The Great Unknown: Houdini's Castle
An Enjoyable HO Puzzle Game!
You have your choice between Casual and Expert Modes. In Casual Mode, the Hints recharge quickly and game sparkles guide you toward new HOS.This game took me 6-1/2 hours on the Casual setting; I am sure it would have taken me much longer to play if I had selected Expert Mode.
I had to resort to the Hint button occasionally, but only for the puzzles where you have to figure what what objects are related. Each time, once the Hint had shown me the answer, it seemed obvious, and these puzzles provided enough challenge to be interesting and yet not so much that it was frustrating.
Hidden objects were often related to the scene, with minimal unrelated "junk" and no tiny items. Most hidden objects were easy to find; a few challenging ones kept me interested (I prefer puzzles to hidden object scenes.) Unlike another reviewer, I didn't have trouble with the hidden object scenes being too dark to see. It could be the normal variation between different computer monitors. If you have trouble seeing items, I suggest changing the monitor angle so the objects are easier to see. There was a good mixture between hidden object scenes, puzzles, and exploration/adventure.
Puzzles were mostly of types frequently seen, but the art work related them well to the story, so I didn't mind. You have the option to Skip puzzles in the Casual Mode setting, but I didn't find this necessary. Directions are listed below each puzzle. I did not need any Hints for the puzzles, other than the puzzles that were related to hidden objects, as explained above.
I did a fair amount of running back and forth, but that was because I often overlooked something that would have enabled me to finish a section. This non-linear approach to the game design means you can still make progress in the game, even if you have overlooked something, but you will have to do more running around to the various scenes.
There were a lot of different scenes to explore, and the artwork was exceptionally good. The colors and tones added to the game's atmosphere, yet there were also beautiful outdoor scenes that contrasted wonderfully with the spooky atmosphere of the remaining scenes. Lots of skeletons, but minimal gore, which is the way I like it.
The music added to the spooky atmosphere, and most of the background sounds did also. The cut-scenes were intriguing and helped immerse me into the story and game play. I missed one of the film reels, and will most likely replay the game to see if I can find it =)
Fortunately, missing one film reel did not keep me from finishing the game! The ending is satisfying, you don't feel frustrated waiting for the next game to be released by this developer before you will know what happens.
Give this game a try, I am glad that I did!
October 17, 2012
loved it, wonderful locations, really have to watch it all you need is to miss one little thing so makes you think and re look at everything
December 17, 2012
I really enjoyed this game!
The graphics are beautiful
When you think you've opened up all the available scenes, you find even more.... this game is full of adventure
It is not too easy and not too hard
It is longer than most
Some of the HO scenes are association matches - and it's the one drawback to the game -- many are quite a stretch, but it didn't ruin the game for me.
The mini puzzles are a tad easy but the game is so enjoyable, that it didn't bother me that much
I highly recommend this one.... Enjoy!
November 2, 2012
Had so much fun!
My husband & I play these all the time & this one was really great! The puzzles were fun, not too challenging but a lot of fun to do. We are not ones for story lines, we usually just skip right through them, but we did like the movie reels in this one. We don't use the hints and/or tutorials so not sure how those are. But all in all the game was so much fun. Enjoy & have fun!
October 24, 2012
THE STORY IS THE GAME!
Usually purchase CE version of games I like and was not particulary impressed with the demo. However, after getting into the game and playing a short while longer, wish I had!
Lengthy with an excellent storyline that unfolded. The time era was well presented and realistic. Harry Houdini is the main focus and brought a deep sense of mystery which I find very appealing and sets this game apart from so many other HOPA games...Lots of objects to locate and fit into place with a good amount of area to cover. Because the story was so interesting and the different scenes superbly drawn, I didn't get lost, turned around or frustrated.
Hidden object scenes were time period appropriate. Artwork and computer graphics were quite memorable! Obviously, a lot of work went into developing. Prefer more difficult puzzles, however, enjoyed overall gaming experience.
Thanks to Developers and BFG for an excellent game!
Enjoy! -Mama Mia-
August 10, 2013
Loved This Game!
Okay, I know I may be over the top on this one, but it has everything I love! Great music (reminds me of Ravenhurst), great storyline with films to watch along the way, great scenes, some challenging HOS's, and good puzzles to figure out. I'm really happy with this game.
November 26, 2012
Great Game and Story Line
This game was very well done with a great story. It kept me interested and was smooth in its process through the story. I highly recommend this game. I hope you will take advantage and enjoy!
November 10, 2012
I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this game! Great graphics and enjoyable games make this a wonderful gaming experience. Would highly recommend!!
October 30, 2012
Enjoyed this game
I read the reveiws before palying and I must disagree with the issue of fuzzy graphics. I think the graphics were nicely done and I enjoyed the story alot. Nice twist of the plot with the houdini history. Cut scenes really moved the story along. Over all I think this game is a winner of fun.
October 20, 2012
The Great Unknown Houdini's Castle
This is a pretty straight forward Adventure HO Game. I liked the logical attributes of this game. Though some scenes have muted color and depth I thought this game was a great mental challenge, especially concerning replacing items back into scenes with their respective objects. I enjoyed the HOS because I like when there is a lot of stuff to sort through.
I have to admit there was a time or two I had to hit the hint button because I just didn't see or make the connection of an object in the inventory with an object in the scene to corrospond with the other object when placing objects back into a scene.
For that, I gave it a five star rating. Simply because I thought it was extremely clever to associate an octopus with an ink well in one scene, and there are many other examples. I thought if one plays this game in expert mode may have to use that gray matter just like in large file Adventure games that don't supply hints and sparkles and one must rely on their eyes and wit.
As far as the story, I was a little disappointed but I really enjoyed the straight forward journal which was straigt to the point when explaining notes and letters found.
I only got to play the trial version and though I had chosen to play in Expert Mode, I still had fast filled hint slots, and sparkles on all items except when trying to match one object to another in the HO scenes.
All in all, a good game if you play it in another mode besides 'casual'. You will have to think a little.
Though no map, I don't mind back tracking in games because that builds great memory skills.
I did like the Hint, if needed, would state there was nothing left to do in that scene at the moment so If I felt a little frustrated I could move on to the next scene.
Good game, I recommend buing it.
October 21, 2012