Sable Maze: Forbidden Garden Collector's Edition
Maze of lost hopes
This time there was a storyline, minimal but still there.
You return home for your wedding in time to see your fiance kidnapped by fairies and you go after him.
This would be someone's unsuccessful attempt to cross a fairy tale with a romance.
There are three levels of game play, decent but over colored artwork, not totally annoying music, and a cute animal helper.
There are the usual CE add ons and the usual HOS and mini-game mix. HOS are interactive and mini-games are simplistic. There is nothing new, exciting, or even faintly innovative here.
For a really good storyline, interest in the ending would have carried us through the "OK" game. Better luck next time!
As usual, I can't recommend a game I won't buy.
July 24, 2014
Ok but not worth the CE price
Played the demo - seem to remember a trial version of this. Some changes but the basic premis remains the same.
Too linear for my liking to be worth the extra as a CE. Plot involves revenge for jilted love and rescue of a fiancee which was ok but seemed somehow to be rather tame. There is something about this game that is not quite up to scratch (ermine related joke- ha).
I may buy as an SE with a credit but otherwise - no.
Try the demo and see for yourself
July 26, 2014
The fourth game of the Sable Maze series by Daily Magic
There are 3 levels of difficulties.
The game is better than its previous game, have better graphic, but I think this game is not very memorable for me because it is slow moving. The storyline is not the most original, your loved one is kidnapped by an evil witch. There's nothing new.
Map is pretty useful, there are lots of mini games and not much HO, which is good because I don't really like HO which combines objects.
Bonus contents are the usual stuff from this game: achievements, concept art, wallpaper, music and developer diary, which I already stated in their previous game in the series, is unnecessary. I am sure there's nobody who's going to really watch each and every thing there.
Overall I am not much convinced, better than the previous but still I have to skip this one.
August 2, 2014
Not worth the collector's edition. The puzzles were repetitive and the ending was really lame. The premise was interesting as was the original story, but it didn't live up to a challenge. I like the Hidden Expedition (last two versions much better.
July 28, 2014
The litter helper so far is so cute. They don't bother me. Like the other members childlike. We want our games exciting and full of mystery and bold adventure and a good night mare effect. Over a week now no worthwhile games.
July 24, 2014
The things that annoyed me in the first two in this series were enough to turn me off in this game. It's not just that the help graphics are microminuscule when you click them, it's the lag when you click to return them to small so you can leave. It's that HOG's are few and far between, and you have to find each item and use it in a specific order. This is not an HOG, this is real life. Bah. Games are for escape, not for reminding me that I must clean the entire kitchen before making supper.
July 25, 2014
Forbidden Garden Is An Original, Imaginative Game - If You Never Played Before
You return home to your fiance and parents for your wedding. Except your fiance gets pullled into a portal by the fairies on the other side. Your parents are incapacitated, so you must go through the portal to rescue your fiance and undo whatever was done.
Wow, is this out already? I got a "sneak peak" of this game only last week. I was wondering what the reaction would be to what happens to the mother.
Something positive should go here. OK, the drawing is good quality and voices are good.
All the BF developers have evidently run out of ideas:
Every game has some type of portal - mirror, painting, gate etc.
Every game has a cute (debatable) animal helper.
Every game has ridiculously easy play.
Every game is aimed at children.
Every game is pink and purple.
Every game is the same.
If that is the standard, this game is the perfect game.
Some like this style, so to them I say, enjoy.
July 24, 2014
Gave me a headache
The artwork is very brightly colored, has extremely high contrast, and is drawn in shades ranging from bright pink to bright purple. As a result the game looks like an eye-searing explosion in a cotton candy factory.
The unpleasant appearance of the game is exacerbated by frequent cut scenes that involve a lot of zooming in and out and jiggling of the picture. Between these two elements I rapidly developed a headache while playing the demo.
As if that weren't bad enough the developer chose to revisit an already worn out storyline and to present it exactly the same way many other developers have already presented it. The story is that our character's fiance is kidnapped by evil fairies and she alone can save him. To do so she must perform all the same silly, random, non-intuitive tasks I've already asked myself why I'm doing in previous games of this quality.
In place of a fairy or a talking cat she has a little ermine helper. He sits in the hint button area swaying back and forth constantly which just adds more visual chaos to an already visually chaotic game.
The HOS are not actual HOS. Instead you find one thing, use it on another to get a third thing, that you use to get a fourth, and so on. The puzzles are insultingly simple if this is supposed to be a game for anyone but a two year old.
While I was able to finish the demo, it was at the cost of a headache and severe boredom.
July 24, 2014
In all fairness I didn't even get through the Demo. I think I might be done with BF for awhile. At least until the pink & purple, critter helping preschool games run their course, and DEV's start getting back to the Cadenza/New York Mysteries-SotM type games. I appreciate the talents of these creators, but PLEASE start realizing that most of your loyal gamers are adults.
July 25, 2014
Now I Know Why I Hate Fantasy Games
BASED ON DEMO
Daily Magic are such a great developer, but there was always one story genre they hadn't tried... fantasy. Well, they've tried it now and it was hands down their worst game ever. This is the third game in an already bad series, but the complete change of story genre was an awful idea.
