Dark Strokes: The Legend of the Snow Kingdom
This Apple Isn't The Golden Opportunity You Were Hoping For!
With his Sky Kingdom destitute and it's people starving, the King makes the devil a deal (in this case the Ice Knight) This deal comes with specific and easy guidelines, have the Queen plant the golden apple seed and nurture it as if it were her own child. The golden leaves may be plucked at anytime for riches beyond belief, and in 18 years a golden apple will appear and that apple is all that the Knight requires in return.....Fast forward and the King's beautiful daughter is being chased by this Icy Knight, until Alan comes to the aid of this damsel in distress. All is going well until a strange package arrives at the doorstep and a curious Princess opens the package and poof, she's inside a Sky Kingdom snowglobe! Now Allen and Princess Adele must travel back to the Kingdom to search for answers (she's pretty mobile as a snowglobe) and the adventure begins. There are different types of Hidden Object Games such as interactive list finds, finding 13 musical instruments, and even putting a music box together by finding 10 hidden pieces. The mini games were really good but my favorite one was riding the horse into the Kingdom and choosing the correct path out of three with several obstacles in the road and the horse would go faster and faster, if you hit too many obstacles you have to start all over. You will come across slides and a mini stage to show the story of the King and the rise to fortune. You will find and name a baby lynx to help you reach otherwise unobtainable items and you will make different potions such as a levitation potion which can lift heavy items out of your way (what happened to the good ole pickaxe?) A fantastic edition to the Dark Strokes family, enjoy!
May 9, 2014
I thought this was a great game. Storyline was interesting. Graphics lovely and bright. HOS interesting and interactive. Puzzles not too difficult or too easy. I play these games for enjoyment not to have my brain fried by puzzles that are too hard. The story finishes well and does not leave you wondering what comes next. Highly enjoyable and I highly recommend this game.
May 10, 2014
I Like Cutesy Animal Helpers!
This is based on the hour-long demo, however I am going to buy it today and can't wait to finish the game.
Okay, so this game is not the best I've ever played; there's lots of hand holding; and certainly a game for beginners and children (not too young). However, I'm a grandmother and I still enjoyed playing it.
The visual is beautiful; the music is soothing and fits the game nicely; and the voices are okay.
I liked the storyline, which you can read in other reviews as well at the top of the buy page.
It has an interactive map which shows where there are things to do and transports you there.
The hint button recharges quickly and points to things to do in the HOS and game play plus it also gives free directions.
There is a cute little lynx who you name and helps you in tight and high spaces.
There is a walk through if you really get stuck.
Play the demo and read some reviews before making up your mind. On occasion I really like a fast-paced, easy game. I totally played without any frustration! Aaaa. So nice after so many extremely frustrating ones!
May 9, 2014
WOW! Definitely One of the Best Games of the Year So Far!
BASED ON COMPLETED STANDARD EDITION GAME
This developer has always been amongst my favourites. Their latest offering is one of their best! It got off to a slow start, but it's so unique and fun that I will certainly be playing it again and again, and ranking it among the best HOPA games of the year.
I'm going to be honest here and tell you the story was really slow to get in to. In the beginning, everything coasted along as I expected it to, with no major plot twists. I was really questioning myself as to whether or not I should bother buying the game, even with the outstanding gameplay. But the demo ended with a great plot twist and I was left wanting more, which is what the end of the demo should do. So, I went ahead and bought the game.
I'm so glad I bought this, because the story just got better and better as the game wore on. After the demo, the story just got so much more interesting, and the plot began to unravel. The middle to end part of the story was really exciting, and had some great plot twists in it. We finally discovered why the villain was doing what they were doing, and it made me sympathise with then, which is what a great story should do.
However, every story has its flaws...
Towards the end of the game, some things were just a bit confusing. We ended up opening the portal to the Snow Kingdom, but it was rarely used. Why would it only be used very briefly after we went through all that work trying to open the portal? I did not understand this at all.
Another confusing element of the story was when one of the Ice Knights just randomly decided to lock us in a prison cell. Why was he doing this? Why now, and not earlier in the game? I have a feeling the developers just chucked it in there to increase the length of the game.
