Mystery Trackers: Silent Hollow
Don't Repeat My Mistake!
NOTE: This is based on completed COLLECTOR'S EDITION
I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I've made the wrong choice! I bought the CE when I really should have bought the SE! At the time, I thought the extras were worth it, but I would have been happier with the SE. The only extras worth it for the CE are the Shop and the Bonus Chapter.
The story is a good one! It starts off with a bang right from the beginning, and is scarier than the average story! Seriously, those masks freaked me out! The story is a true spy-movie type thing, complete with Secret Agents, over-the-top security, awesome gadgets and powers and the evil rogue agent. The story has its fair share of twists and turns and is really quite exciting. The demo ends on a cliffhanger, and the surprises don't stop there! This is one story that just builds and builds until you get to the end.
Even though the ending is conclusive, it is really weak. It's kind of annoying that I went through 3 hours or so of gameplay just for that. It was literally about 2 seconds and then it was over.
Overall, despite the disappointing ending, I felt that the story was a great one and very fun to play. Well done to the developers for this one.
The gameplay is pretty good. It's fun and exciting, and has some unique elements to it. The HOS are all lists with a couple of extra-step objects. These were all fairly easy to complete. The puzzles were a mixture of hard and easy. I played a few, but skipped most. What was nice about them though was the fact that there were a couple of new ones as apposed to the same old puzzles every single time. But, to be honest. I would've liked some easier puzzles in the game, and a couple of different HOS.
This game is packed with the use of spy stuff. Apart from a forensics kit (only used briefly), there is also powers. They are Pyrokinesis (fire), Hypnoeye (hypnosis) and Cryokinesis (ice). These are unique and fun to use. I enjoyed every time I got to use them. They are used fairly evenly, according to my achievements, but it seemed that Pyrokinesis was used way more than any of the others.
And, of course, it wouldn't be a Mystery Trackers game without our beloved Elf. Elf makes his return in this series, and is extremely useful. He is our animal helper in this game, and is used quite often, both in the main game and the bonus chapter. I enjoyed every time I got to use Elf.
Other than Elf and the spy stuff, this is pretty much your normal HOPA. It contains all the basic features (except for the diary) and experienced players should have no trouble navigating.
The graphics are outstanding and are so well drawn. They are very detailed. You can clearly see this is a 2013 game. This game also uses live actors for some scenes, which is nice, but would have been better had the lips moved in time with the voices.
The voice-overs are standard. I have no issue with them.
4 modes of difficulty: Casual, Advanced, Hardcore and Detective. I played Casual.
Hint/Skip- both recharge fairly fast for Casual and the hint is useful outside HOS.
Map- the map is interactive and is fairly helpful. It tells you where there is an objective to complete.
Elf- Elf is our animal helper, as with the other MT games. He is used quite often.
Special Abilities- These are Pyrokinesis, Hypnosis and Cryokinesis. These are also used quite often.
Mystical Lens- similar to a magnifying glass- used to locate things that cannot be seen by the naked eye. There is usually one thing to be discovered in each scene.
WHAT DO I MISS OUT ON IF I BUY THE SE?
Collectible items for the Dossier (28)- These are collectibles. It gives a detailed description of each item you collect for it, be it the profile of an agent or a weapon.
Collectible pets (13)- This works similar to the Dossier.
Built-in Strategy Guide- Very helpful, especially for puzzles.
Bonus Chapter- not needed. This is a completely new story. Someone is going back in time and changing the future of the Mystery Trackers and thus, erasing the agents. It is your job to stop them.
Temporal Lens- This is similar to the Mystical Lens, but is used in the bonus chapter only. It is used to access items from the future.
Secret room- Unlocked when you complete the bonus chapter. This is incredibly useless and annoying. It is very boring. It's basically just a place to replay HOS and Puzzles. Had I known what the secret room was, I would not have bought the CE.
Shop (2)- There are 2 shops in this game:
* Elf's Shop- this is a place where you can buy things for Elf and his family. This is a really nice feature, and I quickly spent my ducats.
