Tag Archives: puzzle

Haven Review: Seasons After Fall

Seasons After fall, in the most simplistic of ways it is a beautifully orchestrated game, from the majesty of its art-work to the very core elements of its game-play. There was another game I reviewed a while back called Ori and the Blind Forest and this game is most definitely on the same level of greatness as something produced by Microsoft Studios.

You play a seed, or you are often referred to as a Seed not really sure in this aspect because at a junction the story presents a narrative that argues this point. But anyways, once you arrive you are told to visit four different Sanctuary’s and meet each Guardian as you progress through each stage. The game involves basic puzzle solving, combined with stunning artwork, soothing melodies, platform gaming and lastly simply perfect narrative.

It is a fairly simple game and I finished it with a hundred percent completion in nearly eight hours being generous with time as well. But just because its simple doesn’t mean it is any less enjoyable, the game orchestrates itself in a manner that is both enticing and provocative to keep the players entertained. If you are a young gamer and you don’t want to expose them to more violent games, or any game that in general has violence in it. Than this would be the ideal game for you and your kids.

As the game has no enemies to combat and it relies heavily on its story telling capabilities and stunning artwork. However I will say this, for younger people the puzzles will in general keep the children occupied as they try to solve them. I found a few someone challenging myself which is why it took me eight hours to complete the game instead of finishing it quicker.

But I do have to note at times the controller felt very ridged and not my controller by the actual character controls itself. If you do not maintain momentum as you play through the game the character becomes a bit more listless and sluggish making solving puzzles that require jumping a bit harder.

I also encountered a bug in the game during its second phase, I guess you could call it that triggered my vibration settings on the controller and never shut them down. So now I got a glorified neck massager to help me stay at ease. Although this can be a bit tedious in general if you just enjoy having it vibrate when you jump or fall.

The only real solution to this problem is that you can turn it off in the settings menu but it completely turns the function off, if you turn it back on it will just continue vibrating regardless and not stop at all.

The game overall though is very solid, with stages that change for each segment you complete, a amazing mechanic to control the seasons to help solve puzzles like the Legend of Zelda Oracle of Seasons, and a beautiful and artistic world that feels as if it was painted onto my screen for me to enjoy.

Despite the game being really short, I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to play a very relaxing game. Seasons after Fall is more about the experience rather than the challenge and I’ve found it very fulfilling both as a game and as an art piece.

-Daniel Clatworthy

Haven Review: Mysterious castle

     Mysterious Castle is an “escape the room” game, where players are given a room to hunt down different keys and components to unlock a door and exit. Essentially it’s a glorified Eye Spy game. You must click on various things in the room, such as pictures and pillows to uncover the way to open the door. Mysterious Castle isn’t even a descent one of these.

With it’s poor interface, buggy mechanics, and lousy graphics everything is just kinda lost. You can try and parse through the puzzles and click on the things you think will contain keys, but that is definitely not the most efficient way to accomplish things. Where exactly you need to click on things to access them is so finicky, You could either waste a ton of time clicking on something and it doing absolutely nothing, or clicking somewhere completely different trying to access another part of the room and end up in the place you were trying to get to earlier. It’s best to randomly click until you’ve solved the level. The sound design of the game may be even worse than the game design.

Every time you click on anything it makes this really irritating pinging noise. Given you have to click on a lot of things this becomes a constant to the game. After the first minute of playing I was forced to completely turn the sound off. Occasionally, and by that I mean rarely the game will try to do point-and-click adventure style puzzles, but these never consist of anything more than Combine hammer head with hammer stick to create hammer. It’s almost insulting to call anything this game has a puzzle.

On top of that this game reuses the same puzzles again and again. Every room, has a number lock in it. Part of solving the lock is to locate all the numbers. It gets so repetitive having to remember all the numbers scattered around the room and input them into the shitty lock, time after time. Once instead of (or possibly in addition to) numbers they use card symbols. So I thought the game was going to mix up what I had to input and make it more and more interesting. But, no such luck. They immediately drop that idea and return to the numbers.

