Secrets of the Dark: The Flower of Shadow Collector's Edition
Orneon games are a treat but this one is too easy. I don't like games that lead you by the nose from one component to the next to solve a boring puzzle.
Get any Echoes of the Past instead
July 8, 2014
Flower of Shadow, Will It Bloom or Wilt?
I have only played Eclipse Mountain of the earlier games in this series.
This time, sixteen year old Marie is captured via a flower she receives from an unknown source for her 16th birthday. The flower generates a portal to another world. In this world, an evil being was spawned from a certain flower. Some time later, the being was defeated but her servant is trying to revive her. He needs three pure souls to feed to the flower in order to regenerate the evil being. Marie's father, Joseph Kolak, is a former military pilot who has called you in to investigate and get his daughter back. Something occurred during his military service that made him and Marie a target of the the being. Village fortune-teller Stephanie is available to help guide you.
Despite the explosion of pink and purple to open the game, the artwork and cut scenes are fairly well done - except for a small plane which is quite out of scale. You'll transport between the two worlds several times as you progress. The world inside the portal is quite dark, and relies more on greens, grays and browns.
Game play is not heavy on hidden objects The ones there are are not simple lists, but require interaction. Puzzles are fairly standard, a little more difficult than the easy ones we've seen recently, but not hard. You have a device to dispel the barriers the spirit puts in your way, it's very simple to use.
Music, sound effects and voices are good, but the character's lips do not move.
There are collectible flowers and morphing objects, but these are so large and obvious that they practically say "HERE I AM."
In my opinion, while there is nothing distinctive about the story or play, it seems to be made well and at least has some degree of difficulty. However, I would wait for the standard edition before picking this flower.
July 5, 2014
I own the others in this series and loved them. I did buy this one as was two for one this weekend, but it really does not compare to the previous games.
The graphics were grainy until I switched off widescreen, which I did in order to solve one of the HOs. The HOs were actually quite good, the puzzles however were either really easy or so dull I skipped them.
I did like the storyline but it was missing the 'grip factor' of the other games in fact the bonus chapter was better than the main game imo.
Very disappointed overall...what happened Devs?
July 7, 2014
Secrets of the Dark IV
First impression is a great game for teens. Cannot see the usual magic in The Flower of Shadow as compared to previous Eclipse Mountain, Temple of Night and Mystery of the Ancestral Estate of which I own all three.
The quality of all games seems to be cloned into a certain format with lots of running around picking up items and trying to figure out where they go, collectibles, morphing objects, lots of colors, weird mythical beings, dark powers invading human bodies and the like.
Does seem to be picking up some momentum as the storyline develops and for those players who have the patience and this game wows them.
My respect and admiration for Orneon Developers and their previous sequels.
Enjoy! -Mama Mia-
July 5, 2014
I have to say, lately the offerings here have left me very disappointed, and this game is another one! The graphics are nothing to write home about, games aren't a huge challenge, and the story line is ho-hum at best. I won't be buying this, it simply isn't worth the price.
July 6, 2014
Not for me
I only played about 30 minutes of 90 minute demo. The colors were nice, with some dark, but art was blurry. You have four levels of challenge of regular, advanced, hardcore and custom. The extras include bonus adventure, 2 chapters of the strategy guide, concept art, mii games, 14 achievements, collect 30 lilies, morphing objects. The storyline had promise and I did want to find out what would happen, but I just couldn't get past the rest of the issues. The magnifying glass (where to check to see if something needs to be done) seemed out of proportion and it was very difficult to figure out what needed to be done where. I have played this series before and must say this is their worst.
July 5, 2014
This game was very easy with lots to do. Story line was a bit tired. Characters were ok. Nice graphics good music. I like the HO where I have to find the kittens. Fun. I like the mix up on HO's. Has a jump map and a few collectables.
This game could be a rainy day special.
July 6, 2014
Boring, confused, and not fun
The art style used didn't appeal to me. The edges of objects seemed soft and lacking in definition making the appearance of things blend together. The soundtrack was ok and fit the theme.
The storyline is another of those "missing relative/detective called in to help" stories but with the addition of completely implausible scenarios that occur so frequently I lost track of what was going on almost immediately. Maybe people familiar with the series would have a better understanding of the plot but this was the first I've played and it left me clueless.
Your character has a magic machine that allows you to dispel evil barriers. Unfortunately, in order to use this you must perform a puzzle to match numbers it reveals. You do this by clicking a button on the left that adds some amount to the number your machine display shows, then clicking a button on the right to subtract some amount, and repeating this over and over until you match the number on the machine to the number it has revealed on the barrier. This rapidly became so tedious that when the machine's batteries went dead I felt a leap of joy.
What I don't understand is why, if this machine is so important to the character, he doesn't bring some extra batteries with him seeing as it loses battery charge after almost every use necessitating the theft of batteries from whatever location he's in at the time.
The puzzles were easy and nothing that isn't present in the last twenty such games I've played. The HOS were not real HOS in that not a single one required you to actually look for items in a scene. One type, which I particularly abhor, figured prominently. This is the kind where everything on the list is completely obscured by something else that must be shooed out of the way in order to see the, otherwise not visible, item of interest. For a HOPA game it had very few HOS.
There are morphing objects to find which all appeared laid over the top of some gigantic "mystical" monster face or similar identifying thing. This made them so easy to see that I can't even use the word "find" to describe the means you need to employ to click them. You identify them rather than find them. The same could be said of the collectible flowers which were so large they were immediately noticeable when you entered an area.
Overall this is a game based on an extremely overused plot with the addition of a relentless barrage of implausible situations, boring and non-intuitive tasks, and an annoying gadget you must use to progress through the game. The HOS and puzzles were not enjoyable or challenging and could not rescue this game from descending into poor fun factor territory for me.
July 5, 2014
day early full demo-way too much going on
Daughter taken(yet again?). Gizmo to clear magic doors, 30 flowers/16 morphs, 4 modes of play, Lamp transports to another dimension, get Maria's pet to light things up, gypsy has answers, whew. Issues: no logic/continuity, I used jump map and still had to use Hint button to figure out what I was supposed to do. I'm sure the usual reviewers will give this a 5 BUT please try it yourself before you purchase. Way too complicated for my old brain.
July 5, 2014
Fourth game in the Secrets of the Dark series by Orneon
I was surprised to see the rating this game gets, I own the first three and although they are not outstanding, they are pretty decent games, and I like the characteristic of this game of moving from ancient to modern times. Surely it's not that bad? So I decided to give this one a try (demo). After playing for 15 minutes I can understand the frustrations most players have.. the game is slow moving, no interaction, the VO is boring, and the loading is a slow, and transition of scenes are weird, in a way they are not natural but rather slow-moving. There is not much moving in between rooms, and to 'unblock' the 'evil doors', we need a robot kind of machinery which needs battery. I have no idea why the dev. even needs to put that machine, why not the regular lever or something simple? every time we have to unblock a door, we need to play a puzzle. Again, more time consuming. The bonus contents, cannot really say they're bonus, because except for concept art, wallpaper and bonus chapter, others are just achievements, collectibles, which I thought weren't even bonus. The story doesn't make much sense to me, the graphic seems distorted and it's slow paced game, so nothing really attracts me here, which is a pity since their first three games are pretty nice. I can fully understand now why it has such bad reviews and sadly I have to join in the force.
July 8, 2014