 found this review helpful
Haunted Halls: Fears From Childhood Collector's Edition
PostedFebruary 13, 2015
Customer avatar
tehuti88
fromCheboygan, MI
Skill Level:Intermediate
Favorite Genre(s):Adventure, Hidden Object, Match 3
 
Current Favorite:
 
 
Fun Factor 
Good
4 / 5
Visual/Sound Quality 
Good
4 / 5
Level of Challenge 
Good
4 / 5
Storyline 
Good
4 / 5
Please see my review of "Haunted Halls: Green Hills Sanitarium Collector's Edition" for the basics on this series' gameplay.
Plot: You managed to rescue the patients at Green Hills Sanitarium, but the evil Dr. Blackmore still has your boyfriend, Tim! You follow them into a bizarre nightmare world where the doctor is now harnessing the energy of frightened children as part of his nefarious plot. It looks like you'll have to rescue the kids before you can find Tim and defeat Dr. Blackmore. What's worse, one of these kids is Tim's little sister!
The atmosphere and gameplay of this sequel aren't too much different from the first game--it's still gloomy, the graphics are still a bit on the cheesy side, and once again you find yourself exploring numerous "nightmare worlds" where you need to vanquish the children's individual fears. Similar to the case files of the patients in the first game, in this game you have "fairytales" which tell small ominous stories about each dream world. Different from the first game are the voiceovers--this game has them #albeit also rather cheesy#--and the fact that now the hidden object scenes are mildly interactive. Gameplay also seemed somewhat easier and more intuitive than previously. There was slightly more variation in the music, though I still found it to be highly repetitive and at times downright annoying; sometimes in hidden object scenes, it would even cut out in the middle of a track, then start another one.
The game definitely had its issues. Some minigame instructions weren't too clear, and the strategy guide would have to be consulted. Occasionally, clicking on the correct item in a scene wouldn't register; I had to use up a hint once for an object I'd already clicked on! At times, there would be more than one of the object being sought in a scene, but only one would be the right one #for example, I was told to look for a "bird," when there was both a bird and a "toy duck" in the scene; another time, there were two brushes in a scene but only one could be selected#. I also saw a lyre referred to as a "lira." The strategy guide is decent, but doesn't include everything in hidden object scenes; and the first time I played the game, a couple of hidden objects in the bonus chapter were too difficult for me to locate. #I had to play the game twice due to issues with my first computer--unrelated to the game--but didn't experience this problem on the second playthrough.#
Yet again, IMO the bonus chapter is necessary for the plot #in it, you try to rescue Tim's sister, who first appears in the main game#, so purchasing the collector's edition is a must. #Extra content includes the bonus chapter, soundtrack, wallpapers, concept art, and a screensaver.# And also yet again, the game ends on a cliffhanger! #Looks like we'll be searching for Tim in the third game as well!#
Overall the game was moderately enjoyable, though I have one major concern about the bonus content. Hidden away in the extras is a strange image that has nothing to do with the gameplay itself. I tried finding information on this but was unsuccessful. I must wonder how it ended up in the finished game.
That bit aside, I still recommend the game, if only because it's a chapter in a continuing series, and now I'll have to play the next game and try to stop Dr. Blackmore again, and get back Tim! #Bad Tim, why can't you stop leaving me behind??#
I obtained my copy of "Haunted Halls: Fears From Childhood Collector's Edition" directly through Big Fish Games. The game folder takes up 661MB on my hard drive. I ran this game on Windows 7 with no problems.
I recommend this game!
+4points
4of 4voted this as helpful.
 
 Manor Memoirs Collector's Edition
Manor Memoirs Collector's Edition
Help Scarlett write her next novel!
 
Overall rating 
Liked it!
4 / 5
Manor Memoirs Collector's Edition
PostedFebruary 4, 2015
Customer avatar
tehuti88
fromCheboygan, MI
Skill Level:Intermediate
Favorite Genre(s):Adventure, Hidden Object, Match 3
 
Current Favorite:
 
