Time Relics: Gears of Light (PC) and My Beef With BFG

Ever try a game before you buy, determine it’s an acceptably fine game, but wouldn’t shell out the dough to continue to play when the clock runs out? I come across this enough, and ask myself this every time I play a trial version of a game on Big Fish Games (BFG).

Take Time Relics: Gears of Light – a game I just finished playing the trial version of on BFG. I got to play a whole hour, and got pretty far with it. What inspired me was that BFG was selling this game as a daily deal for $3.05. Sounded like a great deal! I thought I’d download the trial and try it out!

In Time Relics: Gears of Light, a town’s clocktower never breaks down, nor ages. Something within it provides a fountain of youth that is keeping the townfolk happy and prosperous. But, something happens to knock time off its equilibrium, making the clocktower’s magic go haywire. An apocalypse of sorts occurs in the town, making the world dark and dreary. You are tasked with fixing the broken clock by going around town collecting the clock’s gears and bringing light back into the town.

Gears of Light is pretty easy as far as hidden object games go. It is linear in design, with little back-tracking, which is especially great for beginners. The hidden object scenes look great, and have a special stone (or rune) the player can click on to change the look of some of the objects you need to search. The game is certainly not unique – a game we have definitely seen before – but I still found it entertaining nonetheless.

When that hour was up, and my trial of Gears of Light had expired however, I had to think about whether it was worth spending scratch on it to own it outright. I mean, it’s only $3. Big deal.

Except, I was wrong. It wasn’t JUST $3…In fact, it wasn’t $3 at all – not even close. And here is my small beef with BFG.

I have a love / frustration thing with BFG. Their games are, for the most part, good. What gets me is they have the curb on the casual gaming market, and rarely do you see their games being sold on other gaming interfaces like Steam, especially new releases. Occasionally, I’ll come across a game or two that is a few years old for sale elsewhere. In any case, the games from BFG are tied up in digital rights management (DRM) to prevent sharing and redistribution (I assume), and they make you play the game within their own downloaded interface. It isn’t bad, but in some ways, I wish I didn’t feel like Felix the Fish had his fins all over my computer.

BFG certainly have a half-decent set-up, but you are basically at their mercy. Don’t even dream of a sale on games unless you are part of their monthly subscription club. For $7.14 a month, you can get discounts on games, take advantage of a punch card system whereby after so many punches, you can get a game for free, and get exclusive sales on games. It all sounds like casual gaming awesome sauce, except, like every club like this you join, you have to spend money to save money. I cancelled the club after four months. I still enjoy playing trial games on occasion, and when the trial period comes to an end, I often chew on whether I should buy the full version.

By the way, Time Relics: Gears of Light would not have cost me $3, but $10.21, because I am not part of the club (club members get the Daily Deal at $3). Ultimately, I am a cheapskate that likes a deal on games. I guess I’ll be sticking to the trial versions of BFG games for now.

Time Relics: Gears of Light
Publisher: Big Fish Games
Released: 2012

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