Phenomenon: City of Cyan
sorry to swim against the tide, but...
This is based on the demo only because I won't buy the game unless it is on DD or CotW.
*Beautiful colors and well-drawn.
*Interesting HOSs within HOSs.
The heroine, Monica Dipp (aptly named) could not be more of a wooden board if she tried:
"I. guess. I. should. try. to. find. my. mother. Right. ?" (paraphrased, but close...)
YA THINK? I cringed as i listened to her dumb lines and "acting".
* Puzzles were ridiculously easy with too many instructions.
Let me think and figure things out for myself!
*Tasks were ridiculously easy.
We need to make a potion for dad's eyes... let's see, everything is RIGHT HERE, no "cooking" or finding stuff later to come back and finish the task....just put the petals and berries in the pot of water and VOILA! Same for getting into the city, the necessary items are right there, waiting in plain sight. No thinking or searching required.
I always play on the hardest mode offered (this game offers two) because I like to be challenged, not led around by the nose. I like to think and keep the grey matter functioning, not just look at the pretty scenery.
Sorry, not a buy for me, unless it's on a $2.99 sale. Maybe not even then, it'll depend on what games I have left to play.
March 27, 2012
Not a winner in my book
This is my first review, but I have to express my complete disappointment in this game. I've played quite a few HO puzzle adventure games, and while the developers did try to do some different things, that alone was not enough to land a winner.
The problems? Well, the puzzles were way too easy for one thing. I at least like to be challenged to think, but the puzzles I played in the demo were pretty obvious once I gave it a few seconds thought. The clues were often right there in front of me, & pretty obvious.
Secondly, the story just didn't make any sense to me.
Thirdly, there was too much hand-holding in this game. Between the puzzle instructions, the journal entries, and the task list, I did not have to do any thinking for myself.
Finally, in spite of what other reviewers have said, the voice acting was pretty atrocious. And the characters were too long-winded for my taste.
All in all, not one I would even spend a credit on. Sorry to be so negative, as I am a big fan of BF games as a rule. This one just missed the mark for me.
March 25, 2012
1. Poor writing & storyline - the heroine is both too dumb to know how to get into the city by crossing the bridge and yet has immediate encyclopedic knowledge of the technology surrounding her. Info dump galore, via her mouth. Makes no sense.
2. S*x kitten heroine, as a teenager? Really? Demographics for these games, again? Pre-teen boys? I don't think so.
3. The voice acting is... bad.
4. Easy puzzles.
5. Unduly complex tasks that ultimately make little sense (to me, anyway) in the context of this created environment. Former townspeople need to get through a gate? Good luck, since one must jump through 10 hoops to get the gate open.
6. Pandering to the women gamers (actual demographic of these games from my understanding) by having the scientists be women. As long as they're male-defined gorgeous, that is. Sorry, devs, didn't work on me.
Pros, because I feel the need to find something:
1. Artwork of the river and long shots of the town was nice.
2. Fills my widescreen monitor without losing aspect ratio.
3. Difficulty choice = good.
4. No sparkles = good.
Goodness, I don't understand the positive reviews here. I have not been this disappointed and fed up with a game like this one in a long time.
March 26, 2012
I'm pretty disappointed in this game, especially given the ratings it's had so far. I was expecting something much better. The good aspects of the game simply don't outweigh the bad ones.
*graphics overall quite nice.
*some originality in the hidden object scenes, which is rare these days
*lead character voice-over painfully bad.
*any challenge in the game -even on advanced mode- is eliminated by the game either telling you exactly what to do or just doing it for you. Blah.
*the WORST example of non-ending I've seen in a game yet. I realy wish game makers would consider story-telling an important part of a game. Stories should have endings. This one fails utterly.
The last two points are why I rate this game so low. I want to be challenged by a game and play through a satisfying story. Sadly neither happened here.
April 4, 2012
Why are people rating this with 5 stars?
Check out the reviews for 1 and 3 stars i agree with them. Story line could have been good but very bad acting, and provided you with not only major hints but they just downright told you what to do (donot read the journal if u want to try by yourself). After a cutscene items were placed into my inventory with no explaination or letting ME try to find them or figure out i Needed it. They just gave me exactly the knife i needed and boom puzzle solved. Ending caused me to believe this was a pure waste of money.
