Crystals of Time
This is based on the demo, of which I played 1/2. Has two modes of play: normal and hard. Written dialog, no voiceovers. Has an interactive map. Quite a few HOS, some of which were very dark (no click penalty in normal, don't know about hard), HOS were not interactive. Mini games were very easy. In some instances you can go back in time, but didn't see much, if anything, more to do than present time.
December 3, 2013
Soundtrack is the best part of the game
I found this game to be a mix of challenge and frustration. The plot is almost non-existent. so just treat the game as a hidden object romp through an old mansion. The hidden object scenes present good challenges. The poor English doesn't help, though.
Done properly, with a fleshed-out plot and interactive characters, a better map and English translations, it could have gone far.
My sole source of pure enjoyment was the soundtrack. Really lovely. I'm going to see if I can download it from somewhere.
January 2, 2014
Needed more beta testing
I have the Mac version. The story line is sound. Graphics are excellent. I like the different PIPE objects rather than the same smoking pipe images. Things that need work: No challenge levels (Normal, Advance, Expert). Hints did not work although button was also used to switch between TIME. No screen size buttons in the Options menu to minimize the screen. Otherwise, a good game. Recommend buying version 1.5.
December 11, 2013
I use a mac so the hints do not work. The interactive map does not show objectives or available tasks it just puts you within four clicks of a destination.
All in all I found the game too small. Again, I think it is because I play on a mac. The drawings are very dark and at that small size with the occasional language problem the HO's were annoying rather than challenging.
If the developer could rectify out some of the issues I would play another game they produce but I would pass on this if you use a mac.
December 7, 2013
Maybe... But Then Again, No
BASED ON DEMO
The most interesting thing about the intro is that there isn?t one. You go straight from the developer?s flash page to the main menu. So, low budget game. That?s okay.
The main menu page is a bit more interesting. It has ghost-like images of the key players, with their bios, so faint and so quickly cycled that you only get an impression of what?s to come. That?s intriguing.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
In the locations of the game, the graphics are very so-so, and ?dated? ? the pseudo-realistic style. I don?t like that style but I don?t think it should automatically rule out a game from further consideration. In this case, where the game shines is in the HOP scenes, where the graphics are so clear and clean you can almost feel the textures.
Being low budget, there is no voiceover, but not much dialogue at all either. In fact, the game is light on interaction no matter its form.
The music is upbeat modern electronic, some interesting voices in it, and there is one sound I loved, the sound made when you make a wrong selection. If there were ambient sounds, I missed them.
You are a thief, like your father before you. But, you know, a good thief . Right. Okay, we?ll forget occupation for the moment, but I?m sure it brings with it many talents we can make good use of. Other than that, it is your standard ?find missing dad, search spooky mansion? story. Throw in a little time travel, and yep, you got a winner amongst typical HOPA fans.
This is primarily an adventure game, I think, it?s hard to tell because I did not get very far into it. There are some list (not interactive) HOPs, with limited animation and despite their clarity and light, are not very interesting. There are puzzles as well, not too difficult, but there are some good reasons for recommending waiting for a walkthrough.
Because the adventure gameplay is not obvious and the help you can get is not necessarily helpful.
The hint system is one I would normally applaud, shows you where you need to go. But it doesn?t transport you, and there?s a good chance it?s somewhere you haven?t been yet.
The teleport map, on the other hand, is not interactive, but will take you to a teleport site within a group of locations. I think there are only half a dozen of these, and many more rooms than that.
All of this would be by-the-by if not for the unusual placing of exits in the locations. I spent forever looking for a fuse box in a room I couldn?t find before I finally did. This is where I started losing interest in this game. It became too slow. And when I found myself again stuck because I didn?t have what I needed to open the door hint told me to, I just couldn?t go on.
There were other annoyances too. There were a noticeable number of spelling mistakes. The cursor would not change to the exit one until it was over the inventory bar. It was almost impossible to leave some of the close up boxes because there was no x, and the cursor once again didn?t change. Speaking of cursors, the darn thing is so finicky you can?t tell whether one of your desperate choices for inventory item is rejected because it is wrong or because it isn?t properly placed. All these and no walkthrough? I think not.
It was suggested in the forums that this isn?t a game for those of us who have gone ?soft?, playing games that do too much hand holding. Probably an accurate assessment, at least in my case, so hard core players, don?t rule this one out! As for us softies, I don?t think it?s going to be high on anyone?s xmas list.
