Average User Score: 8.1Feb 5, 2014Broken Age act I is the first half of a point-and-click adventure game. Overall I really liked this game. It has some of the best storytelling I have seen in a video game of any genre. It also has fantastic art and voice acting. The music and sounds also are very impressive. The overall production values of the game are top notch. The only drawback for me was the difficulty level. It was a little too easy, especially the Shay half of the game. This may be partly because I have played a lot of adventure games, so I have come to expect a certain difficulty level. I think this is a good adventure game for experienced player, and an excellent game for players who are new to the point-and-click adventure genre.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.6Jan 12, 2014Dreamfall: TLJ is a 3-d third-person point and click adventure game. The game is a sequel to a classic adventure game released in 1998 called The Longest Journey. It is not necessary to play the original TLJ to play Dreamfall, but it helps a lot, since the game universe and many characters are the same. The game is very heavy on story, dialogue, and cinematics, and light on puzzles and gameplay.
Story: the story is both the best and the worst I have ever seen in an adventure game. In the last two years I have completed 12 adventure games including old classics and modern indies. Dreamfall has a very complex and compelling story involving several interesting characters, political movements, and the complex game universe. It includes elements of comedy, drama, and tragedy. The story really gathers steam toward the end, resolving one storyline while introducing several more. Then, in the middle of the gathering drama and revelations, the game suddenly ends with no resolution to the fate of a dozen major characters and a dozen major plotlines. This is perhaps the most unsatisfying ending I have ever seen in a game, movie, book etc. Even if they did plan on a sequel, this was just plain terrible. I know a lot of people hated The Empire Strikes Back because of the unresolved plotlines. This is 100x worse.
Gameplay: there are a few puzzles that require some thought, but overall the mental challenge of this game is on the light side for an adventure game. It is a little unfair to say that this is just an interactive movie, there are some clever puzzles. Unfortunately there are many times you are just sent on a mission to fetch a particular item and bring it to a particular place. The purpose of these brainless missions is to trigger cutscenes that move the story along. A lot of the action takes place in small rooms and tunnels. This means the camera that follows you has to zoom in and out a lot. I suppose this is a problem with any 3-d third-person game, but it can make you a bit dizzy. The interface was tweaked to be more "console friendly". This makes it a little more clunky for the PC, but not terrible.
Fighting and stealth: the developers added a few fights and a few stealth sequences in the game. The fighting is flat out a waste of time. Just stand in front of your enemy and smash the mouse button and you win. Either that, or the enemy is so tough you always lose. The stealth sequences were much better, although they did not really fit in an adventure game. I like to play adventure games leisurely, with one hand on the mouse and the other hand holding a cup of coffee. I don't want action.
Graphics: the graphics are dated by 2013 standards, but they are nice, especially the Dreamcore sequence. The close-up shots of faces look the worst. Lots of cutscenes, some of which are pretty cool.
Sound: there seems to be a lot of interesting music and sounds, much better than the typical adventure game.
Overall, from the quality of the story, to the quality of the sound and graphics, to the overall scope of the game, this had the potential to be EASILY the best adventure game of all time. Unfortunately the game was crippled by bizarre decisions by the developers: the mega-cliffhanger ending, the introduction of bad action elements, the clunky interface, the too-easy puzzles. What were they thinking?… Expand
Average User Score: 8.4Jan 1, 2014Gemini Rue is a point-and-click adventure game with a noire-ish science fiction theme (kind of like Blade Runner). This game was developed with Adventure Game Studio, so the graphics are extremely low resolution by any standard (320 x 200). In spite of this very low standard of graphics, the game plays very well. The point-and-click mechanics all work very well, you can interact with the environment, use inventory items, climb boxes and ladders, and engage in dialogs with characters. The main appeal of Gemini Rue is the sci-fi story. It is a very ambitious and dramatic story told without a hint of sarcasm. There are times when the story really pulls you in, which is the sign of a good story.
There are also times were the story falls flat, where you can tell that the writer is a very ambitious college student (Josh Nuernburger). For instance, Boryokudan means "violent gang" in Japanese, and is the official, boring name that Japanese police have given the Yakuza so they sound less romantic. It seems Mr. Nuernberger decided Japanese was cool and typed "mafia" into an online translator. The way this word is pronounced by the voice actors is also bad. "Boryokudan" is very difficult for an English speaker to say correctly, and the voice actors have merely pronounced the word as it is spelled, with no attempt at approximating the Japanese pronunciation.