* Interface Shop- here, you can buy things to change the interface of the game. You can change the hint or the panel. This is also a nice feature, but I liked Elf's Shop better.
The annoying thing about having 2 shops is that there is less to buy. I would've liked to see more stuff to buy in Elf's Shop.
Bonus Video- this is the most stupid and hilarious thing I have ever seen in my life. It's definitely worth watching.
WHAT ABOUT THE GAME LENGTH?
I estimate the length of the main game to be somewhere between 3-3.5 hours on Casual mode with most puzzles skipped. The Bonus Chapter is an extra 30-45 minutes, so you're looking at somewhere between 3.5-4 hours of gameplay all up.
Overall, this was a pretty good game. But, like I said, I don't believe the CE to be worth it. Don't repeat my mistake- buy the SE!
January 15, 2014
Another good MTO game
Good story to follow. Some mini games a bit too easy. Overall enjoyable!
August 31, 2013
Mystery Trackers Strike Again
Mystery Trackers, once again, do NOT fail to impress. You and your ever faithful Elf are after yet another evil doer. This time you go after a founder of Mystery Trackers who went rogue centuries ago. Can you and Elf save the day again?
I am a Mystery Tracker junkie and this one lives up to the strong gameplay great HOs and, sometimes, frustratingly difficult puzzles. My only gripe s the voicing. I really wish they would program the lips to move. They give the people you meet great expressions but no lip movement. But that is my ONLY complaint about this game. I think Elf could be my favorite character of all HO games.
Go ahead, dare yourself to take on Silent Hollow. Can you and Agent Elf come to the rescue one more time? I hope so because Mystery Trackers CAN NOT die.
November 9, 2013
I bought this game because of the developer, even though it was against my better judgment after playing the demo. Although it's up to pachyderm standards as far as artwork goes, and although I believe many, many fishies will fall all over themselves rushing to give it five stars, I should have paid attention to my hunches on this one and passed on it, mainly because I'm wearing out the hint button and the map.
I'm not sure if it's due to bad design, or because some of the items are quite arcane or else not used in the usual way. I'm finding that too much of the time I have no clue what to do next after finishing a HOS or obtaining a useful object by some other means. I ask the froggy, she tells me what to do, I do it, and then I'm stuck again. I think part of the reason is that there doesn't seem to be any logic or order to the sequencing of tasks. I did not find the task list to be helpful.
Another thing that annoyed me was the train that agents use to get from the village to the castle headquarters. Initially, you must help the engineer get the train going. Then for a while after that, you're able to go to the castle without riding the train. But later a storm hits, damages the track, and now you have to repair the track and then ride the train to the castle again.
It's as if many people worked on different pieces of the game, but when they stitched them together, the pieces didn't exactly match.
August 31, 2013
Same old Same old
I have played all the Mystery Trackers games, so maybe take my review with a grain of salt. I loved the Void and Black Isle, and Raincliff was my favorite. The Four Aces I thought the developers just kind of phoned in, not really well thought out or long.
When I read the reviews for Silent Hollow, I was so excited, it seemed like everyone thought it was the best! Maybe I've just gotten to used to the Mystery Trackers games, but I thought this one was really boring. No real adventure, just find this object to open this object to get this object...repeat. Elf's use was extremely limited. The music is the same music used for the Four Aces. Boooring.
The pluses: The graphics are excellent, as usual. The game is pretty long. Hidden object scenes are not repeated. The game is pretty much linear, not too much going back and forth, and the map can zoom you to wherever you need to go.
September 30, 2013
Elephant games, What??
Guess everyone who wants to play has played, so this review is pointless, but here's my two-cents, anyway. Silly, disjointed, poor graphics, junk pile HOs and a rambling story made this SE disappointing and a time waster. Became bored 3/4 of the way through and began using the hint button. Elf and some of the puzzles were the game's only redeeming qualities. OK for some.
