Haunted Legends: The Queen of Spades
An OK Start - A Guy's Review
*review based on completing the full game in expert mode*
This is the first game of the Haunted Legends series that by the time of this review just released the third installment. In many ways it is good, but compared to today's standards it is nothing more than OK.
Everything in this game is hand drawn in quite a quirky and strangely beautiful way. But on my rather large monitor it seems rather pixelated which means it is not of particularly high resolution. Most of the locations are also rather dark, and I feel a bit more color and light would have done this game good. The little animation there is in this game is also OK.
The storyline seemed similar to something I have played before. I did not research what came out first, but either way the novelty of it automatically disappears. Very little story is told through the game though, and mostly progresses through with help of small notes and through the journal. There is little or nothing to make you get to know any of the characters and what the motivation for the "investigation" is. Supposedly you're supposed to locate and save a police inspector, but I can't say I ever did see him again. I think they somewhat lost their focus on the story and forgot something to tie it all together in the end. Either that or the conclusion only exists in the CE version of the game.
The game feels a bit clunky to play as well. Movement through scenes are sometimes more difficult than they should be and certain scenes that you have to pass through several times has some slow going animations to make the traveling even slower. There is quite a bit moving back and forth through the world without really knowing what to do next. Usually I am OK with that, but I miss having some sort of guidance at least to point me in the right direction. The hint function does not work outside the HO scenes either, so there is no help there. Neither is there a map. It all seems a bit clumsy and clunky.
There are quite a few adventure elements of picking up here and use there, but sometimes these are a bit clunky again. You can notice a few places where you have to use items in a sequence to make it work, and if you try putting anything out of the right sequence it won't let you. Sometimes that made no sense at all. Why can I not tie a hook to a rope until I have tied the rope to a door pin? When I clicked at the rope it told me that I should tie a hook to it. That was just frustrating. I figured it out, but still, clumsy and clunky. Some places you could interact with were hard to notice too, but most adventure and HO fans are thorough when they go from scene to scene and will find them.
You'll also come across a few puzzles on the way. Nothing too fancy, and several usual ones. Seemed most were variants of sliders. My least favorite kind of puzzle, but we all have different tastes. It does offer other types of puzzles as well, so there are variations. I'd call most of them easy to mediocre difficulty. Not much of a challenge to seasoned players.
Most of all there are HO scenes. Lots of them, and you have to do them all twice. They are hand drawn, so at times it is hard to identify certain items. Most of the scenes are also darkish/greyish which can be challenging on the eyes and patience. A few of them have mild interactive elements to them, but it is in no way marked which items on the list is, or in which scenes. Confusing to look for an object only to find out that it is hidden behind something else. I feel the interactive items should be marked someway so one understands that one has to do something to get to it. But that's just me. I noticed a couple of items being a bit off to. Clicking on one object led to nothing and I could not find anything else in the scene. I used the hint function and it pointed me to the object I had tried from the very beginning. I clicked it again and nothing happened. Clicking around a bit in frustration I finally got the item by clicking all the way to the one side of it. A couple of other items you had to be very exact. I also once had to find a "bug". A lady bug was sitting in the middle of the screen, but apparently that was not considered a bug here. That is a bit lazy IMO. There were also a few translation issues, or at least some strange names on certain objects. None of these flaws were game breaking in any way, and easy to get around, but it adds to the frustration and also the opinion one gets of the game.
You can play this game in two difficulty modes.
-Quick recharge of hint/skip function
-Active zones and objects sparkles
-Slow recharge of hint/skip function
-No sparkles except on HO scenes
The game seemed rather easy to me, so if you are looking for any kind of challenge, make sure to choose expert mode.
*BEWARE: SLIGHT SPOILER*
You collect a complete deck of cards through the course of the game, and it seemed they were for a slot at the very beginning. Yet, entering the final scene where you "card battle" against SG (the bad "guy") finishes the game and you have no chance to return to that slot. I wasn't gonna play through the game again just to find out what that does, so be sure to do that before entering the last room.
All in all it is an OK game, but nothing more. I feel it is a game worth playing, but it is not going to be memorable. It could be a great game for beginners to the genre. For the more seasoned ones it offers little. It could be OK if you need something to kill some time. Look for it as a DD or other type of discount.
For the guys:
I did not notice any gender bias in this game. Should suit both genders.
November 26, 2012
This HOG was okay, but it was rather annoying to me. I've played other HOG's where you have to go back to the same place more than once, but this one was ridiculous!!! There was no sense of direction at all and got old rather quickly going back and forth so many times.
Everything else in the game was alright, but it could have been outlined better. You may want to purchase the demo first before purchasing this one for this reason.
September 2, 2012
Frustrating, exhausting, gruesome
This isn't a BAD game, but it's tiresome to constantly wander back and forth through scene after scene, hoping to spot some sparkles or new information. I've resorted to keeping the Big Fish Walkthrough at hand and consulting it frequently, which I hate to do. I love a graphic, grim tale, but this one is filled with dead, mutilated bodies which one has to walk past again and again and again. I really don't like the fact that the many scribbled notes one must collect throughout are copied to the diary, but are also still on the scene and highlighted, as though there is something yet to be done there, while there is not! I guess the Collector's Edition offers gameplay hints and other benefits, but I'm not encouraged to spend any more on this game. Recommending it, but with reservations.
August 29, 2012
just a fun game to play
A perfect balance of hidden object and adventure. The second game "bronze horseman" is great also.
August 8, 2012
Fun game odd ending
I really did enjoy this game. It was quite long. The music and graphics are really good. The HOGs were interesting but at times quite dark with items being mere shadows. Not often enough to spoil the fun. The story is somewhat morbid. At times the storyline doesn't support the gruesome deaths. It takes awhile to figure out there is a reason for it all. The ending is somewhat weak and abrupt for all the effort expended getting there. I wouldn't recommend it for younger players.
Overall it was interesting and challenging and I wish I had purchased the collectors edition.
July 29, 2012
A nice game!
I played in expert mode.
- The storyline is interesting.
- The sound is good; the graphics clear.
- In the HOS, the objects are easy to find.
- The puzzles are easy.
- There is no map and a lot of walking back and forth.
It took me 2 1/2 hours to finish. I enjoyed every single minute!
June 26, 2012
Didn't quite like it
Haunted Legends: the Queen of Spades is another game from ERS and that means, similar graphic style and music can be expected. I am confused at the beginning of this game. Is there even a hint? I don't remember because I don't bother replaying this game. I hate the concept of having an evil dwarf running around, much like the dwarf robot in Puppet Show series. It's getting boring and if you wish to buy this game, I suggest you to try the demo first.
June 9, 2012
Best thing is the challenging HOS scenes
I use hint sparingly but found that I just couldn't find some objects in the HOS and had to hit the hint button. I love this kind of challenge. If you use expert mode the list of items isn't highlighted for the objects that need an action to find them so that makes for a fun twist in the HOS. I enjoyed the game at the end and found most of the puzzles could be done without brain strain.Near the end of the game they became more difficult.
This game took me a weekend of casual time to do. Enjoy
May 29, 2012
I really had a good time playing this game
This game was very well done. The graphics were great, the music was good, although I'm sure I've heard it before in other games. The gameplay was quite challenging, and I found myself resorting to the walkthrough more than once, but this didn't detract from the game at all - it just helped to put me on the right path. It was quite a long game, which I was happy about. It's definitely worth buying and playing, and the ending suggests that there will be a sequel, which I will look forward to seeing.
May 2, 2012
i like it about the little naughty man everybody scare of him and nobody get away not too bad worth for money i bought as a standard
April 18, 2012