Luckily this game is pretty short. There are only ten levels to complete. Well, only nine for me. The ninth level consists of two puzzles.

One where you flip tiles around to create a picture and the other a picture of a rainbow and a bunch of scrabble tiles. You needed to spell out a word or something that had to do with rainbows. However, Every time I tried to put something in the scrabble pieces would either get stuck in their slot and not come out. Regardless of what piece I put into a slot they’d get stuck.

Clicking on them caused them to turn a funny angle and glitch through the slot they were in. The other thing that would happen is that a slot would become unavailable. No matter what I did, I wasn’t able to put anything into a particular slot, forcing the puzzle to become unsolvable. I determined that this was a fitting end to this game and decided to quit.

MC

Haven Reviews: Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

20161209144753_1      Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

The true purpose of any masked murderer, is to flip out and kill people. Mostly by hiding in the shadows and deploying fiendish traps and distractions. While impaling unassuming guards with icicles, as they ponder about who’s footprints are these? It’s truly wicked world of samurai, corpse devouring bushes and a whole lot of gunpowder.

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Shadow Tactics is seen from a birds eye view, where I control a team of heroes with special abilities. Each brings a different tool and challenge to the board and they are all equally important to utilize. Since controlling two characters at once is a tricky business, one can be assigned an order. I can execute while controlling another person. Such as setting one up to throw a noisy rock at a guard and as he look away the other guy will rip him a new one. Since dead enemies can be discovered, ti is totally possible to depose of them in a myriad of ways. Such as into bushes and off cliffs. When the alarm trigger a swarm of alerted folks comes running from various doors to investigate. The plot is fairly decent, with some colorful heroes. They are fun and quirky, but over all they’re a bit stereotypical. If you look away from the way the youngest member talk. She has some really fun and disturbing lines. Especially when dropping lethal things on unassuming victims.

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When using a game pad, the A button does it all, well almost and is very finicky when multiple things are too close. Such as torches, bodies, doors and grappling points. The same struggle can happen if two corners are too close as I try to descend from the roof. Plus some enemies are virtually impossible to quick tag with the vision cone.

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Repeating dialogue. Some NPC keep repeating lines during the run of a level. This gets very old very quick. Especially the first time around, since I take a long time to complete the levels. I would really appreciate a way to turn off or down the volume of in-game NPC’s. Luckily everyone can be killed. It’s a true sign of patience to let them live. Especially that drunk man in town.

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This game is hard and that’s just on normal. On The highest difficulty the game is just mean. Luckily there are medals and steam achievements to unlock for the completionist. It will only take several playthrough of each level to do so. One thing is for certain, doing it all is a challenge all on it’s own.

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Enemies are as expected. They will fall for the same trap over and over again. Place a spring loaded floortrap, blow the whistle and watch the guard get Impaled. Naturally this usually causes panic, where the ignorant fools will comb the bushes. Only to find nothing, and return to their guard duties. With some reinforcements and replacements. There is a price to trigger the alarm after all.

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The music is quite melodic and is very fitting. A bit forgettable, filled with traditional Japanese instruments and a lot of modern sounds. It’s not bad at all. It’s there and it works. The voice-overs are quite good and can actually be set to fully Japanese, which is quite fitting for the era Shadow Tactics takes place. One thing I found very terrible though, it’s the sound of snoring guards. It’s too loud compared to anything else I’ve encountered.

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Due to the difficulty and style of gameplay, Shadow Tactics is not a game everyone can enjoy. However I still highly recommend it for anyone whom like a good stealth game. I can’t stop myself from wanting to play more. Also there are blood and decapitations within the game. There is also a demo of the game.

shadowtactics

 

Disclaimer:  We received this game for review purposes only. As such, all views in this article are our own. No money has been exchanged for this.

Njål Sand