Reviews by T'hain Esh Kelch

Building The Great Wall of China Collector's Edition Icon
Okay as a simple time waster, but it's a childs game
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 28th 2017

A simple time management game, meant for children age 5 through 12, would be my guess. It is simple, builds up nicely in how hard it is, with very simple mini games scattered in between.

• Simple to understand.
• The skill level required advances at a good and steady pace. Game is good at explaining each new element introduced.
• I didn't encounter any bugs.
• Nice introduction drawings, although the story is quite simple and been redone a billion times before (You come to the capital, fall in love with the emperors daughter, you have to finish game to marry her).

• Graphics are somewhat low quality. Cute, but of very low resolution. Reminds me of a ported Flash game. Too oversaturated in most cases too.
• Animations in the game are very crude. Again, seem like it is a ported Flash game from the 90's.
• Very hard to distinguish unbuilt buildings from each other, without hovering mouse over them.
• No explanation what so ever for some buildings (Warehouse? No clue, and I am a veteran at these time management games).
• Mini games are extremely simple, to the point of pointless (Dragon attack = Spam the mouse button).
• Game is way too easy, unless you aren't very old or a very inexperienced gamer.

Bottom line, if you completely new to Time Management games, or a child, you'll like it. Otherwise not really worth it.

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12 Labours of Hercules V: Kids of Hellas Collector's Edition Icon
Same old stuff
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 26th 2017

Good, but more of the same. Same mechanics as the prevous game, same graphics, new levels, and surprisingly, an even more lame story than the previous game (Do they have 6 year old to come up with these?).

I do find the levels a tad less tedious than in the previous game. There are not as many levels where you completely loose the overview like in the 4th installation, which is a good thing.

Bottom line, if you liked game 1, 2, 3 and 4, you'll also like this one. One thing I can say though, is that there's a few *really* hard levels in this one, more so than ever before. So if you are the one that goes for 3 gold stars, you'll have a challenge in this game.

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Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars Director's Cut Icon
Very good adventure game
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Feb 18th 2017

I quite enjoyed it. It has the classic adventure game feel, which one can only love.

• Gorgeous hand painted backgrounds and animated characters gives this game a unique and amazing feel.
• A good and complex story, with nice and varied settings, and many different characters to meet.
• A mixture of easy and complex puzzles.
• An excellent built-in help system so you don't have to rely on walkthroughs in case you get stuck. And it even gives clues at various levels so you can first get hints without getting the solution.

• Sometimes the story skips a bit around.
• A few puzzles are too hard, due to the nature of which they were developed. They didn't port well.
• A few minor hickups in the animation here and there, nothing major.
• Somewhat too linear.

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Botanicula Icon
Quite good
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Feb 18th 2017

Very unique setting with gorgeous backgrounds and animations. Some good puzzles, although not too hard. Story not very complex.

Very recommended as a casual game to get away from everything.

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12 Labours of Hercules IV: Mother Nature Icon
More of the same
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Nov 26th 2016

If you've tried the previous 3 games, then you are just in for more of the same. There are a very few minor mechanical additions, but other than that, it is the same.

Even though the previous entries hasn't really been Charles Dickens level writing, the story this time around is incredibly silly and pointless. 4/5 of the game you spend battling bad guys which hate you for no apparent reason other than you are you (Hercules), and the last fifth of the game, you're chasing a jumping egg. Yes, a jumping egg. Why? It destroyed a hotel. Yes, really! I don't know. It was so ridiculous.

I'd wish I could just click my way though the cutscenes, instead of having to wait for the spoken test. Of course, you don't need to text.

Anyway, the time management stuff and gameplay is still great, and it looks good too, so 4/5 here.

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Call of Duty 2 Icon
Tense and still good
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Jul 5th 2016

Even though it is old by now, it still holds up just fine. The graphics are fine and definitely good enough to keep you on the front of your seat when the action heats up.

