Dark Canvas: A Murder Exposed
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Dark Canvas: A Murder Exposed

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You’re called in to photograph a wedding, but what you really expose is a murder. In the next Dark Canvas game from Vast Studios, you play as a wedding photographer who stumbles onto a strange mystery. Be ready to shoot as you follow the clues in this family tragedy. Just watch out for skeletons in their closets! A unique photo feature allows you to capture clues when you see them.

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Game System Requirements:

  • OS: Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows 10
  • CPU: 1.0 GHz
  • RAM: 1024 MB
  • DirectX: 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 698 MB

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Reviews at a Glance

Dark Canvas: A Murder Exposed

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Customer Reviews
Dark Canvas: A Murder Exposed is rated 3.9 out of 5 by 21.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Game! This is one of the best mystery games I have played in a while!!! This is really an excellent game! However, I had a glitch with the cursor, and a horrible grinding sound, each time I opened a mini game or puzzle,which made it very difficult to play (reason for 4 stars). And puzzles are my favorite parts of the games! :- ( Otherwise, the game was fantastic!!! If you like mysteries, this one is good!!
Date published: 2017-05-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Martha Knows! The Whittle's are one dysfunctional family, mother Anna passed away last year, father Jasper became an alcoholic, and eldest daughter Martha feels unloved. On the bright side, little sister Carol has just been married to a wonderful man, Frank Gelson. Carol has asked you to shoot one last photo of her and Martha before she changes out of her wedding dress. The storm outside is relentless but the storm inside the Whittle Estate seems to be even more tempestuous! Family secrets never stay secret for long, even poor old dad, Jasper thinks his daughter knows the truth, and this truth is as ugly as it get's! Because you are a photographer, you are equipped with a camera that will be used to shoot pictures whenever there's a star like symbol (the camera will glow) and the pictures slowly reveal the terrifying history that took place inside the Hollow Oak Estate. I found this feature to be really intriguing, especially once I started taking the pics that began to piece together a storyline I needed to know more about. Some of the inventory items have plus signs that indicate some type of interaction needs to be performed before the item can be used. The Collector's Edition has the addition of Achievements to earn and my favorite feature, Haunted or Beyond Morphing Objects are available in every scene, AND there's no cursor change to say "here I am" which makes it so much better! The Hidden Object Puzzles vary, but none are really unique, I will say however, for the first time in a long time, there was an item I had difficulty spotting on the very first listed item HOP (the baby carriage) There are Silhouetted Shape finds, and a couple of them required you to find the item in the green text of a sentence one of which was through a tiny keyhole. The Mini Games seemed a little on the simplistic side, I was able to finish all of them on the first attempt within a few seconds, but I've played a lot of games and I've gotten familiar with most of them. Below are brief descriptions of some of the puzzles you will encounter: 1) Move the colored tokens into the slots that match their symbols using a silver slider device to pick up the token of choice and slide Right or Left to the desired location. 2) Sort through a box of decorations to make matches of related items, the items on top must be matched first. 3) Using codes shown on an ornate box (A+H=3 for example) determine the correct number combination then enter those numbers on the available tumblers. The Collector's Edition has 25 Concept Art Pictures, 11 Soundtracks, 8 replayable HOP's (that's not very many BF) 10 replayable Mini Games or Puzzles (again not very many BF) 4 Wallpapers, 16 Hidden Photographs, an Attic Room where the photos are kept which allows you to complete portraits revealing the atrocities that took place within the Estate, 30 Haunted Morphing Objects, and a built in Strategy Guide, enjoy!