The voice acting for the main characters is very good. Azriel (the main character) and the Director are excellent. For some of the lesser characters (the street vendor in particular) it seems that they just grabbed somebody off the street to read the lines.
There is some challenge to this game in terms of figuring out what is going on and what is the logical next action to take, so it is engaging without being too difficult. There are a few puzzles in the game but none that I got stuck on. There were two instances where I got stuck and consulted a walkthrough, but this won't be necessary for most people (I tend to get impatient). There are a few action sequences involving shooting which are very easy.
Overall I would say this is an excellent game for people who like point-and-click adventures and sci-fi stories. While very enjoyable, tt is not a perfect game and the graphics and production can seem a little amateurish at times.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.7Dec 26, 2013Braid is a 2-D puzzle platform game where time control is the key game mechanic. There are a few places where quick reflexes are required, but for the most part solving the puzzles just requires figuring out the right sequence of actions. Most of the puzzles are intuitive yet difficult and require a lot of thought to solve. A few puzzles were so difficult that I had to consult a video walkthrough. The goal of the game is to collect puzzle pieces, and then assemble the puzzle on a canvas. The puzzles are artsy-fartsty paintings which are pretty decent, and it is trivial yet fun to put the puzzle together. There are also books in the game that contain pieces of a story. Just like the paintings, the developer is trying to get artsy-fartsy with this story as well. For me the story was too disjointed and "out there" for me, but this does not really detract from the game. The art and music for the game are very good. I played this game with a game controller on my PC, it is probably a bit harder to play in on a keyboard. Overall it is an excellent game that I can strongly recommend. If you like this game, you might like these 2-d puzzle games: Limbo, Vessel, The Swapper. You might also try 3-d puzzle games Portal, Portal 2, and Antichamber.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Dec 3, 2013Fly'n is a 2-D platform action game. For me, it was VERY difficult. A lot of the moves required very precise motions of the analog stick and very precise timing on multiple buttons, often at the same time. I am not as young as I once was, and I am afraid that my reflexes are no longer fast enough for a game like this. For the parts that I was able to complete (the first half of the game) it was a lot of fun. The art is great, the sounds are cool, and your character is very cute. The game is fast paced and fun for the most part, my thumbs were sore after playing for a while on my controller. If you are young and have fast reflexes, this game would be a treat for people who like fast paced platform action games. If you lack mongoose-like reflexes, you may get frustrated.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Nov 16, 2013The swapper is a very good 2-d puzzle platform game. It has art created from photographs of clay sculptures, so it has a claymation look to it. The puzzles revolve around making clones of yourself and swapping yourself with them. The puzzles start easy and get harder and harder. There is a science fiction story that develops as you progress in the game. The story was ok, kind of inspired by "2001" although a bit hokey at times. Some of the story is relayed to you by a narrator who is talking to you over a noisy radio. This means that it can be hard to understand the narrator, so in retrospect it would have been better to turn the subtitles on so I could understand the narrator. I am not a great puzzle-solver, so it took me a long time to solve some of the puzzles, and one puzzle I had to read a walkthrough to solve. My overall playing time was 11 hours, which includes at least two hours spent stuck on a few puzzles. This is decent playing time for an indie title and a very good deal for what I paid for. I would say this game is excellent but falls a little short of my all-time favorite puzzle-platfrom game Vessel. Some of the puzzle solving involved a lot of trial and error in addition to pure deduction. It took me a while to figure out that the right button does not stop the game, it just slows it down a lot. All it all I can strongly recommend this game.… Expand
Average User Score: 7.2Nov 8, 2013Critter Chronicles is a point and click adventure game with a comedy theme. Most of the puzzles are inventory based, with a few minigames thrown in. None of the puzzles are too hard, although I did get stuck once on a minigame and had to consult a walkthrough. About half of the game was completed by my nine-year-old with a little help. I think this is a great game to play with your kids, they love the sophomoric humor. Some of the jokes are laugh-out-loud funny. Overall I thought this game was a little more polished and clever than the first one. I definitely recommend playing BoUT first before playing this game, since the story makes more sense this way. Overall the game was very entertaining for the story and the comedy, the puzzles keep you busy but are not all that challenging.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.0Nov 3, 2013Limbo is a 2-d puzzle game with a horror theme. It has appeal from both artistic and game play aspects, but it is definitely NOT suitable for children. The look of the game is very stylized. The colors are black and white, with a dream-like presentation. Foreground objects are out-of-focus, giving a 3-d feel to the game. There are spooky atmospheric sounds, and some sounds that are cues to solve puzzles. The character you control is little boy who is completely in silhouette, with two shining dots to show his eyes when he is still alive. The controls are surprisingly simple, move is the analog stick, X is interact, A is jump. The actions your character takes depend on the context, if you jump toward a rope or chain, you grab it. It you jump toward a ledge, you grab the ledge and then up on the analog stick makes you climb up. From these simple mechanics come some very clever puzzles. Compared to Vessel, which has very complicated actions that use many buttons and both analog sticks, it is a credit to the developer that the puzzles were so good with such a simple control scheme. The game mechanics are not explained in-game. If you are patient, you can figure them all out yourself. I am not quite so patient so I consulted the walk-through a few times to figure some of these out. With a game of this difficulty, I think there is no shame to consult a walk-through once in a while if you get really stuck. Of course, there is satisfaction in solving a really devilish puzzle. I took at least an hour to solve a puzzle involving crates, a ramp, and an anti-gravity field. When I finally solved it there was a YES! moment.
