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Avernum 6 Icon
An excellent and very detailed game
by istara, Australia - Jan 28th 2010

Avernum 6 is an incredibly detailed and in-depth role playing game. You play as a party of four members, which you can customise as you like (all fighters, all spellcasters, or a mix). You have to solve dozens of quests as well as numerous optional side quests.

There is masses of treasure to find all over the extensive game world. The storyline is really unique.

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Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child Icon
Enjoyable, but serious glitches
by istara, Australia - May 26th 2009

Like the others in the series, this game is enjoyable with lovely graphics and interesting puzzles, but unfortunately it has a couple of huge glitches that require completely starting over. (I googled and I am not alone in having these problems, others have suffered them too).

The first is about a third of the way through when a "strange symbol" needed to open a staircase may just vanish from your inventory, or may not appear there. There is no way to retrieve it: you have to restart. However on my second run through, this part did work properly.

The second glitch is at the end with the final potion: the book in the kitchen goes glitchy and you can't do the potion puzzle, or read the potion. At this stage I can't be bothered to restart again to see if I can get it to work.

A good game if it was 9.95, or if you get it as the 2+1 deal, but I wouldn't recommend it otherwise. The glitches just ruin the sense of story and of achievement.

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Hidden Secrets: The Nightmare Icon
Fun and interesting game
by istara, Australia - Jan 28th 2009

I liked this game a lot, and it was great having a storyline to go with the puzzles.

However what really spoilt my enjoyment was the intensely short time limits - by the end they were just crazy. For example the roads puzzle, I ended up cheating the last three levels just to finish in time. It was an easy enough minigame, but there wasn't time to work it out properly.

It wasn't actually Tom though was it? More like an accident.

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Jade Empire: Special Edition Icon
Superb RPG
by istara, Australia - Jan 12th 2009

I played this on Xbox a couple of years ago and it was a brilliant game then. Stunning graphics, a very interesting and varied plot, and great characterisation.

Although I haven't tried the Mac version yet, assuming it's the same game as the Xbox version then I thoroughly recommend it. It is such a beautiful game that it is almost like being inside a movie.

I originally bought Jade Empire because it was made by Bioware, and I loved the Baldur's Gate series. At first I was a bit concerned that the combat might be too complicated, as I am not into martial arts games. However it was very quick and easy to learn, and extremely rewarding. Although the combat did have more depth than the average RPG, it was not too demanding and I quickly got to grips with it. It's probably even easier on a keyboard than with a console controller.

Because of the long history of this game, there are massive of hint sites and game guides around. More casual gamers will find these particularly useful.

The best part of Jade Empire for me was the earlier stages. There are so many quests and the game world is very detailed, expansive and open. Later on, as with most RPGs, it becomes a bit more linear as it follows the storyline to the plot finale. But even then there were plenty of choices to make and different things to do.

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Geneforge 5: Overthrow Icon
Absolutely wonderful game
by istara, Australia - Jan 12th 2009

Like all Spiderweb Software titles, Geneforge 5 has amazing gameplay and a really interesting, vivid storyline.

It is really complete as an RPG in every aspect, from character development - class, levelling, equipment and so on - to varied and interesting quests and a lot of significant moral choices.

You can play very much as a single character, or you can raise a little army of different creatures to help you fight. After a while they become like pets - even though you should probably reabsorb them and build stronger ones later on, you can get really attached to your starting creations.

Best of all is how original the storyline is. You don't need to have played any previous Spiderweb games, or even any previous Geneforge ones. Geneforge 5 has a completely stand-alone, original and unique plot. But if you do enjoy this you will almost certainly want to go and play earlier games in the series, as well as Spiderweb's brilliant Avernum series.

Geneforge 5 will give you dozens of hours of gameplay even if you rush through it. And if you take your time - exploring every nook and cranny - you are likely to get well over 100 hours of enjoyment from it. The game is also very replayable as there are so many factions and plotlines, it is really like getting a game and a half, rather than just one game. Whole areas, quests and NPCs will be quite different depending on who your allies are.

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Dangerous High School Girls In Trouble Icon
Very unusual and fun game
by istara, Australia - Oct 1st 2008

This is a strange yet compelling game that defies genre. It describes itself as a "vintage boardgame" but it's not a boardgame at all. It has a lot of adventure elements, some puzzle elements, and some elements from card games. There's an investigative storyline as well as minigames, with RPG elements from the way you enhance your characters' skills.

It took me a while to get into this game. By some lucky chance, the game didn't quit after the 60 minutes were up, so I played for quite a bit longer, and that got me hooked. I've now bought it. So if you don't quite get it at first, keep going at least until the end of the demo.

It's quirky, innovative and yet vintage all at once. And a little bit surreal.

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