Stories are so-so, since they are sorta short and broken up. I would have preferred one long campaign, instead of multiple small ones. I can see why they did it though, as you get to experience different armies and settings, from snow covered Stalingrad, to deserts in Africa, over to the traditional french countryside. Maps are varied and quite well designed in my opinion. Large amount of weapons to choose from, and different way to approach each minor battle, and it is clear that they have thought about the design in ways, so you don't have to go the same way each time you try a map.

Gameplay is quite tense when you are doing house-to-house battles (And playing on the higher difficulties) and extremely fun!

So if you are looking for a regular shooter, with a little bit of history served on the side, here's a good game to pick up.

As expected, the game ran perfectly on my 2011 iMac with Radeon 6970M, OSX 10.11.5, and I didn't experience a single bug or crash.

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Rage: Campaign Edition Icon
Could have been SO much more!
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Nov 14th 2015

Rage: Campaign Edition. I don't really think I have ever had the feeling that my anticipations for a AAA game was shot so far down into the ground before? I mean, sure, ID isn't exactly known for their deep story lines, but usually the games are what they are, but they do it really well. Maybe they really don't know how to do anything but shooters?

• Amazing character animations and voice acting. Top notch, and the best I've ever seen in a game. The NPCs and baddies really feel alive. Almost worth playing the game just to experience them!
• Standard ID shooter mechanics. Can't go wrong here for sure.
• The bad guys have really nice AIs. They hide, run for cover, shoot from different angles, cover others that run against you, mutants climb all over the place (Love that!).
• I like how there are upgrades to most of your weapons, and different ammunition for each.
• Nice different baddies to shoot at. There's even a 10 story large troll-mutant-huge-thingythatlookslikeFrostandyellsatyou.
• You can craft items.
• All chicks in the future have killer bodies, wear skanky clothing, and thinks you are hot.
• I liked the physics. Shoot them in the head, equals more damage. Shoot them in the leg and they limp. Kill them and they drop in non-scripted natural ways.
• Some parts of the environment looks amazing.

• While the world as such is quite nice, it just feels kind of shallow. Your standard post-apocalyptic world, but without all the added fluff that you might known from Fallout for instance.
• There's a story? You wake up, go shoot bad guys. Oh, and there's your usual authority bad guys who are evil because that's what bad guys are, so go shoot them.
• Driving mechanics work kind of well, but the racing is just not interesting. Maybe it is because I don't really care about racing games in general, but playing the same tracks over and over again, is just boring. Especially the shooting part isn't up to par IMO. It feels quite generic I would say, and doesn't have that usual ID level of shooting precision, and that is why I think it fails.
• In typical ID fashion, the game is heavily scripted, as in you instinctually know when the game will spawn baddies. You always knew that when you enter a new room, some guy will jump you from this or that direction, or shoot you from that cover.
• The game is on rails, with loads of invisible walls. The game could have been SO MUCH MORE, if they wen't for a more open world instead of "Go here, get to the end of the rail and kill boss, rinse, repeat" the entire game. I am not talking about Skyrim-kind of open world, but more like Borderlands-kind. As it is now, it just isn't very interesting. The game even tells you to explore, but where should one do that? There are zero hidden areas, zero places to go without being told to go there!
• The On-rails sections are always the same. Go find boss and shoot him. Pick up item or press button. Escape through back door that leads you right to where you began the level. Why not just walk through that door right away??? And there's always one single room with a lock on each level. Once there were two, but only once.
• The crafting part is extremely shallow. But it is there.
• The interface. God I loath that ID 'lets add a mouse controlled interface to our shooter' thing they introduced with Doom 3. The arrow jumps around the screen, and the game would be just as easy to control with arrow keys. Sometimes you have to exit interfaces with escape, and sometimes with tab, WTF is up with that? Stick to one key darned!
• In towns there is no overhead map. Fine, but don't have the NPCs tell me to go to the west part of the town then! >_< You don't really need it for the shooting areas, as they are on rails anyway.
• You pick up junk to sell for money for no reason really. Apparently there's a huge shortage of old used coffee mugs in the future. Yes, coffee mugs. In general, it is hard to figure out what you can sell and what you should keep in your inventory.
• The voice acting some times loops and gets out of sync with the character animations.
• There were always two sets of subtitles whenever someone spoke. The main NPC, and then a background speaker. VERY annoying as the subtitles just mixed in between each other.
• The game is reaaally short for a AAA game.
• Very flat ending that leaves you unsatisfied. And pretty easy too. Oh, and you get the best weapon in the game 10 minutes before it ends, even though it isn't very overpowered.