September 21, 2013
Just ... underwhelming
This review is based on a complete playthrough: I played through all the CE content as well, so I'll tell you what you'll be missing if you get the SE:
The bonus game is about an hour long, completely unrelated to the main story (so no being cheated out of an ending), and has a lackluster plot. Some collectibles, achievements - most of which you have to earn during normal gameplay, a little store for your dog, and the normal CE stuff.
There is the "secret room", that let's you go from puzzle and HOS to the next back through the game. That's probably the best part of the Bonus pack from where I'm sitting.
I didn't feel cheated by the CE content, but I wasn't overwhelmed either. If you want to save a bit and get the SE, you're not missing much. Nothing that would affect your enjoyment of the main story and game.
Now on to the main review:
I knew I was in trouble when the first 'puzzle' *very slight spoiler* requires you to enter a four digit number, and the number is written down RIGHT THERE. Not even back on the main screen, or hidden somewhere. Right. There.
At first I thought that must be because I was still in 'tutorial land', but that pattern persisted through the whole game.
THE GOOD: Visually, the game was great. The music wasn't terribly intrusive, so it did have a fairly nice "feel" to it. I loved the way your character develops as the game goes on. The story was engaging. Probably even more so if you played the previous ones and had a 'rapport' with some of the characters.
It was an 'average' length game for me, about four and a half to five hours on advanced. Didn't need many hints during the main game - the "adventure" part had the right amount of challenge to it.
THE BAD: The puzzles. There's easy, and then there's what we get in this game. Not all of the puzzles were that bad, but enough of them were. The ones that weren't were either normal easy with a few 'medium' challenge.
No lip movement. This wouldn't be so bad, but because the graphics are so "realistic" in the cut scenes, things that like really stand out a lot more.
THE UGLY: The HOS weren't junkpiles, but they weren't stuff that really fit in either. They were interactive in that you had the same simplistic 'code' puzzle in every one, and you had to put two things together. Other than that, straight lists.
Things like a TV breaking and finding a candelabra inside. Little things like that really break you out of character and remind you you're playing a gme.
Bottom line: Maybe I picked the wrong installment of the series to jump into, but I really felt let down after reading all the glowing reviews. It's not a _bad_ game. But it doesn't rise up above the sea of other 'pretty good' ones out there now, and certainly not to the level of the best.
Probably better as a SE than a CE, I'm giving it a hesitant recommendation because it is still better than a lot of what's out there.
January 15, 2014
Mystery Trackers: Silent Hollow
As I tried to point out with my initial review that was rejected. The game play was seriously compromised with the appearance of the hand on the screen after the first use of the fire power. It did not leave the screen and covered items in inventory as well as items needed to find. This is a review of the game play that was hindered by the game.
November 12, 2013
I don't usually rate games but...
I previously played the demo of Mystery Trackers: The Void and had enjoyed it. So I had expectations that I would enjoy this chapter as well...I was wrong. There IS NO rhyme or reason to the plot; the end thought is you're saving the world, without much logic/sense involved...it's just somebody's jumbled idea of a good time. I did not like the continual guessing about what to do next....I mean, I'm not an idiot but I DEPLORE trying to figure out somebody else's twisted logic....TOTALLY killed the fun-factor for me. In addition, I was really put out with all the animated action scenes; hate those and always skip them. This game has more than it's fair share! Oh!...and a particular pet peeve of mine is that if I choose to mute the music then I DON'T WANT TO HEAR MUSIC! I just can't imagine what the rest are thinking giving this game such a high rating.
Thank Goodness I got this game for free because if I'd had paid for it, I'd be demanding a refund!
I just did not like or enjoy this game at all!
December 2, 2013
Makes no sense
I don't take the time to write many reviews, but I just finished this game, and it made absolutely no sense! There is no plot, that I could tell. The mini games are way too easy, the map is helpful, if you get stuck - I ended up using it just so I could finish the game quicker, and move on to better things.
I saw my son playing Dire Grove again yesterday and thought "why can't they seem to make games that well anymore?".
January 9, 2014