Enlightenus II: The Timeless Tower
Original variation on the standard HOG
In this game, instead of getting a list of words in each hidden object scene, you get a few items in your inventory and you have to put them back into the scene in appropriate locations, e.g. if you have a shoe, you can place it with an identical shoe in the scene to make a pair. When you click on an inventory item it "sticks" to the pointer and you then see some descriptive text when you mouse over areas of interest in the scene. This makes the task of figuring out what goes where much easier, and are often funny. Like mousing over a "sleepy owl" and putting a sleep mask over it so it can go to sleep.
This comprises about 80% of the gameplay, so if you don't like this type of hidden object scenes, you should give it a miss. ;) Personally, I found it refreshing to be playing something a little different. You have some adventure game elements (finding/using inventory items) as well, but I thought they were pretty straightforward (find a key, unlock a door).
There were some puzzles as well--not many of them, but I thought they were well-designed. Most of them show you a scene with an objective, and 4-6 drawings of actions you can take. Your task is to choose the actions in the correct order to achieve your objective. E.g. you have a scene with a person, a tree and a cloud. Your actions are to make it rain, move the cloud, or cause lightning to strike and your objective is "don't get electrocuted". Different things happen depending on the order in which you take the actions. I enjoyed this type of puzzle a lot and some of the later ones required a few tries to succeed. There are also a few other puzzles that I've seen in lots of other games before.
This game is a little older so the graphics were just okay, although not ugly. I liked the gameplay enough that the graphics didn't matter that much to me.
May 18, 2012
Enjoyable 'Place the Objects' (PO?) Game -- Very Cute
I'm writing this based on the trial as I've opted not to purchase the game. However, I would still give the game a good review -- it's simply too short to be worth it to me. If it goes on sale I'll snap this up in a second. As is...
STORY: The story is very simple and really only meant as a skeletal justification for the different scenes. The premise is that you're in a clocktower where time itself is distorted by its own damaged clock and you need to fix it. To do this requires a good balance of adventure/complete the tasks and hidden object scenes, the latter of which are set in different place/time (for example, a Roman marketplace, an ancient Mayan temple, Da Vinci's workroom, etc.)
ADVENTURE/TASKS: The tasks are fairly straightforward and, for the most part, once you find an object you'll need to use it soon thereafter or will already have a place it needs to go. You get the objects for the tasks primarily through the HO scenes but there's also the occasional puzzle.
HO SCENES: In this case the objects aren't hidden so much as you have a set of objects you need to put back in place. The game relies mostly on association then with heavy emphasis on you figuring out what the game maker's thought made sense as an association. This can be frustrating but, usually, even if you have to resort to hovering over every object to see what label the coder's used, you can figure it out without a hint. When you do need a hint there's the ability to speed up the hint recharging by finding little 'E' cards so that you don't have to wait for it to recharge (so long as you keep finding the cards in the HO scenes!). This is a nice and useful plus that I wish more games had.
PUZZLES: There's few puzzles in this game (even compared to other Blue Tea games) but the ones that are present range from interesting/curious to very amusing*. Most of them work on the theme of arranging things in a needed order or pressing buttons in the right order and they're not very difficult if you're good at object ordering.
GRAPHICS/DESIGN: Like all Blue Tea games the graphics are quite well done and appropriately detailed. This has an intentionally storybook/fairy tale sort of look to a lot of the scenes so if you're looking for graphic realism this isn't the game for you. But the whimsical look really works for the theme and goes well together.
OVERALL: The gameplay was very enjoyable, the graphics cute, the tasks engaging but not terribly difficult, the HO scenes frustrating at times but mostly fun (and an instantly recharging hint button is a wonderful thing for frustration), and I normally would buy something this fun in an instant. I'm not because it's really short. I intentionally closed the game at the end of the second floor, well short of my hour trial time, and looked up the walkthrough -- there's are a total of six floors. For me that adds up to, at best, 2 1/2 hours of gameplay and I make it a policy not to buy games under 3 hours of play. It's a pity because I'd love a game like this if it were a bit longer.
*In one you have to press the buttons to animate a drawing in a certain order so that you don't get struck by lightning. I purposefully failed a couple of times because the lightning striking was adorably funny.
November 3, 2012
For Originality and Creativity: Super! Very different from other hidden games I've played. It would however be a greater game experience if the settings were less scary.
November 25, 2011
A disappointing sequel
Perhaps my expectations were raised by playing Enlightenus 1 first, but I found this sequel to be a grand disappointment.
The story that's hinted at isn't resolved at the end, and even the hidden object scenes feel strained in comparison to the first game. Gone is the humour in the naming of objects that I so enjoyed in the original, replaced instead with factual labels that convey no sense of whimsy.
The game starts well, and, had I not been expecting more, probably would have been adequate, but I found myself rushing through the final stages just to get to the ending, which I ultimately found unsatisfying.
Bring back the story and the creativity! I'm counting on you, Blue Tea Games!
March 22, 2012
While the graphics and music are great (you can count on Blue Tea Games for that) the game itself is tedious. There are a couple of mini games but the rest of the game are scenes where you place objects into a scene and the scenes are used several times. I finished the game because I paid for it, not because I was enjoying it.
As you go the story unfolds and it was a letdown.
Overall it was a disappointment and I really can't say that I recommend it.
October 13, 2012