Moonsouls Echoes of the Past Collector’s Edition

Moonsouls Echoes of the Past Collector’s Edition

A game review from a woman’s point of view (5+/5).

DEVELOPER :

MAD HEAD GAMES


STORYLINE (5/5):

Finally, a very unique science fiction story impregnated with fantasy. This is a very refreshing story with a series of unpredictable events. The bonus chapter is also incredibly well developed and it will get you hooked as quickly as the main story.

CUTSCENES (5/5):

The reason why I bought the game in the first place is the intro scene which explains what’s going to happen next. Mad Head Games has managed to take the HOPA genre to the next level with really impressive and realistic animation blended with the highest art possible. Outstanding example of incredibly impressive art work!

VOICE OVERS (5/5):

I have no clue where they got their actors from but these people deserve an Oscar for their performance.

MUSIC (5/5):

Here too, I must say that the music has been very carefully developed around the game rather than just putting a theme at random. You can clearly see that in high tension scenes wherethe music builds up just like in movies by making the player totally forget  they are playing a game. Full immersion is guaranteed. An example that all game developers should follow.

SFX (Sound Effects) (5/5):

Needless to say, if the music is such high quality then the SFX are bound to follow. There are many alien mechanisms in this game and a few “gadgets” which have special and totally realistic SFX effects. Great job!

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS (5/5):

There are a lot of scenes in this game, each one unique and containing an incredible amount of details. With the collector edition, you get free wall papers and access to other goodies. It’s not only the art that’s impressive in this game but the level of imagination that is finally breaking through new frontiers even in HOPA games.

MINI GAMES (5/5+):

The mini-games are absolutely original yet not too challenging; they just require a lot of focus to help you think out of the HOPA box.

HIDDEN OBJECT (5/5):

The hidden object scenes are a few and never overwhelming. They are presented in a very interactive and unusual way so you won’t get bored. I found some of the ho scenes a little challenging and I had to rely on the help button a few times.

PLAYABILITY (5/5):

The first great option is having the possibility to tailor custom your game play by choosing from the different levels of difficulty which start from beginner to expert and custom choices (my favorite, because you can choose what options to keep and what not). Unlike other HOPA games, you don’t get a journal but just a series of objectives to remind you what you are supposed to do. There is also a simple but effective map -which I never used because at every chapter the number of open scenes available for game play is highly limited so you don’t have to go far to solve puzzles -. The Hint button is vital when you get stuck (and you will) though it’s better not to use it unless you get completely desperate. There is a strategy guide as well with all the walkthroughs but if you read that then your fun playing this game is over. This game also contains a series of collectible and achievements which I find totally boring and annoying. If the game is good, it doesn’t need any other fancy stuff. I hope the Mad House Game developers read this review so they’ll keep giving us great game without any useless fanciness!

I had no intention of buying this game, as I said earlier. Yet, a few seconds of playing the intro cutscene were enough for me to push me into buying it instantly. I have a great intuition for masterpieces and this game is definitely something you don’t wan’t to miss out playing. Mad Head Games is definitely taking the HOPA genre to a completely new level and we, the players, love them for that!


Learn more about the criteria used for the review here:

What Makes a HOPA game great

Advertisements

Remind Me to thank You

Remind Me to thank You

Remind Me to thank You

when I wake up every morning

and the Sun shines upon me every single time as if it were its last.

Remind Me to thank You

for the colorful flowers, their fragrance and the bees happily spreading their pollen.

Remind Me to thank You

for the rivers, the lakes, the crystal clear sources which so generously keep providing

us with the most refreshing water you could possibly dream of.

Remind Me to Thank You

for the majestic trees, their beautiful and gracious leaves which change color

according to the season and then fall down to nourish the earth.

Remind Me to thank You,

for the refreshing rain which purifies the air and feeds the land which provides us

with the most delicious food.

Remind Me to thank You

for the sky

its blue color and the whiteness of passing clouds

then at night

the colors turn into an orchestra of shining stars

and in the background

there is only a feeling that you are there, somewhere,

waiting for me to give you one last glance before shutting down the night.

Remind Me to thank You

My love

for my mistakes and yours

because while we were walking hand in hand

we did not realize where we were

and pushed and pulled each other afraid of losing one another

only because we forgot to look at the sky in wonder

one more time

to remind ourselves of our immortality.

Remind Me to thank You

for having given me the possibility to experience all this

in one lifetime

a gift from Heaven

which only now

that life is slipping away

I have started to savor.

Thank You!

 

STRAY SOULS – STOLEN MEMORIES

STRAY SOULS – STOLEN MEMORIES

A game review from a woman’s point of view (5/5).

