Maestro: Dark Talent Collector's Edition
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Maestro: Dark Talent Collector's Edition

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A night out with a friend at the Opera House turns into a nightmare! This mysterious diva's dark talent claims another victim – can you stop her before the curtain falls?

In this exciting continuation of ERS's popular Maestro series, find out who the Knowing Ones are as you help free your friend Kate from Diva's clutches!

This is a special Collector's Edition release full of exclusive extras you won’t find in the standard version. As a bonus, Collector's Edition purchases count toward three stamps on your Monthly Game Club Punch Card!

The Collector’s Edition includes:

  • Play the bonus game to learn of a mysterious box
  • Replay the puzzles and hidden-object scenes
  • Get soundtracks, wallpapers, screensavers, and concept art
  • Try the available Strategy Guide

Game System Requirements:

  • OS: Windows XP/Windows Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8
  • CPU: 1.4 GHz
  • RAM: 1024 MB
  • DirectX: 9.0
  • Hard Drive: 776 MB

Big Fish Games App System Requirements:

  • Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or later
Reviews at a Glance

Maestro: Dark Talent Collector's Edition

0 out of 5 (0 ReviewsReview)
Average Rating:
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Full version game

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$ 13.99 USD or 2 credits

Customer Reviews
Maestro: Dark Talent Collector's Edition is rated 3.7 out of 5 by 61.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best Game in the Series ..... b--u--t..... Sorry, ..... wait for it - lol This is definitely as creepy as creepy goes. Would have been a great Halloween scare. Again, the Diva is up to her old tricks, causing people to swoon (not really) at the sound of her voice. But, wasn't she dead in the opening scene? Didn't those creepy skeleton ghosties do something to bring HER skeleton back to life (or was she just ext-r-e-m-ely skinny in that casket). Now, how did THAT happen????? And, why did no one realize the "W"itch was dead? (Feel free to change letters are you choose.) My concern, as seems to be a usual thing of late, is the length of the game. The rumor mill has it (or the watercooler or wherever you choose to spread the word, gossip, take notes, tattle on others, etc) that the game is extremely short. If this is the case, definitely not a buy for me. CE bling and a great story is wonderful and all that - but my money also considers a game's worthiness in it's lengthiness. So, try the demo - read the reviews - check out the Forum - and make the big decision for yourself. It's what I'm goign to do before I decide which side of the fence I'm going to jump onto. WHAT are the 3 most important things to you when purchasing a CE? Hmmmmm? Happy Gaming!
Date published: 2014-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from ANOTHER TERRIFIC ERS GAMES! I am a huge fan of ERS! I think they make some of the most beautiful animated people in any game. The graphics are always stunning! I never tire of this great Series. I will always add them to my library. With this said...I have to say...that this one is even better than some others in the Series. You know your getting the same style graphics and animations with this series...but why change a great thing. When something works...and is so beautiful...don't change it! The story line is so beautifully creepy and scary! You get the usual extras with the CE Edition: Yes: Widescreen/Full screen Yes: Sound/Music/Effects Yes: Map Yes: Collectables/Extras/Achievements 3 - Modes of Play: Casual/Advanced/Hard Theme: beautiful seductive creepy brilliant Mystery! I highly Recommend this Winner! But, always try the game for yourself. I rate this game: "FINE SWINE" “These are my “ACRONYMS” terms for Hogs, I Hogs, frogs & Adventure games. “DIVINE FINE SWINE” The absolute best of the best! It has everything you want in a game and things you didn’t know you wanted in a game. It is a rare beauty and a must have! Beyond expectations! I really love it! “FINE SWINE” Great game! Best graphics and storyline. All the bells and whistles! The best and greatest of games! I love it! “PIGLET” Good game. I like these little gems! This game is for true lovers of these types of games. “PORK BELLY” May be a likable game for some, but not for everyone. It’s just mediocre. “TROTTERS” Don't run away with this pig’s foot. LOL “PIG DOWN” Rolling in the mud! Don’t go near it or you'll get soiled. ‘ ‘ (o)
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another feast of a game from ERS Don't need to say much. The forth Maestro and the best so far. The diva is back and up to her old tricks, and the story carries on which makes it a very good game Creepy start with A1 graphics, music and lots of interactive in the mini games. Moves along at a good pace with much to take in and do. Choice of a swap if you want to skip a mini game.and a map that you can jump to the next screen. Loss yourself in the demo and enjoy. I will be adding this to my others three in this series.