The ugly:
• The texture loading. Oh, my, god, the texture loading. EVERYTHING takes a several seconds to load. EVERYTHING! On my top end iMac from 2011 with 2GB VRAM (Rage is also from 2011), it takes 12 seconds for all textures to load IF YOU frakING DON'T MOVE! It makes most of the environment of the game look like something from the late 1990es, and no - I kid you not. Changing the settings doesn't do anything. How this could be released like that, and actually be the big selling point I have no idea. Note, I do play it on El Capitan, so there may or may not be a cause for this, but still, geeeez..... Funny though, character animations are always top notch!

3/5. Shallow and short game that could have been so much more, and THE TEXTURES, both subtract 2 stars.

And it was actually short! O_o And anti-climatic... And the game just kind of, ends? Only get this one if you really enjoy ID shooters. Although in my opinion, both Doom 3 and Quake 4 were quite a bit better. The last level reminded me a lot of Prey - Now I want to play that one again. Turns out I also missed out on a few side missions, simply because I couldn't find the message board with side missions, in the second town! Not that I feel like going back and replay the same levels backwards again (Yes, they actually have you do that). Clearly this game was only a tech demo for ID Tech 5, and a bad one at that!

Damn that was a long review. :P

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Back to the Future: The Game Icon
Okay I guess, but not much of a game
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Oct 31st 2015

The story is fun, and the classical "Back to the future" feeling is still there.

Unfortunately the 'game' is simple and doesn't require much thinking from the players part. It is at most a case of clicking on a few objects, and watch cut scenes play. Unless you really like the Back to the Future movies, and don't mind superficial gameplay, I would stay away from it.

Also, the walking controls in the game are quite weird, since the camera angles keeps changing. And the game has numerous bugs. I always have to relaunch it twice, since the first launch displays noise on my screen, and the game crashes on quit. Haven't seen any errors during gameplay though.

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LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4 Icon
Fun and simple, yet wast
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Mar 15th 2015

I quite enjoyed it. Yes, it isn't your run-of-the-mill-AAA game, but it is fun, can be played in short bursts, and is very well done.

The LEGO part is really well done, and the humor is excellent. It really fits the Harry Potter world very well. The story is exactly what you've expect from the books/movies, but I would make it clear that in order to really enjoy this game, you need to have read/seen them prior. Most of the cut scenes are short and expect you to know why things happen. Otherwise things are *very* confusing. But you don't really need to know the story to play the game though.

Plenty of things to do, and after you've finished the game, there are hundreds of collectibles and hidden things to find.

Graphics are nice, gameplay is good although simple, but it has some good puzzles here and there. Controls are easy, but is clearly a console port. I've had much worse though (Looking at you AC2!) and did not trouble me.

If you want a simple and good natured game you can pick up and play for 20 minutes at a time, this is a good pick. Recommend that you like Harry Potter already though.

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1912 Titanic Mystery Icon
Below average
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Feb 14th 2015

Gameplay wise it is what you expect. Find X number of things in an image, a mini game here and there, and a storyline to go with it. Nothing too exiting there.

Presentation wise the game relly falls apart. It looks like a game from the mid 1990's. Low resolution graphics, 4:3 format, low contrast images, items that 'float' on the background with lack of color, text that is hard to read, boxes that pop up with large buttons. It really subtract the overall experience, especially since the major part of the game - The find the hidden objects part - Is so badly done, as the items are just placed more or less at random, and doesn't blend with the background - In large part due to the low quality of everything.

The sound is just as awful, with 'plings' and 'plongs' that were recorded on a grammophone.

Overall, not worth it at all. There are MUCH better hidden object games out there. I give it a rating of 2, since the game appear to have no bugs, and it is playable from one end to the other.