DEVELOPER :

ALAWAR

ALAWAR FRIDAY’S GAMES


STORYLINE (5/5):

This is primarily a fantasy game with hints of sci-fi, adventure, thriller and cuteness overload horror. You enter a magic world where everything can happen and there are animated dolls all over the place. The story is sort of Stephen Kingish…

CUTSCENES (5/5):

Excellent animation both in cutscenes and during game play. I really love having animation during game play because it helps to follow the story. The only bug that I experienced was that at the beginning, sometimes the movement of the lips during dialogues and the voice did not match (delay in lip synch). There are many animated characters; each one with their own peculiarity.

VOICE OVERS (5/5):

Excellent! As there are many animated characters in this game, there are also many actors involved in giving them a voice. The protagonist did an excellent job in managing to express believable feelings of concern and sadness. The other actors also did a very good job in impersonating their characters. Very well done indeed.

MUSIC (5/5):

Pleasant and relaxing. The music has been perfectly blended with the various SFX to successfully obtain particular effects during game play.

SFX (Sound Effects) (5/5):

Very accurate for each item, there is a lot of attention to details here to create the right atmosphere.

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS (5/5):

The art in this game is very beautiful. There are plenty of colorful and detail rich   locations as well as funny and cute characters, dolls and mechanisms all over the place.

MINI GAMES (5/5+):

This is a very strong point for this game. There are plenty of very original minigames which are a little challenging but not too hard to accomplish. It’s good to see new ideas for a change. I had a lot of fun doing them!

HIDDEN OBJECT (5/5):

What I enjoyed the most is the fact that they didn’t put a lot of ho scenes in the game. This game is truly a pearl and doesn’t need any ho scenes at all, however, the few which are there follow the traditional list of items to be searched which are well lit and relatively easy to find.

PLAYABILITY (5/5):

You have two modes of playing: casual and expert. If you select the expert mode, as I did, the tutorial gets skipped by default. You have the usual Hint button on the right with a journal above it. The journal contains an interactive map which allows you to visualize the active areas in green and you can teleport yourself just by clicking on it. The items in the inventory are very easy to see and recognizable. On the left there is a beautiful doll house which tells you a little story about what has happened to the protagonist’s husband when he was a child every time you find a doll that goes in it.

A very beautiful, high quality game which I strongly reccommend to those who love the fantasy genre; I particularly enjoyed the uniqueness of the minigames. I’m definitely going to keep it to play it again in the future!


Learn more about the criteria used for the review here:

What Makes a HOPA game great

If you want to download this game for free (no time limit), check the following links:

HOPA Download Links

Hotel – Collector’s Edition

Hotel – Collector’s Edition

A game review from a woman’s point of view: 5/5

DEVELOPER :

Cateia Games


STORYLINE: 5/5

If you have ever played other adventure games by Cateia Games, then
you are acquainted with their love for mysteries and the occult. The story gets more and more complex as you progress. Expect the unexpected. Very original story which encompasses a few genres: science fiction, horror, history, thriller, drama, romance and mystery.

CUTSCENES: 5/5

Outstanding 3d CGI cutscenes combined with beautiful illustrations. The opening scene in particular is really breathtaking! Some special effects also make the cutscenes particularly appealing.

VOICE OVERS: 5/5

Wow! These people can really act.

MUSIC: 5/5

Very good and atmospheric music appropriate for each chapter of the game.
There are some themes which you can listen to as a gift to its players by Cateia Games (click on Collector’s Edition in the Main Menu).

SFX (Sound Effects): 5/5

Carefully adapted to each scene and detail in the scene.

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS: 5/5

As I said before, this is a complete CGI work so obviously the models are very good and the textured used quite original and atmospheric. I particularly enjoyed the outdoor scenarios.

MINI GAMES: 5/5

This is not a HOPA but an Adventure game so everything is a little challenging.
You cannot skip puzzles! However, if you get desperate there is a Strategy Guide which contains all the walkthroughs.

PLAYABILITY: 5/5

This is a pure 3d digital game so it is made in the style of Tomb Raider with the exception that the character cannot perform acrobatic actions. It’s a third person game so you have to move your character from one scene to another which at times can be a bummer if you are used to first person adventure games. However, it’s sort of cute. Lara Croft as an investigator. Forget about the Hint button that you find in HOPA games; in this game it only shows you where the interactive areas are and I suggest you to use it every single time because it is very difficult to spot interactive areas. If you get stuck, there is a Strategy Guide which contains all the walkthroughs, however, I suggest you to use it only if you are completely desperate because otherwise it will spoil your game. There is no map but you actually don’t need one because the locations available are quite limited and easy to remember.

