Punished Talents: Seven Muses Collector's Edition
BASED ON ONE HOUR DEMO
Well, I certainly wasn?t expecting this! The initial intro to the main menu is classy but low key. Nothing prepares you for the sudden actions in the opening video of the game itself.
Best news is: this is a genuinely new story! And the telling of this intriguing tale combines with such a refreshing array of new and imaginative puzzles and mini-games, that it doesn?t matter that the HOPs are fairly standard, because you are already hooked.
SO WHAT IS HAPPENING?
Your husband, a writer, is framed for the spectacular murders of several of your friends. At least, you hope it?s a frame! You save your American friend, who is a detective, from a similar fate, and with his help you set out to prove your husband?s innocence. It seems someone is killing off Boston?s artists and intellectuals, using your husband?s books to guide him. First task is to save a sculptor has been attacked and is in immediate danger of suffocation.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The graphics are great. Not the best out there, but a more than respectable effort. I enjoyed the demo, talking a walking tour, so to speak, through the environment of the game. It is pleasant and interesting rather than beautiful. The music is very low, the voices are excellent, and you get a full range of options for sound adjustment.
This game is not outrageous or daring; its gameplay is fairly standard, except, as I said earlier, the puzzles are new. I liked the different approach taken in designing them. I can?t explain what that is, except that the entire atmosphere of the game ?feels? different. The puzzles are neither too hard nor too easy, and outnumber the HOPs, but not overwhelmingly.
The fun part starts with the options to tailor your level of difficulty. 3 modes, plus a custom mode and a separate interactive (jump) map option. You have a bunch of things to help your investigation. An evidence board. A well put together Journal, where you can replay the videos. A magnifying glass to detect the 40 collectible fingerprints.
Unbelievably, I got so engrossed in playing that I forgot to check what kind of hint system operates outside the HOPs.
Now this looks interesting. The essentials are there, SG, bonus chapter, gallery items. Plus a couple of extras we won?t see until we finish the game. There is Russell?s book (that?s hubby), and a segment called ?Microscope? about which I have not a clue. As well as the collectible fingerprints there are 25 teapots, and some other ?hidden items? not revealed in the demo (which I was still a long way from completing when time ran out). And, of course, achievements.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
This game looks like a winner to me. Maybe not a world beater, but not an also-ran either.
November 16, 2013
Your Talents Are Punishable By Death!
You just moved into your dream house and the police are knocking on your door, your husband is the prime suspect in a series of murders! He swears he's innocent so it's up to you to find the murderer and clear your husbands name. Somebody has been killing people with specific talents such as pianists and sculptors, but why? What is the connection? The graphics are very good but I must admit that at times the gameplay became a little slow and boring. The HOS are interactive and some of the items are a bit difficult to find. The mini games are easy such as playing the piano as shown on the music sheet in order and the keys on the piano and the music sheet are pictures and you must choose the photo by association. For example a picture of a tree matches the picture of a leaf on the piano. You receive a magnifying glass that allows you to find hidden fingerprints and you can select a custom mode of difficulty, there are achievements to earn as well. This is a professionally produced game with clear graphics and an interesting story but I'm not sure it's worth the CE because there just aren't enough bells and whistles in my opinion.
November 16, 2013
Extremely interesting story - the murder with the rigged gun in the piano is very creative I hate to be negative, but the gameplay seems to be a chore. There is a long load time between scene changes, including getting out of close-ups. You have to click "Continue" instead of just pressing the mouse when having conversations, Makes the play choppy and slow and not much fun.
Some of the good stuff:
^ Voice overs are very good and sound professional.
^ Artwork appears to be hand rendered drawings - lovely to look at.
^ Interactive map, showing where activities must be done.
^ Collect 25 teapots.
^ Ingenious story can only get more interesting as you progress.
SUMMARY: Look in the white area at the top of the typewriter during the intro as it will tell you part of the story. If the developer fixes the long load problem and having to physically close all pop-ups and click continue for all conversations, I would like this game a lot more. They are the things that would keep me from buying the game. Perhaps the SE will correct some of these deficiencies.
November 16, 2013
Great Whodunit Mystery
The game begins with a cutscene of a concert pianist who is murdered while performing. As we get into the story the police arrive at your home to speak with your husband Russell, a renowned novelist, who was a friend to the murdered pianist as well as the two previous murder victims. Is this just a coincidence? The evidence against Russell is mounting each since each victim has been killed using scenarios from your husband?s novels but your husband tells you he is being set up. Fortunately, Russell has a detective friend who is on his side and who has been collecting evidence to find the real killer. With Robert?s help will you be able to find out who is behind the murders and why Russell is being set up?