Date published: 2015-10-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A GHOSTLY MURDER MYSTERY – WHAT COULD BE BETTER! What better way could there be to cool off a hot early fall day than to solve a wonderful, ghostly murder mystery set during a dark and stormy day. In Dark Canvas A Murder Exposed, you play a photographer who is hired to take photos at the wedding of Carol Whittle and Frank Gelson. Take a step back to the 1950s as you try to solve a murder and find out who is haunting the Whittle’s Hollow Oak Estate. The game offers a choice of four modes of gameplay: Easy, Medium, Hard, and Custom. In custom mode you can set your hints and skips to recharge in a range of 15 to 95. The graphics are excellent and crisp being nice and colorful rather than the dark and grimy ones that we normally find in a ghostly game. The sound effects are excellent and truly set the tone for the game with the thunder that is frequently heard in the background. There are voiceovers that are quite good but sadly the game lacks the lip-sync component. Even though there is no lip-sync with the story being so excellent, after a while I didn’t really notice the lack of lip movement. Tools include an interactive, transporter type map that is present at the beginning of the game so you don’t have to look for one. You have a camera that will be used to take photos that will show important information that you will use at some later point in the game. You will also use your camera to take hidden photos that can be snapped when you notice a certain symbol. The HOPS in the game are quite different than normal and at least early in the game none were the standard list type. Some were to find pairs of related items, match items that are again related, a silhouette type and to search a room through a keyhole to find items that are highlighted in a sentence. The puzzles were very easy with the first one being the type where we move tokens to the appropriate space – no thinking required here. The next puzzle was a math type where we use equations to figure out a combination. It appears that the game is well balanced between HOPS and puzzles. Dark Canvas A Murder Exposed is a wonderful game. There is so much to discover and so many things to find that at first the game seemed a bit more difficult than usual. Things are not easily found and that alone makes the game better. For instance, we don’t discover that we need a screwdriver and then find it lying on a chair right next to where we need to use it. I purchased the SE of the game and really enjoyed it as I tried to solve the mystery. The game took me a bit longer than usual as I found that items needed were not that easy to find. All it all it was a terrific game that took me almost two days to complete. Even though the game is one I liked, as always, I recommend that you try the demo to see if this is a game you will enjoy.
Date published: 2015-10-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from in the minority here... Apparently I wasn't as sold on this game as others have been. I found the gameplay to be awkward and not real smooth at all. A lot of "go here, pick up one item, go there" which really got old. Storyline was a bit confusing and still not sure what really happened at the end as far as who got shot....I have my suspicions but it was done all in the dark. Not a fan of games that end that way. The transporter map was good and needed since you were jumping all over. Hint and skip could be adjusted in the custom setting so they would refresh quickly...which was good. Voice overs were a bit annoying. Inventory bar would fill up and moving it was choppy. HOS were interactive and interesting and I skipped a few of the puzzles. Some puzzles could not be skipped and you had to use the journal #which wasn't always clear# to figure things out...like the dart board for example. Found the game to be a good length, just awkward and confusing at times....not well planned out.
Date published: 2016-05-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Needed to Expose More than a Murder This is posted after playing the entire game. I have to admit this game was a tremendous disappointment. I expected much ... MUCH better from these developers than what I got. I did purchase this game, even with my disappointment following the demo. A mistake I'm afraid. I just knew VASI would pull this one out as they have before, but they failed.This game was just not fun for me whatsoever. The graphics were fine, especially the backgrounds. Hidden objects were clear, if not well hidden, but the lack of imagination in the voice overs was nothing to brag about. There is no animation in the voice overs. Just a box with a character in it with the same expression used in the previous boxes. Gal finds out her sister has been murdered and she has a smile on her face. Very poor planning on their part. Although the voice sound was very good, the graphics destroyed whatever good that produced. The music was non-intrusive and seemed to go along with the action in the game. While I did enjoy the hidden objects which were varied in content, the mini games... I'm just thankful I had the skip set at it's lowest time. I could not figure out what to do most of the time and the ones I did figure out were well above my abilities to perform. I don't like mini games to begin with, but these were just off the charts as far as I'm concerned. There are several levels of play including custom which I try to use whenever available. If I can't find something I can't find it and to sit her for a couple minutes waiting for the skip or hint button to charge is a waste of time. The map was helpful in getting around and finding things to do, but I did find myself using this hint button more in this game than I have in a long time just trying to figure out what in the world to do or where to go. The map didn't always sent you in the right direction. The story started out okay, but it didn't take long for it to get so convoluted it was difficult to follow. There is a camera that will take pictures of things you will use later in the game. It will glow when you need to take a picture and then stores it in the album. There is one game at the dart board and I went though that album several times trying to find the date and never did find it. I don't know if I missed taking a picture or what, but I ended up having to go to the walkthrough to find the answer. It did have an ending, for which I am extremely thankful. Play the demo and see what you think, but understand, in my opinion, it doesn't get any better as the game progresses.
