Time Mysteries: The Ancient Spectres
Not one of my favorites
An award should be given for being the most junkpile-ish....IMHO, but the Hint refills quickly. However, the H0s were not dark, but brightly colored. HOG lovers will like this game as there are a lot of them. The puzzles are all doable. There is a lot of hand-holding. I liked the Time Device concept. It makes getting around very easy, but actually offers no challenge to the game what-so-ever. The story is inconsequential. My current fav is Nostradamus: The Last Prophecy.
December 6, 2011
not for me
I had trouble figuring it out. The hint button is good and fast, graphics are good and so is the music. But the game leaves a lot to desire for me. The HOS can be difficult finding the items and there is just not enough in this game to but it.
February 10, 2013
Great until the ending
Overall, while in the midst of the game, it was a very enjoyable and playable game that kept my interest. The difficulty of the HOS's was quite inconsistent, with some being truly difficult and some being ridiculously easy. In any case, with both the HOS's and the gameplay, the hint system was helpful enough that I only had to consult the walkthrough once.
But right when you get to the climax, when you think you've almost accomplished your goal, you get a screen with the words: "To be Continued." I hate it when a game does this. In fact, I have yet to find the sequel to a game that ends that way. So I left the game greatly disappointed. Hence I only gave it 3 stars.
February 22, 2012
This game is loaded with difficult HOS's, a feature that should ravish all fans of the genre, including those who, like me, are not crazy about them -I often say I wouldn't be certain to spot an elephant in a well-lit corridor... LOL. That's not quite true. The reason it might appeal to less seasoned HO hunters is that the Hint System doesn't need recharging; it's permanent, hence overgenerous. A judicious idea because every HOS is a monster clutter filled to the brim with junk items, lots of which are tiny and eye-straining. Now, if you want to skip them, a super exciting minigame awaits you as a substitute: "blocks of balls busting" (or whatever it's called). The puzzzles are few and far between and hardly impressive. The accent is placed on hunting useful objects -something that suits my adventurous tastes a lot more- scattered through different eras which you travel to and fro by means of a time device. I rather liked that feature; makes a nice change to the usual routine. The rest is okay with decent graphics, a fairly atmospheric music and even a couple of funny things like the scene where a fire is burning; click on it and hear the voice-over say... "FIRE !" Not everything in this game is highly logical though, and the amount of entertainment you will derive from it largely depends on your taste for and skills at finding small HOs. Easier are the puzzles and I would have been a happier camper had they been a wee bit more challenging. I must confess I bought it on impulse after playing the demo, believing the game would become more and more exciting as I would go along. Well, that was a disappointment, I'm sorry to say. The Ancient Spectres is a true rainy day game which I should have kept for that occasion instead or never purchased in the first place. But since it is not bad, 3 stars seem a fair rating to me. However, I suggest you try the demo first and see for yourself.
December 13, 2011
I agree with others: the time machine device was cool. However, the sounds was glitchy. Some of the movies had sound, most did not. I assume there was supposed to be sound (it felt like there should be).
Too many hidden object games, and not enough puzzles.
December 11, 2011
Recommend as a Daily Deal
You play as Esther Ambrose, a direct descendant of Merlin, the good wizard, and Viviana, the evil witch. You've just learned that you've inherited a dilapidated mansion, and you must imprison Viviana and save Merlin. To aid you, you have a time machine with which you can travel to five different periods in the mansion's history. One warning: at least in the SE, the ending is extremely abrupt and you're left with a cryptic "to be continued" at a quite crucial point in the game. I was not at all happy.
The time machine functions as an interactive map, telling you where active areas are and allowing you to travel there instantly. There are a lot of HO scenes, and each one repeats several times. The hint system functions both within the HO scenes and outside them. In the HO scenes, you can see a silhouette of each item by mousing over its name in the list, or click on "hint" if you really can't find it. You can also skip a HO scene entirely by switching over to a "click three or more balls" game, a nice feature when you're playing the same scene for the fourth time! The journal holds your notes and lists your objectives.
For me, if I switched to the "three or more balls" game in lieu of the last item on the HO list, the game quit on me. When I restarted, I had to play the entire HO scene again with a different list.
Overall, the graphics are decent, albeit a bit dark in some places, even with my monitor at its brightest. Many of the objects in the HO scenes are partially hidden behind other objects, making them difficult to find. The HO scenes are the typical "junk pile" type. I did find several instances where an item on the list could have been several items in the scene. For example, I was asked to find a "bow." In the scene, there were two tied bows and a crossbow. I find that a bit sloppy. Outside of the HO scenes, there were items I only discovered because they were sparkling, or because I happened to mouse over them and my cursor changed.
Short and informative, the cutscenes did not interfere with gameplay. Even the cutscene indicating that you were traveling through time was short enough so as not to be irritating.
Initially, I found the music to be quite beautiful, but it did become repetitive and annoying after a while, and I turned the volume down to 25% as I prefer some music over just silence. A bit more variation in the music would have been nice.
Appropriate and not at all annoying. Sometimes, developers choose sounds to indicate you've correctly completed an action, and those sounds get to be irritating. That wasn't the case here, thankfully.
Esther does comment on certain items that are not interactive, and her comments are repetitive, but other than that, the voiceovers were informative and not intrusive.
I have mixed feelings about this game. On the one hand, Artifex Mundi is a developer that has improved by leaps and bounds in all areas of game creation, so I'm willing to give them a break until I see what the sequel brings. And I love Arthurian fantasy. On the other hand, this game had a lot of issues, at least for me. I'd recommend it as a Daily Deal, but not at full price.
November 5, 2012
Back and forth and back and forth
I wasn't crazy about this game. You not only went back and forth and back and forth through rooms, but through time as well and the objectives weren't very clear.
May 26, 2012
FunHidden Object Game But
Found game great but disappointed to find will have to wait for second part to finish the game.
December 8, 2011
too short and incomplete story, enjoyed game play but disappointed at abrupt end, only lasts about 75 mins
December 7, 2011
Disappointing... poor ending, too many HOs
For most of the game, I thought it was pretty good, but toward the end it got really bogged down with HO after HO. It seemed to me that they needed to wrap things up but ran out of places to locate needed objects, so they just threw in a ton of HO scenes. My eyes are shot. I played the match games many times when I just couldn't keep looking, but even those were a strain on the eyes.
Some things, such as the fireflies/cocoons, were never explained or resolved. The story didn't hold together very well, and the ending! Unacceptable. I guess I was supposed to have bought the CE, or I am now supposed to buy the sequel. Well, even if I had loved the game, I wouldn't do that on principle.
Maybe some fishies want every game to be lengthy, but I look for quality over quantity and LOGIC over incongruity. This game got very tiring, made even more so by the extreme back and forth, and the constant need to find multiples of the same object, with each one strewn all about in unrealistic locations.
December 15, 2013