casual games

[Review] Drawn: The Painted Tower (PC)

I first reviewed Drawn: the Painted Tower in October 2013, just when I started to gain traction with this blogging thang. Back then I wrote that I had just started playing adventure games three years previous…people, that was 8 YEARS AGO!!

In the summer of 2013, the hubs and I traveled to Barrie, ON to Video Time, where I found, among other dusty games, Drawn: the Painted Tower in box for $5. The artwork attracted me instantly, as well as the fact it was a Big Fish Game which was my main gaming wingman back then! This was not the first time hearing of Drawn…the game was held in high regard as one of the must-play adventure games in the casual gaming community. At its release in 2010, Drawn: the Painted Tower arrived right at the dawn of the casual gaming “golden era” when hidden object adventure games slowly began to show some decent production value with story, graphics, artistry, menu design and…most of all great puzzle play. It was a slow climb from the pixel dregs, but Drawn: the Painted Tower really gave casual gaming producers a run for their money.

Having already played it, I sort of ignored the Steam bundle sales of three Drawn games for one low price that kept popping up periodically. But, then the price of the bundle last summer became way too good to pass up. Having reviewed it over 4 years ago now, I thought it wise to take another look at Drawn: the Painted Tower. Glad it did!

Iris is a little girl who has the ability to make her drawings come to life (sort of like Simon and his chalk drawings, but this game is a lot more elaborate). She is living in an oppressed and evil kingdom, whose king would like nothing more than having Iris’s powers for himself. Her family sends her into exile to protect her. She goes into hiding in a tower she has constructed in her drawings, making even more paintings in the tower to hide in as well. There you are tasked with finding her in the labyrinth of mazes and gorgeous paintings to save her before the king finds her.

From the first title screen, Drawn: The Painted Tower was nothing but beautiful, sad, and absorbing, with a lovely soundtrack to match.

An interesting twist is being able to enter Iris’s living paintings to explore, find necessary tools and solve important puzzles. The gameplay is linear, yet I did find there was quite a bit of backtracking and some pixel hunting. However, hints are given along the way, as well as a task list to complete, so there is no question as to what you need to do next. The puzzles were not your typical fare, and are memorable; one that I particularly loved was where I got to mix paints and then use them to paint a wooden toy and stone carving!

When I originally played Drawn: the Painted Tower, I had written that I finished the game in under two hours…that can’t be right, unless I am losing my touch or they expanded on the story, because this time it was over 4 hours for me, but it was time well-spent. If you ever find the opportunity, play Drawn: the Painted Tower – I recommend it!

4.5/5

Now to play Drawn’s two sequels!!

Drawn: The Painted Tower
Publisher: Big Fish Games
Released: 2010

[Gaming Diary] Mass Effect (Xbox 360): Part 10

This is my Tenth entry in my gaming diary for Mass Effect (Xbox 360).

First-time reader and need context? Please go here.

Update from part 9 of the Gaming Diary:

Pepe Shep and crew head out into a snow storm to find the Bewwwbly Matriarch on the planet Noveria.

(Photo:cdn.akamai.steamstatic.com)

Part 5: Noveria

(Continued)

Plot Developments and Gameplay Combined:

Shep and crew pile into that confounded 6-wheeler known as the Mako, to power through a blizzard that is ravaging the planet Noveria. Their plan is to go find the Bewwwbly Matriarch up on an area hilariously called Peak 15 (at least it isn’t called “Peek” 15, although, we’ve all seen enough of them, haven’t we?)

With that, in case you’ve forgotten who this Bewwwbly Matriarch is:

i Ay Carumba ! [You’re welcome] (Photo: img1.wikia.nocookie.net)

The crew arrive at Peak 15 after fighting a ton of geth. The facility is shut down for the most part, and Shep needs to fix the power. Along the way, they encounter these…gross looking insect things called rachni that look like…blech!

GROSS ALERT GROSS ALERT GROSS ALERT! BLECH!

The rachni (Photo: media.moddb.com)

These things called Rachni crawl around and appear when you least expect them. They also spit this green venom at you and send their babies to try and kill you. They weren’t that difficult to eradicate, fortunately but were all over the place.

Shep manages to find the main Peak 15 computer called “Mira” that educates Shep a bit in what happened there. Shep then goes deep into the computer’s core to reset its modules.

Folks, at this point, it’s CASUAL GAMING TIME!! Yep, that’s right, Mass Effect has casual gaming puzzles within! In order to repair the computer, you are made to do a Hanoi Tower puzzle! At last! Something I am familiar with!! I mean, how many hidden object puzzle games have I played that had this puzzle in it??