Date published: 2015-10-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Another who dunnit I was getting along with this , the demo ends with 23 mins left. I will have to think on this one
Date published: 2015-10-25
Rated 3 out of 5 by from . I was expecting a lot more. There is a LOT of running back and forth. The character mouths don't work. 2016
Date published: 2016-01-19
Rated 2 out of 5 by from It All Depends On What You Expect As the photographer at a society wedding, you find yourself on the spot when a murder is committed after a family wedding at Hollow Oaks Estate. You are driving back to the estate where you spent the afternoon taking photos at a wedding. It is now evening and raining. You arrive to find the butler wrestling with the family dog near the front porch. You provide help. He gives you the key for the front door and sends you into the house. Eventually one of the sisters hands you the door knob to the kitchen pantry, so you can find something for her headache. Minutes later the other sister hands you the knob to the washer in the basement so you can retrieve the key to the library doors. If all of this seems normal to you, you will love this game. If, however, you are detail oriented, expect logic and reason, and pay close attention to the story elements, do not look at this demo. This is a perfectly ordinary game that is sabotaged by the details that also kill the story-line, such as it is. I just find myself obsessing over the details and losing the fun in the process. Please try before you think of buying.
Date published: 2015-10-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Doesn't make much sense I am not sure why someone in that house (or anyone for that matter) would wait for you (the photographer) to show up to commit a murder. Lots of things in that game don't really add up. Other reviewers have pointed out the anomalies (see the reviewed CE), so I won't go into details. Let me just say that I didn't read any of these reviews prior to playing the demo so as not to be influenced by them, only after, and I must admit that what I saw of the first chapter left me scratching my head. Not because the game is difficult, no, but because everything is pretty much disjointed. I did not enjoy the storyline, even though the voice acting is quite good. But the characters are just cardboard cuts that look as lifeless as a Greek statue, and no lip sync either. Your investigation (if you can call it that) is confined to a few rooms, always the same ones, with a brief incursion outdoors. Visiting the same locales over and over again becomes rather tedious. And that means a lot of back and forth. Tasks are unimaginative. Get a door knob to open... a door (why is it missing ?), clean a mirror with glass cleaner and handkerchief (you're the photographer, not the maid !), retrieve a hair pin to pick the lock of a suitcase in order to get what you need to develop a photo, take the dial of a washing machine, that's running, place it on, the machines stops and what's inside? a key !... etc... One funny bit: give a blackberry to a bird.... and the bird gives you the hairpin ! Clever birdie ! Now come on ! Just a few examples. The HO scenes are standard, and as usual totally irrelevant. But HO junkies will sure love them. Minigames / puzzles are dead easy and not much fun to play. I think this game is worth 3 stars for beginners or not too demanding players that want something fairly relaxing to play on a rainy day. But to me, it's only a 2 star game, that I found uninteresting and mainly boring. Do play the demo anyway, you might beg to differ and hopefully enjoy the game a lot more than I did.
