Mystery Trackers: Raincliff Collector's Edition
I had high hopes for this game as I think based on the visual, sound and story, it is better than The Void. Less HOG on every scene unlike The Void, but I am now in the beginning of Chapter 5 and not sure whether I should continue.
First of all, it has good graphics with live actors and the story line sounds great, but this looks like MCF: Dire Grove with missing students, live actors, video, snowy scene, and it does not sound new to me.
What annoys me are these:
- way too many backtracking: picking one item to go 5 scenes backward, use it, then go again 5 scenes back.
- keeping an item that is to be used chapters away, and the way the item stored in the inventory is not based on the time when we pick them up, making it difficult to browse through the whole list.
- music is too over the top, and hearing it over and over is annoying, so I have to turn off the music.
Although in terms of game length, this is better than the Void, unfortunately that is the only factor that is attractive to me about this game.
April 19, 2012
A very solid HOG
I read the reviews of Raincliff and was impressed. I bought it. The game is well drawn with good HOS, a rather interesting plot (if impossible) and is thoroughly worth playing. I liked everything except the puzzles, which were largely those solved by rote, but skip charges quickly. The CE has hints which are very good, sometimes a bit too specific, but at least it gets you back on track in a game with lots of moving around. Occasionally I would either have lapses of memory or simply come to a dead end and really need the hint. The artwork was very good and the cut scenes were above average. I decided on a 4 rather than a 5 based on the amount of wandering back and forth that was necessary. There is a walkthrough that I needed only twice. I highly recommend the game to those who are not put off by a lot of back and forth. If you really hate the ?to and fro? you might want to avoid this game.
March 31, 2012
Two words: "GET IT!" - A Guy's Review
*review based on completing the full game in advanced mode + bonus chapter*
I started this one right after completing its predecessor (The Void) and expectations were rather high. Right at the beginning of the game I got quite worried as I came across something that was almost identical to the previous game (an HO scene that was the same scene and basically the same objects in mostly the same places), thinking the devs were just being lazy. Luckily I was wrong. Apart from the beginning there are several references to "The Void", but way more subtle.
The graphics was good in "The Void", but even better here. Everything is highly detailed, crisp and colorful. They have integrated real actors into the hand drawn back drops which actually seems to work quite well in this game. There is a few times it seems a bit out of place, but never a bother.
The story is both interesting and intriguing, and I found myself really wanting to figure out what was going on. I missed voice-overs to make it feel more alive, but the story is progressing in a clever way, delivering messages to you in creative ways.
The game play is what really has wowed me in this series so far. "The Void" had a lot of it and "Raincliff" has even more. For adventure fans like myself this game can actually rival full blown adventure game titles in locations to go to, things to interact with and items to find. I'm actually quite amazed. It is definitely one of the longest lasting games I've come across so far in the casual games scene. Tons of locations with several things to do in most of them.
The game hosts a wide variety of puzzles/mini-games to solve, and they vary from rather easy to quite hard. A wonderful mix in my eyes. Some are familiar ones, some new, most creative. I ended up having to twist my brains a couple of times, which for me adds to the fun and experience of the game. Well done.
There is also many HO scenes. All of them are crisp and clear, but they are creatively colored and makes it challenging to find all items fast. Some items are quite small and others are quite large. A lot of the typical things to find, some you need to find several of, but there is no interactivity to them (which I prefer). The best part with Mystery Trackers so far is that you only have to visit each HO scene once, so they always seem fresh. They are also partly thematic to where they are located, which I also find as a plus.
You can play the game in three difficulty modes:
Casual: Sparkles on items and zones you can interact with, quick recharge of hints/skip.
Advanced: No sparkles (except for HOS), slower recharge of hints/skip.
Hard: No hints, no skips and no sparkles.
I found the hint/skip recharge in advanced mode still a bit fast, and the hints were not hints but clear instructions on what to do next. I feel hints should point you in the right direction and be a bit vague, not a clear instruction. I did get stuck a couple of times and found myself having to resort to it 3 or 4 times.
Another thing. The difficulty level in the bonus chapter does not seem to be affected by what you chose for the main game. It was sparkling all over the place for me there.
Two things this game lacks is a journal and a map. There is a lot of back and forth going through the locations, many times long distances, to the extent that it becomes an annoyance eventually. I am used to adventure games, and I actually don't usually mind the typical back and forth, but towards the end of this game I got rather sick and tired of it. The game's "map" is extensive and especially further out in the game I started losing track of where things were. This game should have a map, and it should even be fast-travel possibilities. It could also use a journal to help you with sorting things out and remember things.
In the collector's edition you also collect frogs throughout the game as an extra, and there are several achievements to collect. This too adds to the enjoyment of the game for me. (I do not know if they also appear in the SE)
The bonus chapter is interesting too, but not very long and doesn't add much to the value, neither does the other extras. That being said, I think the main game alone warrants the CE. The work the devs have done with this series makes me just want to throw money at them.
This game is a MUST for all adventure fans, and most others too. One should not miss out on a game like this. There is room for improvement and I would rate it 4.5 if I could, but it is still among the best ones I've played so far at Big Fish. Recommended to everyone and their mom too!
For the guys:
You play as a genderless anonymous detective and there is no gender bias going on anywhere. The story should be compelling to all.
