Night Mysteries: The Amphora Prisoner
Good in parts
Natalie, our heroine, finds herself alone on the ship which is taking her home. She discovers a mysterious amphora and now must search the deserted ship to find the items she needs to save the crew before dawn.
This is an older style game with no animation, interaction nor the high standard of graphics we are more used to these days. The cut scenes, which can be quite long, are a series of sepia stills.
There are 2 levels of play (casual and advanced) and a brightness adjuster. A map helps you to navigate around the ship but is not informative or interactive, just tells you where you are.
There is a mixture of puzzles and HOSs. The puzzles are interesting and some quite challenging. HOSs are junk piles and some objects (brown on brown/green on green/tiny) are very difficult to spot. The hint is useful but the sparkle disappears almost immediately so click while you look at the screen or you might miss it. The hint also helps you navigate if stuck but is not 'free' as in some games so progress can be slow.
Cursor does not always change for pick-ups so you need to click on anything. Also keep eyes very peeled for tiny pearls as you need these to complete your challenge.
It is definitely worth trying the demo and sticking with it. I nearly gave up after 10 mins but am glad I didn't as it does get better.
I will buy as I have a punch card to complete today and a free game voucher, but am not sure whether I would otherwise.
Recommendation? I can't recommend it as it is not good enough, but would not say no either. Definitely one to make your own mind up about.
July 31, 2013
Good Idea for a Game
This game has some nice options for controlling difficulty, brightness and screen movement. The music is unobtrusive and I left it on throughout the demo.
Many of the graphics are lower resolution, reminiscent of older games, but not unpleasant. The hidden object scenes are cluttery but they seem to be placed in appropriate places where a lot of clutter might be.
The story idea is good and hoping to find out more kept me playing. The problems really came down to language and story writing. I felt that the dialogue was thin and the narration kept switching tenses. There were gaps in scenes that left me wondering what I had missed. When the full plot was revealed, suddenly and in a few seconds, I was disappointed. I wanted to find out slowly and maybe in a more tension generating fashion. I knew the rest of the game would be gathering stuff needed for the showdown and I wanted more plot.
Finally, mislabeling of objects in hidden object scenes put me on edge - pomade on the list was lipstick, and captain's tube turned out to be a pipe for smoking tobacco.
July 31, 2013
Our cut scene opens up with cartoon drawings that recounts our story: Following the death of her father, a young novelist is trying to get home to America but misses her boat. Her luck changes when she is invited to board a cargo ship and gladly accepts as it is her only way home. Little does she know that onboard is an ancient relic that holds an evil presence and to her dismay, everybody seems to have gone missing. It is up to her to retrieve the souls of the crew and imprision the evil back into the amphora.
With graphics that are totally out-dated but nevertheless sharp. Unfortunately there are no voice-overs but some sound effects and soft music instead. You have two modes of difficulty which you can adjust during gameplay and game features include a map that really is of no help whatsoever and a journal. Thakfully the hint system does fill up quickly and it looks some gamers will be put off by the lack of direction in the game.
The Amphora Prisoner is a HOPA that actually is more adventure and does offer a certain amount of challenge. It reminds me of the early Escape the Room games where you end up clicking all over the place to retireve an item. Suprisingly I found myself enjoying the demo as I started entering one room after another, playing the odd HO scenes, the mini-games and collecting pearls along the way.
Although the graphics are sharp, HO scenes are quite challenging as some items are very well hidden. Mini-games are relatively easy but a certain patience is required for some and I actually enjoyed that. The entire game moves slowly reminding me of adventure games and as the map is of no help, there were times that I found myself walk around aimlessly and resorting to usingthe hint which merely points to a direction.
For fans of adventure games, this may please you but be warned, it does move rather slow and does not offer much excitement at first. Unfotunately due to the dated graphics and no voice-overs, the story seems to lose its impact on the game and you cant seem to get emotionally invested in an empty boat and cartoon characters. My recomendation is not to spend your money on this but rather spend a free game award if you have any sitting around. It is not a bad game, it runs slowly and at times can be a bit frustrating what with all the backtracking. However I do enjoy a mystery and finding those little pearls along the way was challenging. Some of the puzzles were interesting and I am a fan of adventure games. It does not look to be a long game but as I do have some time to spare, I will splurge a credit myself and see if I can save the day. I expect many may pass but do play the demo and see if you have the patience to do the full run. Regardless of my own personal taste for the odd adventure game and the fact that I do have club credits piling up, I will not recommend this game for those who are looking for a fast paced HOPA with some of the more up-to-date features. In my opinion, this is really not worth an SE price tag.
