The Great Unknown: Houdini's Castle Collector's Edition
Pretty good game
I played the demo and like the demo so I bought the CE. I really liked the HOs, especially the "association" ones, it added something different to the standard junk pile HOs. there was quite a bit of "back and forth" but it was enjoyable. I played on casual mode, loved the journal, and really liked the strategy guide for help when I missed a pick up. The storyline was a little weak, but I don't play for that. It wasn't too challenging, but was challenging enough for a fun afternoon.
September 27, 2012
For Me, Not So Magical.....
Today your husband has been kidnapped during your honeymoon and youfind yourself playing cat and mouse with a Madman inside Houdini's Castle. He believe that you are the 'chosen one' to help bring back his missing apprentice. I own all the games that these developers have brought to us and I must say that their graphics have improved over the year. The artwork is stunning and the graphics are sharp and bright. The game features two game modes and you are equiped with one journal and an old Film Camera where you will be picking up old film reels that give you some interesting tidbits on the life of Houdini and the mystery involved. There are voice-overs and good sound effects. There is no map so alot of backtracking is involved. Houdini's Castle is your basic HOPA, heavy on adventure with crowded HO scenes that are slightly interactive. There are two types of HO scenes; one where you find objects and the other is where you place objects that associate with others. There is alot of picking up inventory items which you use on your way. The hint system does refill slowly and you have blackbar hints that tell you what you need. Minigames are easy; during the trial mode, I found them to be too easy. After having played the demo, I asked my self: Where is the magic and what was the hype all about? The storyline is old, the game mechanics are routine and there are no extras involved like morphing objects, collectables or intricate puzzles. After a while I found the gameplay a bit automatic and a bit tedious. The only eyepopper in this game were the graphics. Is this enough to spend CE price? In my opinion, No, it is not. Perhaps I am spoiled but I really do expect much more from a Collector's Edition Game. I found this to be less magical than expected which really begs the question, do I recommend this game as is? I am tempted to say that I do not recommend this game however as it does have merits regarding visuals and gameplay that I am sure many will enjoy, I will recommend this game to beginners. However if you are looking for something challenging and different and a bit more fun to play, then you, like myself, will probably opt to wait for the SE edition.
September 23, 2012
NOT WORTH THE MONEY - WAIT FOR RELEASE OF THE SE!!
I seldom buy a CE game because the added extras usually aren't worth the extra cost. But the storyline was so intriguing that I purchased this one after the sixty minute trial period was over. What a mistake! Please don't waste your money on this Collector's Edition -- wait for the Standard Edition to come out. All you get with the CE is a VERY short Bonus Chapter, goofy wallpaper and 20 small photos of poorly drawn concept art.
* Fairly decent graphics overall
* Great voiceovers
* Didn't time the game, but didn't feel cheated due to it being too short.
* Hint & Skip bars filled quickly
* A nice mix of puzzles and HO scenes. Half of the HO scenes were matching pairs of items
* Built-in Strategy Guide
* If you liked the music, you could go into the Extras and re-play the soundtrack
* Most of the HO scenes were dark & it was difficult to find what you needed. Some objects weren't drawn very well either.
* There was no map so you will have to do quite a bit of backtracking
* While the Hint flask refilled quickly, it didn't help you by suggesting where to go next. It would just say "Nothing more to do at this location right now"
* Many areas still sparkled even after you had completed them and there was nothing left to be done
* The beginning of the story wasn't put together well.
* The ending was weak and rather disappointing
* The Bonus Chapter was very short
I can't recommend paying $13.99 for this one. Wait for the release of the Standard Edition.
September 26, 2012
AVERAGE BUT PLEASANT GAME
This is a nice average game. You have many things to do at one time and carry inventory not yet usable. The contrast between found and unfound objects in the HOS could have been sharper. The images in the HOS were frequently indistinct (and not always because they were in shadow). There are ?association? mini-games, which make use of a previously seen HOS, in which you match objects to an associated object such as matching a banana with a monkey. Although there was a lot of detail in the environments, they were a little crowded. Pleasant game, but nothing exciting.
September 23, 2012
Just so so
This is a disappointing entry, as far as I am concerned. We expect CE games to offer added value, but there is nothing that would induce me to pay the extra for this one.
There is no map and a lot of back and forthing; the HO scenes do not have very many objects on the list and are easily located. The associative scenarios stretch logic in an irritating way...for instance: pink wool and a button. I never like logic puzzles like these ones.
The graphics are beautiful, which is the one redeeming thing about this game but it is just not enough for me to recommend the cost...maybe wait for the SE to come out.
September 23, 2012
A Muddled but Good Attempt
I do not like giving bad reviews, and often will not, except that this developer is obviously trying to improve their product.
There is much to like here, good art work, a stroy line that could be interesting, some excellent puzzles.
There is also a lot that is frustrating.
I had to play with the "music" turned off.
The Hint button provided no better hint outsede of the HOS than to say "try elsewhere". If I knew where to look for the missing item, I would not be hitting the hint button? A no help at all, especially when they do not provide a map and there is a lot of running to and fro from place scene to place scene to try and find what is missing.
I was intrigued by the variation on some of the puzzles, but the reasoning for two objects being united, was sometimes so thin, it could only exist in the programmers head. I had to use hint more often than I prefer, but it finally saved me the time for hitting first on the clue box, and then on each item in the scene. Persons with Carpal tunnel syndrome, beware!
Oh yes, and I have just about had it with games including bonus chapters, without including a walkthrough for them, and not having a full Strategy Guide to boot....and the only reason I am not put off by the shortness of this "extra chapter" was because I was tired of the game...or I would be complaining.
November 16, 2012
Short CE game.
Even though this was a good game to play, I don't think it was worth being a CE. I finished the game in less than a day. The length of the game was not a challenge. I am used to playing CE's for a few days. Most of the time when you buy a CE, it has more to download. This game did not.
September 25, 2012
Not worthy of the Houdini name!
As my review title mentions this game is not worthy of the Houdini name.. This game is not worth the price you pay for the collectors edition, there are much better games then this one. The graphics are well done but the plot left much to be desired. I didn't like the wallpapers or the voice overs. The extra game play seemed pointless. If you are looking for a game to get into give this one a miss, its not worth your time or money.
September 26, 2012
By trial and error
I tried this game both with the collector's edition and without and would highly recommend getting the CE because during the regular game the hints would say "there is nothing more to do in this area so go elsewhere" while the CE integrated strategy guide would get me through a thing or two or three in that very area at that very same time. My big disappointment and disillusionment (hah) was you're into the game for a good hour and still no evidence of a storyline other than a plane crash 50 years after Houdini's death. I wouldn't consider purchasing a game without a little more depth than that but, hey, that's just this glam-ma.
April 24, 2013
Not really worth the time
This game is very dull. There's no excitement. It's just blah... The visual/audio aspect was nice, but nothing to write home about. The storyline was poor. I mean, it made no sense! Was it the future or the past? Mixing Houdini and a plane crash... it 's just lame. The HOS's were very " first day of kindergarten" easy. There was no real challenge to the game and no incentive to reach the end. It was like so many other games we've seen before. Not worth my time or money. Thank glob for trials!
September 25, 2012