Echoes of the Past: The Castle of Shadows Collector's Edition
First-Rate Game !
The story in the beginning is excellent and already holds you!
The graphics are excellent, and also the effects.
Really good Atmosphere.
Sound is great! - without loud noisy and screamings as in so many other games.
Many places to go, lots to do, very interactive and interesting game..
Many HOS and puzzles, and most are new and different from the usual.
All objects found on a HOS, after will be placed in a different scene - very entertaining and innovative!
All "Echoes of the Past" are excellent and very enjoyable games !
January 22, 2012
Awful, Awful, Awful!
GAME COMPLETED A COUPLE OF TIMES
(although I?ve no idea where I got the patience, didn?t last the distance this time)
Why do I hate this game? Let me count the ways...
Absolutely appalling graphics. Even without the problems of low definition due to the age of the game, the visuals are ugly. And there were these ugly shimmery patches wherever an item was needed, in the shape of the item. So a missing handle showed as a shimmery handle. Yuck! It looked ghastly.
Really slow game play. Each move requires multiple mini-games, puzzles or HOs. Nothing is logically apparent, so it is a constant struggle to figure out what comes next.
Hardly any of the puzzles come with specific instructions, it?s all ?press the buttons in the right order? kind of stuff.
Hint is useless bordering on offensive. ?This is the door to the tavern? ? well, I know that you idiot!...
The categorically worst thing about this game is the fact the SG is in the main menu. You have to leave the game to look it up!! What a waste of money, I can do that with the standard game.
Which is another thing. I wrote a very disparaging review of the SE of this game based on a demo a year ago, how the heck did this get on my desktop? I?m thinking evil magic! Lol
It does have a couple of redeeming features, particularly for such an old game.
It uses three different HOs ? slightly interactive lists, multiples and misplaced items. I particularly liked that the misplaced items were indeed actual items I had picked up in an earlier scene.
There are a lot of locations and close up scenes, complex enough to have needed a map, which unfortunately we didn?t get. But the exploring through all the many castle rooms was fun.
Still, not enough to justify buying this, at any price.
April 15, 2013
Up with the best - Excellent
This game is akin to the Ravenhearst and Dire Grove games. Plenty to do, plenty places to go and an enthralling and challenging game. The graphics are good and clear with clean lines and good detail. The dialogue is interesting and to the point - no wasted hoo har. The plot is to find numerous items to free several ghosts to gather vital pieces of an amulet that was broken and strewn throughout the various scenes in the game. The puzzles and mini games were what you would expect in a Collectors Edition, most require plenty of thought and require careful attention to the subtle clues in the scenes, together with referal to the journal or diary constantly. The hidden objects are quite reasonable without being dead easy as they range to varying degrees of difficulty to find. There is a fair amount of backtracking, to find various items which are to be used in other places but you would not have it any other way in a C.E. game. The bonus feature is equally as good. Buy it, well worth the money.
March 29, 2012
Better than first Echoes of the Past game
The storyline kept making want to see the ending. At first the puzzles were easy like the first game (Royal House of Stone), but once you progressed to the castle they got a little more challenging. All in all it was fun and with the bonus of the Collector?s Edition I think I completed it in about 3hrs 30mins which is a much better length then the first game of the series.
The artwork was good, but it lost a point visually for the Hidden Object Scenes. Granted the first game had a grainy resolution for the Hidden Object Scenes and so did this one, but what made the difference was the spacing of the objects in this game. It made it a little easier on the eyes, but it was still hard to stare at it for awhile (hurts the eyes when it is blurry looking like that). This made the difference between it being Good rather than OK (which I gave for Royal House of Stone's Visual Quality).
There was voice acting again in this game which was done well. Although, you could tell that the actors were trying really hard to make an accent for the character speaking that was not their natural accent. It did not bother me too much to affect the rating.
I do recommend this game because it is the back story for the next Echoes of the Past game called "The Citadels of Time".