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun Fun Fun Perfect for me! A beautiful game. Objects are used pretty much within 3 screens of where you find them. The game had a great flow. Not unbearable back tracking or having to use the jump map. Length might be short for some but I actually prefer a game that is smooth and one I can finish in a few hours. I will add this one to my very favorite replay games. I own all of the games in the series and I am glad I added this one!
Date published: 2014-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from New Favourite! Newest installment of the Maestro series. This review is based on the demo. Love the graphics, music, the little ferret and the storyline. The HOs are interactive but clear and easy so far as are the puzzles. Everyone's taste are different so while I suggest playing the demo first, this is a definite buy for me!
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Maestro: An Easy Path To Follow The final episode I found to be a simple matter from beginning to end. Most puzzles are quite simple, many solvable just by randomly moving things around for a minute or so and the odds are in your favor you'll solve it. There are a couple of exceptions but for the most part the game is pretty linear without much back peddling necessary. It's these factors that actually add to the fun factor of 'Dark Talent' if you're into this genre of game but don't want to struggle or get frustrated playing it (some games can be unnecessarily redundant and boring due to repetitive back tracking).The atmosphere is absorbing, the sounds subtle and fitting, and the path throughout smooth sailing.
Date published: 2014-09-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from one word= AWESOME This is the best Maestro yet. The graphics were awesome, the dialogue was great, and the music was good (not annoying). I wish there were more games like this.
Date published: 2014-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing Games Beautiful game.Thank you Big fish:-)
Date published: 2014-09-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun Hidden Object Game It was a very good game but the demo was to short
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fun Hidden Object Game excellent game,remind me of good all times
Date published: 2014-09-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome I really enjoy this game so much! I rarely submit a review about a game but this one... OH MY GOSH! I LOVE IT!!!
Date published: 2019-10-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Short Game I was surprised at how fast I beat this. It took no longer than 2 hours to beat, which is very short. I enjoyed the music, which was so beautiful. I loved the artwork, the scenes were breath taking in places. The HOS were nice but you had to re-play them, which I do not like. I am hoping in the future that if any more of the Maestro games are developed that NEW sounds and music will be incorporated. Its the same thing in every game, its time for a change. The characters stared at you as they talked, their mouths did not move, so its time to update that. The mini games were very easy. The game was not challenging, but it was a nice way to spend the afternoon.
Date published: 2017-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good Game, Could Have Been Better This game isn't quite up to the same standard as the first Maestro game, but it is enjoyable to play. The minigames are varied and the adventure aspect is pretty good--it's nice that you don't have to run around through a gazillion screens to solve your puzzles, as each part of the game only covers a small area, and there's a map in any case if you want to go back. The HO scenes are far too simple, and I found myself a bit annoyed by them by the time I finished the game. The story is fine but not up to the Maestro standard and certainly not as music-themed as previous games in the series. The CE includes collectibles, some of which don't become available until the bonus game, but none of the other features really made the CE worth the price for me. Though the main part of the game (before the bonus scene) was a bit short, I'd have been just as happy with the SE on this one, if not happier.
