Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches
A Classic Adventure Game
Many of us play games for different reasons. The obvious one is to simply play: click, seek, find, solve. Some of us probably like the challenge, but want more. I like the story line, the characters, the scenery, and the resolution of the character?s problem. Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches absolutely fulfilled my needs to enjoy a game.
Not having much experience in the Adventure genre, I have bought and been unable to finish some of them. Therefore, my first requirement is to have a walk through (well, actually, I need my hand held) and there is an excellent one provided by the game developers. So the game?s afoot and I dive into it looking at the beautiful graphics, listening to the terrific music, but what?s this? Wonderful characters?all named Rhiannon-- from different eras (far out, a 60?s Rhiannon with her psychedelic diary!), a modern Rhiannon who starts out as a whining teen but develops into an overwhelmed, but intelligent teen reaching out for help, and a very innocent Rhiannon who is happy in her marriage until?well, you need to play to find out.
Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches, based on the Welsh Mabinogion tales, has incredible puzzles, a working navigational map, interesting diaries, books and magazines to read and an underlying sense of humor as the modern world melds with the old. A caution: Fleetwood Mac?s Rhiannon buzzed through my head for a week (although it?s not heard in the game but it appears on the MP3 player!). But they?re one of my favorite groups so that was an additional and welcome by-product.
So if you want to be immersed in a magical culture that transcends time, then this is the game. It is like opening up a fantastic novel but suddenly falling into the pages and becoming part of the story!
November 18, 2011
Atmospheric, "true" adventure format...
A fun, challenging, spooky game in full adventure format (ie. no H0 scenes). Be prepared to spend some time on the puzzles or have the walkthrough at your fingertips.... some of the puzzles are tricky and do not solve in one fell swoop (ie. you will need to collect objects to 'trigger' puzzles, etc.).
There will be a lot of walking about; I found it pleasureable due to the superb graphics and nice, old country atmosphere.
A "must have" for your adventure collection for times when you need a little spooky chill AND have a patient frame of mind.
December 11, 2011
One of my all-time favorites.
Great game with a compelling story line, good adventure, beautiful scenery. Long play time. I know the developers had another game in the works, Coven, but it has taken a long time and still no sign of it. I can't wait for more work from this high-quality production studio. If you get tired of HO scenes and want a straight adventure, you'll like this, although the navigation did get complicated at times, as there are so many choices. But it was a challenge that I enjoyed.
December 4, 2011
My favorite large file, adventure-super bargain @ $2.99 or $19.99
If you miss buying this game today at the daily deal $2.99 price, it is still worth every penny at full price. I rate this above other games in this genre: Notradamus, Dracula Origin, Syberia I & II, and even above any of the Nancy Drews. I think that even devoted hidden-object gamers that like a faster paced game, may enjoy playing this one in-between waiting for the next best HO game.
After a stressful day, I found the music and scenery soothing, but the story told in such an intriguing way that the suspense was subtle, like old Alfred Hitchcock movies. The characters were so well developed that I felt like I got to know them through their personal affects in their rooms, and the contents of buildings on their country property.
There are so many locations; to the point it seems that it is two adventure stories in one. For gamers that don't like a lot of walking back and forth, you will get short cuts to locations, but...you have to earn them first by solving mysteries. So, in the beginning there is a lot of back and forth. That's a good thing though, because there is so much to discover, you'll need to make a few passes through the same scene to find something you already passed by.
The puzzles seem logical to the story and the clues are often available as inside-information between family members to trigger their memory of combinations or passwords in notes to each other, or reminder notes to themselves.
As an intermediate gamer, when I first played this game, I had to refer to the walkthrough because even though I found the answer, it was among information that could have been other possibilities. I was so immersed in the story, that my impatience was out of a desire to know what is going to happen next. It took me a couple of weeks to finish this game, playing 4-6 hours per session.
As I recall, there was a glitch in the game where I had to solve one particular puzzle in a certain order, otherwise it froze. I found the work-around in the forum, by going back to a saved game, doing it in correct order, and was able to finish the game. The is a manual save game vs. the more recent autosave games, so I recommend you save after each major accomplishment, naming what you accomplished in case you find the same type of glitch. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
December 20, 2011
Creepiest First Person Adventure
This game was genuinely creepy to play. Things jump out at you and you will be startled several times. However, it was fun and challenging with a great storyline that I enjoyed.
