Sometimes I forget that there are many games for Mac that are not racing games :) I was working on my Mac Pro and had an itching to play something differen. Something a little slower, but mind expanding all at the same time. Don't get me wrong, I love racing games and I love being a small developer for the Mac platform. But sometimes I need something a bit different. While browsing around the MacGameStore site, I stumbled across this game. Now, I have not played any of the games in this series, but for some reason, after watching the video and checking out the screenshots, I was intrigued. I was looking into Witcher 2, which is a great game, but I was looking for something a bit different than the mega-action game.
Well, after a short time and studying the videos available on the net, I decided to give it a shot. Well Here are my observations.
GAMEPLAY AND CONTROL
The gameplay is a bit more old-school and turn based. This is not a bad thing, just different than the action role playing games many people are used to today. You're not going to run into battle without thinking in this game. But the turn-based combat is done very well, and there is an option for auto-combat for novices at these types of games like me! Yeah, and I am almost 40! The camera can take a little getting used to, but you can scroll in and out along with rotating the camera. This makes movement fairly easy while exploring. The ability to speed up the combat animations is also a big plus if you like your fights to move swiftly. Many weapons and spells add to the variety of ways to fight the enemy hordes and add a dimension to the game that is a lot of fun. Also, there are a lot of quests to go on and quite a bit of loot to find along the way. Searching everywhere for hidden treasure is fun too.
GRAPHICS AND ANIMATION
OK, first let me say that the graphics are pretty to look at and well done when there are no problems. Nice autumn trees give way to snow covered tree lines or shores. But there are a few problems and bugs with the game and they really affect the graphics. There are times, if running other software, or when using certain graphics options, that the game has "situations". It is not uncommon for you to load your game and find that all of the characters and enemies bodies are invisible and only some of the accessories are visible on them. Also, if using normal or high shadows, you will have major glitches that make the game practically unplayable due to their annoyance factor. Using the neutral setting does fix this though. If these can somehow be fixed in a future patch, it would really help. I would love the run full shadows in the game. The character and enemy animations are also fine if a bit mechanical, though I think this is probably standard for this type of game? I am not sure as I do not play enough of them to know ;)
SOUND AND MUSIC
The music is well done and matches the mood of the game. But there seems to be a lot of crackling in some of the songs that are quite annoying while playing. I have tried this on three separate Mac systems and they all have the same crackling. Even when the music is set to about 25%. It makes no difference and I still have the crackling. It is not there in all the songs, only a certain one or two. The general ambient sounds and character sounds are done well. Again, nothing great, but fits the game well. I get the very familiar "exploring" feeling when the music plays during my quests though and that is definitely a good thing.
Well, I have payed a lot of money over my lifetime on gaming and now my three Children along with my Wife do the same. A lot of times we pay $60 or more for games that get about a week or less of play, then either traded in or sold. But this game is well worth the $30 I payed for it in my opinion. It is a welcomed distraction from my racing game development and playing and is more of a throwback to some of the old turn-based rpg's of my past. I am surprised I am enjoying this one so much as it is not my usual style, but the cheeky humor and motivation to find what lies in the next island is enough to keep me playing.
- Good story with some nice humor mixed in
- Pretty graphics when they work correctly
- A lot of exploring to be had
- Novice friendly (very nice)
- Load times are fairly good
- A good amount of content
- Glitchy and a bit buggy
- Crackling during some music (tried it on 3 systems and had the same outcome)
- Camera takes a little getting used to