Guardians of Beyond: Witchville Collector's Edition
Stick with it, it gets interesting.
This review is based on a complete playthrough of the game and bonus content.
At this point the game is a little over two years old. Fair or not, I've got to compare it to the games coming out now (2014) because that's when you'll be spending your money.
First, as always, the bonus content (or "Why should I pay double for this game?"): Unfortunately, there's not a lot going for it here. If you get Collector's Editions for achievements and morphing objects, than skip this one as it has none of those. All it has is a bit of swag (screensavers, music, etc...) and a bonus game.
The bonus game took me an hour to complete. It was interesting - you play a different person than you did in the main game. It had none of the really interesting puzzles of the first game, and ended kind of abruptly (though conclusively).
If I were to buy this again, I would go for the SE. I can't completely dismiss it as some games that really have almost nothing, but unless there's a great sale and you need a CE to fill your bucket, I'd say pass on this.
Now the review of the main game:
THE GOOD: Graphics were ok, the music really shined - rather than play the same loop over and over, they had ambient sounds, and a clip of music - maybe 12 or 14 bars that would come in every now and then just to keep you on edge, then go back to the quiet.
The story is a fairly good one. It starts off slow, and I'll admit I wasn't expecting much - but I bought the game and wanted to play through it. About halfway through though, I started to care about what was going on. There were some character twists that were unexpected, then it started hinting at some other things (trying not to give anything away here).
The game took me about four hours to complete. It ends conclusively (The bonus content is a completely separate story). There are LOTS of HOS and quite a few puzzles. Several of the puzzles repeat, but they were good puzzles so it was ok (kind of like doing more than one sudoku - same puzzle, different solutions). A lot (most?) of the HOS are repeated as well.
On the middle difficulty there are NO SPARKLIES on anything. Especially not the HOS. so you've got to look around on your own to find things. Places that were simply pick up an item might be a HOS later, or vice versa.
No click penalty in the HOS, the hint recharges quickly. Outside of the HOS the hint gives you specific prose instructions: "Go to X and get Y, use it in A to get B" type of thing. Generally telling you several things at once so you may already have done some of them. The hint system is good enough I don't think you really need the SG (I think i used it once or twice).
THE BAD: The HOS are junkpiles. Random, not to scale, junkpiles. Many of the objects were completely ambiguous - even after clicking on them after a hint I had to look at the list to tell what the thing I clicked on was. They also had VERY precise click zones for a lot of small or thin items.
No voicing at all. Everything is read onscreen in talk bubble type things or across the top of the screen. There is no map - but you really don't need one, at any point in the game you're no more than three or four clicks from anywhere else you can go.
THE UGLY: The story just took too long to get going. There were a few badly worded phrases, and some ambiguous names to find in the HOS. Those were the minority though.
No other serious bugs or playthough problems.
BOTTOM LINE: As a CE, I can only give it three stars (I'd give it two, but the bonus game is interesting and a fun play). I really think the SE is the way to go here, and if it ever comes up as a DD or CotW I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up.
I'm going to give it a not recommended here, as I don't think the bonus game justifies the price of getting a complete game elsewhere.
July 10, 2014
I did not like this game one bit. To me, it was more of a chore than it was relaxing, especially since this game would rarely recognize when I had clicked on something so I would have to click the same item about 10 different times before it would register. The game was a little challenging so that part was good.
The graphics were okay, seemed a little outdated to me compared to other games that I have played on BFG. The story line was a little hard for me to get into, but that may be just my opinion. I didn't care for the sound effects, so I just muted my computer.
Overall, I would say I would say it was a good investment because of the sale on CEs and the difficulty of the game, but if it wasn't on sale I would have been very disappointed in the end.
January 3, 2012