The Secrets of Arcelia Island
Light on the HOG, heavy on adventure
The game is set on a mysterious, fantastic island and the artwork is beautiful and does an amazing job of conveying the wonder of the locations.
The storyline has many compelling elements: save your father, restore the island and deal with an evil villain. There are also interesting characters that you meet along the way, with pretty good dialogue (no voiceovers though). The journal entries are lengthy (perhaps TOO lengthy) but they do a good job of recording your journey and adding flavour to the game.
There are slightly fewer hidden object scenes than in a typical HOG, but it feels like much less because the word lists are very short, typically only 10-12 objects per scene. I felt that the adventure and puzzle elements were well-integrated. Nothing too challenging, but you do have to do a bit of thinking.
There is quite a bit of backtracking which is manageable as there aren't a huge number of locations in the game, but sometimes I found it hard to remember where I'd seen something that I could use a newly-found object on. Not a problem though as I could just use a hint. (The hint system is good, like an in-game strategy guide)
You can collect journal pages scattered throughout the island that you can put together like a jigsaw puzzle to reveal the story of what happened to the island. This is optional, but I love this type of thing. :)
Overall a pretty game with a good story and enjoyable gameplay, though not especially challenging.
August 11, 2012
Hidden Gem: Worth 4.5 stars (add in the extra half star for my review)
I somehow missed this game and while looking to spend a game coupon, recently came upon it. This game is a bit older so I am going to rate it as if it is a new release, to be as fair as possible considering I'm the one late to the party.
I am truly impressed with this game. It has regular hidden object scenes, not interactive ones; however, I am not docking any stars for this because again, it's release date was some time ago. I actually found it a refreshing change of pace from all of the newer games with interactive HOS.
I liked the challenge of finding the journal pieces scattered around the island. Some were quite difficult to spot so it added to the overall game challenge.
The game stayed fresh, as each 'portal' you enter takes you to a new environment to explore, and all of them are very unique. The graphics, especially for their time, are very well done, and while there are no voice-overs, I found that I didn't really miss them. The cut-scenes are great and the ambient sounds easily transport you into the game-the crashing of the surf, the sounds of birds and monkeys; it's all very well put-together.
The storyline itself is unique which is a refreshing change of pace. One of the most important elements in a game for me is the storyline, so I am impressed with how well the story is told and I really liked the detail and depth of the journal entries. While some may not like that much reading, I loved it-it really added to the story and gave many details that may otherwise have been lost. It was a nice break to pause and read the long journal entries as game-play progressed.
The characters you meet along the way are all incredibly interesting; each have their own quirky style. The dialogue with each character is amusing and adds even more to the enjoyment of the story.
I actually sat down and played this game in one sitting. As it is by no means a short game (an impressive 6-8 venture depending upon experience and speed) the length speaks to how involved in the game I was to play all the way through. Not many games have what it takes to hold my interest for that many hours at one time.
I really do hope that there is a sequel of some sort for this game; although I cannot imagine what sort of sequel that would be. The game does not end on a cliff-hanger; everything comes together at the end. But if the developers can think of a way to make a sequel for this, I would definitely buy it. I wish more developers put this much attention to detail and care into their games. With this gem of a game, the work that was put into this really shows, and as a gamer, it is MUCH appreciated.
April 17, 2013
Save a secret island from the treachery of a naughty witch by finding 4 cursed pearls. Oh yeah ? along the way, save your dad. The locations are crafted nicely, as are the music and narrative. Graphics are beautiful (make you wish you were on the island). The storyline was well developed and gameplay straight forward. HOS were nicely detailed; objects were fairly sized and detailed. The hint system gives directions if you can?t figure out how to proceed next, but you?ll usually be able to figure it out as there are a limited number of scenes for backtracking. Hints recharge quickly. Backtracking is limited to 4 major scenes and once you enter each scene, most of your activity will remain in that scene until near the end. A most pleasant afternoon. A medium length game. All in all, a delightful game.
August 6, 2012
Great Hidden Object/Puzzle game!
Great game guys. Kudos to all! It's a bit of role-play, puzzle, hidden object, etc. I really enjoyed it. Thanks.
December 18, 2011
LOTS OF VARIETY
This was an interesting game, although the ending was a little confused. I played the harder version. I only had to use the walkthrough once for one puzzle, although I did skip a couple of puzzles because even though I knew what I had to do to solve them, I was impatient at the amout of time I was using to try to guess the solution. This game did have a lot of back and forth between locations, so an interactive map would have been a plus. I didn't find all the puzzle pieces, so I was unable to complete that part of the game. The hint button was excellent.
November 27, 2013
Hope you like to read alot
I only played the hour. I'd rather spend my money on something more exciting. Lots of reading and no voice. Music and graphics are good. You need to go back and forth a lot and hard to know what to do next with out the hint button. Not a real flow to the game with the clues you have. Would be fun for the kids i think.
August 16, 2012
The Secrets of Arcelia Island
After the rave reviews, I was disappointed but maybe it was me. I couldn't get in to the flow of the game and had to use the hint button too many times to figure out what to do.
January 26, 2012
Very hard to figure out what to do next
This is a hidden object game. There is not that much to find so far. I have found it to be hard because the game does not tell you what to do next unless you use the hint button. The graphs and sound are good. I do like the graphs because they make it look like the real thing. I would recommend this game.
August 12, 2012
TOO MUCH CHOPPING & cHANGING
I played the trial for about 15 minutes, but tired of going from one scene to the next and found too much writing about what to do I like H O games where i look for items then go on to a puzzle instead of having to use items to get to the next level a dissapointment I'm afraid
April 13, 2012
BORING!!!!! No challenge!
Game has plain photos, no video. 1st scene has HO areas in exact same spot. All HOs very obvious.Uninstalled after a few minutes.
March 8, 2012