This game had a backstory, which explained why the events were happening. There were eight parts to this backstory and I enjoyed every one. The backstory was really interesting and I looked forward to unlocking a new part of it. Great job by the developers.
But the main question is, does this story end conclusively? The answer is yes. All events are tied up nicely, with no loose ends. However, because of the way the game ended, I think we're in line for a sequel sometime soon.
What I absolutely loved about this game was the gameplay. This game was so different and so fun. The HOS were changed, the puzzles were changed, and we had some great new features.
The HOS, for instance, were wonderful. They were just that tiny little bit different and were very, very fun to play! The HOS were a mix of standard junkpile and ?assemble the item? junkpile. What I loved was even the normal junkpile were different! They were quite interactive, more than most. You could open draws, there were zoom locations with multiple items to find, and one HOS even had me making marshmallows! In the beginning of the game, the HOS did not appear as often as I would have liked, but in the middle of the game, they started appearing far more frequently. I'd say there were a decent amount in the game.
The puzzles were amazing too. Like the HOS, they were just that little bit different, but were incredibly fun. I absolutely loved playing the puzzles and hardly had to use the skip button. What was also nice was we could change the difficulty of some puzzles if we wanted to. I did this for one. I appreciate the thought and creativity the developer put in to these puzzles. These puzzles are definitely my favourite to come out of a HOPA game. I thoroughly enjoyed playing each one. What was even better was that some puzzles even had hints you could use. I've been asking for this for a while, so you don't have to skip if you get stuck, and was glad to see them here.
Like the HOS, the puzzles are evenly spaced out and there is a decent amount. The ratio of HOS:Puzzles was great too.
This developer has also added some great features in the game. First, we have + objects, which are objects you must interact with to complete. The objects that can be changed are indicated by a + sign above the object. Unfortunately, the + signs do not change colour when the object is ready to be interacted with, but I did not have a problem with this.
We've also got an animal helper, which comes in the form of a lynx, and you get to name. I called mine Fabian. There is a little indicator that appears whenever you can use the helper, which was really good. I loved each time I got to use the helper. My only complaint is that it wasn't used enough for my liking. I would have liked to see it used a couple more times.
Another feature, which is quite new, is the potions. You acquire 3 potions in this game, one you have to make, and two you just pick up. The potions are levitation, growth and revealing. Each potion is used quite a lot, and the potions do eventually disappear when they are no longer needed, which I thought was a nice, realistic touch. I loved the feature of the potions. It made the game so much more fun.
Even the basic stuff is done really well. We have 3 modes of difficulty, a diary (thank heavens), a working hint, and a map, which is really helpful. This made navigation easy and I was rarely lost in the game. I also found that the level of challenge was just right for me. It wasn't too easy, but not overly hard either. This added to my enjoyment of the game.
Overall, the developers have done a brilliant job of gameplay and must be commended on that. Gameplay wise, this is one of the best, if not the best, game to come out this year. I had an absolute blast playing this game. I was so happy that the developers actually put some effort in to making the game fun.
The graphics are absolutely outstanding. Every scene is drawn with a lot of detail, with the cutscenes especially brilliant. The cutscene artwork was done so well, the scenes looked real. I almost felt as if I was watching this happen in real life. The colours are great too and match the game perfectly. I also liked the character designs. Every scene was very clear. I did not have a problem with the graphics once. The developers must again be commended on their work here. I do have one small problem though. Subtitles did not appear in the backstory cutscenes, which was a bit of an annoyance for me.
The voice-overs are standard. I have no problem.
3 modes of difficulty: Casual, Advanced and Hard. Differences are standard. Hard gives you no help at all. I played Casual.
Hint/Skip- At 30 seconds, I found that the hint recharged at a decent speed, although I wouldn't have minded if it was a bit longer. The hint is useful outside HOS.
Diary- the Diary is useful for keeping track of events. I enjoyed reading the notes.
Map- The map was interactive and was very helpful. It let you know where you had tasks to complete.
Animal helper- Comes in the form of a lynx, which you get to name. There is an indicator to tell you when it can be used. I loved this feature, but it wasn't used enough for my liking.
