Rhiannon: Curse of the Four Branches
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
Enjoyable but tough to crack!
I enjoyed this game just because it was different to many other Big Fish games BUT I found it very frustrating to play! I kept coming to points of the game and having no idea what to do next, where to look and for what, or I knew what I needed to do and was unable to do it - as I had missed a part of the prior sequence of events . I ended up constantly looking at the strategy guide and forums for help, which I hate doing to finish a game!
On the positive side it was very spooky indeed and I did start to get the hang of it about half way through
December 27, 2011
On the positive side I loved the setting of this game, especially the outside scenes which looked very real. I could not, however, get into finding objects, combining them with other objects and putting them into certain places. It didn't seem logical to me. While I enjoyed wandering through the scenes very much, I thought the navigation left something to be desired. In some instances it felt like "you can't get there from here", as you often had to hit a certain mark before you could turn and get to where you wanted to go. This was a lot like navigation in the games I used to play 10 years ago. The other frustration was that the game took much too long to save or load my current position.
All in all I think it was worth playing, however, and I would like to see more from this developer.
January 22, 2012
Playable but Frustrating
The concept sounded good. So here are my pros and cons:
-Lengthy adventure with a lot of places to visit so you don't feel claustrophobic.
-Includes a jump-map so you can click to get to most places which is nice as you do a lot of retracing of steps to find items or clues.
- Includes NOTES which often are the only way to know what you are to do next and generally alerts you if you have done what you need to do.
-Most of the puzzles were pretty good and once you had an idea of what you were doing, it made sense.
-A few scares that were actually well done and unexpected.
- The solutions were rather bizarre with combining modern day items with "elements" to progress. Hard to explain unless you are playing it.
- I had a walkthru handy as I often had no idea what to do next. Or let's say "I" knew but I couldn't get my character to know as I had not done something for them to know the next action.
-Node movement was generally OK but there were several times I missed seeing something as the node movement was not logical to view the item.
BOTTOM LINE: I would recommend buying it and playing. It just wasn't the most logical game but worth playing due to its length and story.
September 2, 2012
This game has to be the HARDEST game I have ever done!! I was stuck almost immediately. Thank God there is a new walkthrough in the forum, because I would have given up completely. On the plus side, the graphics are stunning. The sound excellent, the storyline really exciting. In my opinion though, this game is just too hard to be fun. I had to save the walkthrough in my favorites for quick reference.
January 14, 2013
Rhiannon curse of the four branches
You have to be a genius to figure this game out. My son and I both have to use the walkthrough because we can't figure it out. I have never found the boiler room yet because I KEEP GOING IN CIRCLES. So, while I got this on a recommendation, I would not recommend it for anyone who has problems with games.
October 16, 2013
I just bought this game but I have to say that so far....
I am not impressed. In the first place it took more than 10 minutes to download to my laptop - it runs on windows7, so I know I have a fast processor. The map provided only adds locations as you visit them and doesn't tell you where you are. So if you get lost, you stay lost because the map doesn't help. In just the first few minutes, I came across 4 objects that I can look at but won't add to my inventory - you can only pick up items you need. The game warns you to take notes on where you saw certain noncollectable items that you will need later. Um, I don't want to use that much brain power to play a game. There are no hints or clues as you go along. You get an intro to the story and you are on your own. Oh, and the game does not automatically save, so if you play, make sure you save before closing. All together a bit too complicated for my tastes.
December 21, 2011
One for fans of Large file games probably, but not for me....
If you want something snappy and sharp as a game - this is not it. This is more for those who want it slow and atmospheric.
I found it as spooky as a damp trump under the duvet. [If you want a creepy HOPA game I recommend Dire Grove]
Slow, awkward controls to move around the game, and very tired of finding things I could pick up but not put in my inventory _yet_ but maybe later.
If I wanted to read books, I'd rather pick up a paper one, and not get goggle eyes reading pages and pages and pages on a computer game. Don't get me wrong - the stories in there and concept for the game are good, but I was just not feeling it at all.
I am happy to use my imagination, and believe you me it is very vivid, but relying on that to carry me through the game (after reading pages of stuff on the screen and not playing the game itself) was heavy going, not helped by getting sick of the controls and sick of not being able to pick up twig x but for some unknown reason pick up twig y...
I saw on one review that the type of puzzles/problem in this game is for more experienced players of the genre, and based on this I would be inclined to agree. Taking photos on my mobile phone of the screen with a puzzle key, in order to see side by side the key and puzzle on screen at same time, and scribbling on a bit of paper too, is not my idea of fun. (So I ended up taking a photo of the solution from a walkthrough and applying it hehehehe :)
It slightly reminded me of the old 90s game Myst (another game I never finished!) - all scenery and completely 'guess the thing to click on or do next'. If that's the sort of game you like, then this will ring your bell.
Unfortunately for me, this is the second large file game I've tried (Other was Dracula origins), and obviously these are not the games for me. They just feel sooooo slooooooooow and cumbersome in display, movement, game play.
I prefer the 'play for 6-8 hours and solve a story' type of game, or lengthy RPG type - so neither recommending or disrecommending this, as it obviously is not falling into my preferred genre type. And if you have a genre preference like mine, then you will likely struggle with playing this game until the end. I didn't.
June 23, 2012
Try before you buy
I've played dozens of the hidden object games. I had expected this one to be similar, and it is, but not by much.
While it's not childish like some, it lacks the adventure quality that I was accustomed to. I couldn't get into the game or the story as it was confusing to get around and therefore concentrated on that aspect more than the story line.
I want to clarify though, that because of this I didn't go very far into the game, so possibly it gets better but frankly I don't care if it does, this type of play doesn't interest me personally, so I stopped playing.
I gave it and excellent rating in the challenging aspect of the game as for some, this is right up their alley for game play. Hints are not given in sparkles and you have to think a little more than other hidden object games. I play all of them on advanced play without hints because it's annoying to be alerted to active zones.
So, if you're tired of the easier games and you really want to run on your own without everything going into your inventory and sitting there until needed, taking your own notes and sleuthing - this game is for you and I would recommend it. But try before you buy you may not like the interaction and end up like me, wasting cherished free game credit on it.
June 2, 2012
Too many flaws
I thought that this game would be a welcome challenge and change from the games we normally play, unfortunately I found the interface too confusing and the game itself very slow to progress. While the graphics were very nice and the ambiance of the game was quite creepy, there were still too many critical flaws in the game play engine to make this game worth the money.
December 26, 2011