 
Fun Factor 
Good
4 / 5
Visual/Sound Quality 
Good
4 / 5
Level of Challenge 
Good
4 / 5
Storyline 
Good
4 / 5
Another cute, happy little game from Playrix. :)
Plot: In an attempt to find inspiration, famous writer Scarlett buys an expensive manor and moves out to the country...only to find that this particular manor is definitely a fixer-upper. No worries, however--you're on hand to help her fix it up by holding garage sales of the junk found inside. Here's hoping you can get the manor in nice order before the release of Scarlett's next book--which is based on one of the finds made in the manor!
All right, if you're familiar with the "Gardenscapes" series, this one should be no surprise; in fact, aside from the change of characters, it's basically the same thing--you search for objects hidden in various rooms within the manor, which you then sell to waiting customers. #There's a timed and a relaxed mode.# Once in a while a customer will approach you with a particular request, such as find 20 or so of the same item. There are also coins hidden in most of the rooms. In between sales, you meet with Scarlett in the manor's main room and purchase various upgrades, of which there are at least three choices for each one #some have more#. And also similar to "Gardenscapes," you obtain a pet #in this case, a fat orange cat who clambers down the chimney# which you can name #my cat earned the distinguished name of Muff#. Scarlett herself has small tasks for you to perform as well, such as cleaning up the dirty pawprints the cat leaves behind, or helping her complete paintings to put upon the walls. Nothing terribly new, but still fun, to help out the neighbors, listen in on Scarlett's writer woes and silly conversations with the cat, and watch the manor slowly improve.
All that having been said, I didn't enjoy this game QUITE as much as the "Gardenscapes" series, as to me it lacked a bit of the cheeriness of those games #perhaps I just miss Austin the butler#, plus it seemed rather shorter than the others, and I'm even talking about the Collector's Edition. For a CE, it didn't seem to offer quite as much as usual. There are five "bonus levels," though I could swear at least two of them appear in the main game; plus, after you select and play one, it goes back into playing the regular rooms, so I'm not quite sure what the bonus is. The other extras include concept art, wallpapers, soundtrack #the music also seemed a bit sadder than "Gardenscapes"#, and a strategy guide...not much new. I do wish it had been longer and more involved, especially since there were a few plot points I would have loved to be expanded on...such as the mysterious person who leaves Scarlett a vase of flowers! #This person's identity is revealed, and I loved the surprise, though I wish that part of the plot had blossomed a bit more...no pun intended!# Ditto with the subplot involving the find that sparks Scarlett's imagination; more detail would have been nice. Maybe a sample from her novel?
You do have achievements, and I believe you can continue to unlock these after the main game has ended, since even after you finish upgrading the manor, you can continue searching rooms and buying other selections of the previous upgrades. The neighbors also continue to occasionally ask you to fulfill tasks. It seems it's a game that never technically "ends" if you wish to keep searching even after all the upgrading is done. I was a tad bit peeved that some upgrades didn't have matching upgrades, since some had five selections whereas others had only three or four. Odd.
I did notice a few glitches. At least twice, Scarlett spoke a line of total gibberish which quickly disappeared. In one hidden object scene, I was told to seek a "lid," which turned out to be a tire #??#; and a "symbol of peace" turned out to be a pigeon rather than a dove; I also mixed up a "light source"--a camera flash--with one of the camera hints, and then again with an arrow and a compass hint. With one particularly funny #and bizarre# glitch, Scarlett stood on the balcony and tossed a ball for the cat, then, instead of waiting for it to be fetched, went downstairs and sat in her chair; the cat fetched the ball and dutifully went to the balcony to return it to Scarlett...who was still seated downstairs in the chair! And then Scarlett stood up and petted thin air! *LOL*
The most bothersome glitch, however, was one that was obviously built into the game, but must not have been considered very well...even after you finish with the upgrades and reach the ending scene, if you continue to play the game afterwards, both Scarlett and other characters continue to talk about the book as if it's either unfinished or not released yet! This wasn't anything that interfered with gameplay, but it was still quite weird and jarring.
For these reasons, I can't rate this game QUITE as highly as its "Gardenscapes" predecessors, but it was still enjoyable and pleasant to play, and left me feeling quite cheery after each session. It's just that it feels more like a game to be played while waiting for another "Gardenscapes" to be released! #Hint hint...?#
I obtained my copy of "Manor Memoirs Collector's Edition" directly through Big Fish Games. The game folder takes up 393MB on my hard drive. I ran this game on Windows 7 with no problems.
I recommend this game!
0points
0of 0voted this as helpful.
 
Explore a decrepit mental asylum and find your missing boyfriend in Haunted Halls – Green Hills Sanitarium!
 
Overall rating 
Liked it!
4 / 5
4 of 5 found this review helpful
Haunted Halls: Green Hills Sanitarium Collector's Edition
PostedJanuary 22, 2015
Customer avatar
tehuti88
fromCheboygan, MI
Skill Level:Intermediate
Favorite Genre(s):Adventure, Hidden Object, Match 3
 
Current Favorite:
Manor Memoirs Collector's Edition
3.9 out of 5(96)
 
 
 
 
 
Fun Factor 
Good
4 / 5
Visual/Sound Quality 
Good
4 / 5
Level of Challenge 
Good
4 / 5
Storyline 
Good
4 / 5
A bit on the gloomy side, but pretty interesting.
Plot: Your boyfriend, Tim, disappeared after going to investigate strange goings-on at an abandoned asylum. You follow him, only to learn the place isn't so abandoned after all--the nefarious Dr. Blackmore is still there, conducting cruel experiments on people with various phobias. You have to save all the other patients before you can rescue Tim--but will you be able to get to him in time?
I'm a bit of a sucker for asylum-themed games. This one was a bit murkier and the animation a bit more awkward than I'd like, but the plot was pretty interesting, in that during your searches you find case files for each patient, along with diagnosis (these go into your journal#, and you have to use these to gain access to the patients' thoughts and fears; the torturous situation each patient is stuck in reflects those fears. #For example, a man with a fear of heights needs to be rescued from a stuck ski lift.# When a game's plot is "compartmentalized" in such a way, with various little worlds you need to explore for each individual, it just makes gameplay so much easier for me. Plus, I love the feeling of going in and rescuing one person, then another, in succession. Everything nice and neat. The worlds in which the phobias manifest themselves were quite intriguing to explore, as well.
A few quibbles: The diagnoses given to the patients are on the iffy side #one was something like bipolar disorder brought on by some kind of trauma, and manifesting as a fear of water...huh?#, but perhaps if one doesn't have a lot of knowledge of psychology, this can be overlooked; it's just a game, after all. The strategy guide was decent, though I needed to skip a few games, and once in a while had no idea what to do next; nothing that had me tearing my hair out in frustration, however.
Aesthetically, there were some downsides. I've already mentioned the rather murky graphics #which go with the setting#; but there was also the annoyingly repetitive music. The same track kept repeating itself endlessly, and could get REALLY irritating while browsing the #noninteractive# hidden object scenes. Some of the sound effects were jarring and bothersome too, especially in the bonus chapter; at times they would distress me so much I'd flee a scene just to avoid having to keep hearing them. One particularly annoying sound effect was how, whenever you scroll over a doorway leading to another scene, it makes a loud door opening noise, whether you click on it or not; and it's quite easy to accidentally scroll over those areas. There were no voiceovers.
I'd suggest the collector's edition over the standard edition, as BOTH the main game and the bonus chapter are cliffhangers! #Literal cliffhangers, as well as plot-related cliffhangers, such as, what's the deal with Dr. Blackmore, anyway?--you won't find out in this game.# So going without the bonus chapter could make things confusing, considering that the next game in the series #"Haunted Halls: Fears From Childhood Collector's Edition"# picks up right where this game leaves off. The bonus chapter is rather short, and it was kind of irksome that it's a cliffhanger, but it is a series of games, after all. The CE also comes with the expected music tracks, wallpapers, screensaver, and concept art.
All in all, not the most fantastic game in the world, but a pretty decent one nonetheless.
I obtained my copy of "Haunted Halls: Green Hills Sanitarium Collector's Edition" on CD-ROM through an online retailer. The game folder takes up 510MB on my hard drive. I ran this game on Windows 7 with no problems.
I recommend this game!
+3points
4of 5voted this as helpful.
 