Date published: 2015-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A much better entry than the previous Maestro For me, the first and second Maestro games were worthy of purchases but I felt the third was lacking. I am pleased to report that ERS has risen to the occasion and has prepared a worthy 4th game. The opening cut scene was very well done. The ghostly apparitions reminded me of the Deatheaters in the fantastic Harry Potter novels. They have brought a long dead singer back to life somehow and she became known simply as Diva. There is some nefarious person, as yet to be identified during the demo ( took me 42 minutes ), who somehow controls Diva. Her singing sucks the life essence out of her audience so she is obviously a pawn of the bad guy. We meet a man who has created a medallion that neutralizes the minions of the evil doer. We as the detective must occasionally recharge the medallion by finding and inserting gemstones into it. There is much to admire about Dark Talent and yes there are some shortcomings as well. The game is stylistically well crafted. The hidden object segments are at ERS usual fine standard. The puzzles are good with a couple of new types which is always good to find. On the minus end of things, I would be very pleased if ERS would start to make character lips move during speaking sessions, since so many game makers now do it, it cannot be that difficult. The background music in all games by ERS has become rather annoying and it never changes. It's a good thing players have the option of silencing the score. The demo ends with the Diva singing, if one can call it that. It sounded more like caterwauling to me. If the game is centered around the greatest opera singer of her generation, perhaps we can hear the Diva perform a segment of an actual aria. This game is issued as a CE. I found no map, there are no collectible items other than the needed gems unless I just missed them. There is a ferret during the demo who is not really a helper. I hope it doesn't get in the way as the game progresses. I for one will wait until the SE version comes along simply because there is nothing enticing enough to spend the extra money. All in all, a rather fine game.
Date published: 2014-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice addition to the series! Hi all. Well, we have the 4th edition to the Maestro series and yes, I have the other 3 already. Must be getting close to Halloween with this one. I played in apprentice mode to get the feel of the game and found that the graphics were quite nice. Colors are a bit muted, but it fits the story line with ghosts and such. If you don't like things jumping out at you, then you won't like this game. It doesn't happen much, but it does happen. Game play was very good until the hint/skip button froze up on me, which is a bit maddening. Music was nice and appropriate for what was happening at the time in the game. Voice overs were not as good as they could have been. Most sounded like they were just reading and had no hint of emotion or fear in them...the scream was very good. There are no dogs or cats to help you out, but there is an otter that shows up now and then. Mostly, you are finding gems to recharge a medallion that helps eliminate the bad ghosts and spirits that are in your way. Unfortunately, you can only use it once and then you are out of power until you find more gems, so spirits float around in the meantime. HOPs were fun and changed each time you played them, from standard to where do I go, to find 12 of this or that, etc. Makes it more fun than just a straight HOP. Items were not difficult to find, but some did take some thought to search out. Puzzles were fun and some were a little challenging, but mostly the same. SG is the standard set up. Jump map is nice, except that areas of interest were not marked properly. They are marked with an exclamation mark, but you can't see it just by looking at the map, you have to put your cursor on the area and see if there is an ! on it. Someone got very lazy on this one. The only collectibles I see are the 11 ghostly items that pop up now and then. You can see what they are in the "collectibles" section of the game. So far, I only found one, so either they are not as easy to see as you may think, or I'm just missing them. This game drew me in from the spooky beginning, is challenging enough to keep me interested. I find the need to add this one to my collection...but only if the dead hint/skip button gets fixed. I think all levels of players will find this one challenging. As always, try it for yourself and see what you think. We all have different tastes in games and you may not care for this one at all. Thanks for the reviews.
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Maestro Please, Pick Up The Pace Great game, it just seemed to drag at times. The opening trailer was actually fantastic, ghostly figures searching the cemetery sensing the Diva's presence. Once they have found her grave the lid of the coffin bursts open revealing at first a skeleton who morphs into a beautiful Diva, "We're giving you back your life" Now the Diva travels around for eternity singing so beautifully to her mesmerized fans, stealing their life essence for her survival! The opera has come to your town detective, and Kate and her family are trapped inside the opera house, can you save them before it's too late? You will team up with a young man who tells you that he is one of many "knowing ones" and equips you with a medallion that can destroy evil forces. The problem is, the crystals that