ECHOES OF SORROW

ECHOES OF SORROW

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

DEVELOPER :

BLITPOP GAMES

ALAWAR ENTERTAINEMENT


STORYLINE: 5/5

This is a psychological thriller which is really worth playing. At first, I wasn’t convinced as this game is a little dated, I think it was released in 2011, but as soon as I started playing it, I got hooked. The story is very original and full of unexpected events.

CUTSCENES: 3/5

You may think that I’m a bit too generous here because the cutscenes are actually really basic: a series of 2d drawings with just some clever camera movements and basic animation. However, as you progress in the game you discover how cleverly they were made.

VOICE OVERS: 0/5

None!

MUSIC: 5/5

The music is about 60% of the beauty of this game. It’s always appropriate and changes for each chapter.

SFX (Sound Effects): 5/5

Appropriate and pleasant.

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS: 5/5

Very well done. They all look hand drawn and detailed.

MINI GAMES: 3/5

There are very few mini games and actually quite simple.

HIDDEN OBJECT: 5/5

I don’t particularly like ho scenes but in this game you can see how much care they put into placing each object. Not to difficult to spot.

PLAYABILITY: 5/5

Now here there is something particular which I haven’t found in other games. When you hit the hint button, active areas where actions are available become highlighted but you are not going to get any real hint on how to solve the puzzle. At first, I didn’t like it because I got stuck a couple of times but then, after having read a walkthrough on line, I realized I had been impatient and could have found the solution without any help. My advice: be patient and keep looking everywhere even in areas which you think have been completed. Overall, very user friendly and you don’t actually need a  map because of the design of the game.


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, check the following links:

HOPA Download Links

 

The Joy of Cooking

The Joy of Cooking

Take your health in your own hands

THE IMPORTANCE OF COOKING

Some people believe that cooking is a waste of time or an activity for bored homemakers. Wrong! Cooking is an act of self nourishing and caring which will save  your life. Why? Because, first of all you get to choose the ingredients you want to cook and if you love yourself enough, you’ll get the most natural, fresh and nutritious food available. Some people may argue that such food is expensive but it shouldn’t be. Locally grown vegetables, fruit and grains free of pesticides, fertilizers and other nasty chemicals should actually cost less, not more, exactly because they are grown without adding any additional cost. Go straight to those who grow food and if you can’t find any, grow your own. Your only investment should be a blender and a juicer if you really want to switch to a very healthy and nutritious diet. Drinking freshly made vegetable and fruit juices give your body the necessary vitamins and minerals for you to be healthy again.

THE PANDEMIC OF MALNUTRITION IN INDUSTRIALIZED COUNTRIES

The high percentage of obese people in a country is a very strong sign that there is something terribly wrong with our eating habits. Yes, we could just protest in the street and ask to shut down all the fast food chains which claim to sell food while in actual fact are only selling junk. Some people may say – yes but we love junk! Sure and you are responsible for what you put inside your body. However, we are exposed to junk food from a very young age and we get used to it. To be completely honest: we get addicted to it. Sugar and chemicals perfectly blended to ensure that our appetite for that particular item would never cease. That’s how you become a junk food junkie without even knowing it.

HOW CAN WE CLAIM OUR POWER BACK?

Simply by cooking. You can shout and scream that you want healthier food and blame the authority for that but in the end, you are solely responsible for what ends up in your stomach. Yes, we have created a culture of poison and junk but we are still in time to change. It’s never too late to change lifestyle. Just as when you quit smoking, drinking, medications or drugs, giving up junk food will cause your body to experience withdrawal symptoms and that’s ok because it’s part of the healing process. Once your body starts detoxifying and eliminating all the nasty substances which have been accumulating in our bodies for years, you will feel sick, exhausted, you may get pimples or skin rashes but that’s no going to last long before you start getting your energy and self esteem back.

EATING HEALTHILY DOESN’T MEAN EATING SALAD

Some people are convinced that eating well means eating a salad and a fruit. Wrong! There are billions of recipes available online about plant based nutrition. Today for instance, I’m cooking a fresh sauce made with potatoes, capsicums, garlic, chili, tomatoes, mushrooms and coriander to put on my plate of spaghetti. Yep, I can eat pasta. Once you start eating a healthy and nutritious diet you can also afford to have foods which are frowned upon by strict dieticians unless, of course, you have a particular disease (e.g.: diabetes) which will not allow you to have that particular item. Believe me, when you start cooking everything tastes delicious and your self esteem will boost up!

