Dark Dimensions: Wax Beauty
Game needed better beta testing
This review is based on a complete playthrough of the SE game.
I used to get a lot of beta test 'invites' from Big Fish. Wish I had gotten this one, the game really needed it. When it opened up with a typo (repeated line) in the first page of the journal and a scorecard where the numbers didn't add up, I had a bad feeling about the rest of the game.
I wanted to like this game. I like the premise. I like the main character. I like the villain (in a 'love to hate' way). The game just didn't 'click' for me.
THE GOOD: Starting with the positives - the graphics were excellent, the cutscenes were very well done. The way the story arc unfolded explaining a bit more about each character at a time was brilliant. By the time you got the end, you knew a lot about each character and their true intentions and motivations.
The journal recorded things (generally papers or pictures you picked up) in the order you found them. Small thing, but it helps keep it 'real'. There were only a few times the journal knew more than it should, and they were minor things you found out almost immediately after in the game. "Your" notes on each page were also very well done.
THE BAD: Hope you got sneakers on, cause you're gonna be doing a lot of walking. No map, and while I'm not always a huge fan of the transporting and information giving maps, this game needed something. You went back and forth so many times. The HOS were fairly well done, with some really hard to find objects in each scene (which I always though was the point - why play a HOG and then complain the stuff isn't easy to find). There were a few times though were the item names were vague, or even 'wrong' from an American English point of view: "tumbler" for a toggle switch as an example.
You also repeated the scenes, sometimes almost immediately after doing them the first time. Scene, use the object, back to the same scene. They did that twice, and more scenes were repeated with a bit more time in between.
The puzzles: I like hard, challenging puzzles. I don't like puzzles where I can't figure out what I'm supposed to do. I skipped two during the game for this reason (and I almost _never_ skip puzzles. One of them I still don't understand after reading the blog walkthrough after finishing the game. On the plus side they made a small modification to a 'classic' puzzle that made sure you really understand how the puzzle works, and not just doing the moves you know from having done it a dozen times before.
The selection boxes on the screens were way too large. I was clicking on a car in the middle of the street wondering why it had a gate latch on it until I realized I was selecting the gate on side street more than a inch of clear space away on my monitor. That pattern persisted through the whole game.
THE UGLY: Between the running around, trying to figure out what objects were used for what (I played on the easier of the two settings), the game just didn't give itself a chance to flow properly. What should have been a great, developing story was constantly interrupted by running around aimlessly back and forth with no map hoping you stumble on what to do next.
The "Hint" bar got stuck in a 'loop' at least once I can remember - what should happen is you try to use an item, realize it doesn't work as is, so you take it back and then go do something to it. The 'hint' would tell you to place the item and pick it back up, but then it went right back to place the item again. When you were at a point you needed to solve a puzzle to advance it went into "there is nothing for you to find here" mode.
Some of the thing you had to do just made no sense, even in a 'Dark Dimension'. Without spoiling anything - filling a container with water so that a metal object will rise to the top where you can pick it up. There were a few like that.
BOTTOM LINE: The story does end well, with enough clues that I think I can guess what the Bonus Content would be - but maybe it would surprise me. I didn't feel like I was cheated out of an ending. The game was long enough, even longer with all the 'trekking' but even if there was an interactive map the game would take most people four hours or more. With all the problems though, I can't give the game a good rating.
If you can get it on a 2.99 for the day or a half price sale, then I'd say get it, especially if you liked City of Fog. There were a few nice refereces to that game that those who played it would recognize and appreciate. So with that caveat, and if you can put up with the running around, I'll call it a half-buy?
December 5, 2013
Didn't catch my interest
I'm not sure why the ratings have been so high, when everyone seems to have had the same issues that I had: lots of running back and forth for no discernable reason, way too easy HO scenes, and a storyline that never caught my interest.
The cutscenes were lovely, with what appeared to be real actors, and the graphics were quite good. But I found myself losing patience with the running back and forth between venues, without a clue as to what I was looking for or why. When I find myself anxious for the preview to end, rather than being shocked that I ran out of time, then I know this is not a game for me.
