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
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
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
My favorite BF game so far!
This game was so enjoyable! If I'd know how good it was before, I would have downloaded it months ago! It is similar to myst games and kindof like Nancy Drew games, in that you walk around through point and click and explore the scenery. The place is so beautiful to explore and there is a map so you can skip to places quickly once you have been there. There is a notebook of tasks that give you pretty specific hints, so if you want it to be harder then I would just try not to read it unless you are stuck. There is no one to talk to and no time limit and although there are some spooky moments, overall it is not really dark or evil. The story line is so interesting and the tasks are creatively done! Also, if you have any glitches, you go onto the BF forum and PM one of the creators and she will very quickly respond to help you. I had one issue and she help me resolve it right away. After that, it was smooth sailing. The graphics were beautiful to me even though some have commented that it's a few years old. I didn't notice because I was having too much fun!
January 31, 2012
RHIANNON-AN ADVENTURE GAME EVERYONE CAN PLAY!
After downloading this eerie and spectactular game, I could not understand how I missed this gem, Literally scour games titles searching for "the ultimate" and Rhiannon hits the mark. The tutorial is easy to understand and those without much adventure game experience can enjoy playing this one. FYI-some scenes will startle you so, be forewarned!
December 20, 2011
THE GAME I'VE BEEN SEARCHING FOR
Funny enough, I bought and downloaded this game over two months ago and played it for an hour and decided I hated it. The navigation was impossible, the scenes dull and boring, the story completely elusive to me. Then my sister happened upon it on my laptop and INSISTED I play it with her. Grumbling through the first hour with her, I finally realized how to play it and OMG what a FANTASTIC game it is! We stayed up 2 days just playing as it is nearly impossible to stop once you get rolling. It is everything that the standard HOG's aren't. I'll never be able to play another HO game now that I've discovered this genre.
This type of game is very reminiscent of the Zelda games on Nintendo. Very few hints and lots and lots of THINKING. Love Love Love it.
July 10, 2012
Fun and atmospheric first person adventure
I greatly enjoyed this game. It has a very interesting story, great graphics and fairly challenging puzzles including some quite creative ones.
The story is told through emails, letters and diaries found in the game, so a lot of reading is required. This may put some players off but I enjoyed this format of storytelling, in particular since it allows the story to span several different time periods. Besides, the writing is good and I found that the diary of a former inhabitant of the farm in particular was a real pleasure to read. Many of the puzzles are based on hints given in the reading material and sometimes require combining information from several different sources to figure out the solution, something that I found made for an interesting challenge, but which will again put some players off, in particular if they are relatively new to the genre (or subgenre). The sound effects were good and added to the atmosphere of the game. There is not much music in the game, but the music that does exist is good and it is used at appropriate occasions. The graphics are excellent, both in terms of the level of detail and the visual design of the locations (for example I found that the 15 year old girl's room looked just right given the information about her gained from her diary).
At first I found the navigation system a bit confusing, but I quickly got used to it. In the end, the main weakness I found with the game was that the automatic notes which provide a useful reminder of your current objectives sometimes also provided unwanted hints, giving away things that I would rather have figured out on my own. Also, since it is only possible to pick up objects when you need them, it was sometimes easy to guess the use of an object based on at what time it became possible to pick it up, providing another source of potentially unwanted hints. Without these minor problems the game would have provided an even more interesting challenge.
January 9, 2012