Amaranthine Voyage: The Tree of Life Collector's Edition
REVIEW OF COMPLETED GAME
This is a game for beginnings, with lovely wide screen graphics, easy puzzles and clear and quick iHOS, although they have laid them on rather too thick. They could have done with a lot less.
There is a Special Item inventory that upgrades as you find new things for it. Very useful. The cut scenes are also a little heavy, but they are clickable and well done as well as short. There are Achievements and different Collectibles in each scene, about 4, but I could not for the life of me collect any of the owls. They just hooted at me and stayed put. The story is a simple tale of Royal Family troubles, evil step mothers and sibling rivalty. You have to restore all the has been devastated and heal The Tree of Life. Obviously, this you do and that is the end of the main game, which is 4 hrs 45 mins long. However, if you wish to achieve something to benefit yourself, you have to do the BC. This starts in the same location as the main game ended, but quickly opens out to brand new ones. It is different from the main game and I rather liked it. The music is pleasant and the voice overs are good. There is a standard map and a journal and the SG is well done.
This all sounds rather wonderful as I read it back, but the game has an amateurish feel to it. I do not understand this as these Devs also made The Final Cut, which was far superior in every way and much more challenging. There are 8 extras after the main game, one being the BC.
I would advise anyone buying this to carefully read through the last 3, maybe 4 entries at the bottom of the Index in the SG, to see how all these collectibles work. For me, collectibles are rather an irritant and I do not usually bother with them.
It is a pretty game and a sweet one, but it irked me for it would lag continually on my PC. Maybe this is why I found myself losing interest in it.
I will recommend it, but with the warning that some may find it too tame.
January 27, 2013
Well ... definitely not a worthy archaelogy dig ...
I love archaeology very much and looked forward to playing this game, as it gave the impression of an adventure game. However, I just couldn?t get a grip on the story. It lacks smoothness. You really just play one scene after the other without really moving forward and the game has certainly no adventure factor at all. Nada. A straight HOG.
The graphics could have had potential, because the locations are nicely drawn, yet I do not appreciate grainy graphics at all, as it gives a blurry look and also makes it hard at times to find or identify objects.
As with meanwhile almost all CE you?ll have to collect blimps and butterflies, the map I have found a bit mediocre, but helpful (although you don?t really need one). The iHOS are standard, and again, this grainy look - considering that I finished 3 HOS in a row under 3 min. each (one even under 1 min.), you can imagine that they are simple?
Very few mini puzzles, and yes, they are ok but not outstanding. As a ?helper? to shoot down objects you have a bow/arrow in your permanent inventory. Two modes to play, standard and expert. Now, the cut-scenes (not during the introduction, but later on during the game) I have found really really really bad ? and I started skipping them.
What really unnerved me (in particular at the beginning of the game), that it shows you about every 2 minutes that you have to fulfil a task, that you achieved the objective ? ahhh?. and this black banner is rather large and stays on for quite a while on your screen, absolutely unnerving!
The only thing I appreciated about this game was the woman?s voice: a clear and smooth voice. But the rest? Well, having played recently two excellent games, this one is definitely a no buy. Very standard and certainly not worth a CE. It?s actually a pity, as the story line could have been good, it?s just badly told.
And the game is most certainly not an archaeology dig, that would knock you off... giving you the thrills, as you have discovered the worlds biggest treasure ever found. It's rather like building a sand castle, and I guess that would be even more fun. I give it a 3-star; the developer made an effort, but simply missed the goal.
January 27, 2013
Great extras, just a bit below average game (bonus game review at bottom)
REVIEW OF COMPLETED GAME
I only bought this game in sale because of all the many extras in it as the game isn?t my taste, and I wouldn?t even have bought the SE as it?s one of those games that without the extras I would never play it. I think it will appeal to those who hate puzzles or love simple ones and like quite a few HOS, here it?s two different types.
I was glad of the achievements and collectables as it made this easier game that bit harder.
Let?s get the negative (for me) out of the way and the following is on the hardest level (choice of 2)
- constant big on screen notifications of ?objective? and objective complete (what?s the point of the diary?)
