Off the Record: Linden Shades
Good for children, disappointing and unpolished for adults
I love the developer's other games, but (assuming they intended a teenage or adult audience) they really dropped the ball on this one.
* While the game supports widescreen, at 1920x1080 the graphics were unacceptably pixellated. The edges of rounded objects were sawtoothed.
* The list-based hidden object scenes were simplistic and only one step above rudimentary.
- Many objects made no sense for the setting - example: the first scene had you find fresh, unmelted chocolates that had been sitting in the sun outside an orphanage abandoned since 1969.
- As is standard for the genre, colored item names meant an extra step was needed. These extra steps seemed designed for toddlers: e.g. click on a jewelry box to zoom in and place variously shaped gems into the slots corresponding to the correct shape.
- Annoyingly, some hidden (well, fragmented) objects had to be found scattered across the entire scene, a-la the old Gypsy Tower game.
* The graphics were amateurish. It was blatantly obvious that a bunch of photographed items had been inexpertly clipped and then cut-and-pasted into the scene without regard to matching the lighting, coloring or tone of the rest of the setting.
* The plot was presented as if it were geared towards adults, while being too simple for anyone beyond elementary school age. It honestly played out like a Scooby Doo episode, and not one of the good ones.
* There was very little effort to make genre-standard gameplay (find odd-shaped keys to fit locks, find the scattered pieces of complicated puzzle locks and then assemble them, search through junk piles of improbable objects) fit the setting. This is a common pitfall of this type of games, but in this case the separation between gameplay and setting was jarring enough to destroy immersion.
In short, this is a surprisingly weak entry from the developers behind the fantastic Final Cut games. It may be worth a purchase if you have a toddler or youngster you wish to introduce to hidden object games, but I can't imagine most adults playing the game on their own would find it worth their time.
October 1, 2013
Maybe Okay For a Very New or Young Beginner
There were too many annoyances for me.
*The very large and completely unnecessary new objective/ objective completed box popping up all the time.
*The music was just awful.
*Teeny tiny objects to pick up outside of the HOS.
*Busy artwork. That's the only way I can explain it.
*Too easy. There's nothing left for the player to figure out.
The story seemed to have potential, but the execution left a lot to be desired. I'm amazed that it has four stars at this point. It seems that people who don't like a game won't review it.
July 9, 2013
Only for the beginners
Sorry to say this one is only for the beginners. HOS are Sooooo easy and present no challenge. Puzzles are the same. An out of date game this one
July 17, 2013
Actually a Game for Children or Teens
Unless the other reviewers were children, I'm not sure how any game-playing adult could give this a high rating.
I played the demo for an hour and was able to acquire 4 out of the 7 cassette tapes -- which tells me the game can't be very long.
The storyline sounded inriquing, but it's geared more for children. It's not creepy or scary. There's no ominous music or things jumping out at you. It's very obvious all along that the "red ghost" the orphan children are seeing is actually a person in a red hooded cloak.
The music and sound effects were okay, but the graphics looked more like sketches or drawings.
Puzzles are simple and the hidden object scenes are extremely basic and easy. The only thing I liked about the game was the was the video at the beginning and the great voiceovers.
I would not recommend this game for adults unless they were new to computer gaming. And I wouldn't pay full price for it. Wait until it's offered as a Daily Deal or Catch of the Week.
July 12, 2013
Off the Record: Linden Shades
This was one of my least favourite hidden object games due to the nature of it
January 15, 2014