Don’t skip the tutorial (as I did) because otherwise you will have to play the game again from the start (as I did!). There are some important actions explained in the tutorial which are not normally used in other games.

This is a very addictive game and I had a lot of fun playing it. If you enjoy investigating events and putting clues together this is definitely the right game for you! Thumbs up.


Learn more about the criteria used for the review here:

What Makes a HOPA game great

If you want to download this game for free (no time limit), check the following links:

HOPA Download Links

The Lake House – Children of Silence

The Lake House – Children of Silence

A game review from a woman’s point of view: 5/5

DEVELOPER :

ALAWAR Friday’s Games


STORYLINE: 5/5

A very intriguing mystery thriller which starts as a romance and quickly turns into a nightmare. The plot is very original and unfolds gradually as a proper thriller.

CUTSCENES: 5/5

Very well executed cutscenes in this game. The art is outstanding and the very beautiful animation will help you glue together the several clues you find on your way. I particularly appreciated the animation during game play.

VOICE OVERS: 5/5

Very convincing  acting!

MUSIC: 5/5

There is a recurrent piano theme in this game which will stay with you even after you have finished playing. The music is sort of nostalgic and sad yet pleasant and appropriate for the theme of the game. Good job!

SFX (Sound Effects): 5/5

As usual, if the music is very good, normally the SFX are very good too. Indispensable for game immersion.

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS: 5/5

Really outstanding and this is one of the reasons why I have already played this game twice. There are tons of locations with great attention to details.

MINI GAMES: 5/5

There are several minigames in this game though not very challenging but definitely original.

HIDDEN OBJECT: 5/5

The ho scene are a traditional list of items to be searched in a lit area. The items are right under your nose but for some reason you can’t see them. There are quite a few ho scenes in the game but not as many as to overwhelm you. Some items are interactive.

PLAYABILITY: 5/5

The interface is very user friendly with the usual Hint button on the right, a Task button right below it. The inventory is in the middle and on the left you have a journal which contains a map. The map, which I found absolutely vital, is very clear because it points out active areas in green and shows you where you are, however, it is not interactive so you have to walk all over the place without the possibility to teleport yourself. The most brilliant feature is a Video Camera which will show you bits and pieces of films to help you understand what happened before getting to that point. I really enjoyed it and it’s possible to play the films as many times as you wish.

I’ve played this game twice and I’m probably going to play it again in the future because it’s a very high quality game with a very interesting and original plot. I definitely reccommend it!

 


Learn more about the criteria used for the review here:

What Makes a HOPA game great

If you want to download this game for free (no time limit), check the following links:

HOPA Download Links

Portal of Evil -Stolen Runes

Portal of Evil -Stolen Runes

A game review from a woman’s point of view: 5/5+

DEVELOPER :

8 FLOOR GAMES


STORYLINE: 5/5 +

Absolutely wonderful! This story manages to connect history, science fiction, adventure, thriller and metaphysics all in one. It is so well developed that the only problem is to stop playing: a very addictive game! Excellent.

CUTSCENES: 5/5

Some games are masterpieces because of the amount of art work involved and this is definitely one of those games. The characters move with so much fluidity they seem real and their lip synch is extraordinarily perfect. You can judge by the opening scene the kind of high quality to expect from this game. The 3d effect are really impressive but there is a lot of 2d hand drawing art involved which turns each cutscene into something absolutely marvelous!

VOICE OVERS: 5/5

I wasn’t actually quite convinced by the protagonist whose interpretation seems a little bland. However, the other characters involved do an outstanding job and contribute to greatly increase the quality of the game. Some of them gave me the chills!

MUSIC: 5/5

There seems to be an orchestra involved in this game. The soundtrack is very pleasant and packed with atmospheric effects which make you anticipate what’s going to happen next. Each area has its own theme which makes the music even more pleasurable to listen to. Just listening to the music by itself is an incredible experience and if you add it up with the game, the result is really spectacular.  Excellent job!

SFX (Sound Effects): 5/5

Nothing is left to chance in this extraordinarily detail rich game. The rain, the frog, the “woosh” which accompanies the fading out of scenes are so carefully blended in the game which make you feel almost as if you were there. Bravo!

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS: 5/5

If you are into game art as much as I am, prepare yourself to be impressed from the moment you start playing to the moment the game ends. We are not talking about average or good art here, we are talking impressive masterpieces! You have to see it for yourself to understand what I mean. I kneel in admiration in front of the artists who produced such remarkably beautiful art.