March 27, 2012
Don't let the high ratings blind you
I downloaded this game because it had such a high rating at the time. I always review comments before purchasing a game and I will admit that my expectations were high after people were so excited about HOPs within HOPs and the visual quality of the game. Yes, the visual quality was beautiful, but that is about the only good thing that I can say about this game.
Let me warn you upfront. Do not play this game if:
-- You are detail-oriented about spelling and grammar
-- You are highly aware of poor voice acting
-- You desire a deep, well-thought out plotline
-- You are logical to the point where you expect puzzles to make real-world sense
Why do these things matter?
ATROCIOUS SPELLING AND GRAMMAR:
I can't even count the number of typos, incorrect uses of punctuation, and lack of clean grammar instances that plague this game. One example: On multiple screens, you have access to enter a bell tower but, upon doing so, two movement screens then switch the words and offer you the ability to climb to the top of the tower bell. Yes. The tower bell. How did THAT get through the editors!? Twice even!?
POOR VOICE ACTING:
How can you really provide an example of this through text? The best way that I can describe the voice acting is ?forced?. It did not feel sincere. The main character is looking for a lost family member and, upon discovering the possibility that the family member is located within the Cyan City, her reaction is monotone and every word is painful, when it should be full of energy and natural. The best voice acting was the antagonist and he/she only got a few sentences. Monica?s scenes were so terrible that I actually called some of my family members into the room to hear it because I was so incredulous of its pitiful quality.
LACK OF A DEEP PLOTLINE:
As noted earlier, the story follows Monica Dipp, a young woman who is searching for a family member who was lost in an accident 20 years ago. That?s about it; really, it is. She makes it to Cyan City, finds a helpful friend, meets an antagonist, collects a few pieces of a broken pendant, and then somehow, magically fixes the problem (I won?t spoil it with details). There are a few mal-aligned characters that pop up every now and again, but Monica is supernaturally protected by her massively gaudy, heart-shaped pendant and therefore, any tension regarding her safety is completely eliminated. So, what is the point of those encounters? Your guess is as good as mine.
This is one of those games where you find random keys in the most ridiculous places, the mini-games are obviously placed to provide a halt to the game but have no connection to the atmosphere around them, and you can often figure out exactly what you are supposed to do to continue the story, but will have to spend 10 minutes trying to figure out what specific step the game wants you to take first to make it happen. The one saving grace regarding this point is that the map indicates which places have activities in them. So, you know that you are supposed to take action in a specific room, but you sometimes have the randomly click everywhere to figure out what it is because the game hasn?t indicated the purpose of it to you.
Let me end this review with what, I believe, should have been the bright-as-day signal that indicates the poor quality of this game and the subsequent decision to quit right then and there. Yes, I did complete the entire game, so I ignored this sign, but I just want to emphasize that, even at the very beginning, I should have known that things could only get worse.
This is not a spoiler; it is the very first puzzle of the game. You begin by meeting a male stranger sitting on a bench in front of Cyan City. This bench sits on the edge of the forest, so there is a bit of foliage around him. Monica sees that the stranger has bright blue eyes and, when she asks about them, the stranger explains how he lost his sight 20 years ago due to an explosion. Monica expresses her condolences and then tells the stranger that she desires to make it across the broken bridge into Cyan City. The stranger is willing to help her get there, but first she must create a curative potion for his blinded eyes. He says that it should be very easy for her because all of the ingredients she needs are located in this very forest! In fact, they are within two screens of him! So, Monica finds a random cauldron sitting around, fills it with water, grabs some fauna, and mixes everything together. No heat, no spoon, no measuring cups, no magic fairy dust -- nada. Somehow, this is the perfect potion for the man?s eyes and I can only assume that he must have dunked his head into the cauldron because Monica surely didn?t put the mixture into an eye dropper for him. Unbelievable! The man can suddenly see again! So, what on earth was this stranger doing for the past 20 years? Was he just sitting on that bench, waiting for some by-passer to mosey along so they could pick up some leaves, drop them into some cold water, and then miraculously cure his blindness? How could he have known what kind of curative potion he needed? Even more surprising, how did he know that all of the ingredients were less than 20 feet away from his bench? Also, where did that massive cauldron come from!?