Mass Effect’s Tower of Hanoi puzzle – ahoy! (Photo: img2.wikia.nocookie.net)

The power is restored, and everyone’s happy, right? Time to go home, Pepe? Not so fast!

In our journey to find the Bewwwbly Matriarch, we encounter a security Commander charged with looking after the area. He informs Shep that the place is overrun by rachni (no sh!t, Sherlock…). Mrs. Bewwbs is in the hot labs shaking things up in there. Finally, we confront her there looking after a rachni queen locked in a glass chamber and she tells us how overpowering Saren’s Jedi mind tricks has over her. She has a window of sanity that is open long enough to explain the rachni are trainable beings that were being bred there to create foot soldiers for the Saren “destroy all humans” campaign.

What comes next sounds vaguely familiar…Originally, rachni were bred by the Protheans and used by them to fight in war. Of course, like the geth, they learned too much and turned on their masters. Back then, they managed to wreck havoc in the galaxy. The Protheans tried to eradicate them, killing over 200 worlds in the process. But, they didn’t get them all, and they managed to breed and colonize.

Big bugs colonizing and wrecking havoc?? I feel like I am talking about roaches and the Orkin man, here.

Sure, he can solve your silverfish problem, but what about rachnis? (Photo: lh5.googleusercontent.com)

Anyway, things did not turn out well for Mrs. Bewwwbs…them hoots went to hooter heaven as she turned on Shep and crew, sending her troops on the attack. Shep made quick work of her.

The rachni queen talking through this asari soldier (who is actually dead…) (Photo: i1.ytimg.com)

The rachni queen locked in the glass chamber manages to talk to Shep through one of Mrs. Bewwbs’s dead asari soldiers, basically asking Shep to let her people go or kill them outright. Their life has been misery, and they just want to live in peace. She would make a point of teaching her children about Shep’s kindness. (Aww) I chose to let her go.

However, there are still evil rachni on Peak 15 that are beyond saving and continue to cause trouble. A neutron purge solved this after speaking with a lone researcher found in the hot labs who explains everything they were doing with the rachni there. Ironically, he gets impaled by a rachni, himself. Boo.

After eliminating the evil rachni, it was the end of this chapter. I have to say, this was the quickest chapter play ever in the game, and saw the most action. It flew by! I am managing to make sure I upgrade my weapons for each team member. I think this is what is helping me through the battles at this stage.

Instead of proceeding to my next chapter, I am taking the break to do some side missions that you can do if you want. Some of them involve landing on planets and picking up ore samples or investigating. Admittedly, I have had to bail out of a couple of them because the battle with some of the beasts was too intense, or I didn’t have enough technical experience to handle fixing certain things. Ah well.

Until next time…

[Review] Rooms: the Main Building (Nintendo DS)

A great mindless puzzler with a wtf plot. That’s how I would summarize Rooms: the Main Building, a game I am playing on the Nintendo DS.

Photo: amazon.com

It’s Mr. X’s birthday! His gift: getting propelled into a mystical hotel, the rooms of which are all completely scrambled around. Happy Birthday, Mr. X! Someone really doesn’t like you…Providing aid during his journey is Mr. Book, which is, well, a book of course…a book with eyes (creepy, creepy eyes…). There is also a sleeping chest that snores, that you wake up hitting it in the head with a mallet then feeding it planks. Yeah, okay, the story is lame, but hang in there. The GAME itself is fun.

So, Mr. X is caught in a scrambled room – his task is to find a way out through the door – but how can he with the room completely scrambled?? That’s where you come in. In this game you slide the scrambled image around, helping Mr. X get to the door so he can leave the room. The challenge lies in the fact that Mr. X can only move left or right unless a particular square happens to have a ladder. Other obstacles include locked doors, framed squares which impede access or a square that has debris. There are some elements that help Mr. X move around, such as a telephone teleporter that allows him to be spirited from one square to another and keys he can use to unlock a door in the room.

Photo: image.jeuxvideo.com

The graphics are not terribly sophisticated; actually, they are crap to be honest, and of course, par with other DS games, the top screen is a total waste while the bottom must include EVERYTHING, which makes for a teeny tiny playing area.