May 27, 2012
Lost in Clutter
The title sucked me right in because the promise of anything to do with WAX figures sounds mysteriously intruiging. But I was quickly let down. There are many, many locations which is a HUGE plus, all kinds of objects to use & even some characters to interact with, but they are lifeless & boring (of course because they are made of wax), but still it would have been nice to "talk" or interact with them via a flashback for example. The HOG scenes were pretty good as you got to use some items on other items, while some were more straight forward. While the graphics were very well drawn, most of the locations simply had WAAAAAY Too Much Clutter! It was everywhere you looked, so much so, that many times you couldn't tell the difference between locations, objects and background! Unfortunately this lends credibility to reviewers issuing the dreaded "pixel hunt" tagline, many times a death knell for adventure type games. Another problem is most of the time I had absolutely no clue where to go or what to do next. Besides having to look in the journal #which is boring#, the game never gave you a nudge. Some times the object didn't really seem to make sense as for its intended usage. The story may have been good or even great, but the game never engaged me enough to care about it. Admittedly, some of the confusion may be on my part, but all games are supposed to entertain us, not make us think about WHY we can't get into them. This self-explains why I didn't like it; It had me thinking, rather than just playing & enjoying the experience.
July 6, 2012
If "Save us from the wax" doesn't make you giggle, then this is for you
Good beginning, spooky, creepy, mysterious, but, honestly, "Save us from the wax?" really destroyed it. I just couldn't take it seriously.
And, as with "City of Fog," the constant back-and-forth became tedious in the extreme. I lost count at one point as to how many times I went between the same two locations, picking up one item in one location to use to find one item in the other location to use in the first location to get an item to use in the second.
HOS are nearly all interactive, which I enjoy, and when you return to one (which you do numerous times!) most of the objects you found the first time are gone, so it's less cluttered. However, not only do you have to hit it just right to get it to work, there are -- as usual -- vocabulary issues, which becomes frustrating.
The storyline is convoluted. It is different from the same old "unrequited love," but there are just so many characters and subplots that I lost track. It also makes it difficult to figure out what to do next -- I would remember that I'd seen something or read something, but could not remember what or where.
The developers appear to be more interested in creating a twists and turns than in developing a coherent and consistent plot. In one scene, I was told that I could not use an oven mitt (which I had) to pick up a hot coal, because it would set the place on fire. I had to go find tongs (which they called "forceps"). Then I later used the oven mitt on a red-hot metal handle. Huh? What about the danger of fire?
I also dislike the way that tools are discarded on use, and you have to later find another tool or a second one of the same type.
I was playing it through the streaming service, and I hit a point where it failed to save when I exited. After starting over at the exact same point twice, I quit. I don't know whether to blame the game or the server, but it just wasn't worth the effort to find the time to finish it. I saw how much was still left, in the walkthough, and it just made me tired.
May 27, 2013
I never did like wax museums!
Ugh!!! I hate games like this! I bought before I tried it ... big mistake (always use the free trial...one persons "GREAT", could be another persons "Failure").
I did enjoy City of Fog, so I thought this would be a win. The basic premise of the story has great potential, but the storyline throughout was sub-par, and the ending was awful!!! I am just glad I'm done so I can pack it away and NEVER visit there again! By the way, don't forget to wear a good pair of sneakers!
March 28, 2013
PUT ME TO SLEEP
No map, so lots of back and forthing. Drab story line and visuals. Not worth my time to comment further.
June 8, 2013
A Train Wreck!
I don't like HOGS, but I HAVE PLAYED some pretty good ones, and this game is not one of them. It is a TRAIN WRECK of never-ending and very tiring HOGS, one after another after another after another, never seeming to end!
The graphics were good and the voices were clear, but the acting, using only the voices, was EXTREMELY SLOW and very, very, amateurish! This was one of the worst HOGS I have ever played.
There was hardly a plot, and the ending "just happened out of nowhere," adding to the inanity of this surpassingly stupid game.
There was constant back-tracking throughout the game, making it tedious to the extreme. One would have to wonder what the developers of this "game" had in mind, if anything!
I'll take the LARGE FILE games that feature PLOT, which was so obviously missing from this game.
THIS "Dark Dimensions" game HAD NO DIMENSIONS!
November 26, 2012
very frustrating waste of money
at first this was great, helpful hints good game play, but now due to a bug or something I cant finish. Although I have found 6 of the blue tiles my list only shows 5 and I have noticed even the walk through appears to have problems as there appears to be no 5th tile as it goes straight from tile number 4 to six. should have spent my money on a game that works!!!
March 31, 2013
Too much clutter & backwards and forwards all the time yuk
not much clarity given for the most part, (half) the time i needed to use the hint button to know where i should go next, and thats not ideal.
I hated the inanimate wax figures, bored too death
i wish i had not wasted my money on it!
January 7, 2013
This game is not good
There was a loop house of agensy. That word game. It was big loop.
Game is not good big fish game!
September 9, 2012