The Agency of Anomalies: Cinderstone Orphanage Collector's Edition
Sequel falls short
I'm not quite sure how to rate this one. I have the first game and enjoyed it, so I was expecting something similar but better. It is quite different. Somehow light rather than dark storywise. You are sent to a paranormal school to see what has happened to the teacher and her young students.
The graphics are nice, clear and bright, for a place that was destroyed by fire. I thought the cutscenes were really good, grainy and dark. The voice overs are pretty good as well. The music was awful (seemed cheerful to me), I finally turned it off. It has 2 modes of play, and there are 5 chapters plus the bonus.
The HOs were the standard junkpile with some interaction, but they were bright and crisp for the most part. In some HOs you replace the items. The puzzles were rather easy but not bad. There are 33 postcards to collect. You also get the abilities of those you save and you collect achievements. The devs seemed to want to appeal to everyone with a little of this and a little of that. Even with all that I would consider this game an HO with some adventure.
The play was good, although it seemed a little...incomplete. There were a lot of scenes visited at least 10 which seems like a lot, but maybe that's because there wasn't a lot to do in each.
I did finish the demo in about 35 minutes so for me the length isn't worth the CE price. I may buy the SE when it is available.
I am recommending the game because it was fairly interesting play, but this is only based on the demo.
February 9, 2012
Just about average
I haven't tried the previous one in the series but this sequel seems okay.
- good graphics and great cutscenes
- professional voice-overs
- easy minigames though neither new nor extraordinary
- some adventure but emphasis is placed on HO Scenes
- HO Scenes are the usual pile of junk, but are interactive
- tasks present no novelty either
- you earn achievements and collect some of the character's abilities
Considering the point I got to in the demo, the game is probably quite short.
All in all, not good enough for a CE. I am waiting for the SE to decide.
February 9, 2012
Gorgeous but sadly too easy...
Breath-takingly beautiful graphics & artwork. High-quality cutscenes, voice & hos. Puzzles are many with good mix of types, something for everyone, & the collectible postcards are adorable.
Good effort made to deliver interesting storyline with characters' abilities & items they need nicely related.
Game's downfall IMO is despite 2 difficulty levels, toughest mode remains far too easy. Items can't be collected without being told outright what they're needed for, & it's tragic how all challenge to use special abilities is wrecked because where they need to be used is outlined in bright colour!
CEs come with Strategy Guide, so why does advanced mode need hints? I'm deeply disappointed, especially as 1st game in series (AofA: Mystic Hospital) is one of the most memorable, clever i-hogs I've ever played--far more challenging than this sequel.
Lack of hardcore mode is serious drawback for players who enjoy figuring things out on their own; hence, I'm waiting for SE.
February 10, 2012
It was good but could have been better.
I'm very honest when I review a game. I always wish to give the best review but I'm very straightforward.
This game was fun and I did enjoy it. However, I feel that the music was a little too "happy" for the tone of the game. I wished it was darker and more creepy, like you imagine an old orphanage would be. I actually turned the music off because I felt it was taking away from the experience.
I also didn't appreciate that the strategy guide was ONLY accessible from the main menu. It's tedious to have to leave your game and go to a menu to look through a guide. I got stuck quite a few times and the hint button will only tell you "there is nothing to do here" when you aren't in an area with an available action.
One thing I loved was that you were able to use the children's paranormal powers in your investigation. I found that really exciting and something new. The graphics were beautiful and the layout of the game was easily manageable.
Overall, I would recommend this game. I enjoyed it, but simply preferred other games more.
February 19, 2012
Good but not perfect!
I waited for a new AoA -game and this doesn't disappoint me - that much. The graphics were nice as always but the Christmas theme was a little bleh when it's already February. Music goes to the same category, too christmassy and happy happy joy joy. Storyline wasn't that original and was too alike with the previous games storyline. It left a lot of loose ends!
One thing I wan't to point out too is that regarding the powers you get, isn't the telekinesis one a bit unnecessary? I mean you got the lady's ability to make things smaller or bigger, isn't that enough to take out any obstacle in your way...?
Anyway, summa summarum: good game which keeps you entertained without too much yawning, nothing more, nothing less.
February 16, 2012
I did not enjoy this game to much. I cannot put my finger on it, but it seemed to lack energy or something like that.
I just wanted to finish it, and move on.(rare for me)
NOT worth the CollectersEdition price for sure.
I enjoy acheivement awards for the games, but these were just basic, awards for just playing.
I thought there were extra puzzles if you complete the game,(which I love), but they were the puzzles from the game, nothing new.
May 3, 2012
This game can be a great game or a so-so game, depending on people's preferences. So it's one of those that I advise trying the demo first and then decide for yourselves.
As far as I'm concerned, its entertaining, easy to play, with nice and clear graphics, but otherwise nothing new nor exciting.
February 9, 2012
Graphics are great! Games were fun! Play time is way too short, especially for a collectors series.
February 29, 2012
Good but Not Great
One of the few HOG adventure games I would give 5 stars to is "Mystery Legends: Phantom of the Opera" CE. Probably in part, due to the fact that I loved that book.
This is a good game but I didn't find it great. One of the most outstanding things about this game for me was the fact that on some of the HOS, you are actually adding back items rather than clicking on a hidden item. I thought that was a nice change.
I thought the graphics were very good and the music was not annoying.
I'm not sorry I bought this game but I didn't find it appealing enough to replay in the future.
If you're really into HOG/adventure games then you will probably find this game entertaining and a bit of a challenge.
August 11, 2012
Entertaining .... but hardly original
I enjoyed the demo...but like alot of folks I had the feeling the length wasn't going to be good enough for my liking. I am taking other reviewers advice and wait for the SE.
February 11, 2012