There are 100 puzzles to solve; a varied mix of easy to complex.  There is plenty of time-wasting fun in Rooms, that I would put in the same category as a crossword, sudoku or picross-type of game; something you can pick up or drop on a whim without much thought. Just don’t think too hard about the plot…

Rooms: The Main Building (Nintendo DS)
Developer: Hudson / Nintendo
Released: 2010

[Review] Still Life (PC): Gaming Stiffly Clicking

After I finish what I consider a decent game, I often check out the game’s developer to see what other games they’ve made. Who knows; maybe I’ll get to play another great game.

Take Syberia, a Microïds-produced game: I enjoyed this adventure game very much, and in fact, I consider it one of the better ones from the early 2000s. Throw forward a couple of years following its release, and we have another Microïds-produced game called Still Life, also an adventure game, highly regarded by critics for story and gameplay. Having just completed Still Life, I have to say I don’t share the critics’ enthusiasm.

Game 2014-03-29 22-40-22-19

Victoria McPherson, detective with the FBI is charged with investigating a series of sinister murders in 2004 Chicago. Her Grandfather, Gus McPherson was a P.I. back in the 1920s, who investigated similar cases involving the murder of prostitutes in Prague. All these murders have a Jack The Ripper sort of flavour as both murder suspects in both time periods dress in a cloak and top hat wearing a mysterious mask. The story is split between both Victoria and Gus, and their experiences. The reference of “Still Life” has to do with an artist who liked to paint prostitutes back the 1920s, the same ones who would eventually be found murdered.

Game 2014-03-30 20-55-05-08

The good: Okay story, most graphic elements are half-decent.

The bad: Game had trouble loading, not enough gameplay, talky talky and a lot o’ clicky clicky.

Still Life is touted as an adventure game, but really I find it is more an interactive story than a game. In most adventure games, you click the mouse to send characters where you want them to go, interact with objects and solve puzzles, but, there wasn’t a lot of actual puzzle-solving in Still Life and basically you are left clicking characters from one scene to the next. Long-winded dialogue between characters also takes the click of a mouse with no ability to skip through or choose what is said, which was one major beef I have with this game. Instead of a dialogue scene, each time something was said by a character it took a mouse click to keep the conversation going. LAME!

The game is very linear with little room to explore your environs because the character will tell you, “I don’t think I need to go there.” To that end, the game does give you a pretty decent map that sends you to an area by mouse-click. The puzzles are not fun and really do their best to screw with you. In one puzzle, you are made to bake cookies (yes – COOKIES). The measurements given in the recipe call for a cup of this and half a cup of that, when the measuring cup they provide is in milliliters, not cups! WTF?!

Let's bake some cookies!

Let’s bake some cookies!

Some of the interactions the characters had with objects were stunted, peculiar, and obscure. For example, in one “gameplay” sequence, the boss tells Victoria to get him a cup of coffee, thus ensueing a witchhunt for his coffee mug, which you wind up finding in some random interrogation room. Made no sense.

Big hands

Big hands

The main characters in Still Life overall looked alright,but moved stiffly. The secondary characters for the most part were exaggerated and out of place with the life-like main characters. You’d often see them with big hands, big faces, big “idiot” voices!  The voice work vacillated between good and completely stereotyped. For example, one black police officer was obviously voiced by a white guy trying to be a soul brotha and failed miserably. And then there was the lesbian seductress who obviously was voiced by the same actress who voiced Victoria McPherson, only with a bit deeper and “sultry” (or is that slutty?) intonation.

Game 2014-03-30 21-06-09-98

One major problem I encountered running this game: I had to change my screen resolution just to get Still Life to even play on my Windows 7 gaming PC. There were some major compatibility issues that I thought would have been fixed, or at least a patch would have been provided…especially since I bought the game through Steam!  There is apparently a lot of complaints from folks on the internet about that. I would have figured by now, ten years later, someone would have gotten their shit together on that front.

Critics say Still Life is supposed to shiver your timbers…Some segments did make me go “whoa,” but it wasn’t scary. This is certainly not a game for kids – there are very mature themes, nudity, and displays of naked women cut up slashed and dead. Some strong language may offend.There wasn’t a time that I was frightened by the game, but there is some tension in the storyline and having to look at dead bodies can make one squirm. There are some violent action sequences as well.

Still Life is a long game: I clocked in over 7.5 hours of gameplay. That said, I have to say the story was enjoyable enough, but I would have probably enjoyed Still Life more reading the story than playing it. If you’re after an interactive story game, this is it. If you are after adventure, you will be disappointed here; check out Syberia instead.