November 17, 2011
3.5 - a star removed for navigation and controls
When you realise that this game was made by three people if you are like me, it makes you appreciate it more. The plot is made up of local folklore and the detail gone into integrating that into the game is very good and you can tell this game is a labour of love.
For those that love plot there is a lot in this game and it really drives it. It?s set around a home and outbuildings so it?s not a game where you progress into new areas never to go back to old ones. After you explore and discover an area on foot if you have the big fish version and not the CD one, your map at the bottom becomes interactive and you are instantly transported to that area if you click on it.
Having a map is a great help in knowing where everything is as well as cutting down on the backtracking and I really really appreciate having it in this type of game. I do wish that the rooms in the home and other places later would have had this transporter feature. There is also notes at the bottom of the page (again if you have the BF version or premium one) which helps you in your goals and to know what to do next.
I don?t think it?s a very hard adventure game (good!) with puzzles - (they aren?t that many - more interactions) if you have patience examining everything and going back to areas, and use your task list and write a lot of things down then you shouldn?t need a walkthrough that much? My patience waned a couple of times (as I prefer not going back to old areas) so I looked at the walkthrough.
Now the not so good ?
The controls of this game is clunky at best and very annoying at worst. Navigation is by arrows and isn?t a 360 game, which I usually am glad of but the arrows here were very confusing. I missed a room in the home because you had to be exact where you put it. When I was trying to pick up something I couldn?t because I wasn?t in the right spot or facing the wrong way and didn?t realise I could pick it up as the active curser icon wouldn?t work. Also when I was walking down a path looking for things, nothing was visible and had to remember to walk back it the other way or some items you would miss. And if your curser wasn?t in the exact spot it wouldn?t go into active mode indicating you could do something and I had to backtrack loads due to this and it was very annoying.
Another pet peeve of mine is not being able to pick up an item when you come across it. Here this was a LOT and you had to write down where things were so you could get it later when the game allowed you to pick it up.
They were clever in unfolding the story bit by bit but in doing it that way and not having one journal in keeping you up to date re plot with what you found, I ended up being lost with the plot. There was more than one Rhiannon and I just couldn?t keep track of it all so would have loved a synopsis in one journal, especially if you play a bit and leave it I couldn?t remember it or the names of the people involved.
I did have a couple of glitches but nothing I couldn?t play past by going back to an old save as it?s a manual save game, so if you save often and in different places you should be OK. It could be that it is because I have windows 7, 64 bit with nvidia card.
The navigation and controls really spoiled the enjoyment of this game for me but the transporter map REALLY helped me out mostly with this. The DEV has been amazing in spending a lot of time helping others out in the game forum and that says a lot! They are working on another game and will take into consideration the controls and navigation, if they do that for the next game then it should be a wee gem of a game.
It?s not one of my favourite games but despite the annoyances I did mostly enjoy it and look forward to their next game.
June 12, 2012
Wow, what an amazing story!
Just finished it... The best $2.99 i've ever spent on a game! Rhiannon was a real joy to play! Very long game play! The story line and puzzles/objectives were absolutely amazing! Some of the objectives have fairly complicated associations, and I found it necessary to use a walkthrough at several points during the game. Technically, it wasn't the best, as it uses a lot of outdated gameplay that many of the newer games have surpassed. Has some bugs, and i agree with some of the other comments regarding navigation. It could have been better developed. Regardless, this game takes you on an amazing journey!
December 25, 2011
Great Story and Graphics
Now this game is completely different from the usual hidden object games. This requires some detective work and reading...no hidden objects. Just lots of checking out each and every scene for clues and articles which will be of use. Remember to read everything made available to you! I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and as previously mentioned the mythology is fascinating. In fact it has led me to researching at the library to find out more about the basis for the game. I am waiting hopefully for a new game from Arberth Studios???
January 6, 2012
The most frustrating game ever.
It took me forever to get to the front door in scene 1. You keep walking by it but you have to make left, right right etc in just the right combo to get there. And that was just the beginning.
There are items everywhere that you need to take, but you can't take them until you need them, so you have to remember where you saw all these things so you can come back for them later.
One of the first things you need to do is collect some items and start a fire. I had everything but the logs and it wouldn't let me pick them up. Even with the walk through I couldn't figure out why. After about 20 trips around the house I finally got the logs.
That was it for me.
This is not my idea of fun.
March 17, 2012
One of my all-time favorites. Gorgeous scenery, makes me want to live there. Creepy and challenging. I wish they would make some sort of sequel.
December 4, 2011