activate the medallion need replaced after every use, the knowing one has hidden the crystals throughout the city behind a specific symbol. This game also has collectible items to find, which doesn't make sense to me, pianos, street lamps, statues and other random items which will decorate your virtual city. Some inventory items have moving gears above them which means that that item needs repaired or combined with another item. The Hidden Object Scenes were very entertaining, ranging from finding multiples of a single item to progressive interactions where you find items that match the silhouetted shapes and then use those items back into the scene which will reveal the next item and so forth. You can switch to a matching pairs game where you flip two tokens over a time trying to locate the exact matches. I also thought the mini games were good such as interacting with a toy opera house play, or using arrows to slide tokens around using the other tokens as bumpers until all tokens are in their matching slots. This Collector's Edition has music, concept art, wallpapers, screensavers, movies, puzzles, hidden object games, a built in strategy guide, achievements and a bonus chapter, enjoy!
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Good....But not Their Best! This review is based on playing approximately half of the game....which I have thoroughly enjoyed up until this point. You can 'always' count on ERS to turn out a 'good' game with stunning visuals, lots of 'fun' puzzles to do and interactive HO scenes....which I happen to like. This is the 4th game in the series....and I sort of got the impression that the developers rushed through it. The puzzles are NOT well explained. At least I had to resort to the SG for guidance on a couple of them. Also, the map does NOT show you where you have something to do UNLESS you actually 'click' on that area. For a CE, I don't think that this should be necessary. But all in all...these are 'minor' annoyances and the game is good...with an interesting storyline that makes you want to keep moving forward so I DO have to recommend that you at least give it a try!
Date published: 2014-09-12
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Deadly Voice I love Maestro series. This time Ers game has given another scary and odd master piece [no pun intended]. Graphics are beautiful, story line enchanting. and as always the characters are beautifully presented and voice overs good. Hint button works and there is added pleasure in theatrical puzzles. I love this kind of game, one of my favourite genres.
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Another Great Game In This Series ... Great Graphics, Sounds, Animations, Voice & Video Bits ... A Great Game With Some Nice Finishing Touches, But I Did Grow Tired Of The Puzzles At Times As I Really Wanted More Adventure ... The Bonus Chapter Is A Nice Addition To The Story, But Like The Game Itself It Seemed A Bit Short ... Worth A Special Deal, But Certainly Not Worth The Full Ticket Price ...
Date published: 2014-09-14
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Easy peasy If you like an easy game to play, this is it. The story is OK. To me it wasn't so fun because I like games a little harder.
Date published: 2014-09-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love this series This game was fun packed. Like the story, the beautiful scenes and characters were great. Like the HOs and the cute critter. Lots to do. Goes on my to buy list. Only thing was the map though beautiful was hard to get the curcer to bring up the right bubble to see where I might go for activity.
Date published: 2014-09-13
Rated 4 out of 5 by from THANK YOU ERS Thank you for a decent game for a change!, if a bit short. Opening scene is GREAT, I wish they would make a game using that! This game is a tad short and the puzzles are low intermediate but it gives you good game play. The game flows well and you get lovely music, really nice graphics and interactive hidden object scenes. It is not very challenging but at least it has a decent story line. I played in hard mode, it was not terrible difficult at all for an expert player, but did make me think. You do have semi morphing objects to find. I called them possessed/ghost items. That is the best way I can think to describe them. They will have a dark cloud over them. Give the demo a try GREAT GAME For Intermediate or Novice
Date published: 2014-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Mediocre at Best I have played all of the Maestro games and have enjoyed them until this one. For me, this game did not even compare to the previous ones. The storyline was good enough but the puzzles were not challenging, in fact, they were almost amateurish.