Although I am sure it may appeal to many of you and while it set the tone for a ?gritty? game, I found the graphic blood splattering across the sheet music at the beginning of the game offensive.
The graphics are very nice hand-drawn art and have a bit of the old-world appearance that has been showing up in some recent games. The game has very good lip-synced voiceovers, and along with the music and the environmental sounds gives this game an excellent sound package that sets the mood for a good old-fashioned mystery game.
You have a journal that contains all the information you gather on your adventure and allows you to replay some of the cutscenes. There is an interactive map that shows where you have tasks to complete and will allow you to transport to that location.
The only HOPs I encountered during the demo were the interactive list type and most of them were junkpiles where I found it difficult to locate some items. There are some great puzzles in the game and although some of them seem to be familiar many of them are a bit different and challenging.
The CE content is the standard fare that we have come to expect in CE games. We have the usual array of fluff that I don?t really care about except for the strategy guide and extra gameplay. Shortly into the game you will find a magnifying glass that is used to locate 35 hand prints that are called morphing objects. There are also achievements, to be earned and 25 collectible teapots to be found.
I like Punished Talents Seven Muses a lot. It was a good mystery and next moves were not always apparent. This is a game where you will need to think about what to do next, which makes the game a bit more challenging and entertaining. Of course many of you may think it is the same old theme but I found it different enough that it wasn?t stale or boring. Who can help enjoying a good whodunit mystery? As always, I recommend that you try the demo to see if Punished Tales Seven Muses is a game that you will enjoy.
November 16, 2013
Your writer husband has been arrested in connection with a series of murders that are eerily similar to crimes described in his latest books. It is up to you to clear his name. Along the way, you will save a few lives.
4 levels; casual, advanced, hardcore and custom
25 teapots and 40 fingerprints to collect
Cluttered, only faintly interactive HOS, but quite easy
Some new puzzles
Artwork reminiscent of the 30's
I found the storyline refreshingly different and played the entire hour of the trial. However, because I find cluttered list style HOS, no matter how easy, quite distracting and faintly annoying, I think I will wait for the SE to purchase this game. I wish more developers would jump on the bandwagon and give players an option, ie match 3 etc instead of HOS.
As always, play the demo and decide for yourself.
November 16, 2013
BASED ON COMPLETED GAME & BONUS CHAPTER: PRETTY COOL WHODUNIT
BASED ON PLAYING IN HARDCORE MODE WITHOUT HINTS OR SKIPS
BOTTOM LINE: Ingenious murder methods in an interesting story with some sneaky surprises.
You get to collect odd objects (such as teapots) hidden in the game
You get to use a special magnifying glass to find blood stains in every scene to earn an achievement (you might like it but I found that not too interesting)
THIS IS A FIRST...you get to choose whether or not to have the map on... even in hardcore....I loved that feature
The story is pretty good with very interesting "chapters"
Graphics are VERY well done
Voice overs are good
JUMP MAP is good, without it you'd be backtracking a lot
Dramatic surprises along the way that keeps you on your toes
Lots of puzzles, and honestly, a few are a challenge, but I didn't have to skip any (but I think beginners may get frustrated by some of them)
Journal that keeps track of the story and clues
A lot of things to do......a LOT
Not all of the solutions were obvious, I had to think a little bit
Hidden object scenes had a few items in each scene that needed quite a bit of thought to find (without hints)
The story moves from A to B to C in easy-to-understand chapters with an ending that makes sense and wraps up the game completely without the bonus chapter
Bonus chapter was a fun, stand alone, addition to the story
Achievements were ALL easy to obtain if you put out a little effort
If you are into collecting the blood stains, the magnifying glass stays lit until you find them in the scene so that you know you have gotten them all
Game length was pretty long
HOS (hidden object scenes) were junk piles that had nothing to do with the story
Hints were not helpful on lower levels
You have to click "continue" on the dialogue boxes to move forward instead of just clicking the scene....it got annoying after a while
I had fun playing this game. I think you will enjoy it even in the standard version.
November 17, 2013
Guilty or Not?
A good game with a different story line that right off attracted me. A nice change from the usual whodunit games. A mystery novelist is accused of murder and the crimes are similar to what he writes about in his books. His wife Samantha with the help of Russell, Robert's good friend join forces to bring down the real murderer.
Crisp, clear graphics, voice overs well done and music took on an eerie edge which gave the game that true suspenseful atmosphere. HO scenes were standard and while clear it was hard to find some items. Mini games were different but quite easy. There were 40 fingerprints and 25 teapots to find as well as other achievements throughout the game.