Still Life (PC)
Developer: Microïds
Released: 2004

[Brief Review] Echoes of the Past: Royal House of Stone (PC)

There is a mysterious witch that has turned royalty into stone statues and you must break the curse. Bored yet?

Photo: softpedia

We’ve seen this plot before, haven’t we? Or maybe since Orneon’s game, Echoes of the Past: Royal House of Stone, is at least five years old, they are responsible for the clicheed plot seen in many other hidden object games (or guilty of perpetuating it…). This game was released  right before hidden object games began to hit the sweet spot of decent production value seen a couple of years later in another Orneon developed game, one of my all-time favourites, Secrets of the Dark: Temple of Night. That said, Royal House of Stone has some age issues – pixelated scenes, tinny music and some cheesy voiceover work; not as bad as what we saw in say Dead Mountaineer’s Hotel, mind you.

In the first hour playing Royal House of Stone, I was feeling like the game ran its course. I will say this: besides the story not being that great, the gameplay was challenging. Some of the puzzles were tough! The hidden object scenes, however, were short, providing 12 items at best to search for. The game was also generally short and ended on some weird “to be continued” cliffhanger.

I can honestly say Royal House of Stone can be overlooked; there are much better games out there with much better stories.

Echoes of the Past: Royal House of Stone
Developer: Orneon
Released: 2009

 

[Review] Penny Dreadfuls: Sweeney Todd (PC)

In my last gaming review, I looked at Mystery Legends: Sleepy Hollow, a game whose legend was a bit obscure for me. In this review, I am even less familiar with Sweeney Todd, the story of a serial killer barber who kills his victims and gives the local baker the bodies to make meat pies from (wow, Jeffrey Dahmer much?). Okay, I didn’t completely miss the boat on Sweeney Todd – I tried watching the Johnny Depp film and got through a whole 20 minutes of that shit. Luckily, the game turned out a lot better.

First, let’s speak of the title because it’s just asking for critique: Penny Dreadfuls. When I first saw that title, I thought it referred to a character’s name in the story, or else this was going to be a pretty damn good omen. Actually, the term refers to cheap pulp fiction rags sold for a penny in Victorian times. Often the stories were salacious or scary and attracted mostly a teenage audience. You can thank wikipedia for the history lesson…

The Good: Great visuals, easy gameplay, wild story.

The bad: Sweeney Todd with a razor…and apparently, jazz hands!

The Sweeney Todd game is a bona fide hidden object game that changes venue several times, which keeps the game interesting. There is a map that allows one to click on a locale to go to that locale. The game is gorgeous and atmospheric. The hidden object scenes themselves are quite easy. Along the way, you collect items that will allow you to solve a puzzle. The chapters are timed, and reveal how many times you hit the hint button or skipped a puzzle, and would grade your performance accordingly. Your “report card” comes at the end of each chapter.

One cheesy thing: at the beginning of each chapter, there is a cut scene with very bad singing. I don’t know if it was taking segments from Sweeney Todd, the Broadway Musical…but if I were to take Broadway as the canon, this version of Sweeney Todd would not even come close to off-Broadway six times removed’s back alley hobos sitting around the trash fire singing over a 24 of beer. Whew, the singing was awful!

Show tunes aside, the Sweeney Todd game was quite enjoyable as far as hidden object games go.

Penny Dreadfuls: Sweeney Todd
Developer: Play Pond
Released: 2011

[Review] Dark Dimensions: City of Fog (PC)

The legend of Dark Dimensions…a space between the living and dead. Where the light has been snuffed out, like the wind has blown the flame out of a candle. All that is left is the smokey semblance of what was. Silvertown, ME has been living in a dark dimension for a over a century. A fog has descended, and the townfolk have all disappeared. What is left are the ghosts and demons of those people, roaming around the town.

You have your own story: as a child, your family died in a car accident. Ever since, you are obsessed with the supernatural and dark dimensions, and have always wanted to bear witness to one with the hope that you will be able to see your family again. Your chance to experience it comes one day when a mysterious letter appears on your desk at work that talks about dark dimensions in the town of Silvertown, ME. You hastily quit your job to pursue it. You pack up your CRV and enroute, somehow crash it at the gates of Silvertown, ME – was it your bad driving? The weather? Or the demon souls in Big Fish Games’ hidden object game, Dark Dimensions: City of Fog? Let’s find out…

The good: Great vivid graphics, uncomplicated hidden object scenes and eerie music that startles. Complex labyrinth of many rooms, locations and pathways to explore.