The horror theme of the game will be a big plus or a big minus depending on your taste. The puzzles are very hard, and take many unsuccessful tries before success. Usually an unsuccessful try means death. The character you control has realistic 2d rag-doll physics including simulated black-and-white gore, and many of the puzzles involve spikes, giant spinning saw blades, spider-like monster that can impale with their legs, etc. Considering that your character is always in black-and-white silhouette, it is surprisingly shocking when your little guy gets chewed up by a sawblade or impaled on a spike or squashed to jelly in a giant piston. For me this created a spooky and tense atmosphere that added to your motivation to solve the puzzle and avoid gory death. Once in a while it was a little too much and I had to look away during the obligatory death before the restart. Of course, if you are a fan of 3-d survival horror games and horror films, this game will be tame and charming by comparison. I would say that if you were grossed out by quasi-horror films like The Shining or Alien then Limbo will be too much for you. For everyone else, I would say this is an excellent game, perhaps the best 2-d puzzle platform game ever made.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.2Oct 10, 2013Antichamber is a very good puzzle game, which uses the first-person perspective like a lot of shooter games. It is very ground-breaking in the sense that a lot of the game mechanics are completely new. So as far as originality is concerned, Antichamber scores big. Unfortunately, the actually game playing experience does not quite live up to the originality of the design. The puzzles all involve progress from one room to another. There is no storyline to speak of other than "inspirational posters" that you encounter at each puzzle. For me the satisfaction of solving the puzzles would have been greater if there was an overall story. Also, it would have been better if some of the puzzles had been of a type where you do more than just figure out how to move from point A to point B. There are a few cases where it is hard to tell if you have really solved the puzzle. If there had been a kind of running score, or a little "happy music" when you solved a puzzle, this would have enhanced the game experience. There is no tutorial at all as to the rules and mechanics of the game, you figure this all out during the game. In some cases this makes the game more fun, since figuring out the game mechanics is part of the puzzle. In other cases, it is just plain frustrating, since there is a lot of trial and error to figure out how the game works. One big problem is the color coding system. There are parts of the game that you will encounter early on that are impossible to solve before you progress in other areas. You can waste a lot of time and become very frustrated before you figure this out. I still think this is a very good game and well worth your money. I would recommend starting with a strategy guide that explains the basics of the game mechanics and the color coding system, and how to use the map in the starting area. Don't spend too much time in any one puzzle, use the esc key to go back to the starting area and choose a new puzzle (color appropriate) before spending too much time on any one puzzle.… Expand
Average User Score: 8.8Sep 29, 2013(This review is for the single player game only) For those not familiar, Portal and Portal II are puzzle games that use the same viewpoint and controls of a first-person-shooter. Not quite as groundbreaking as the first Portal, but miles ahead in terms of graphics and gameplay. A bunch of new gameplay mechanics were added, and the mood and graphics were enhanced compared to the first Portal. The game seemed longer, and the humor was great. The comic relief character Wheatley played by Stephen Merchant was excellent. There are parts of the game that are very dark and foreboding, parts that are ridiculous and zany, and parts that are just plain weird. This is a must-play game for anyone that likes puzzles, a true classic game.… Expand