Untangle the web and save Rainbow Village in this exciting Match 3 game!
 
Overall rating 
It was OK.
3 / 5
1 of 2 found this review helpful
Rainbow Web 3
PostedJanuary 19, 2015
Customer avatar
tehuti88
fromCheboygan, MI
Skill Level:Intermediate
Favorite Genre(s):Adventure, Hidden Object, Match 3
 
Current Favorite:
Manor Memoirs Collector's Edition
3.9 out of 5(96)
 
 
 
 
 
Fun Factor 
Poor
2 / 5
Visual/Sound Quality 
OK
3 / 5
Level of Challenge 
Poor
2 / 5
Storyline 
OK
3 / 5
This review is based solely on the free trial.
I love word games, and I love match-3, and I love games where you restore/rebuild things, so I thought that I would love this game. I was wrong. :(
Firstly, I'd thought there was a bit more strategy (for want of a better word# to solving the word puzzles given in each round, perhaps involving a sort of guessing like in Hangman, but all you really do is try to line up three balls of the same color #the match-3 aspect of the game#, and if a letter happens to be in that line of balls, it's revealed in the puzzle. There's no actual word-puzzle aspect involved in the game. Just match-3 with letters in it, and a phrase revealed at the end. #This was actually detrimental to how I played the game, since I kept seeking ways in which to line up letters or match as many letters at a time as I could, when such moves were pointless and usually not possible--you'd have to remove a LOT of blank balls before you could remove any with letters on them.#
That's not the thing that truly bothers me, however. The game is just plain frustrating. Given that the balls are arranged on a spiderweb, there are certain formations you have to line them up in that work, and other arrangements don't work, given how the web is laid out--you have to move the balls along the strands of the web. This makes sense, and I can't complain about the logic of it. BUT, for some reason my brain was just incapable of seeing those patterns. I would find myself staring and staring at the screen, unable to detect a single move available. #I tried the hammer powerup all of once, since I had no clue where would be the best place to use it, unlike a traditional match-3 where it's obvious such a thing would need to be used...I destroyed a red ball...which was promptly replaced by another red ball.# There WERE matches there, I just could not see them! Even more annoying, I kept seeing matches where there weren't any #invalid moves#. Normally I dislike the "hint" option in games, where it starts revealing moves and nagging at you if you take too long to make a move, so I had turned that option off...but I found I HAD to keep turning it back on, just so I could make the next move. It got tiring pretty fast, having to keep toggling between hint mode and no-hint mode, and I felt pretty stupid having to rely on the game to nag at me in order to make my next move.
And even MORE annoying...every few seconds, the entire web and all the balls on it shimmer. Perhaps if I'd been enjoying the game more, I would have found this effect pretty. As it was, I found it just distracted me terribly from trying to figure out my next move #which I was already having too much trouble with#, so I quickly found this effect incredibly bothersome, and wished I could turn it off.
What's more, the upgrades made to the first room I was in #I never progressed any further than the first few room upgrades# were rather bland and dull and I could barely detect any difference between the web-infested room and the newly upgraded room, so the few improvements I DID manage to make weren't that impressive. Kind of a letdown after all the work I had to go through just to earn enough rainbow dust#?# to improve things!
After over a half hour, I was just so discouraged and frustrated by the game that I had to close it, deciding it just wasn't for me. To be fair, however, I tried it again the next day when I wasn't as pressed for time and had a fresh set of eyes with which to judge it. I thought perhaps I'd just been too impatient to properly enjoy it. Alas, not so...the game was just as frustrating and annoying the second time I tried it. I still could not see the moves that were "obviously" there, I kept seeing moves that were not there, that irritating shimmer kept getting on my nerves, and by the time I made an upgrade it just no longer felt worth the hassle. I will sadly be removing this game from my computer, and won't bother with the others in the series.
I'm torn in my rating for this game, as I strongly suspect most of the flaws I find in it are merely problems I have with the game personally, and don't reflect the quality of the game itself. Obviously, lots of other users have enjoyed it. It's just not the game for me. Something must be wrong with my brain that I can't detect the same patterns everyone else can, and the frustration that makes me feel makes the game unenjoyable and tedious for me. #I could hardly wait to finish a round just so I could exit! And so I never even made it long enough to clear the webs from the first building.#
I'll rate the game a three rather than the two that it felt like for me, for these reasons. And based on the other glowing reviews, I do feel it deserves a recommendation...just not for players with a brain makeup like mine!
I obtained my free trial of "Rainbow Web 3" directly through Big Fish Games. I ran this game on Windows 7 with no problems.
I recommend this game!
0points
1of 2voted this as helpful.
 
 Sable Maze: Forbidden Garden Collector's Edition
Sable Maze: Forbidden Garden Collector's Edition
Your parents always told you to stay away from the mysterious maze behind their house…. and you’re about to find out why.
 