The bad: Clichéed plot devices. The map is useless. And [where’s my slingshot?] that caw caw cawing crow…

To start, let’s acknowledge the plot is a little hoo-ish. When you crash your car, a guide book “mysteriously” appears in your car that tells a more scientific explanation for dark dimensions:

“Researchers have theorized that 30% of earth made up of dark matter particles, invisible to naked eye. Origins of dark particles [has to do with] super-symmetry equations and dark-dimensional theories, [which is] also said to be cause of newly discovered Dark Dimensions located throughout the world. One place is Silvertown, ME. The town disappeared a century ago. According to gravitational readings, conditions will mirror those existing when the city was swallowed by a thick fog.”

I am not sure what any of that means, except it’s fancy-speak for “you are traipsing around an abandoned town in fog.” Really, THAT’S IT. But, forget that. The game is fun.

City of Fog is gorgeous: every single scene is meticulously done, and nothing appears unfinished. It actually made you feel like you were searching in a cold dark place. The developers obviously worked hard on every aspect. The gameplay is smooth and I experienced no glitches while playing. City of Fog is fulsome with many areas to explore and search – at least 30 separate areas by my estimation. This is not a traditional linear game, so you were permitted to go around and search where you want provided you have the right tools to access them. The hidden object scenes were easy and there is also an interesting mix of other puzzles to play. And the music…eerie and startling at times.

As with many hidden object games, there were also clichéed plot devices in City of Fog: Misty fall weather, a train station, a repetitive cawing crow that wouldn’t quit and ritual sacrifice involving burning sage. If there are any ghosts, you can bet there will be some ritual herbs to be found or some candles to be lit. I don’t consider this a problem so much as not unique. At least the developers created a great distraction (or attraction) to hide this tired rehashing.

My main complaint with City of Fog has to do with the map. With such an elaborate game with so many locations, why wouldn’t they include a half decent map??  The game provides a lame-o guide that looks like it was hand-drawn from outer space…it shows locations from the top of a skyscraper…but going into rooms and alleyways, you need a closer perspective here. I had a walkthrough on stand-by as I was nearing the end of the game, because I could remember the room an object was in…I just couldn’t recall HOW TO GET TO IT…

Overall, Dark Dimensions: City of Fog is one of the better hidden object games I have played, and highly recommend it!

Dark Dimensions: City of Fog
Developers: Daily Magic Productions
Released: 2011

[Review] Living Legends – Frozen Beauty (PC)

Summertime!

Hot humid days (or is that daze?) are upon us. What better way to cool off but to play an adventure game set in Winter? I’m half kidding – go, and be outside among the warmth while you still can. I live in Canada, so the hot days are too few. But, if in the evenings you are searching for a decent casual game to play, let me say that Living Legends: Frozen Beauty, is THE ONE adventure game you do not want to pass on this summer. I played this on PC, and couldn’t help but remark at how intricate a game it is. Plenty of puzzles, a long game play and an even impressive and fulfilling bonus chapter are some of the reasons I really enjoyed this game.

Frozen Beauty‘s story is a take on the classic Snow White tale. There is a queen who has chosen one girl – your sister – to become her successor. Everything is all sunshine and roses, until the queen takes her prisoner and it’s up to you to save her. It’s a simple story, but one that lends itself to some flexibility and creativity when trying to create an adventure / hidden object game.

Frozen Beauty looks great, and has challenging and varied puzzles that include hidden object, but not exclusively such, and they seem to get increasingly more difficult as the story progresses. It is also the type of game where there is a labyrinth of scenes, rooms and places to explore, so you can get lost. The animation and voiceovers of Frozen Beauty were well-produced, and the game had a serene score that gets inside your head. The story is long; it took me over 5 hours of game play, not including the bonus scene which I clocked in at over 1 hour and a half, so you get your money’s worth. The developers, Friends 4 Games, also created Living Legends: Ice Rose last year. I haven’t played that game, so I can’t speak to its greatness, but it may give you some idea what you would be in for with Living Legends: Frozen Beauty.

So have your lemonade under that shady tree. Enjoy working in your garden. Sweat like crazy while going for a run in the heat. But make sure you find time to play Living Legends: Frozen Beauty. It’s the Casual Gaming Sleeper of the Summer! Happy Gaming!

