Spirits of Mystery: The Dark Minotaur
Could have been fun without glitches
I spent more than half the game struggling with the sticky cursor. I found a solution in the Big Fish forum, but the cursor was still a major problem in some areas.
Quick progress. I moved through the game at a decent pace.
Lightly to moderately challenging puzzles -- of course, this would be a con if you're looking for greater challenge. I liked the mix of various types of puzzles and especially the hidden object scenes where you use objects to solve problems.
You are kept in the general area where you need to be. This reduces unnecessary running around. However at times this is a negative because the game can feel restrictive.
I like the illustration style and the variety of scenes. The hidden object scenes are clear.
Critters. I liked all of the animals I encountered or rescued. (Corny, I know. :-))
Sticky cursor. This would have been a deal-breaker if I'd known about it before getting the game.
Unhelpful hints. One hint was that I should be someplace else. How about showing me where?! I moved to the room where I suspected I needed to do something, asked for another hint and was told to use an object I didn't have yet. How about telling me what the actual next step is?! I had to use a walkthrough to find out. The solution was infuriatingly counterintuitive. After finding knives, pickaxes, and shovels, any of which would have done the job just fine, it made no sense why I had to use the object the developer wanted me to. At times like that, I felt manipulated, arbitrarily forced to do what the developer wanted when they wanted.
The font for hidden objects had difficult-to-read characters. I read "Bat" as "Bal" and figured it was a poor translation for ball or balloon. I never could read it and had to use a hint to find the object, which I had actually noticed before and would have found had I been able to read the word. Later when i read "Lorgnelle," I knew that it had to be "Lorgnette."
The music is terrible, alternating between an inappropriate symphonic snooze-fest and over-the-top melodramatic blasts.
The pacing was off. Halfway through, the game is essentially over. The minotaur's maze is trivial (although I like the dreamscapy way you navigate it), and the encounter with the minotaur is brief and anticlimactic. But then the game keeps on going. The ending is abrupt and unsatisfying. I understand you want to keep a bad guy around for the sequel but there should be a real showdown, not just "so long, sucka!"
Despite all the negatives, I actually enjoyed much of the game. It's hard to rate it because the technical problems -- which should never have been in a final release but could have at least been fixed in an update -- detract so much from the experience. I think I would have rated this 3.5 stars if the mouse had worked and the music had been better.
Give the demo a good try before you buy.
February 18, 2014
The story starts out like it will be interesting - find the missing animals. But, turns out, they have little to do with the plot. In fact, there really isn't a coherent plot although an attempt is made.
Game play is poorly designed. Weird use of objects; bad and easy puzzles; HOS that are all IA and some that are silhouettes and have puzzles within them; no map; HINT button not helpful. Not much fun to play, really.
Artwork is the standard for this developer and is OK. The music is the same they use in all their games, and is really atrocious. I wonder if they have tried ITunes?
Others seemed to like the game, so I might have missed something. That would be easy to do with this boring, sleep-inducing game.
April 12, 2013
This game looked as if it was going to be more interesting than it turned out to be. It was a challenge to work out what you were supposed to do next but what minigames it had were far too easy and I found the game way too short. I only took as long as I did because of running around to find out what to do next and as there was no map (with shortcuts) this involved a lot of going through scenes that were no longer important.
It also involved one of my pet hates - HOS which are used twice but with no indication that you need to revisit them unless you come across them as you are running around trying to figure out what to do next.
February 16, 2013
Worse than the previous
The graphics are a bit blurry even though colorful but it's a split story and there's really little backtracking, differently from the previous one. Sparkles even in normal mode.Quite deceiving in my opinion.
February 2, 2014
IN A WORD....
Slow, too easy and just plain painful to play. Nothing going on,
very single-dimensional. I don't recommend...didn't get past the trial. I kept thinking the pace would pickup but it never did. Sorry, BFG....I enjoy game play, but this one is not for me!
January 31, 2013
I was very disappointed in this game. So much so that if I could get my money back, I would. I found it boring and the voices of the characters got on my nerves. Didn't play it all the way through, I'll admit, but the part I did play seemed too simplistic and repetitive.
February 21, 2013