Overall rating 
Liked it!
4 / 5
1 of 1 found this review helpful
Sable Maze: Forbidden Garden Collector's Edition
PostedSeptember 21, 2014
Customer avatar
tehuti88
fromCheboygan, MI
Skill Level:Intermediate
Favorite Genre(s):Adventure, Hidden Object, Match 3
Fun Factor 
Good
4 / 5
Visual/Sound Quality 
Excellent
5 / 5
Level of Challenge 
Good
4 / 5
Storyline 
Good
4 / 5
Please see my reviews of "Sable Maze: Sullivan River Collector's Edition" and "Sable Maze: Norwich Caves Collector's Edition" for the basics on this series' gameplay.
Quite a gorgeous little game!
Plot: You're soon to be married to your sweetheart, when he suddenly ends up abducted by fairies! It turns out your father has a history with Mab, queen of the fairies, and she's going to see to it that you never achieve your happily ever after. What's more--she's turned your mother into an ermine! However, this latter fact proves helpful as you follow Mab's dark forces into the fairy realm in an effort to not only rescue your beloved, but to get to the bottom of Queen Mab's vendetta once and for all.
All right, first off--you do NOT have to have played the previous two installments in the "Sable Maze" series to understand this game, as the three have virtually nothing to do with each other, and this game has even less to do with the previous two than they have to do with each other. This is a fantasy game through and through, nothing like the others. While that might be a downside for those who enjoyed the first two, I found it to be an upside, since the previous games had plots that were rather muddled and nonsensical, whereas "Forbidden Garden"'s plot is a lot more coherent and easy to follow. Granted, I would've enjoyed it just as much without the fantasy theme, so long as the plot made as much sense.
The graphics in the game are utterly gorgeous--lots of brilliant pinks and blues and purples. The voiceovers are a bit hokey #the father's voice, in particular, always made me grimace#, but the music is beautiful, and the animation rather well done. What I liked most, however, was the helpful ermine. I realize many gamers can't stand the "animal helper" aspect of such games, but it's relatively new to me and I'm enjoying it so far. The ermine doesn't talk, just makes occasional cute little noises as you lift her up to insert her into whatever scene you need help with. Sometimes I would pick her up and let her hang there just so I could hear her purr! #I'm pretty sure a real ermine wouldn't purr, but that's beside the point.# The ermine helper isn't present in the bonus chapter, which was somewhat of a letdown for me, since I loved her so much. #Weirdly, the little noise the ermine makes whenever you find an item in a hidden object scene was still present in the bonus chapter, even though the ermine herself was gone!#
The hidden object scenes are highly interactive, meaning you have to keep using certain objects on other objects in a particular order to reach the last item you need to find. I'd often find myself not even looking at the list of items I needed to find; I'd just click around until I realized the order in which I needed to activate objects, and would solve the puzzle that way. You have the option to play a match-3 game if you don't wish to find hidden objects!
Gameplay was relatively easy to follow, not so frustrating as to constantly need the strategy guide, though the main puzzles, involving the fairy portals, ALWAYS stumped me so I ALWAYS had to cheat with the strategy guide. An additional gripe is that two of the minigames weren't included in the guide or in the Big Fish walkthrough; I had to visit another site to solve the first one #the chessmen game#, and the second one, in the bonus chapter, I had to skip outright as I could find no solution anywhere. :# This didn't seem to forfeit me any of the achievements, though I'm still perplexed as to why neither game was included in the strategy guide, which aside from that was pretty thorough and well done. Also, a few times in hidden object scenes, I would click on something without even seeing that there was an item there I was supposed to be finding, and in one scene I clicked WAY to the side of an item and ended up activating it. Relatively minor bugs, but still a bit odd.
Also, the plot of the bonus chapter doesn't make quite as much sense as the main game--it seemed to be leading up to something that was never revealed--but this was relatively easy to overlook.
The collector's edition includes bonus gameplay #highly recommended over the standard edition, seeing how abrupt the ending of the main game is--I mean, UNBELIEVABLY abrupt#, wallpapers, soundtrack, concept art, a "developer's diary" #amusing photos of the game developers at work and play#, achievements, and a lovely little match-3 game you can play once the entire game is finished #rather simple, but beautiful floral-themed graphics#. There are morphing objects throughout the game as well, and these are added to a jewelry collection. That's not all, though--for each set of jewelry you complete, you get to play another match-3 game, and then a prophecy related to the plot is presented to you! Pretty clever.
Aside from the minor annoyances of the few "unsolvable" minigames mentioned above, I found this game highly delightful, easy without being TOO easy, and a lovely treat for the eyes. If you're willing to overlook the fact that, as I said, it has NO apparent relation to the other "Sable Maze" games, and if the presence of a cute, helpful little ermine doesn't bother you, I'd strongly recommend it.
I obtained my copy of "Sable Maze: Forbidden Garden Collector's Edition" directly through Big Fish Games. The game folder takes up 1.53GB on my hard drive. I ran this game on Windows 7 with no problems.
I recommend this game!
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
 
To save your father from a hideous monster, you've decided to sacrifice your own freedom. Now you must journey through a strange and magical land before time runs out!
 