Living Legends: Frozen Beauty
Developer: Friends 4 Games / Publisher: Big Fish Games
Released: June 2013

Credits: 1. h33t.com

 

[Review] The Passenger (Android)

I’m starting to think these games for the Android Tablet in the Google Play store are like a book written by Joyce Carol Oates. I watch the trailer (or read the dust jacket as it goes) and am immediately drawn into the game. I put money down, and start to play, only to be disappointed by its execution. This is exactly what I’ve ever gotten out of an Oates novel (no offence to Ms. Oates and fans who like her novels – I love the synopses she weaves on the dust jackets, but end up not liking her actual books). I wonder what attracted me to the game in the first place, but stronger still, I am left feeling like I got suckered.

This is the case with my latest choice, The Passenger, an Android game I played on my Asus eeePad Transformer the other night. What drew me to the game was the beautifully hand-drawn graphics, and the potential for a decent story. But unfortunately, my love for the graphics of this game is where the affair ends.

The Passenger is a dude in a trench coat who, when we first see him, appears to be in the midst of some sort of domestic issue with his family and he is kicked out of his home, forced to ride trains endlessly. Then, like a hobo, he proceeds to hop off trains at certain points where he goes searching aimlessly for stupid stuff and is forced to solve an endless array of dumb puzzles.The dude is a little figure on screen that you give direction to by pressing your finger a few inches ahead of him to make him move. That’s okay, except the little figure moves slower than molasses. So if you get clues on how to solve a puzzle in one scene, but solve the actual puzzle in another, you have to leave that scene, and have your little dude walk…back…three…screens…to get your clue, then have him walk…back to the actual puzzle to solve it. This eats up time and gets on your nerves.

*poke poke poke* I said left, dammit!!

The Passenger, overall, is frustrating – instructions on how to play are given at the start of the game, but as you play, there is no direction on how  you are supposed to go about solving these puzzles. No hidden object scenes, only hunt and peck around the screen where you pick up a shovel…some matches…You are not sure what the point of this story is, and never learn, as this game is easily only 30 minutes long, and then it ends. There is supposed to be a part 2 to the Passenger, but I am not invested in this dude and his story enough, so I doubt I will be buying. $0.99 from the Google Play store was enough of a loss for part 1. My advice – stear clear of this one.

The Passenger
Developer: Loading Home
Released: 2013 (so sez the Google Play store)

Photo credits: 1. Androidgamesroom.com / 2. androidmarket

[Review] The Sanctuary (Android)

Man, there is a ton of crap in the Google Play store. Sometimes you find some golden free finds, but mostly there is a lot of crap. Finding a decent hidden object game on there is like a needle in a haystack. Unfortunately, I have no good news for anyone who decides to download Jarbull’s hidden object game, The Sanctuary, free to download in the Google Play store for android phone and tablet. I know, “what do you want for free?”…I am just glad I didn’t pay a red cent for it, because on preview, the game looks great.

You play John, a man who, while driving in a rain storm, runs into a dark silhouette standing in the middle of the road. He crashes his car, and next thing he knows, he wakes up locked in a dank room. He is then tasked with finding his way out of a labyrinth of locked rooms to find answers to whom this dark silhouette was.

This was the shortest game I have ever played. It took me 20 minutes to finish it on my Asus eeePad Transformer, which must be some kind of record for me. The game was a hunt and peck type of game with hidden object and timed puzzles, which mostly centre around you trying to locate a key to unlock a door. The hidden object games were extremely simplistic. An interesting side part had to do with picking up a shovel, and think to yourself what a good idea it would be to dig up someone’s grave (?!!) to locate a key. At any rate, the game moves so fast, the next thing you know it’s all over.

The one thing that made me want to play the Sanctuary was how great it looked. Some scenes appear to be made with pastels and watercolours. Truly desktop worthy!

Screenshot_2013-06-29-12-04-23   Screenshot_2013-06-29-12-03-28

The game did not play well on my Android tablet. Poking my finger around the scenes made the graphics jump around. That aside, really the worst of it was when the voiceover speaks that you feel like the Sanctuary is seriously taking the piss. I mean, telling me I have to find a key over and over with a voice that sounds like it was run through text-to-speech software made me think, “too bad…” Then, there were the spelling errors within the game that made me suspect the developers of the game actually don’t speak English as a first language.

Telling people to pass up a game that’s free is sometimes like eating bad pizza (even when it’s bad, it’s still good), but truly, I cannot recommend the Sanctuary for Android. It really isn’t great.

The Sanctuary
Developer: Jarbull
Released: Not sure, but could have been 2012

Photo credits: 1. Google Play / 2. Personal Screenshot