Date published: 2015-10-25
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Less is Less Well, not much has changed. My view of this game is much the same after a second trial hour as it was after the first when I played the CE. This is one of the WORST games I've played in the past couple of years. In this episode of From Worse To Worst, I (you will) play the role of a wedding photographer. OVERALL RATING: I've matured. In fact, there are parts of this game that are worthy. Unfortunately, it's not in the storyline. FUN FACTOR: This is perverse, I know, but I have to admit I enjoy going from scene to scene exploring what mistakes the developers have made. I’m sorry, but it’s fun. VISUAL/SOUND QUALITY I. WHAT YOU HEAR (is absolutely the best feature of the game) a. My hopes were high as I started this game: A great title AND the soundtrack is great. It begins with a couple of Jazzy musical numbers, not unlike the great music from the Cadenza series. In fact, the soundtrack, music and side effects continue to be great throughout. Once the intro is over the real soundtrack begins in earnest. In my review of the CE I was too negative about the soundtrack. It’s actually really more than good throughout. The material it’s backing up is terrible but this game sounds exceptional. b. Part of the sound is the voice acting, and it is excellent. The actors are professionals to be sure. Unfortunately, there isn’t even an effort at lip-synching. Games these days are abundantly featured. There is no excuse for there to be no effort put into lip-synching. II. WHAT YOU SEE Having travelled down this path before, I've made a bit more progress. The artwork and animation is quite good throughout. LEVEL OF CHALLENGE: Not much. Mini Games a. The first game requires moving discs, without obstacles, from their incorrect placement to the correct place. The discs have a symbol on them and the purpose is to match up the symbol on the disc with the symbol next to the space it properly occupies. There are six total discs, if memory serves. Two of the six are correctly placed from the beginning of the game. Just in case you're not sure if you're correct in your placement, the disc lights up when in the right position. My one-year old could have done this... one-year old dog, Stanley. (I mistakenly added a year to his age in the first Dark Canvas review and he roundly rebuked me.) b. The second game requires arranging 4 large letter Ws (located on the cover of a roll top desk) into the same position as 4 large Ws located in the front yard of the house where our story begins. c. A third game requires following directions in order to develop a picture. Easy Peasy. d. A fourth requires matching related items (a bunny and an easter egg, for instance). The extra difficulty, by rule of the game, is that items must not be even partially covered by other items. In fact, this makes getting it right easier. HOS Again, not much challenge at all but at least there's a bit of variety: a couple of the HOS require finding a representation of a single word of text taken from a story read to the player. As the story is read, one word is highlighted. The job is to find the highlighted object. WHAT I LIKED: As I mentioned, the soundtrack and acting is great. The animation is good. The colors are also very realistic. WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: I've taken notes as I play. I'm in disbelief that the game is as bad as it is: Overall what bothers me is a lack of logic and consistency. The errors are ones that an editor or proofreader catch easily. The developer MUST have an employee who performs this task so I can only conclude that they just don't care. That is not acceptable.We have to pay for this game. It needs to be cleaned up. Unfortunately, this isn't one of those bug fixes that a new download performs. BUT IT IS SOMETHING THAT COULD HAVE BEEN FIXED BETWEEN THE RELEASE OF THE CE AND THE RELEASE OF THE SE! (So, all the good things I've discovered about this game matter even less now, because the inefficient directing, editing and proofreading were completely ignored by the developers after they surely found out what problems exist). The first and over-arching problem in this game: I’m the wedding photographer but I’ve shown up after the wedding is over. (The bride’s sister informs the new groom that his beloved is getting out of her uncomfortable wedding dress). Other issues: a. "I'd love for you to take a picture of Carol and I." If English grammar means anything to you, then "...of Carol and I" is like fingernails on a blackboard. "Of" is a preposition. The noun and pronoun that follow are "objects of the preposition." "Of Carol and ME" is the proper grammar. b. Later the sister of the bride says to the shutterbug: "I'd love to see the