Overall rating 
It was OK.
3 / 5
2 of 3 found this review helpful
Queen's Tales: The Beast & The Nightingale Collector's Edition
PostedSeptember 17, 2014
Customer avatar
tehuti88
fromCheboygan, MI
Skill Level:Intermediate
Favorite Genre(s):Adventure, Hidden Object, Match 3
Fun Factor 
Good
4 / 5
Visual/Sound Quality 
Excellent
5 / 5
Level of Challenge 
Good
4 / 5
Storyline 
Good
4 / 5
What could've been an excellent game, marred by a few unfortunate bugs.
Plot: In this retelling of the "Beauty & The Beast" story, your father has stolen a beautiful golden nightingale from a mysterious beast, and you decide to take the punishment for him. Magical nightingale in tow, you travel to the Beast's castle, encountering numerous strange beings along the way--some helpful, some not so much--and upon learning of the Beast's enchantment, you add breaking the curse to your list of things to do. Because it turns out there's someone even more malevolent pulling the strings...
All right, first off--the graphics, plot, and scenery in this game were GORGEOUS. I have zero complaints there. Character voiceovers were kind of cheesy but that's pretty normal in such games. This is a lighthearted fantasy, so there are "animal helpers" aplenty--something that I've seen turns many gamers off #so if you hate animal helpers, you'll probably hate this game#, but I found it terribly cute, especially Little Johnny and the "Weepie." #The Weepie's reactions when you feed her something spicy, and tickle her feet, are hilarious.# The only constant animal companion is the Nightingale, which you use to help plants grow--the special effect that occurs whenever this happens is sparkly and beautiful. The landscapes are so surreal and colorful. Most of the gameplay is pretty straightforward and easy to follow. #I needed the strategy guide mostly only for minigames and a hidden object scene or two.# I played the game over an extended period of time, and so had often forgotten much of what went before, though browsing the journal helped refresh my memory.
There are the typical achievements in the collector's edition, along with bonus gameplay #which builds off of the primary game#, replayable games and movies, wallpapers, concept art, soundtrack, and screensaver...however, here the achievements take the form of a little three-dimensional stage-type scene called "Fairy Tales" #each achievement is a different character or prop#, and there's a collection called the Bird House. Throughout the game you collect odd little birds that are added to the house and they sing when you click on them. Each one is unique and quite funny to look at, though they don't do much but sing and wiggle on their branches. #It would've been nice if their reactions and songs had been more individualized.#
I do have minor quibbles with a secondary male character #Dorian# who's courting the main character--he was just so wimpy and annoying, I could barely stand to look at him, even his voice was rather snively and irksome--and for some reason the Weepie's voice kept changing. Pretty insignificant complaints, though, and there were no technical issues with the game that I can recall.
Now, after all that, why only a three-star rating...?
In the bonus chapter, there's a game involving termites in a maze. I could not figure out how to solve it, or even really how to play it, with the instructions provided. So, I resigned myself to "cheating" via the strategy guide. But the final step provided for the game didn't provide the solution at all, and I could not solve the puzzle no matter how carefully I followed the guide! I had to skip the game, and was so irked I posted in the forum about it.
I was going to give the game a four anyway, but I then opened up the file where I'd jotted down notes for this review and realized I'd encountered a similar problem earlier in the game, which I'd forgotten about! There's a game involving mixing potions, and yet again, the strategy guide failed to give the proper steps to work through the game without having to skip--plus there was no reset button, so I couldn't undo my mistakes. I had to skip that game as well. And in addition, there was a hidden-object scene in the bonus chapter where the strategy guide failed a third time to show where one of the needed items was located; plus, one part of this scene that was supposed to be interactive didn't show as being interactive at first, so I couldn't tell where I was supposed to be clicking. I had to forfeit two achievements--not skipping any minigames, and not using hints for hidden-object scenes--because of the strategy guide's errors. Whoever put the strategy guide together was rather negligent, to let THREE such glaring errors slip through. :/
Once those notes refreshed my memory, I decided I'd have to give the game a three...not because of the gameplay, graphics, or plot/characters themselves, but because of the faulty strategy guide. One error would've been bad enough, yet still forgivable...but three? I didn't appreciate not being able to complete my "Fairy Tales" set. :#
Despite that, I'd still highly recommend the game, as long as you're either really good with minigames, or are willing to look past the flawed strategy guide and missed achievements! It's definitely a must for those who like their games colorful, lighthearted, and not TOO complicated. (Oh, and for those who love cutesy animal helpers. ^_^ #
I obtained my copy of "Queen's Tales: The Beast & The Nightingale Collector's Edition" directly through Big Fish Games. The game folder takes up 852MB on my hard drive. I ran this game on Windows 7 with no problems.
I recommend this game!
+1point
2of 3voted this as helpful.
 
Someone is killing the guests at a mountain resort, and you could be next if you don't figure out the mystery and solve a Mountain Crime!
 
Overall rating 
Liked it!
4 / 5
3 of 3 found this review helpful
Mountain Crime: Requital
PostedSeptember 2, 2014
Customer avatar
tehuti88
fromCheboygan, MI
Skill Level:Intermediate
Favorite Genre(s):Adventure, Hidden Object, Match 3
 
Current Favorite:
Sable Maze: Forbidden Garden Collector's Edition
3.5 out of 5(62)
 
 
 
 
 