December 3, 2013
Pet peeve in HOGs - bad English translation. Horrible grammar. Mislabeled objects in HOGs (eg "pipe" is actually a "flute" or "recorder" - close but not quite). Not sure I can burn a credit to "finnish" this one as the game controls are clunky, too. It took me forever to figure out how to navigate, some close up scenes give you text, some don't; after you retrieve an object from the pop up it doesn't automatically close, even in "hard" mode there are still sparkles on the HOG scenes. It's a shame because the artwork really is nice.
December 3, 2013
Its a Pass For Me
Yet another one out from the vault of long lost games at BFG. Cannot say much about Crystals of Time as I barely got through 20 minutes before I realised that the music in the background was making me feel really depressed and I just had to quit. What a downer! Our story has to do with an empty mansion, a missing father and his daughter ( A pair of 'Thieves' # and your role as Ashley who begins a quest to find him. There are crystals involved and I assume time travel but to tell you the truth, I just did not stick around to find out.
A game with limited features; hand drawn art-work, dark graphics, no voice-overs #Just that sporific music in the background#, two play modes to choose from and yet still you will get sparkles, a journal and a map that does allow you to jump from one location to another.
A classic HOPA, heavy emphasis on Hidden Objects whereby you have a standard list of objects to find. No interactions and some objects are rather difficult to spot due to poor graphics. Mostly a point and click game throughout each scene to find and pick up an object for your inventory and then there are the sporadic mini-games that are basic and nothing we havent seen.
I suppose if you are an avid fan of HOGs and really enjoy the classics, you can either spare a credit on this or not. I will take a pass on this, as my own vault is already crowded with similar antique games that are alot better than this one.
December 3, 2013
Frustrating HO Game
The Game Designer mistakenly thought that "clever" was a synonym for "ridiculously difficult." This was made clear at the start when a key item necessary to enter the house (pun intended) was made so small and hard to see, that the cursor didn't have time to react and become the "hand" unless you scrolled soooooo slowly back and forth across the entire scene - a scene located far from the front door, I might add, that most of my time in the demo was spent meticulously looking for things just to get the game started.
The HO scenes were dull and dark, making them frustrating as well. All in all, the game was not fun, and that's really what we're all looking for in a game, right?
December 3, 2013
Not even good enough for 1993, never mind 2013.
Crystals of Time
Review based on as much of the demo as I could tolerate
IN THE BEGINNING...
Professional thief Ashley, who has learned her skill at her father's knee, has gone to search for him at Three Oaks Mansion. With only a crystal as a clue to his whereabouts, she must investigate the mansion to find her missing father. This is related to you in a short paragraph on the menu screen; there is no intro.
PLAY THE GAME...
Ostensibly a HOPA, it was impossible to become immersed in either story or gameplay owing to clunky game mechanics and Escher-esque navigation. There are objects to collect here and there, HO scenes which are not interactive, and ridiculously easy puzzles to solve.
Graphics are fairly photorealistic and static.
Music was moody and repetitive. There were no ambient sounds, which also detracted from immersion.
I know from other reviews that there was a map somewhere, but I never saw it. The journal noted clues and narrated the story. The inventory was somewhat hard to get used to using, as it was difficult to discern whether you had simply placed an item improperly or had the wrong item altogether.
THE LAST WORD?
Crystals of Time attempted to be an enigmatic adventure game, but only succeeded in being dated, rather boring, and a tad frustrating. Frustrating not only because of issues with the inventory, but also with basic logic. (Slight spoiler: To restore power to the house, you "steal" a fuse from the box at the street. Sorry, but wouldn't that simply cut off power to the house at an earlier junction box up the line? And that wasn't the only example.)
Also, as many other reviewers mentioned, the poor language editing was maddening. It wasn't just that "disappearance" was spelled "dissapearence," which was bad enough. But "gulf" is a body of water, while "golf" is a sport. Big difference. I imagine that big difference probably showed up in the HO scenes, to the intense frustration of the player. As such?
December 4, 2013
More Like Lost Crystals
Based on Demo
I had trouble connecting with this one. Good enough story line, but did not see it going anywhere. No voice overs, just bland visual facials and lines that led to no character development at all. Very slow moving, music didn't add to the overall atmosphere either. Lots of mistakes in spelling which made it seem like a first attempt at the big leagues! At times I was confused as to what to do or where to go and frankly I almost gave up before the demo was over. Sorry, I think it had some potential with the storyline but fell short in its presentation. HO scenes were quite cluttered, reminding me of older games, yet puzzles were quite well done and offered a challenge. Somehow it came across like someone really wanted to put together a good game but in so doing gave us stuff from the past with very little sophistication that today's games deliver. It won't be a buy for me!
December 4, 2013