Date published: 2015-04-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointing for a CE I hoped that this would be a challenging game. I enjoyed the other two in the Maestro series, so I didn't hesitate to buy it. I expected so much more from the CE. I can't afford them very often, so I always look forward to a good one. This wasn't one of them. There was very little challenge to either the HOS or the mini-games. It just didn't stand up. Perhaps if you're just joining the Big Fish Groupies that thrive on these games, this one would be a good one to cut your teeth on. Otherwise, if you have any experience, I'd shy away from this one.
Date published: 2014-10-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from No Challange At All I normally don't write reviews, but I feel a need to share my opinion on this one. I love the Maestro series but this latest installment is a big disappointment. The challenge level was very poor. I finish both the game and bonus chapter in 2 hours. The graphics are very good as normal. But the mini games and HOS are child's play. The story line in the main story is ok but not very full. It leaves a lot unexplained. The bonus chapter's story line makes no sense at all. I hope the next game in this series will be better I hate to let go of a series I've come to love.
Date published: 2014-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from ERS is still resting on its laurels. I see improvement, but they need to meet the bar other devs have raised. Maestro: Dark Talent CE Review based on completed game + bonus chapter PREFACE… This will be another mixed review for ERS. They're improving, but still need work on their games. Dark Talent was extremely short. I was nearing the end during the demo, and it only took me about 45 minutes subsequent to buying to finish the main game. Subtract one full star for the ridiculously short length. ONCE UPON A TIME... You're invited to the opera by your friend, Kate. But what should be a relaxing evening turns into a nightmare as Kate is kidnapped by eldritch forces for a dark purpose. This time, it's not looks that kill, but a voice. You must stop Diva before her concert imperils the entire town, and before her nefarious plan for Kate is completed. PLAY THE GAME... The first couple HO scenes are completely interactive…every item. That quickly changes, though, into straight lists with only one or two interactive items. I wish they'd continued the fully interactive HO scenes throughout the game. Puzzles include several variations on the jigsaw, quite a few swap-the-pieces, a couple of pattern recognitions, and one really cool sequential open-the-drawers. So, one out of 19 is excellent and the remainder are so-so. Adventure mode makes use of tons of locks and keys, and shaped recesses needing matching medallions/amulets/bas relief pieces/etc. Subtract half a star for lack of innovation in gameplay. SIGHTSEEING… The graphics are instantly recognizable as ERS: watercolor pastels in a painterly style. Backgrounds lack detail, but close-up items are rendered in a more lifelike manner. Cutscene animation is excellent. The ghosts are reminiscent of Dementors, and just as creepy. SOUND WAVES… Background music, as usual, relies heavily on violins. Dear ERS, please inform your composer that an orchestra has 23 instruments (not including percussion) of which the violin is only one. How about some woodwinds or brass for a change? There is some operatic singing, which is a welcome addition to the usual string-section-only music. Voiceovers are ok. The villain is rather melodramatic, while the woman in peril doesn't really evoke fear. Environmental sounds were done well. Subtract half a star for repetitive music and graphics. TOOLBOX… The map is just to the left of the hint button, and is a transporter. It also alleges to indicate active areas, but I didn't find that to be true. At least, the couple of times I followed the large red dots, there was nothing to do there. You also have a medallion with which to dispel the ghosts, but you need to find the hidden amethysts to power it for each use. The inventory panel locks open, and zoom boxes close when you're done (unless there's something to read there…ugh…just put it in a journal and close the zoom box for good!). Navigation is intuitive. EXTRA, EXTRA… In the bonus chapter, rescue Kate's father from a new villain whose motives remain a mystery, and discover an ornate chest that remains an enigma, all shrouded in a story line that makes no sense at all and doesn't relate to the main game. Replay the HO scenes and puzzles. The collectible ghost clouds don't get you anything except a decorated street scene. Other extras include performance achievements, the SG, concept drawings, downloadable music tracks, and wallpapers. THE LAST WORD… As I said, I think ERS is improving its game (pun intended). Perhaps the sheafs of rotten reviews they've gotten of late has made an impact, and they've decided that resting on their laurels isn't cutting it. However, there's still work to be done—including updates on the graphics, music, and gameplay—if ERS is to remain relevant. Other devs are setting the bar higher and higher, and games like Dark Talent just aren't making the grade. I recommend waiting for the SE, then using a PCC if you must have this for your collection. Otherwise, save your money for a truly groundbreaking game that has replay value. Better games by ERS—and, even though some are older, these are ones that I do replay regularly—include Gothic Fiction: Dark Saga, Redemption Cemetery (Grave Testimony AND Salvation of the Lost ONLY), and Spirits of Mystery (Amber Maiden AND Song of the Phoenix ONLY).