+ objects- These are objects you must interact with to complete. + signs do not change when the object is ready to be interacted with.
Potions (3)- These are things you acquire that will help you throughout the game. This was a great feature as it really added to the whole fantasy thing. I really enjoyed using it.
WHAT DO I MISS OUT ON IF I BUY THE CE?
Bonus Chapter- absolutely not needed. The SE ends conclusively.
Built in Strategy Guide- pictures only
Collectible snowflakes (35)- these do have a purpose. They unlock the trivia section.
Collectible magic objects (10)
Collectible magic scrolls
Replay HOS & Puzzles
WHICH IS THE BETTER BUY?
I bought the SE and was happy with it, however, the CE does have some nice extras in it. There are quite a few collectibles, but nothing too special otherwise. I'd recommend the SE.
Overall, this is an outstanding game. The developers have put in so much effort here and thus, deserve nothing less than a five star rating. Yes, this is completely different to its predecessor, but it is truly magical! Download the trial immediately, you won't regret it!
July 28, 2014
Great graphics. New mini games. Map makes for easy movement so you don't have to waste time constantly backtracking. As with all games, I suggest playing the demo first to see if it's for you.
May 9, 2014
Graphics and animation are outstanding. Artistry and use of color palettes were spot on. Good voice overs. Flawless gameplay. Liked that in the 3 modes of difficulty, you could choose what you wanted. Nice storytelling - the combination of knowing that an evil plan was in the works and the heroine being enclosed in a snow globe promises ongoing interest.
June 4, 2014
Sometimes Whimsy is better than Darkness
Compared to the first installment , this one was much more light-hearted, but that is what I loved about it. Don't get me wrong, I love a dark game as much as anyone but sometimes whimsy, love, and beauty win out. Great job. I look forward to a third installment.
September 5, 2014
I loved the first one, and love this one, too!
The graphics and animations are gorgeous. Good non obtrusive music. The story was more involved than it first seems. It was very much like a movie, with well done end credits.
Can't wait for the next one!
July 12, 2014
I'm a fan of Dark Parables and didn't expect this little game to have the charm or visuals of that franchise. This game had everything and more. Fantastic story, visuals, game and good length.
Pros: The story has twists, turns, makes sense and even when you see where it's going - it's interesting. Games easy to low medium. Graphics are beautiful and very smooth. Game play in intuitive, characters interesting and varied.
Pros: HOS gets a little redundant, putting things together. Games are a little simple for adults - better for relaxing than challenge.
July 4, 2014
Nice Simple Game...
The following is the review I had done for the CE version:
"Hi all. I have the first Dark Strokes and really liked it. This one is a bit different. The colors are very bright and nice to look at , graphics are good for this type of game and game play was very nice, no problems at all. I do like a good fairy tale now and then and this story was right up there. Music was nice and easy to listen to, but a bit loud, so I turn it down. Voice overs are good and seem appropriate for time and setting. Didn't hear a lot in the way of sound FX, but what there was, was well done. Jump map works well, but is very bland.
Did not care for the SG at all. I prefer written directions, not a step by step picture of what needs to be done. I don't need that much hand holding and I find that my eyes get tired faster looking at pictures. Hint system is helpful, except that it only shows you where to go, not what to use once you get there. You learn more of the story as you collect more items and "slides."
HOGs are the usual and are fairly clean with items quite easy to see. Puzzles are a little different, but still no real challenge, just a little more thought. I think a beginner would find this one more challenging than an old gamer like me. However, if you just want a nice easy game, this one would be a good one.
There are a number of achievements and lots of collectibles, e.g., 35 snowflakes, 12 magic scrolls and 10 morphing items that are actually found in the HOGs. None of these items are difficult to find either.
This game is not CE worthy to me, so I will wait until the SE comes out and give it another try. I often like the SE version better, even without the extras, but this one is a no buy for me today."
Naturally, there are no collectibles in the SE version, but as I said above, I often like the SE version better. I did and I purchased the game. It is a nice game, with a nice fairy tale story that I think most anyone would enjoy.
As always, try it for yourself and see what you think. We all have different tastes in games and you may find this one to be exactly what you are looking for today. Thanks for the reviews.
May 9, 2014