While I did enjoy the game, at times I found it to be a bit scrambly and slow. Lots of moving from place to place with too long on the loading time. Thank goodness for the map!
This review is only based on the demo but it had enough there to warrant a buy but I think I will wait for the SE, as it just didn't have that CE appeal.
November 16, 2013
The story starts out showing a pianist playing at a concert when he is shot on stage by a gun rigged in his piano. And his death is not the first. All seem to be pointing to your husband who is friends with all who have died. Robert, the private detective who is also a friend of your husband's, is wounded and a sculptor friend who you find encased in plaster but save. It's up to you to find out what is going on, why they are accusing your husband and who is the actual culprit.
There are the regular extras, but there is one called "microscope" that you can't access until you finish the game. No clue what it is. There are 22 achievements to accomplish and 25 hidden symbols that have no rhyme or reason so you really don't know what to look for. There is an interactive map, a journal, tasks to accomplish, and the strategy guide does not follow you. There are four levels of difficulty, casual, advanced, hardcore and custom.
It was a decent game, with some nice bells and whistles. The mini games are fairly straight forward and the hos are a little on the junky side. Recommend this game, but need to play to see if you will enjoy.
November 16, 2013
i enjoyed playing this one ... story and gameplay keeps moving ... i've seen better graphics, but they worked for this game ... puzzles were interesting and doable ... lots of hos ... just genuine good game ... and no technical issues ...
November 16, 2013
Wonderful Murder Mystery!
BASED ON DEMO
I'll admit, I've always been a fan of murder mystery games, so when this came along, I was dying to try it (no pun intended). I downloaded the trial without hesitation, and I must say, this is a great one!
The story is amazing. There's no other way to put it. It's gripping and fascinating and has you on the edge of your seat. I enjoyed it from beginning to end of the demo and the demo leaves you on a cliffhanger that just leaves you wanting more. The story may have been done before, but it is done perfectly. I have to say this is the best story from Blam Games!
The story goes that your husband, an author, has been framed for crimes that he did not commit. These crimes are murders, all based on his latest book, The Last Performance. It is up to you to find out who the real killer is before it's too late.
I'm full of praise for the story, and I can't wait to see how it ends.
The gameplay is great, too. It's nothing we haven't seen before, but I found it fun and a little challenging in some parts. This is your standard HOPA. It has puzzles and HOS, as well as all features that usually come with it. There are 4 modes of difficulty including a custom, which lets you choose your hint and skip times, where sparkles show, turns the tutorial on or off, etc. There is also an option to turn the interactive map on or off, which is a new-ish feature, and one that will be welcomed by those wanting a challenge.
I thought the HOS were good fun to play. They were your standard junkpile with extra step objects. These HOS were the only type in the game as far as I could tell.
The puzzles were a bit more challenging. Some were easy, but others I found to be hard. The puzzles were the same as we've seen in all other HOPA'S. I found that I could complete some, but others I had to skip.
I've been critical of Puzzle-HOS ratios in games, but I have to say the ratio here is good.
Is this a game for beginners? I'd say yes. There is nothing here that beginners should not be able to handle.
The graphics were quite good. They were drawn with a lot of detail and care, and the scenes were very clear. The character design was a standout for me. I found it to be wonderful.
The voice-overs were pretty much standard. They weren't over-done or under-done, just normal.
4 modes of difficulty: Casual, Advanced, Hard and Custom. Differences are Hint and Skip recharge times and sparkles. Custom gives you the opportunity to set the game as you like. In Custom, you can change hint and skip recharge times, sparkles, and tutorials. There is also an option to turn the interactive map off.
Hint and Skip- I played Casual Mode, and I felt the Hint and Skip recharged at a reasonable rate. The hint is helpful outside HOS.
Journal. Keeps track of all case findings throughout the game. Used fairly regularly.
Map- the map is interactive, but can be turned off at the difficulty selection screen. The map is extremely helpful, letting you know where there are tasks to be done.
Russell's Book- occasionally, you will find pages from Russell's latest book, which detail the murders that are happening. These are displayed in cutscenes and are a great addition to the game.
Music (play music of the game)
Microscope (not sure what this is)
Built in Strategy Guide
Video (re-watch cutscenes of the game)
Minigames (replay puzzles of the game)
So, to conclude, I believe this is one cracker of a game, however there is nothing in the CE that interests me, so I will wait for the SE. I guarantee you will love it, though, no matter what version you own!
November 17, 2013