Date published: 2014-09-14
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Dark Talent Comes In Shades of Gray The setting is an unnamed European city. Your friend Kate Helbreit has invited you to a concert. Unbeknownst to her, a mysterious Master of evil has resurrected a Diva, Marianne Selfridge (the Dark Talent). Those who listen to the Diva's singing fall under a spell and are subject to manipulation by the Master. This evil also has power over many ghosts, and these ghosts can possess inanimate objects. The Master wants revenge upon the people of the city for some perceived wrong that occurred long ago, etc. Another character we meet is called a Knowing One. There is an amulet to repel the ghosts that requires recharging after use. Despite dark the story line, most adults would probably not consider the "tone" of the game to be seriously scary. The game opens on the "enter your name" screen limited to 8 characters . After the opening cut scene which shows the Diva being revived, we find ourselves outside the opera house. If you had not known the developer, this scene bears its unmistakeable signature. While it is a nice look, it is also not easy to distinguish from other games by the same developer. There are 19 puzzles and 10 hidden object scenes. The puzzles should not be too hard for most players, but some may want more of a challenge (ahem). Those presented during the trial were standard ones seen in other games. Hidden Objects vary from simple list types. There is interaction, progression and find 12 of something - though I found the one in the trial to be not too challenging. The CE has collectible items which populate a separate room, but I could not determine exactly what they were though I did collect one. Thirteen achievements as well, some real and others just for showing up. Map? sorry, I did not have the need to look. I completed the demo with 47 minutes remaining while playing at a leisurely pace on the second of three difficulty levels. Based on that I have some concern about the length of the game. I have generally liked the Maestro series, owning two earlier games, Notes of Life and Music of Death. I would rate this as just a solid "score" in the Maestro series. Not bad, but not one of particular "note" either. Three Diva's out of five
Date published: 2014-09-11
Rated 3 out of 5 by from short and "phoned in" I bought this without even trying the demo because I had enjoyed the previous "Maestro" games very much. Not this one. I didn't time it, but this felt short (casual mode). It also felt "phoned in" so to speak, as if minimal effort went into its creation. The art is good, as usual, but the puzzles were all pretty easy, and the cursed objects were a joke since they were all smoky and you'd have to be blind to miss them. I expect "cursed" objects to take at least a little bit of looking and paying attention. A number of the HO scenes were used more than once, which is fine, but the second time there were often new objects. Since I'd just been there, they stood out and were often the ones in the list to be found. Made it really easy to see them. Boring. I hated the map as you had to click on a dot to have the location enlarge to see if it was completed, locked, or had an objective. At least it would take you there. The bonus game had some new locations, but every item you needed was practically sitting out to just pick up. And, where you got one item, there was usually a second, so fewer hiding places to program. Not the worst game I've ever played, but certainly not up to the standard of quality I've come to expect from ERS, and definitely not as good as the previous episodes of Maestro. Very disappointing. Not recommended.
Date published: 2014-09-20
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Oh, Challenge, Where Have You Gone? BASED ON DEMO Out of all game series, Maestro is probably my least favourite. Because of that, I had low expectations While this game was half-decent, it's certainly not memorable. I enjoyed my demo, but will not be purchasing. The story had an interesting concept and was executed well. The story had some interesting plot points, and some great twists. The main story is to do with a Diva being resurrected, who quickly goes after your friend, Kate. This story has been done a few times, but is done well here. I never lost interest, and had it not been for the lackluster gameplay, I would have considered purchasing. Even though the story was enjoyable, it was not perfect. Some things happened that I considered unrealistic. For example, when the Knowing One injured