April 7, 2012
It does have the walkthrough guide within the game, but, you have to go to the main menu and click on extras in order to get any help that you might need. Once you get use to have the list of items at the top compared to usually having them on the side or the bottom, the game is great and I believe that I will purchase it to play the full version.
November 28, 2011
Echoes of the past
I have to repeat myself. As in the others two installments of the series, it's an enjoyable game likely to keep you addicted to the story in progress and admiring the graphics. Puzzles interesting with the right twists to keep you puzzling (they are puzzles, isn't it?) over them.
January 31, 2012
Get them all
All the echoes of the past are great fun games. Not too much moving all around to keep play flowing.
December 19, 2012
Thankfully I only paid $6.99 for this not full price
When I play games like this and then read what other reviewers write, I begin to wonder if my standards are too high. Look at all of the other reviews. They gave this five stars. That's laughable. This is a mediocre game at best.
Nice graphics, but nothing you haven't seen before. Music is lousy and repetitive. The story line is sillier and more vapid than most. There were periods where there was no story, like the developer occasionally forgot they were supposed to have a plot line with their hidden object scenes and puzzles.
Some of the puzzles are new. I liked having to find "missing" objects elsewhere in the game and replace them to remove curses. A few innovative puzzles, but most are standard fare.
The game is VERY linear. You will not have a lot of choice over what you can accomplish next. The game doles out items in a pretty precise order, sort of like a path with very high walls to keep you from deviating.
Decent length of play compared to others. I completed the game in about three hours or so. That's longer than most on here, yet it was not all that challenging. I found about 95%+ of the hidden objects with no trouble at all. The puzzles in most cases, all but solve themselves since you have gotten the codes and clues earlier.
The extras are disappointing. While I got about an hour of play on the bonus content, it was totally bolted on. No story. No reason to be in the environment. It was like running an obstacle course of puzzles and hidden object scenes without any real purpose. The developers could have taken 10 minutes to come up with some sort of flimsy plot like most of these games do.
Bottom line is that the game is OK but hardly the amazing experience some of the other reviewers describe. If you have been on Big Fish for more than a week than you have played a ton of similar games that are equally generic and uninspired. It's not that it is a horrible game. It's just completely undistinguished. You can skip it and your life will not be worse for it.
June 4, 2012
a bit of a different HOG
I just finished the CE version and I really liked it. They tried something different with the hidden objects and I think it really worked. My only problem with the game was that the strategy guide was outside of the game, meaning that you have to leave the game to get some help. Now maybe that was a good thing since I wasn't as tempted to peek at the solutions but it was awkward. However, overall I really enjoyed it and will now replay the earlier games of the series I had already bought..
June 3, 2012
This was, for the most part, an enjoyable game to play.
The storyline was interesting, the puzzles interesting and the hidden object scenes were good. There is a journal that is updated with the story and there is a task list.
The voice acting was okay but the accents did not match the setting!
There are a different variety of hidden object scenes from finding one type of object to putting objects back into the scene and the regular find the object listed.
There were a good number of mini-games / puzzles and they were, for the most part, easily solvable. Some instructions were not very clear and by looking through the walkthrough I was able to figure out what was supposed to be done.
The hints for the hidden object scenes were limited but could be replenished by finding mirrors in the scene. I found that most objects were easy to find.
The general hints for the game were not very helpful at all and if you get stuck then the strategy guide is available to look through. Although in order to look at the strategy guide you have to exit the game and go to the main menu and then go to the Extras and then select the guide.
During the game in a couple of places the game would freeze and only by using Windows to stop the game could I get back to playing it ? for some reason it did not lose any game progress.
Upon exiting the game each time it would try to bring up the Big Fish Games home page. As soon as I closed the window it would halt the game properly. No game progress was ever lost though.
The minor problems were not big enough to not want to continue they were just minor nuisances!
The bonus adventure was fun and enjoyable as it unlocked the rest of the extras.
September 20, 2012