Fun Factor 
Good
4 / 5
Visual/Sound Quality 
Good
4 / 5
Level of Challenge 
Good
4 / 5
Storyline 
Good
4 / 5
This was one of the earlier hidden-object games I played, and I remembered I enjoyed it so much I decided to play it again a few years later. Just as harrowing as I remembered it!
Plot: You're a doctor who has been called to see to an ailing patient at the White Wolf Hotel, up in the mountains. Inclement weather strands you at the hotel with a handful of other guests, who just happen to all share ties to the hotel's past as a health resort for orphaned/ill children. As you're trying to locate your new patient...people start dying! There's a murderer on the loose, and the more you try to figure out what's happening and why, the more the body count rises. It turns out the killer has a connection to the hotel's past and its guests, as well...and that includes you.
One interesting tidbit I should mention: There is ZERO supernatural element to this game. Which, in my experience, is pretty unusual for such games. Despite that (which for me would almost always be a downside#, the game is still pretty interesting. Perhaps I found it more so as I like to write fiction about police characters and crimes, plus the gruff sheriff in the game reminds me a bit of a gruff sheriff character of mine. I have a soft spot for murder/police mysteries, even though the protagonist in this one is a doctor.
The animation and graphics are pretty good--every time someone is murdered, you're treated to a series of abrupt and extreme closeup shots of their lifeless body--though the cutscenes and voiceovers are a bit cheesy and melodramatic; whenever somebody died before my eyes I usually found myself laughing. This just added to the entertainment value in my opinion, however. This game is like a guilty pleasure with how cheesy it can be, though I recall that the first time I played it--when I had the notion that I might be able to save somebody if I was just quick enough--coming across victim after victim was quite harrowing. Was there NOTHING I could do to help anyone??
A couple of interesting variants on gameplay: When you interact with characters, you're often #though not always# presented with two ways in which you can question/respond to them, a polite way and a hostile way. Both times I played I chose the polite way, though I imagine the game would play out the same either way. Also, hidden-object scenes feature a sort of circle of circles #like a rotary phone dial# and you have to find all the objects shown in the circles; there are often more than one of a particular object and it doesn't matter which one you select. Once the objects are found, you're presented with an item you can use. Gameplay and puzzles aren't TERRIBLY difficult...a few times I had to consult the online walkthrough, but not so much as for it to become frustrating.
The hotel's/crime's backstory struck me as a bit muddled and confusing, though perhaps this was just me. Some of the childhood photos were kind of unbelievable given their connection to the plot #I can't say more, but perhaps you'll notice the same#. However, the biggest downside of this game is...there's no collector's edition! :# Which means no bonus content. The main game is all you get. This is unfortunate, as, while the game doesn't technically end on a cliffhanger, it DOES end pretty abruptly, and in a very unpleasant fashion (I can't go into detail#, and I think it would've been awesome for a followup chapter or even a second full game in which the main character can try to resolve the unfortunate issues the ending brings about. This strikes me as a big missed opportunity for both developers and players. There could be so much more to this story!
Oh, I should mention as well that this game features themes of violence #of course#, though bloodshed is minimal #the bodies are more creepy and startling than anything#; and there is also occasional adult language #none of the REALLY bad curse words, though).
This game definitely isn't high art, but like I said, it's a nice melodramatic escape from fantasy and supernatural-themed games, and could perhaps even make a good novella. What do you say, game developers, could there ever be a followup in which the good doctor can set things right...?
I obtained my copy of "Mountain Crime: Requital" on DVD-ROM through an online retailer. The game folder takes up .99GB on my hard drive. I ran this game on Windows 7 with no problems.
I recommend this game!
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.
 
Overall rating 
Liked it!
4 / 5
3 of 4 found this review helpful
Haunted Hotel: Charles Dexter Ward Collector's Edition
PostedAugust 26, 2014
Customer avatar
tehuti88
fromCheboygan, MI
Skill Level:Intermediate
Favorite Genre(s):Adventure, Hidden Object, Match 3
 
Current Favorite:
Manor Memoirs Collector's Edition
3.9 out of 5(96)
 
 
 
 
 
Fun Factor 
Good
4 / 5
Visual/Sound Quality 
Good
4 / 5
Level of Challenge 
Good
4 / 5
Storyline 
Good
4 / 5
A nice treat for fans of HP Lovecraft--like me! :)
Plot: Your brother, Charles Dexter Ward, has gone missing after inheriting a mysterious hotel. You travel to the hotel and search its grounds in an effort to find him, but instead find journal entries from another missing man, a reporter who was investigating the previous owner of the hotel, a man named Joseph Curwen, who never seemed to age. The further you search, the more horrible facts you stumble upon, and you realize that Charles's inheritance has come with a nasty price--and you'd better save him before it's too late.
First off, this game was a little buggy. If you have an Intel HD video card, you might need to play in windowed mode or it'll keep crashing. (This is a known bug; see the tech support forum.# This was the case with me; the entire screen displayed all right in windowed mode, so this didn't bother me #except when I would accidentally scroll over the taskbar and bring up preview popups of other windows#. There were also a few VERY weird visual glitches involving the smoke which appears in the game; at least twice, instead of the roiling smoke, I was treated to what looked like overlapping square sections of the background slowly rotating in unison. o_o; That was very strange, and freaked me out a little. This glitch cleared up when I exited the game and reentered it, and didn't interfere with gameplay in any other way.
Readers familiar with HP Lovecraft and his story "The Case Of Charles Dexter Ward" will probably enjoy the game more than others #the title of the game was the reason it drew my interest in the first place!#, though the game takes LOTS of liberties with the plot, so that the two are virtually different stories. I'd strongly recommend players to read the story as well, even if just to see what you're missing. #I was a tad disappointed that the wells/pits from the story didn't appear in the game!# As well, they took liberties with the town of Dunwich, which in Lovecraft's work is hilly country in Massachusetts, whereas this story takes place in a swamp. #They never outright say it's in Dunwich, but an item addressed to the main character carries this name.# It was a treat just to see the name of that horrid town, though. ^_^ There are enough other references that make the game enjoyable to those familiar with the story as well. #Guess who that is in the opening screen/loading graphic?#
Gameplay is pretty standard, with non-interactive hidden-object scenes and minigames/puzzles. I had to skip a few of the latter, though not to any infuriating degree...except in the bonus gameplay. The bonus chapter focuses FAR more on puzzles than hidden objects, and I found myself getting terribly frustrated and impatient and ended up skipping games rather than putting any reasonable effort into at least trying to solve them first. By then I was just getting too fed up to handle so many puzzles at once. ;_; Aside from the minigames, the content of the bonus chapter was enjoyable as it includes yet more Lovecraftian name-dropping, though the ending is abrupt and seems to point to a #so far nonexistent# sequel.
The graphics are gloomy but all right. The cutscenes, on the other hand, are fantastic. They're actual footage filmed in an old grainy style and feature lots of eerie scenery; if they were to be from a movie, I'd definitely go watch it. They were perhaps the best part of the game. The soundtrack/music is gorgeous as well, though certain songs and sound effects would occasionally cut out or start/end at odd times in a slightly buggy and jarring manner. Oh--the sound effects when first entering and exploring the hotel were perhaps the scariest part--with every sudden creak or bang I'd find myself jumping! The creepy "invocation" you need to play later in the game probably takes second place; I couldn't bear staying in the room listening to it for long.
The collector's edition features the bonus chapter, soundtrack, concept art, and a few brief "making of" clips...the latter are silent, with no dialogue, but were pretty interesting to watch anyway, especially seeing how the cutscenes were filmed. There are also achievements.
This game is part of a series #a few of which I own but have yet to play#, but seems to stand alone from the rest, so it's not necessary to have played the others. As I mentioned, a reading of the story that inspired the game could be enlightening.
I feel the game could've been a bit creepier if it had stuck more to the original story, though perhaps plot constraints made that impossible; Lovecraft can be difficult to translate into popular media. Despite the artistic liberties taken, and the mild bugginess, and even despite the annoying minigames toward the end, I'd recommend this--even if only to introduce some hapless new souls to the horror that is Lovecraft!
#Oh, and speaking of Lovecraft...yes, I noticed that Charles looks suspiciously like him. ^_^ #
I obtained my copy of "Haunted Hotel: Charles Dexter Ward Collector's Edition" directly through Big Fish Games. The game folder takes up 829MB on my hard drive. I ran this game on Windows 7 with two bugs/errors, one of them known #the Intel HD video card crash, and the occasional buggy "smoke" graphics, mentioned above# but no other problems.
I recommend this game!
+2points
3of 4voted this as helpful.
 