You can see, from the very first puzzle in the game, that this is the logic that flows through the cracks of every puzzle thereafter.
If none of those things bother you and you are just looking for a short, visually-stimulating, calming game, then you will probably enjoy it, because it is definitely beautiful. I would love to see more graphics like that in future games. Otherwise, please don?t waste your money, or your time, like I did.
Just for clarification, I gave it 2 stars because I actually finished the game. I only rate 1 star for games that I am so disgusted with that I refuse to finish them.
April 18, 2014
Not Sci-Fi & severely annoying voiceovers
The opening scene of this game lures you into thinking it's going to be a science fiction story but, after the first cut-scene, abandons that avenue and veers off into the typical "person with magic heirloom seeking a relative" story.
Instead of some rational sci-fi inspired explanation for why this girl was spared when her mother's experiment destroyed the city you are told she was saved by a magic pendant. Instead of doing tasks that are remotely inspired by science fiction you are charged with the same old potion brewing, finding missing weapons for statues, and placing keys into slots that magically raise huge stone bridges found in every fantasy/detective/horror HOPA out there. This game is a fantasy game complete with magic items, potions made of berries that actually cure blindness, and inanimate objects that demand things in order to function.
If this wasn't disappointing enough the game is crippled by the most horrible voice-overs I've heard in any game I've ever played. Nails going over a chalkboard don't even begin to approach the cringe factor of the voice overs in this game. It wouldn't be so bad if you could skip them all or turn off the voice volume but you can't...there are obligatory ones that will continue playing even if you skip through the voice-over scene.
The HOS are fairly easy and not innovative even for 2012. The graphics are about average for 2012 and, lacking any story to make this game a must play, are insufficient to lure people away from newer games with better graphics IMO.
Overall, this was a complete disappointment. It's a game masquerading as sci-fi while delivering the same old magic/fantasy story about a girl trying to save her mom using a magic pendant.
July 6, 2014
What happened to the ending?
I got this as a free play through the instant games and very glad I didn't actually spend money on it.
Voice acting for the main character was horrible. Everyone else seemed okay but she sounded stilted and very annoying. But I worked with it. I had played the other phenomenon game and was hoping for a link. No such luck. the story just stopped without a real ending. It's like the writer just got tired of it and tossed it away. Usually that means the devs just want you to spend more money on their collectors edition, but I can't even find that.
July 22, 2013
Wait. What? That was it?
The story ended so abruptly, it left you wondering what happened. It's like reading a book to the end, only to find out someone ripped out the last 5 pages. There was almost no resolution. Maybe they are planning a follow up game, I don't know. Definitely anticlimactic. I don't recommend.
June 7, 2012
Definitely not the genre for me
This game falls under science fiction, which is not a genre I usually play on BFG. I decided to try it out since I almost always play psychological/spooky/creepy games and really didn't like it. I'll start with the positives:
*The visuals were really nice...lots of clear and sharp images with tons of colors.
*Music was good and went with the game.
Now for what I didn't like:
*The storyling was just too strange for me and didn't really make a lot of sense, but this is a sci-fi genre. I found myself not really caring about whether or not I finished the game. I did, but I did it over a period of a week.
*The voice acting was terrible. The character you play talks as if she is reading a script. A flat performance, period. If this had been a movie I would have stopped watching it.
*The puzzles were not really a challenge, which is one of the factors I look for when I get a game. The reviews said the puzzles were challenging, but I didn't think so. I'll add that they weren't exactly awful and a lot of them were puzzles I've never played before, so I give the developers an A for originality, but most of them were just not challenging. Some of them were fun though.
Overall,this just wasn't the game for me. What I look for when I buy a game are a cool storyline and puzzles that make me think, but that is just personal preference. If you like a story that's really out there and strange and just want a relaxing game with not a lot of challenge, then this is a game you might like.
April 4, 2012