-black bar tips
- map but it isn?t a transporter map
- mega sparkles on hard
- extras locked until finished
- such simple puzzles
-random click penalty on both levels
-I didn?t like the graphics especially at the middle to end ? not crisp and sharp kind and a lot of stone coloured as there was a lot of outside stone buildings but could have used at least some more differences in colour if not more sharp
-no auto tips on puzzles
- no map tips on hard but as it wasn?t a transporter map anyway, wasn?t using it so didn?t see the point of it on hard mode.
-live actors, they tried to minimise the lip synch by making them small and at least it was just language barrier and not off timing like some games. I thought they were well blended and it looked right, didn?t stick out, acting was OK.
-credits were well done ? humour and making it more personal
Collectables (spoiler on one) ? I loved that there are 3 different types which is great and I thought a clever one (although no one else seems to have) ? as the 3rd one you don?t take it but that gives it an art of mystery ? what is this? Why? And you only know what it is, if you get them all at the end through the achievements, so it gives mystery to one achievement. It gives the gameplay a slightly added hardness/mystery to an otherwise quite easy game. I wouldn?t appreciate if it was on the one and only collectable but it wasn?t. (look up the achievements if you want to know what it is)
Achievements ? They were mostly good achievements (apart from gameplay ones)
All puzzles and HOS and cutscenes are replayable
Making of video and before amaranthine ? if you ever wanted a behind the scenes the look this is excellent (although couldn?t hear anything)
Pictures (wallpaper, concept art, and pictures of green screen actors)
Plot was nothing special (I've seen it before) but it was well told, there are a lot of cutscenes which I didn't mind as it made gameplay more interesting telling the plot.
With getting all acheivements and collectables it might be more 2.5/5 for hardness so if you want a harder game try for everything.
21 simple puzzle (17 I think official ones) but I counted 21 that either had a ??? beside it or I felt was one.
Most of them (apart from maybe 2 that you could class as medium) were very simple, and even boring. There was one kind that was repeated that was good (the one at the very end) and at least that although not hard was fun. Most of the others felt stale ? no facelift, just straightforward, even the graphics weren?t nice.
Hidden object scenes
17 list mild interactive type, at end of each one was a simple riddle which I thought was different. You repeat one as a list type. Random click penalty on both modes of play. I did find them easy to recognise the item is which is good(I don?t mean that some weren?t blended), and quite a few were not junk pile and they weren?t dark or depressing to look at. I prefer mine to be the sharper kind but that?s my taste of graphics which this game isn?t.
12 find the same items type (ie find 12 screws) of these most of them were repeats from the list kind. I?m glad there was that kind as I prefer them and it did break them up, especially as I don?t like that many HOS and it did feel on the heavier side for HOS.
Although there one aspect of the plot is tied up ? the main part you do need the bonus for the personal aspect of it to conclude as well as tree aspect. As I wasn?t so engaged with everything (as I said above this isn?t to my taste) it wasn?t until I started playing the bonus that I realised ?of course, it isn?t all concluded at the end of the main game? and had a duh moment of not realising before that.
I will say that I preferred the gameplay of the bonus to the last bit of the main game. It was 99% in new area and I thought there seem to be more thought in it. It wasn?t wonderful etc but I enjoyed it more than most of main game.
5 list HOS
5 find same item HOS
9 puzzle (unofficial)
It was right on the hour.
I can?t recommend it due to a few things (one of which is the bonus plot isn?t a bonus although if everything else was wonderful and to my taste, I would have as it?s not that bad or cliffhanger situation) but I?m not going to not recommend it as for a CE it had loads of extras and they put work into the extras. I just felt the gameplay on it?s own wasn?t good enough to warrant a recommendation from me, and I would have if it was, even if it wasn?t to my taste.
4hrs (roughly) for main game
1 hr for bonus
February 26, 2013
STARTED GREAT THEN FIZZLED
I purchased this game after playing the demo as it seemed to be a little different and looked like a good story and good game play. When I got to about the half way point of the game I was getting bored as the game play became very, very repetitive. You knew before hand what was going to happen next and you could see the end of the story way before you got there. HOS were played twice each time, once with a list and once to "find 12" of something.
Puzzles were to easy. There was no feeling of accomplishment when you completed one successfully. I certainly don't want a bunch of head banging puzzles, but please, make me think.
Some may like this game, but for me it was just getting way to boring at about the half way point and playing the bonus game was almost a chore. Try the demo as you may like this game, but I found out it wasn't for me.