Help your good old friend bring the family garden to bloom again in this brand new hit from Playrix!
 
Overall rating 
Loved it!
5 / 5
1 of 1 found this review helpful
Gardenscapes 2
PostedJune 25, 2014
Customer avatar
tehuti88
fromCheboygan, MI
Skill Level:Intermediate
Favorite Genre(s):Adventure, Hidden Object, Match 3
Fun Factor 
Excellent
5 / 5
Visual/Sound Quality 
Good
4 / 5
Level of Challenge 
Good
4 / 5
Storyline 
Good
4 / 5
Please see my reviews of "Gardenscapes" and "Gardenscapes: Mansion Makeover" for the basics on this series' gameplay.
Just as delightful and amusing a game as the previous installments!
Plot: Austin the butler #your guide from the previous "Gardenscapes" games# has decided to return home to visit his beloved parents, only to find that their once beautiful garden has fallen into disrepair. This shouldn't be a big problem, seeing how well Austin's idea of a "jumble sale"--collecting junk from the family mansion's numerous rooms and selling it--went over the last time. You're to hold these sales and take personal requests from various customers while Austin and his dad work on getting the old car up and running again, just in time for a nice surprise for you!
Yet again, gameplay involves searching the rooms for various hidden objects which you sell to your customers. Again, there are hidden coins in the rooms, plus you perform small repairs for Austin's parents. There are three choices for each garden upgrade, a family dog you can name #once more I bestowed upon the poor thing the name of "Foofy"#, and photos that give you a peek into Austin's life growing up. The pictures are collected in an album you can browse between rounds of selling and upgrading. Also in between sales, you get to watch Austin, his parents, and the dog interact with each other #and the environment# in the garden. Keep your eyes open for when Austin exercises or dances to his favorite music...it's hilarious.
Oh yes, there's also a bit about Austin entering a pool championship, though it's given relatively little time in the game.
The graphics have received an upgrade themselves since the last time; for some extra amusement, observe the reactions whenever you give the customers their desired items, and click on them while they're waiting to see what they do. There's a rather fussy-looking lady, and an old man, who wiggle their hat ribbon#?# and ears in delight...so cute. #There's even an alien!# Though I was always wondering why the mysterious trench-coated man without a face was looking for the items he was... o.o
Austin even keeps track of how long you've been away, and what times of the day you tend to play at...when I'd start up the game he'd greet me with such things as, "It's been almost three days!" and "Do you always play at night?" #I admit that unnerved me a bit, ha.#
Unlike the previous games, this one has achievements! These alone are rather humorous, such as the "Everybody Dance Now!" award. The three-star achievements can take quite a while to earn, which gives you incentive to continue playing even after you've finished the main game and completed all the upgrades. Oh, and "upgrades" this time also refers to the characters' clothing...even the dog's.
I actually played the game twice, as I experienced a possible bug the first time following the cutscene with the car; I was supposed to take a family picture, but was given no option to do so--I merely saw the family waving in the garden, and there was no menu and no way for me to interact with them. I don't recall seeing the viewfinder, either. I had to do a Control+Alt+Delete to exit the game, and forfeited taking that photo...on learning of my mistake, I started the game over, and the second time around this part played through properly. I'd thought that was the game's end due to the cutscene and was perplexed that I hadn't gotten to finish gameplay! So I'm not sure what caused the lockup. Additionally, during the second playthrough, I experienced several crashes whenever trying to collect coins--the game simply closed without warning--but I avoided that by collecting some items first, then the coins, plus that bug cleared up after about a day.
There are also very occasional ADVERTISEMENTS when you enter the garden...a large popup for other games from this developer, telling you you can earn more coins if you review one of their games. That was pretty jarring and borderline Spammy IMO #you make enough money on the sales to not need to take this request--and what if you've already reviewed the games?#, though it was easy enough to get rid of these offers by declining them. Still, rather a strange and inappropriate way to gain business. :/
In addition to the other two games in the series, there are the semi-related games "Farmscapes" #a match-3# and "Barn Yarn" #much the same as "Gardenscapes," only with a farm setting#. These are from the same developer and the characters even cross over a bit.
I blush to admit that nearing and at the end of the game I was smiling like silly, feeling so happy to be helping out Austin and his family. This is a feel-good game from start #depicting Austin happily on his way to meet with his family# to finish. I definitely recommend it.
I obtained my copy of "Gardenscapes 2" as a direct download through an online retailer. The game folder takes up 613MB on my hard drive. I ran this game on Windows 7 with two possible bugs/errors #the "lockup" following the car cutscene, and the game crashes while collecting coins, mentioned above# but no other problems.
I recommend this game!
+1point
1of 1voted this as helpful.
 