If you liked the first two Sable Maze games because of their story, then you're going to hate this one. Instead of dark and creepy, this story is now cute, boring and the same-old stuff we see time and time again. The plot of the story (you know, lover scorned, two worlds, etc...) has been done over and over again. When you do a story like that, it's got to be fantastic, and this one really wasn't. I was bored from the moment it started, but I hoped it would get better. Alas, it did not. Nothing excited me at all, not even the cutscene at the end of the demo, which is supposed to leave you wanting more.
In addition, I found some elements of the story to be stupid, especially the little scene explaining the backstory. It did not make me want to continue my quest at all, and it made me dislike the father. If you do that to someone you're engaged to, of course she's going to hate you! So don't come crawling to me to solve a problem you created.
I also felt that some parts of the story were unexplained. For example, why was the mother turned in to an ermine and not knocked out like the father was? It was just confusing to me, and should have been explained somehow.
Overall, the story was a total shambles and just a boring waste of time.
The saving grace for this game, and the only thing stopping me from giving it one star, is the gameplay. I really enjoyed the HOS. I thought they were fun, just that little bit different, and slightly challenging. The HOS are basically those find and use somewhere else type junkpiles, with the exception of one, which was a fragmented object/junkpile scene. Both types were very enjoyable, and I loved whenever I got to play one. The HOS were spaced out fairly evenly; I played 3 in the demo. This gives me the impression that there would have been quite a few in the entire game.
The puzzles were also quite good. I was able to solve the majority of them, but did have to skip a couple of those story-puzzles because I couldn't find some of the pieces. This annoyed me quite a lot. I propose that maybe we should have had hints during these puzzles. It would have made them a lot more fun.
Daily Magic has added some additional gameplay features; one I liked, one I did not. The one I liked was the animal helper. The animal helper in this game was an ermine, who was actually our mother. Animal helpers do not appear often these days, so I love when I get to use them. The animal helper was used quite a lot during the demo, which was really nice.
However, I didn't like the + objects. It seems Daily Magic has finally caught up to the rest of the developers by adding these in their games, but they've done it incorrectly. There are items indicated by + signs, but the + signs do not change colour when the items are ready to be interacted with, which made it really confusing to tell what could be used and what couldn't. This ultimately lead me to get stuck multiple times and I was forced to use the Strategy Guide.
The level of challenge is also way out of whack. I got stuck multiple times for two reasons:
1) There was no indicator as to whether the + objects could be interacted with yet. The + signs did not change colour like in every other game.
2) There was no indicator of whether your animal helper could be used. Instead, text appeared like it normally would for using an inventory item. So, I was left wandering aimlessly, looking for stuff in my inventory that could be used on the scene. I only ended up passing these points out of sheer luck, when I just decided to use the animal helper.
Something really needs to be done for the next game, I'm afraid. I just got too lost and confused. For starters, there need to be indicators for when something can be used so I don't have to use the hint all the time. Using the hint a lot just makes me feel dumb and takes away all the enjoyment of the game.
Upon looking at the basics, I was also very disappointed to realise there was no diary. I've been saying this a lot lately, and I'll keep saying until the developers listen: DIARIES. ARE. IMPORTANT. They help me remember important details from early on in the story, and I like reading the notes. Developers, please take note: bring back the diary!
Other than that, the basic stuff has been done well. We have a useful hint and the map is very helpful and interactive.
The graphics are good, but they were very bright. I know this is a fantasy game, but there was a bright colour overload here. That being said, I thought the scenes were still drawn with some good detail and the character designs were wonderful. Every scene was clear, even if a little bright.
The voice-overs are standard. I have no issue here.
3 modes of difficulty: Casual, Advanced and Hard. Differences are the usual. I played Casual.
Hint/Skip- recharged at a decent speed for the difficulty I selected, so it wasn't too long, but there was no hand holding.
Map- The map was interactive and quite helpful. It let you know where there were tasks to complete.
Animal Helper- this came in the form of a ermine, who was used quite frequently. This was a great feature. However, there was no indicator of when the helper could be used, which was confusing.
+ Objects- this was executed so poorly. Usually, the + signs change colour when the object can be used, but this did not happen here.
Bestiary- This kept hold of all the animal pages you found. It was useless to the game, but quite enjoyable, in my opinion.
Bonus Chapter- I doubt it will be needed..
Strategy Guide- The SG is absolutely USELESS! It doesn't mention when you have to zoom in on objects and doesn't show HOS solutions. This led to me being unable to solve the story-puzzles, because the game counted them as HOS.
Collectible jewelery (18)- Six sets of three. Not in every scene, I don't think.
Developer Diary- 31 photos of the development team.
Match 3 levels
Concept Art (16)
WHICH IS THE BETTER BUY?
I will never, ever buy this game, but I would definitely say the SE is of better value. The bonus content is really poor here. There are next to no CE Extras. Very disappointing effort.
Overall this definitely goes in to contention for the Worst HOPA of 2014 award. This is the worst CE released this year, and were it not for the half-decent gameplay, it would have been an instant one star rating. I can't believe the developers changed the series completely. I would not buy this game if someone paid me to do it, and would quite frankly rather watch paint dry. It would be more interesting.
As the old saying goes, ?if it's not broken, don't fix it.?
July 26, 2014