November 8, 2012
I played the entire game plus the bonus game and found it to be worth the extra money to buy the collector?s edition
The wallpapers were very nice as well as the concept art (which I love) but the bonus game was like the ending to the game that you don?t get with the standard edition
Hints both in Hidden object scenes and out
Brilliantly captivating story line
This is my favorite game on Big Fish
The Mystery Trackers games are very interesting.
July 30, 2012
Too much back tracking
Unlike other games in it's genre, when you moved onto another chapter, you still had to access old areas. That's not a major thing, but when I have to click upwards of 12 times, go back, then do a task, then click another 9 times to complete another task... I felt it was more of a time management game with all the clicking!
Also, there wasn't a map so sometimes I really had to pay attention to remember how to access certain areas (was it at that scene or the other scene to get there?!).
There are a lot of puzzles and I did enjoy that, however a lot of them you need to get an object to access and I got to one point when I would find a piece I really had to be like "where did I see that... dang". So it was a bit of a memory game in that aspect. Hm. Then again, I didn't exactly access the journal much either, so that may be my bad!
I did enjoy the game though, aside from the constant navigation through so many scenes. The graphics were good and a couple of times I did get spooked when something unexpected happened.. That RARELY ever happens to me. So I had to laugh about that.
But fun game overall. The usage of actors was well incorporated.
One aspect I really had fun with was finding all the frogs, and the hint button was adorable!!!
June 10, 2012
Awesome game! The graphics were sooooooo beautiful (loved the falling snow and scenery) and the music was good. There are achievements to accomplish (no hints used, 3 hidden object games played without hints, puzzles not skipped etc.), I was not able to earn all achievements which means I will have to replay in the future. You also collect frogs which can be found throughout the scenes and in some hidden object areas as well, if you collect at least 50 you earn an achievement. I thought the game was a bit challenging playing on advanced mode, there is a lot of back and forth, some of the puzzles I had to skip and I had to use the hints now and then as well. Good long game, good story, good bonus, this was an awesome game. Many thank you's.
March 7, 2012
A great game
I really enjoyed the previous Mystery Trackers game so went straight for the CE of Raincliff when it came out. But played it before we could write reviews so I thought I'd catch up now...
The plot is intriguing and makes you want to keep going. I liked the use of short film clips to help things along too. The graphics are excellent and the music is ok (this is praise from me as often I can't stand the music in HO games). I thought that the mini-games fitted in well to the plot development and the various puzzles were fun to play. There were also some twists and turns in the plot which were unexpected.
I like games where it takes a bit to figure out what you're supposed to do next and how to use the various objects you pick up and this certainly did that. The bonus chapter for the CE version was worth it too and I'd recommend it for that.
HO object scenes were appropriate for where they were and the atmosphere of the whole piece was good. I don't really think there was anything I didn't like about this game, it was slightly different from many and very enjoyable to play.
December 21, 2011
Good solid game: worth buying but I'm not marking it as "I want to do it again soon!"
This game had some easy and some difficult items to solve. I treasure a game that after completeing a puzzle I ask myself: "Will I be able to do that again?!" Mystery case files are the ones that do this to me. This game though aequately challenging did NOT make me a fear a rerun on the puzzles.
I play hard core when I can. This did not feel hard core but was more than enough to keep me intrigued. I had to play this game in windowed mode(it is the only one so far that wouldn't allow me to move through the game unless I was in windowed mode) Once I figured that out I was off and running.
I did turn the sound off on this one as most games annoy me with the sound that is just my preference for quiet when solving puzzles/HOS's. I gave a good rating to the visuals on this but cannot comment on the sound quality.
The story line was clear and known/well defined.
The HOS's were fun and took the right amount of time to do. They were by no means easy nor the most challenging.
In comparison I did enjoy Black ISLE (also mystery Tracker) more than this one by quite a bit. This is a long game even for an expert. I will play it again but not before I play some others.
April 29, 2012
Not my cup of tea
I'm pretty picky about graphics- and this one didn't meet my standards. The graphics were crisp and sharp- but each scene looked murky and dirty- and overfilled with junk. I felt as if I was going from one junk pile to the next, and I'm not talking about the HO scenes.
There was a lot of moving back and forth from scene to scene to find and place objects- I can deal with that if I'm moving through a beautiful environment, but this definitely wasn't it.
Also, there was not an interactive map. It is not a requirement for me, but would have been a positive element and helpful with the trekking.
One positive note- the game had quite a few mini-puzzles, some of which were different than the standard fare.
This was my first Mystery Trackers, and it will unfortunately be my last. I found the game to be so tedious- I didn't finish it; a first for me with a BFG.
July 7, 2012
An Amazingly Challenging Game
This game is superb. It has everything, an intriguing, mysterious story that makes sense, a great environment in which the story is played out, magnificent graphics and a Bonus Chapter which compliments the original game. I?m so pleased I bought the C/E.
I actually bought this game in May, started playing in Casual Mode and decided it was too easy, too many sparkles and too much hand holding, so I put it aside.
Last week I decided to try the game again (hence the late review). This time I chose Hard Mode. Oh Boy! this game is hard and I loved every minute of it, (all 720 of them).
Story Line, Great, unusual, intriguing 5 stars
Graphics, Exquisite 5 Stars
Bonus Chapter, Superb 5 Stars
Cut Scenes, Beautifully rendered 5 Stars
Characters, Well Developed 5 Stars.
Well done Elephant Games, Thanks BFG
December 7, 2011