Here’s the final result of my spaghetti dish:

IMG_20170517_130535

I also added a bit of Japanese naturally brewed soy sauce, crashed peanuts and extra virgin olive oil. Yummy!

So what are you doing still here? Go get yourself some nice pots and start cooking right now!

FORBIDDEN SECRETS – ALIEN TOWN

FORBIDDEN SECRETS – ALIEN TOWN

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

DEVELOPER :

ALAWAR GAMES

FIVE BN


STORYLINE: 5/5

As soon as you start playing this game you get hooked. The story is very intriguing and you never want to stop playing because you need to know what’s going to happen next. This game is a masterpiece!

CUTSCENES: 5/5

As I said in an earlier review about Alawar Five-BN, they have managed to bring the HOPA genre to the next level with their spectacular cutscenes. You have to play the game to understand what I mean.

VOICE OVERS: 5/5

Appropriately acted. Good job!

MUSIC: 5/5

The music is appropriate for each scene and change according to the chapter.

SFX (Sound Effects): 5/5

Highly detailed and accurate.

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS: 5/5

The best you could possibly imagine. I’m pretty sure they’ve got some great artists at work here.

MINI GAMES: 5/5

Good and the instructions very well explained

HIDDEN OBJECT: 3/5

Interactive and interesting. Luckily not too many of those.

PLAYABILITY: 5/5

Very intuitive and user friendly


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, check the following links:

HOPA Download Links

 

ETERNAL JOURNEY NEW ATLANTIS Collector Edition

ETERNAL JOURNEY NEW ATLANTIS Collector Edition

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

DEVELOPER :

ALAWAR GAMES

FIVE-BN


STORYLINE: 5/5

This is one of the best game I’ve ever played. The storyline is absolutely entertaining and you just can’t wait to get to the next scene. There is a bit of everything: sci-fi, mystery and romance. Excellent story!

CUTSCENES: 5/5

Alawar Five-BN , was one of the developer that in my view took the HOPA games to the next level. Have a look at what they do in their cutscenes – and during game play as well – to understand what I mean.

VOICE OVERS: 5/5

Perfectly acted and suitable for the role.

MUSIC: 5/5

I believe that Alawar Five BN was also one of the first company to understand the importance of the quality of the background music. It’s appropriate for each scene and does change accordingly when the scene is building momentum.

SFX (Sound Effects): 5/5

As I said above, everything has been accurately created specifically for a purpose. This is one of the best games because every single detail has been carefully designed and assigned. The result is total game immersion!

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS: 5/5

I almost cried with happiness when I played certain scenes. You won’t believe what a fantastic job they’ve done. Bravo!

MINI GAMES: 5/5

Quite good and fairly easy to understand.

HIDDEN OBJECT: 5/5

The good thing about this developer is that they know that ho are boring so make them really interactive and interesting. Well done!

PLAYABILITY: 5/5

Very easy to use and appropriate for anyone.


What’s happened to Alawar Five-BN?

Unfortunately, it appears that this collaboration is over and nowadays Alawar and Five-BN are two different companies. They both continue to make great games though, in my humble opinion, they still haven’t managed to achieve the same high  level they used to have when they were together. If you are interested to see what they are up to, here are their official sites:

Alawar

5-BN


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, check the following links:

HOPA Download Links

 

MOUNTAIN CRIME Requital

MOUNTAIN CRIME Requital

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

DEVELOPER :

ALAWAR GAMES

ALAWAR STARGAZE


STORYLINE: 5/5

This is a thriller that will keep you glued to the screen until the end.

CUTSCENES: 5/5

Excellently made. Absolutely impeccable!

VOICE OVERS: 5/5

At first, I wasn’t really convinced by the main character but then, as the game progressed, I realized that he was just acting according to the role: a doctor. Doctors don’t actually get very emotional! There are many characters in the game and each one is very convincing in their acting. They all manage to do an outstanding job.