MINI GAMES: 5/5

Yippy! Finally a game with tons of great and challenging minigames. Not all of them are challenging but a few are and in order to be able to solve them, you will have to be a little patient. If you are tired, do not attempt to solve the challenging minigames because the logic is not that easy. My suggestion is, put the game aside and return to it when your mind is fresh and rested. Skipping minigames is a crime! Don’t skip ’em, be patient and try to solve each puzzle even if it takes some time.

HIDDEN OBJECT: 5/5

There are not too many ho scenes in the game so you won’t get bored. In addition, different interactive styles have been used to make this part of the game a bit more interesting. Items are easy to see and some interactive items may be a little difficult to work out but they are very easy to see and the scenes beautiful. Just one little particular which I noticed and I don’t like in this kind of games is the use of unrelated items in ho scene. It doesn’t matter whether you have to search them or not: they are there (e.g.: noose, hair drier, etc). With such spectacular art, it’s hard to understand why they didn’t pay enough attention to the types of items they put in ho scenes. Yet, very well done.

PLAYABILITY: 5/5

I was drooling when I saw the intro scene so I couldn’t wait to play the game itself and I immediately skipped the tutorial and selected the difficulty mode to expert. There is a useful journal, an interactive map and a Hint button which works perfectly. There are tons of locations in this game and at times you have to travel a long distance to get to the right place; I found the map vital to teleport myself to such places, especially when I had no clue where I was supposed to go. The Hint button is also connected to the map so if you are stuck, it will automatically open the map to show you where to go. The inventory is simple and very well designed; items are easy to see and they have a name on top as well just in case you have trouble understanding the type of item.

Everything in this game is pretty much extraordinary. If you haven’t played it yet, you are missing out. Enough words for now, just go and play this game and you’ll never see HOPA games with the same eyes again. One of the best games I’ve ever played!


Learn more about the criteria used for the review here:

What Makes a HOPA game great

If you want to download this game for free (no time limit), check the following links:

HOPA Download Links

Where Angels Cry

Where Angels Cry

A game review from a woman’s point of view (4/5)

DEVELOPER :

CATEIA GAMES


STORYLINE (5/5):

Absolutely intriguing. The atmosphere of this game reminded me of famous books such as The Name of the Rose and Angels and Demons. It’s a very well developed religious thriller. However,  I would have loved the story to extend a bit further, the game can be completed in less than 3 hours.

CUTSCENES (5/5):

There is a lot of 3d art involved in this game and though the cutscenes are well executed, there are a few things which would have improved the quality if used. The characters are as still as statues during game play and there is obviously no lip sync when speaking.

VOICE OVERS (5/5):

The actors did a fairly good and convincing job.

MUSIC (5/5):

Excellent background music performed by a real musician.

SFX (Sound Effects) (5/5):

Also appropriate for the game environment.

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS (4/5):

There is a lot of good 3d work but nothing breathtaking which is one of the characteristics peculiar to HOPA games. If you are into digital art, this game art is quite good, however more background animations would have helped to render the environment a bit eerier. The limited number of locations was also a bit of a turn off for me.

MINI GAMES (3/5):

There are a lot of minigames which are fun at first but they get a little repetitive after a while. The same solving logic has been used more than once and I think they could have been a bit more creative. They get better towards the end of the game.

HIDDEN OBJECT (5/5):

Halleluia! This is more like an adventure game rather than a HOPA because the objects to be found are hidden within the scene or nearby scenes so you are discovering hidden objects without disrupting game play. Excellent!

PLAYABILITY (4/5):

This game has a very particular characteristic; unlike most HOPAs, you have to search the same scenes over and over again because as the game progress, items keep appearing in places where you have already searched so you find yourself stuck in the same area for a very long time… But it gets better as you progress, meaning that you won’t have to spend half of your life in just a few scenes. However, the storyline keeps you motivated in searching the necessary items so you won’t get bored. There are many tasks to be accomplished RPG game style and I really love that about this game. There is no map but because you’ll be searching in a very limited number of scenes, you don’t actually need one. The Hint button is very useful if you get stuck (and you will). The inventory and the extraordinarily beautiful journal are very easy to use so the navigation is pretty good. There are three levels of difficulty to choose from so you can get rid of all the sparkling areas as I did if you dare challenging yourself. To summarize, this is a very good game which will keep you entertained until its very end: definitely a must play. Thumbs up!


Learn more about the criteria used for the review here:

What Makes a HOPA game great

If you want to download this game for free (no time limit), check the following links:

HOPA Download Links