After waking up in an abandoned building, you find that you’ve been drugged and must now find the antidote before it’s too late!
 
Overall rating 
Liked it!
4 / 5
3 of 3 found this review helpful
White Haven Mysteries Collector's Edition
PostedMay 20, 2014
Customer avatar
tehuti88
fromCheboygan, MI
Skill Level:Intermediate
Favorite Genre(s):Adventure, Hidden Object, Match 3
 
Current Favorite:
 
 
Fun Factor 
Good
4 / 5
Visual/Sound Quality 
OK
3 / 5
Level of Challenge 
Good
4 / 5
Storyline 
OK
3 / 5
I have to admit I'm kind of on the fence about my rating for this game. :/ I liked it, but it could've been much better, especially the "ending" (if you could even call it that#.
Plot: You come to in what seems to be an abandoned hospital of some sort. After you chase a young girl inside, a mysterious person informs you that you've been poisoned, and you're apparently part of his sick game, whatever it might be. You have to search the hospital, picking up journal entries, news articles, and antidote vials in an effort to recover your memory of who you are and why you've been brought here.
All righty...the plot was so muddled I had to look it up, and I only just finished playing the game! It wasn't boring by any means--I adore creepy asylum/hospital-type games--it's just that a lot of intriguing hints were dropped, but in the end many of them seemed to go nowhere. There IS a big reveal regarding who you are and even who the little girl and the bad guy are...I can't say much about it without giving it away, but 1. it's kind of cliche and 2. despite it being cliche it's one of my favorite plot twists, thus why I rate the game a four rather than a three. I just wish the developers had gone somewhere with it rather than end the game with this revelation. It's basically, "BAM, this is who you are, the end." o_o Not even any explanation about HOW you came to be who you are.
There's a bonus chapter with the collector's edition, but to my disappointment, it doesn't pick up where the main plot abruptly left off...in fact, it seems to take place immediately before the main game starts. It was interesting to see what led up to the main game, but again, it didn't make much sense...well, it DID make sense, in light of the plot twist mentioned above #if you're unfamiliar with the subject matter of the twist, it won't make sense#, but I would've preferred a bonus chapter that took place after the main game, or at least one that took place in the main character's past, to help explain things. It isn't a cliffhanger, it just has no real resolution. :/ I imagine players of the standard edition are even more confused.
During the game you collect vials of antidote, which appear in a medicine chest in the lower part of the screen, but I never did figure out what their purpose was. At at least one point in the game you start to hallucinate as the poison kicks in, but you recover and never experience any more side effects that I can recall. I didn't know if I was supposed to use this antidote or what; I never did, yet made it through the game unscathed. So I'm not sure what the point of that was.
Also, whenever you get a new journal entry, it doesn't always add it to the end of the journal--they go in there out of order and frequently I had to page back and forth, trying to find the "new" entry--a few times I couldn't even find anything new! So that was pretty irritating. #Plus a few of the entries themselves were yet more loose ends that went nowhere.#
Graphics are all right, pretty gloomy but that's in keeping with the game's theme. The hidden-object scenes aren't outstanding but can have their difficulty at times...at least twice there's an interesting variant, where an object you're looking at transforms into a multitude of tiny objects #still in the shape of the original object#, and you have to scour through these to find the required items. Although the main character isn't technically insane, this bit of gameplay did make me feel like I was going a little bit nuts. Anyway, if the graphics aren't anything special, the audio is another story. It's downright CREEPY. There's a certain sound effect that sounds like somebody getting ready to shriek, and that kind of grated on me since I had the game turned up louder than usual, but the music itself is unnerving. There's a little-girl voice singing "Ring Around The Rosie," but there's another voice discordantly singing, "Laaaaa..." and that seriously freaked me out. o.o; Different types of music abruptly start and end depending on what room you enter, which can be even more jarring.
There's a rather goofy notice at the start of the game advising you to play it in the dark, but then in smaller print there's a "side effects" disclaimer suggesting that if you're easily frightened, to play it with the lights on. There was only one point in the game that frightened me, and it was a jump scare. Perhaps I'm just jaded...?
One technical aspect that bothered me was the audio of all the cutscenes. For some reason it's really fuzzy and low quality. During the loading screen I thought this was for effect, but audio during regular gameplay is clear and normal. Very weird.
Unlike some other reviewers, as far as I recall I did not experience any issues with having inventory items left over at the game's end.
The collector's edition includes a strategy guide, wallpapers and concept art #meh#, and the aforementioned bonus chapter/prequel. Nothing outstanding, but the bonus chapter helps clarify a few small things...though not nearly enough. :/
Technically, I'd give this game a 3.5 if I could. But you can't give half stars, and I really did like the plot twist mentioned above even if it is cliched and was handled rather awkwardly, so that's why I'll round it up to a four. The game is a creepy little diversion but had the potential to be so much creepier. It's more like a rough draft than anything.
Oh, and what was the deal with that crow/raven...?
I obtained my copy of "White Haven Mysteries Collector's Edition" directly through Big Fish Games. The game folder takes up 626MB on my hard drive. I ran this game on Windows 7 with no problems.
I recommend this game!
+3points
3of 3voted this as helpful.