his neck and we bandaged it, he turned his head sharply and quickly. In real life, he would not have been able to this without some form of pain, but there was no painful expression, or evidence of pain noted in his voice. This took away the semi-real feel of the game, which was disappointing. I also did not like the characters very much. I felt they were very standard, with no personality whatsoever. I like it when the characters have personalities, so was disappointed here. Overall, though, a decent story. Where this game fails for me is the gameplay, due to its complete lack of challenge. The HOS, for instance, were nice to play, but incredibly easy. They were a mix of progressive silhouette and junkpile. The scenes had extra step objects, but that did little to add to the challenge. For their next game, I would like to see ERS make more of an effort with HOS. As far as quantity goes, however, ERS have done well. There were 3 HOS in the demo, and they were evenly spaced out. This indicates to me that there will be a good number in the game. I found the puzzles to be quite easy also. They were nothing I haven't seen before, and I was able to solve them quite quickly. To their credit, the puzzles had good instructions, so I was never unsure as to what to do. Similar to the HOS, there was a good number of puzzles in the game, and they were spaced out well. They could have been great, if more challenging. ERS has added two extra gameplay features here. One of these is + objects, which are items you need to interact with to complete. This feature is standard now, but is still a good one. The + objects are indicated by small gears above the item. Unfortunately, however, there is no indication of when the object can be used. The good thing about this feature was that it wasn't used too often, but was also used enough to add to the gameplay experience. The second feature was the medallion, which was used to fight off ghosts. However, it wasn't just a thing you could pick up and use; you actually had to find the gems to put in it. I liked this feature. Finding the gems myself and adding them in made the gameplay experience made it much more fun than just picking the medallion up and using it. This was a great feature, and I hope it returns soon. It was used quite a lot too. Despite some decent gameplay features, ERS really falls back when it comes to the basic stuff. There is no custom difficulty, and no diary. I find that a diary is really important when it comes to HOPA games, as it helps me remember details of the story I might otherwise forget. Please bring back the diary, ERS! But the basic flaws don't end here, because the map is really bad. It is set out poorly, and sometimes wouldn't show active objectives, even on Casual. I found it frustrating trying to find my way around using the map, so had to fully rely on the hint. Overall, a very poor effort from the gameplay side of things. The basics were flawed, the HOS flawed, the puzzles flawed, almost everything was wrong. ERS, pick up your game. The graphics are good. They are the typical ERS style; hand drawn with quite a bit of detail and some realistic character designs. The scenes are also quite clear and the colours are nice. However, I was disappointed to find there was no lip-synch. There hasn't been any lip-synch in their games for a while now, and I've got no idea why. Is it laziness, or is it the pressure of the game industry? Anyway, I really hope ERS brings back lip-synch. The voice-overs are standard. I have no comment. FEATURES 3 modes of difficulty: Casual, Advanced, Hard. I played Casual. Differences in the other difficulties are standard. Hint/Skip- Both recharged at a decent speed for the difficulty I selected. Hint is useful outside HOS. Map- The map is useless and set out really poorly. + objects- Quite a few in the game. However, I wish there had been an indication of when they could be used. Medallion- Very fun. You have to find the gems yourself, which adds to the experience. CE EXCLUSIVES Bonus Chapter- unsure if needed Built-in Strategy Guide- does not show shots of HOS. Collectibles- The objects are unrelated, so finding out what is actually a collectible is a challenge. This made the game a bit more fun. Achievements Concept Art Music Wallpapers (6) Replay HOS & Puzzles Screensavers Replay movies WHICH IS THE BETTER BUY? Definitely the SE. The CE has minimal CE Extras and is really of no value whatsoever. Overall, this game was just okay. It had the potential to be so much more, but was really just ruined by the poor gameplay. I hope ERS learn from their mistakes and come back with a much better game.
Date published: 2014-09-15
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Disappointing. I have had so much fun with all the others but this one didn't make the grade. The HOS were too easy, no challenge in the story, and extremely short. So sad, the others were outstanding.
Date published: 2014-09-21
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