MUSIC: 5/5

The music here has been brilliantly fused with the numerous SFX. So far one of the best in its category.

SFX (Sound Effects): 5/5

This is the first game I’ve come across where the SFX are more relevant than the music itself. If you play the game you’ll understand why. Well done!

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATIONS: 5/5

Breathtakingly beautiful. Lots of fountains, rain, great indoor and outdoor scenery.

MINI GAMES: 5/5

Quite original and fairly easy to understand though challenging.

HIDDEN OBJECT: 3/5

Interesting though not great. At times the objects were so small I could hardly see them

PLAYABILITY: 5/5

With Alawar’s experience in making these kind of games, it goes without saying that the playability is very user friendly.


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, check the following links:

HOPA Download Links

 

TAKEN SOULS BLOOD RITUAL

TAKEN SOULS BLOOD RITUAL

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

DEVELOPER :

SPACE MONKEY INTERNATIONAL


STORYLINE:  5/5

Very good plot which will keep you interested until the very end. The story gets better and better as new evidence emerges. You also get to take pictures and examine items in a lab.

CUTSCENES: 5/5

Impeccable! Absolutely perfect.

VOICE OVERS: 5/5

There are real actors doing a great job in this game.

MUSIC: 5/5

Outstanding! A real orchestra has been used and it’s a pleasure to listen to it as every chapter has its own particular soundtrack.

SFX (Sound Effect) : 5/5

It’s the attention to every single detail which makes this game absolutely worth playing.

ARTISTIC ILLUSTRATION: 5/5

Excellent job. You can really see  when there are great artists involved in the process of making a game.

MINI GAMES (PUZZLES) : 4/5

There is an interesting progression of difficulty of the puzzles as you play but what impressed me the most was the use of original puzzles instead of the usual boring ones. However, half way through the game I found a couple of puzzles whose instructions were impossible to grasp and the mini games too complicated to work out what to do by myself. This is the only reason why they get a 4 instead of a 5. Please improve your instructions.

HIDDEN OBJECT: 2/5

Unfortunately the ho (hidden object) scenes are very boring. Though they did not put many in the game, the few that are there disrupt the immersion of the game. The ho scenes are very old fashioned with really annoying morphing objects here and there to disturb your eyesight.

Playability: 5/5

Easy to use, intuitive and easy to understand.


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, check the following links:

HOPA Download Links


 

That’s all for now, and remember to stay playful and healthy!

Best sites for downloading free full HOPA games

Best sites for downloading free full HOPA games

Let’s face it, when you are feeling down sometimes a good game does the trick.

There are many nomads, volunteers and backpackers around the world who, despite having to live on a very limited budget, still enjoy playing a good game. However, a good game is not just a free game because there are plenty of low quality and boring HOPA games out there not to mention websites which claim to have free games while in reality they are only offering demos which are playable for a limited time. Well, that’s good too, it’s better than nothing but playing the entire game is a completely different feeling!

Here’s a list of websites where you can legally download full version  HOPA games. Sometimes, you may be asked if you want to download other software as well bundled with the game, just say NO if not interested. No spyware, no adware as far as my experience goes:

This is a good and reliable site,  they update their games on a regular basis and the have plenty  of HOPAs to pick both fairly new and old.

They have an extensive list of games, some of them are great, trust me!

The games here are very well presented, however the choice is very limited and the games available quite old.


In my experience the above are the most reliable websites when it comes to downloading free HOPA games. Most of them give you the possibility to watch a short trailer of the game and there is a review with a summary of the plot and the technical features if relevant (e.g. hand drawn illustrations).

Enough words for now, time to play!

Next, I’m going to write about some of the great games I’ve played which are listed on the above sites.

If you know of any good sites which are worth mentioning, get in touch and I’ll check them first before publishing the link.

Life is An Adventure Game, Be Ready for Everything!


The photo above was taken in Khon Kaen, Thailand, during a period where I used to play a lot of HOPA games. When I found this statute, I thought it would be great for a HOPA , just look at the picture and guess why… Asia is a sort of Heaven for HOPA creativity, there are fountains and statues with all sort of mechanisms.