Ghost Towns: The Cats of Ulthar
not very inspiring
original premise for the game (cats turned into wild and vengeful beasts towards humans) but it has a less-than-inspiring execution.
storyline: you are helping a woman, atala, save her brother, Menes, who is scheduled to be burned at the stake for killing a old couple in Ulthar -- except he is innocent and you know it. your task is to prove his innocence before the flames start.
graphics: pedestrian and passable, but not notably well-done. the contrast between scenes (some much better done than others, but none of them were exceptional) made me think that two different artists had done the graphics for this game.
hidden object scenes: many of the scenes were used too frequently, so they were not challenging and became kind of boring. the best aspect was the 24 cats hidden throughout the game.
audio: non-intrusive music; neither annoying nor inspiring. cat's "meow" whenever you click on the hint button.
my interaction: one hour demo (no plans to purchase this game).
May 27, 2012
I Love Cats, But ...
My desktop wallpaper is that of a black cat. My Christmas cards always contain images of cats. I'm cat-obsessed (I have lived with many over the years), but nevertheless I was disappointed in this game.
Why are there two levels of graphics? Some are sharp and clear, others rather distorted. What is that all about? Also this is one of those HOGs where one moves endlessly between scenes, to the point of nausea: From Room A to B to C to B to A to C to B to A ad infinitum. I'm now dizzy! There has to be a better way! Also, the whining cat that lights up as the hint is enabled gets old after about the 3rd whine,
What's good here? The cats! They are wonderful creatures, and I'm so glad to see a game in which so many cats appear. If you can get over the hint-cat whining, the repetitious visits to the same scenes, and the strange mixture of poor to well-drawn graphics, you might very well like, even love, this game. Worth a try I suppose ...
March 10, 2012
Lovecraft turning in his grave
I'm a Lovecraft aficionado. When I saw the title of this game, I had to get it... alas, BigFish, is there any way you can vet these before you sell them? The story was trite, and the writing was obviously done by someone who is either not a native English speaker, or is not an English speaker at all, and was relying on Google Translate to provide the script. Not only was the writing painful to read, but multiple multiple objects were mis-named, and as such, only findable by utilizing the hint function. Also, the graphics were DARK in several areas, and difficult to see on my screen. (In fact, you seem to specialize in macabre themes that lend themselves to settings that are dark...) Music was meh -- somewhat overdone in the dramatic dark style. Overall, somewhat disappointed.
April 21, 2013
I will begin this review by saying I am an unabashed fan of H.P. Lovecraft and his works. The results of bringing his stories into casual games has been a decidedly mixed bag, and nowhere is this more evident than in this game.
The Cats of Ulthar is a short story, and one of Lovecraft's most well-known and celebrated. Knowing the story, however, will not impact your enjoyment of the game as you will find the plot substantially changed and not for the better. I'm not one to quote subject matter as canon, but the whole tone of this game is wrong due to what was changed. I'd encourage anyone playing it to read the story at some point and determine what you like better. The choice is obvious to me.
As to the game mechanics, it's a pretty rudimentary HO with some charms. There is no voice acting to be found, which I thought was rather weak. The graphics style is reminiscent of cartoon storyboards in the cutscenes, and I felt the hidden object scenes themselves (which are plentiful# suffered from poor design. You will revisit locations multiple times, and items #including ones you've already picked up in previous scenes# will remain, a definite flaw for the developers.
The music is innocuous but grating. You'll hear the same organ solo consistently, and repeated sounds like thunder and rain at a volume that is too high and not needed. Some variation would have been welcome. The puzzles are standard fare, and for me the game's one true highlight. I also liked the idea of collecting cats throughout the game #which ties into the main plot) and revealing additional inventory items through puzzles. The problem is that they become repetitive quickly. There are only so many jigsaws and matches you can do before you long for some variety.
The source material is strong, and there are a few twists along the way. Unfortunately I found the game rather pedestrian and think there are better options out there, both for Lovecraft and HO fans.
April 9, 2013
Click Click Click Click Click!
I would have given this SE 5 stars except for the relentless amount of clicks back and forth which ruined the game for me. It was insane. I don't like this much movement when searching for or using one inventory object.
There's no map so I got lost a lot. Couldn't remember where to use a certain object I just obtained. Wasted a lot of moves hunting for things. It's frustrating to be 8 clicks from where you need to be. Twice I had an object in inventory which didn't work in a scene initially but when I left and came back, it worked perfectly. Strange!
My only other complaint is that the graphics are a bit grainy and some HOs are hard to seek and find. Hint button helped.
I loved the storyline and hunting for the hidden cats. Never did find all 24 of them but I tried. All the minipuzzles were pretty easy and fun.
If you can handle the frustrations I've listed, then get this game. I don't think it's worth it but glad it was a bonus deal and not a major purchase.
November 3, 2012
Just demoed. If you play all HOG-game you should to try this, but if you like outstanding games itsn't for you.
No voiceovers, a lot of backtracking(A LOT OF). Plot is....hm....primitive: not real but not mystic too.
Graphic is good, cutscenes is disgusting ( good comics is better than awful cutscenes I think). Sound sometimes is annoying but sometimes is good.
March 12, 2012
Could have been better
I love cats so that is what made me gravitate to this game and I liked how cats are something new to this genre that we haven't seen before however this game needs some tweaking. This is what I call a "sloppy finish". You have a game here that has a good plot/storyline, is fun to play in some parts and explore, has great visuals yet falls short in the sounds/music, gameplay. Since this game has a great plot and lots of cutscenes that go into detail about the story, those cutscenes needed to have SOUND! not just music, SOUND! The telling of a story needs to have movie quality in my opinion not no sound and a storybook. This is a game not a book.
Secondly, this game stays mostly in the same area the entire time. Yes you go into different shops but after the first hour or so you mainly stay in the house/by the water and you go back and forth between the two only. If I needed an item, it would appear right away. There was barely any thought to this game and even though not every game needs to be this huge challenge, IMO knowing you need a crowbar and then picking one up 2 seconds later isn't that fun.
My biggest pet peeve though were the controls of this game. I played this on a laptop and it has a touch pad option where you don't have to click down the button however this game wouldn't let me just tap. In a lot of parts it wouldn't recognize me just tapping a hidden object so I would have to actually click the button. Its not a huge deal but it made it so I couldn't play this game late at night when others were nearby. Not a show stopper but I expect new games to work with all new technology. The wide screen did work however! YAY
I also enjoyed finding the 24 cats as a special extra. It also had a brief ending in the SE version so we aren't left hanging. Some of the cats were incredibly hard to find and some I missed the first time then realized they were huge lol but I found all of them.
Overall I recommend this game but it could have been better, a lot better but I am looking forward for this developers next release and hope they keep things I and others have said in mind. xx
June 24, 2012
Not my kind of meow
I found the cursor to be clumsy, the graphics cartoonish, the hidden object scenes to be to monographic in color. Not a good flow of the game. It was ok in my opinion, not a game I would want to play over and over again.
March 11, 2012
Not worth the money
Poor graphics, hard to see objects
April 12, 2012
not the best...
played on extra hard mode and never used a hint or a skip. there was a lot of back and forth between the camp and the house. no voice overs and the items were overly common sense. not enough of a challenge for me.
March 23, 2012