Spirits of Mystery: The Dark Minotaur Collector's Edition
Not up to Spirits of Mystery standards
Hidden Object/Puzzle Adventure
You're back in your role as the plucky princess always fighting the evil witch Mortis and her lover/sidekick Isa in this third installment of Spirits of Mystery. This reads somewhat like a prequel, since you defeated Mortis and Isa in Song of the Phoenix, but there's not enough backstory regarding their relationship for it to qualify as one. Anyway, off you go to save another kingdom from their evil machinations, this time concerning the revival of a minotaur, who makes only a token appearance. You also have to rescue your four magical animals, whom Isa has kidnapped.
This is mainly an adventure game with HO scenes and puzzles along the way. The HO scenes repeat several times?which is irritating?and are either of the junk pile variety or the serial action, "do this to get that" type. The junk pile HOs are extremely cluttered, some of the descriptions are questionable, and the font style is hard to read. The serial action HOs are more fun, being more innovative and interactive. The puzzles are nothing we haven't seen before, and none of them were difficult.
The adventure portion, on the other hand, was somewhat chaotic. Several times, I found myself in an area before I had collected the items needed there, and the black box text was cryptic at best, leaving me wondering why I couldn't do anything in that area. Other times, I was simply at a dead end with no idea what to do next. And some interactive areas were easy to miss, being close to the "go back" hot spot or the very edges of the screen.
A crystal ball at bottom right gives you hints. At bottom left is the amulet holding your magical animals. If you feed them, they'll help you. (That's all I can say without spoiling things.) I didn't notice whether there was a map, but your travels are segmented into smaller areas, so there's not a lot of backtracking.
Graphics are the usual ERS painterly style.
Cutscenes are the usual ERS painterly style animation.
Appropriate, except for a repetitive "The Lost Boys vampires flying" sound which was annoying.
The usual ERS ambient and game sounds.
Fairly well done, although the characters seemed a bit self-important and disrespectful considering they were addressing a princess.
In my opinion, this is the weakest of the three in the series. Although I would still recommend it, it was a bit of a disappointment after Song of the Phoenix. The storyline seemed fragmented and the minotaur itself superfluous, merely lending himself to the game's name rather than as an integral part of the story. Also, the ending was abrupt?no denouement. Nor did the bonus play provide any; it was a completely different storyline.
I had difficulty becoming interested in the game's characters as they had little personality aside from helpless neediness or gratuitous evil. Similarly, gameplay seemed fragmented, which is unusual for ERS games. There were a few times when I simply had no idea what to do next, and the items in my inventory provided no clue.
If you have Amber Maiden and Song of the Phoenix, I would recommend you purchase this one if only to continue your collection. If not, Song of the Phoenix is the best of the series, to my mind?and the CE is worth it.
January 3, 2013
Good But Way Too Short
Let's just say besides it's overall short game length; it was a real shame the Player didn't get a chance to face the Dark Minotaur Greek style like Theseus in the labyrinth in the end. Play to find out why...
January 3, 2013
Princess saves fae world from evil queen....again......
I enjoyed the first two of this series, so bought this straight out. But it's reached a point where if you've played one ERS game, you've played them all.
Typical to all games by this dev, you've got stunning graphics, voice-overs, and cut-scenes. The details and complexities of each scene always amaze me.
But that is where it falls flat.
No achievements or bonus objects - something I feel is essential to CE games.
Hidden object games where basic, and a couple of times a bit hazy. Puzles were run of the mill and easy.
The story flowed well but was basically so over-used that it was totally predictable.
The game wasn't particularly long either.
I only vaguely recall playing the bonus chapter - which pretty much sums it up. Once again, also a tad short.
Definitely not worth the CE version, but would highly recommend getting the SE - even if only for the graphics.
January 27, 2013
SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN THE DARK
Review based on one hour of gameplay, actual game, not trial version.
Animation/VOS - Good what I saw and heard of them.
The usual back tracking just to look for missing animals and other items was of no interest to me. This storyline did not hold my attention. Had to keep referring to the SG to get help taking me away from the game. To me, it was boring and tedious. Seemed to be more traveling than IHOS and puzzles/mini-games.
Time to play another game.
January 12, 2013
Too many cutscenes that lasted too long. Wish someone could figure out how to by pass ALL of the cutscenes not just some of them.
The music was just a little repititious and annoying.
For the beginner it would be an ok game.
January 9, 2013
Lost interest in the game pretty fast...
..even though the plot is clear and the missing animals are very cute, I soon lost interest in the game and ended up removing the game before the trial expired.
In comparison to Song of the Phoenix, this game is not near as fetching or challenging.
January 8, 2013
Not The Usual ERS Game
Reality Show: Fatal Shot, Haunted Legends: The Undertaker, Redemption Cemetary: Grave Testimony. What do all these games have in common? They were all the best games of 2012 and were developed by ERS. While it was developed by ERS, this game sadly was one to forget.
(based off demo)
I liked the HOS. They were probably the best thing of the game. There were 2 kinds; the classic junkpile, and shillouette. In shillouette, you had to switch between 2 scenes to find a few objects. Junkpile contained some objects that required an extra step to find. They were challenging and great fun to play.
Great graphics. Very modern, great animations.
Hint/skip recharge fast.
Puzzles were great. Not too challenging, but then again not too easy.
A fair bit of going back and forth.
Okay, my main problem with this game is that the fairy tale storyline has been DONE TO DEATH. Unless it's gonna be great, don't bother. This certainly was NOT great. The start just bored me, and even the introduction of the animals wasn't good. As I progressed, story got slightly better, but overall it was a fail.
I had to rely on the hint a lot.
Most of the time I found it hard to figure out what to do next.
I didn't like the first Spirits of Mystery, but I went in to this game intending to play without being biased. I did so, but this is just as bad as the first. This is one of ERS' worst games, and I won't be recommending, nor will I be buying.
January 2, 2013
Just Plain Poor!
I expect better from ERS...terrible, boring story and the music was so awful, I turned it off. There was no logic to most of the story and I had to rely solely on the SG, which was poorly constructed. After completion of the game, and NOT looking particularily forward to a Bonus game, I found none. I never write reviews (oops! except once) as I usually let others do that chore, however, I was irritated by this game. Too expensive to waste on a CE.
January 13, 2013
Would Not Recommend
In my opinion this game had no rhyme nor reason. It did not flow and was irritatingly confusing. I love to be challenged and this game was not at all challenging........just a big mess. I did not mind that it was short because I was ready to be done with it. I felt cheated.
January 8, 2013
Sorry for makers of this game. Was extremely disappointing. First of all did not enjoy storyline, and game to be a CE was extremely short. Only took but a mere 2 hours to play. Not worth the money. Hopefully next one will be worth the money.
January 1, 2013