picture of Carol and I. Go check it out." OK. Once again there's the preposition-object of the preposition problem, but more than that: "I" would like to see it. "YOU" go check it out. WHAT???? Maybe "I would love to see it, let's check it out." Maybe. "I would love to see it. Show it to me." Probably. "I would love to see it. Check it out." No. Not ever. c. As I (the photographer) continue the tour of the house, I make a stop in the kitchen. I see a pot of soup and what looks to be an empty recipe holder and say "I can cook something up myself once I have a recipe." Wait. I thought I was the photographer, not the caterer. And, uhm, how long am I staying? d. I spot an open door and say: "God. Did whoever was out there get in?" What? That’s what doors are for…especially in the pouring rain (there is a deluge post-wedding). e. The bride verbally assaults me, demanding to know what I’m doing (I’m standing by the drawing room door at the time). She smiles as she says this! Her words and her affect don’t agree. f. I spot an open window and say "Why is the window open? Did someone leave? Or come in?" Of course. I usually make my entrances and exits through windows. Doesn't everyone?. (I know it's a murder mystery, but at this point in the proceedings no murder is evident so I'm not looking for surreptitious comings and goings). g. As I snoop around the house I see a note left by the Carol's sister. It's her crib sheet for the speech/toast she's given at the wedding reception: "I strive for a life as good as my little sister Carol's. She has a charming husband and a father who loves her. I hope to have these myself one day." WAIT. YOU'RE CAROL'S SISTER. YOU ALREADY HAVE A FATHER. The bad of this game obscures and overwhelms the good. There’s a complete lack of attention to storyline detail and logic throughout. Although there IS some good, the bad wins...in a landslide. There’s even illogic to be found in the title: “dark canvas" refers to a painting, yet this game's protagonist is a photographer and photographical elements are a significant part of the game. From beginning to end this game is filled with errors of logic and mixed metaphors. You should not buy this game. Even if you’re not over-the-top about the logic/grammar issues like me, the lack of challenge is perhaps even more important.
Date published: 2015-10-28
Rated 2 out of 5 by from CE or SE? Hard to say. Still find this game to be ornery and illogical, and in a coupled of spots, boring I've played a little more of this game since I wrote the CE review a month ago. I did buy the CE on a two-for-one sale because I needed an additional CE. Nonetheless, the game is hard to play. Good things: Art is well done Music good CE features excellent Bad things (from my CE review)(Warning!!! SPOILERS) ORNERY =On some closeups, it didn’t even tell you to leave if there was nothing to do. It just sat there. =You have to put paper and developer on the table before you can put the film in the machine. Why? And it was not logical how to do all the actions in the darkroom, like moving the picture and hanging it up. =The hint is a circle of stars. When it leads you to a closeup or a new scene, it continues and lingers at the same spot on the screen in the new place. So you think you need to click there, but you don’t. BORING =The bride’s sister talks too much. Show me through the game play instead of telling me. I don’t need a tour of the kitchen. Or just say “Follow me." =The first (only) mini game was not a game at all because there was nothing to puzzle out. To win, just move colored circular objects to the proper, obvious spots. =The 2 HOPs were just OK, words or outlines, but on the one in the storeroom, the hint didn’t work right. I needed a knife (I thought), and the hint kept indicating the upper left hand corner of the screen. That’s not where the cleaver (it turns out it was not a knife) was. It was in the middle of the screen. Weird. ILLOGICAL =It tells you not to go out to the back door because it’s raining so hard, but it lets you go out in front of the house. =And why did the photographer drive to the house anyway? The wedding’s over, and there does not appear to be a reception going on. What I want to know if I am buying a game and I have a choice between the CE and the SE is, which to buy? Here, I cannot really advise. There's all the CE bells and whistles, so if you like the game enough to drop the big bucks for the CE. Otherwise, try the SE. You might think this game worth it if you buy it with a coupon or as on a daily deal.
Date published: 2015-10-27
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Dark Canvas: A Murder Exposed

You’re called in to photograph a wedding, but what you really expose is murder.

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