August 2, 2013
I pretty much could not finish this game
I enjoy HO games and adventure games, but I feel this was at best mediocre in either category.
The storyline (and thus gameplay) is linear and quite constrained. It's hard to just explore the world. There is only one objective at a time, and what you have to do to achieve it always pretty obvious and straight-forward. There is no branching, no player prioritization of tasks, and no way to move on and work on something else for awhile if your imagination fails you.
I hated the so-called riddles at the end of each HOS. They were too obvious, and by putting them at the end, I was always familiar enough with the scene by then that I could just grab the item and go.
Basically, the game had some interesting ideas, a potentially interesting plot, and even some visual interest, but the gameplay was more like reading a so-called interactive adventure where the author kept saying, "Well, I won't tell you what happens next until you do this pointless thing first".
March 8, 2013
Gave it 3.5 stars!
I too see a lot of very positive reviews for this game, but I'm not feeling quite as kicked out about it as others seem to be. The graphics are very nice, I really liked the "soothing" music, and the game play was nice. Story line...I like to know what's going on from the beginning, not as the game progresses. This one was a bit sketchy.
SG was standard, but it only showed the chapters you could play in the demo. I prefer seeing the total number of chapters so I can gauge approximately how long the game may be. Finding the little blimp was quite simple and not challenging at all. Games were very simple and HOGs were a bit messy. Like the voice over (always a plus for me).
All that said, this was not a bad game, but could easily have been much better. Too much dialoge and not enough game play. A lot of shoe leather used for just one item in a lot of cases. This game did not make me want to keep playing after the demo ended, but I will recommend it for beginners or intermediate players. For a seasoned gamer like myself, it just seemed a little too tame and boring. Sorry, no buy for me today and probably not as an SE either.
As always, try it for yourself and see what you think. We all have different tastes in games and you may quite enjoy it. Thanks for the reviews.
January 27, 2013
This game I found had too many HOS games. My biggest issue was the huge amount of chit chat that couldn't be skipped. Some can, but a lot can't be.
A bit different in that its not really spooky. Got bored quickly having to find shapes to fit objects, and the puzzles were too easy. Each scene had a blimp/grenade you had to find, plus a dozen butterflies throughout the game (who knows why)!
Not a bad game, but there's far better available.
January 28, 2013
Thank heaven for the mute button!
I agree the graphics are nice...but that is not enough to carry this game. To start with, the voices are the worst I have ever heard! The heroine sounds like a 3rd grade school teacher reading a story, and after I heard the captain doing a laughable Walter Cronkite impression I had to hit the mute...also, when the heroine is giving some exposition, she says she has been "journalling"...there's no way that's a word! So, I was not off to a good start right away. The story itself is okay, although sort of disorganized (is this a sequel or something?) and I got the feeling that the devs added a lot of frills to pad out the actual play. You get to collect butterflies and blimps, and possibly other things..not sure, as I only discovered those things by accident. There is an owl in practically every scene, although I'm pretty sure owls don't hang out in the jungle. I thought they were gonna be collectibles, but they were not..so go figure. There is a map, but it is not a transporter, and there is a LOT of traipsing back and forth. The journal has the story and, for some reason, a play back button for scenes that are not important, and also has a list of your current objectives. One other reviewer said that the hint told you exactly what to do, but I found it only pointed the direction or indicated an area that you could do something to...it does reload quickly though. I did enjoy the HO scenes with some interactive items but overall I did not enjoy the game enough to lay out the expense of a CE. I thought it was too disjointed and silly...sorry.
January 27, 2013
Aspects I liked:
good assortment of HOS and puzzles
enjoyed the riddles at the end of the interactive HOS
Aspects I found less appealing:
Scenes were far too busy
Sound became so annoying I had to turn the volumn down
could not jump from the map
I do think many gamers would like this game.
January 27, 2013
Based off of the demo:
I was going to give this game a 4 star rating because the visual and graphics were good but overall I couldn't do it.
Storyline? So so
Puzzles? Easy ones that are overused in most games
Did I feel like I wasted my time playing the demo? Not completely but I would say my desire to continue playing was more out of curiousity to if the storyline dragged me in more. I will say that I'm really hard to please as far as storylines go lately so maybe that's part of my bias towards not liking this game.
I would not spend money to see how it ends, to say the least.
February 23, 2013