July 31, 2013
IT HAS IT'S MOMENTS!
This is definitely a low budget game, BUT, it also contains some really good features. You will start out adjusting your resolution by sliding a bar until the top section is invisible. the middle section is barley visible and the bottom is clearly visible. When you board the ship you have the option of stopping the camera rolling effect (a must if you get queasy) There are some really annoying parts as well such as the HOS have really tiny unrecognizable items and names for common items such as a smoking pipe is called a captains tube! There are a ton of doors and it becomes difficult to know which way to go with no map and when you click on the hint button it takes a while to recharge even when showing you which way to go. Puzzles are typical swap pieces to complete a picture and it allows you to replay the puzzles after completing the game. You also collect 33 hidden pearls are they are super tiny as well. This is a game that could have been great with a bigger budget.
July 31, 2013
Is it time of old-school games on BigFish? Joking apart, I enjoyed every minute of this ?dinosaur? game. Yes ? the graphics are too old. Yes ? there are no vos. Yes ? the game needs to be polished in technical terms.
But still this is adventure worth of playing and spending your time.
August 8, 2013
Very unusual creepy game
The game with a very original storyline ? not the usual stuff we see in 100+ other games. Honestly, I was not expecting such a captivating adventure from a low budget game.
And now a pinch of salt. I would prefer to see better English translation/localization. I experienced some problems in HOS because of it. One more point: the intro was too long to keep my attention span.
All in all a good game to spend credits on.
August 18, 2013
Different, but a little slow
This review is based on the demo. This game is okay, but it feels a bit draggy...long cut scenes, lag switching from area to area. Scenes are nicely styled but not overly interesting. I liked it somewhat, but not enough to buy it. I would suggest people try it, as others may like it more than I did!
August 3, 2013
This game's got a few unique aspects to it - the scenes constantly rock from side to side as if you actually are on a ship. You can either tolerate the mild sea-sickness, or turn that function off :#
The map isn't interactive, that would have helped because the time lag moving from scene to scene is longer than usual.
There are some good challenges, where you have to use an inventory item to solve a fast-moving problem, but you have to work out which item to use. The hidden object scenes are very challenging, too.
The plot was okay, but the time lags between scenes made the overall game drag out too long. Also, #as a lapsed Catholic, not particularly religious) I found the main character's blasphemy in the script a little odd. Some people might be offended by it.
August 16, 2013
The Amphora Prisoner
The characters are still life - not that impressive. There are some good puzzles, but found the HO to be standard.
September 9, 2013
I Don?t Actually Hate It
BASED ON DEMO
Clearly, this is another game from the back of the closet, where I suspect it has been for at least a couple of years. Everything about it is old-school and low budget. But it did give you a chance to adjust brightness according to a referent point, which I liked.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The intro is a comic book styled graphics (poorly done but not dismal) and the written story (no voiceover) goes on too long. Cut scenes are video or more comics, and there are too many of them.
The game graphics are low resolution photo realism, clear but you can see the pixels. Another thing I did like was the ?camera? rolled with the movement of the ship, and you had the option to keep or discard this.
NEVER accept lifts from strangers! Especially sea captains offering you passage from Portugal to America on his cargo ship. I mean, what were you thinking? Still, it?s a different story, and therefore has its charm.
You can?t sleep due to all the strange noises, so you go to investigate. After a couple of side tracks, you discover an ancient amphora with glowing green light emitted from it. It is the prison of a terrible evil, and it has gotten out. You must perform a ritual to save the crew and yourself.
The gameplay is straightforward and old-fashioned. The HO scenes (11) are interactive list, and are surprisingly difficult. Items are well disguised, and the interactions are not obvious. Some words are wrongly translated.
The puzzles/mini-games (15) are also oddly difficult. They require manual dexterity as well as brain power. For example, click on 6 rods that move at different speeds in the correct order and pace so that they all move out of the lock at the same time.
Hint is quick, and directional outside HO scenes. Skip is slower. There is a journal with task list and a map. The many corridors of the ship are confusing and so even though the map is neither interactive or a jump map it is useful.
Both HOs and puzzles are replayable from the main menu.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
This would have been a well thought of game a couple of years back I think, and it?s not all bad even now. It does have low production standards, and is outdated, and it is also too slow with too much reading. But the story is interesting, and the puzzles are original.
I?m withholding judgement and neither recommending it or not.
July 31, 2013