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Assassin's Creed 2 Deluxe Edition Icon
Amazing game!
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Feb 12th 2015

What a blast I had - That was an amazing game, and really huge too. At first I was "Wow, this city is big, and I can explore it all???", and then when they added another smaller town "Woot! Can't get bigger than this!". And it couldn't. Except for those 4 more cities, 1 of them even larger than the first one, that was added! And they each had their own distinctive style, which I really enjoyed.

It looked great, even despite its age, and the gameplay was a blast. The overall story line, which ran across the entire series was a bit weird, and you really needed to know what happened in the first game, which I didn't. But the stand a lone story line was really good IMO, and very immersive. I could have done without the series storyline, except maybe for the finale - That was well done, and really made me want to play the next games to see how the story evolves.

The gameplay was as mentioned *really* good, and I had so much fun running around on buildings and stalking guards, and then assassinate them, or chasing thieves in the city. I was really skeptical of the franchise when I started the game, but it just kept getting better and better. So much to explore, so many secrets to find! The history side of the game is also really good, so those that like that, is in for a treat.

It ran really great on my 2011 iMac, so no complaints there. Minor drops in FPS when the camera was panning over the cities with a gazillion buildings in view, but that was also all. Very satisfied there. Motion capture and lip movements were spot on, so that also helped dragging you into the game and feel the characters.

Of course, there were also negative sides to the game:
• The game is an obvious console-first port. That made the controls really confusing, and even after throwing 35 hours into the game, I still was clicking at random in the cut scene sequences where I had to click a certain button. That's just awful. And the menus were definitely NOT made for a mouse, even though you have to control your character with the mouse. So stupid.
• Encountered a few minor bugs where enemies would stay 'tagged' on your character even though you escaped to the other end of the city, and a few places where my character wouldn't move onto a spot where he should be able to go. Fortunately these occasions where *very* few, especially considering the size of the game, so it was really a minor thing that didn't annoy me at all.
• Ubisoft has a launcher that popped up when you launched the game. No Ubisoft, I don't care about promotions, and when I click my game icon, I don't want a launcher with another "PLAY" button. Just launch the freaking game.
• Fighting could be quite tedious, especially in larger groups, and I really hope they improve on that in future games. Stalking and assassinating was by far the best part, and I sometimes went really far to get around groups (Maybe that was intended?). But you have a medium sword-thingy, and a big sword, yet they felt quite useless compared to your sneaky knife, so I almost never used them.
• Some of the overall story line puzzles were so cryptic that they didn't make sense and you had to look up the answer online.

Yet, 5/5, and highly recommended - Best game I've played since Borderlands 2.

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12 Labours of Hercules III: Girl Power Icon
Another good but forgettable game
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Feb 2nd 2015

As with the previous two installations, the graphics are very colorfull and likeable, and the maps quite varied. Music is the same, and repetitive but also likeable.

If you've played the first two, then you've also played this one. But if you liked the first two, then you'll also enjoy this one.

Cons: Still a few bugs, although not nearly as many as the second game. -I would have liked to see a few more novel game mechanics. I can only recall one new in this game. -The story is awful. They must have had a 6 year old come up with it. But then again, you don't play this game for the story, but still. (Although it made no sense at all). -This game had a bit too many of the 'speciel' levels where the map isn't layed out in a natural way. I don't find them as interesting.

Pros: Still a 'just one more level!' game. -The finally removed the awfull 'boss levels' targeted at 6 year olds and instead introduced harder versions of the regular levels.

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12 Labours of Hercules II: The Cretan Bull Icon
Great game
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Jan 9th 2015

It is one of those 'Just one more level…' games. Hard to put down!

Graphics are nice, music is catchy, and gameplay is superb. There's plenty of room for both beginners and experts of time management games. Plenty of levels, that are quite varied. Well worth the cost in my opinion!

If I have to point out any negative things, it would be that I've encountered a few bugs with the game, though nothing major (A single graphical bug, and a single bug where an 'item' that has been qeued is not being picked up), and that the 'boss levels' are extremely uninteresting. I had hoped they had come up with something more interesting than those in the first game, but alas. They seem to be targeted at 8 year old, while I would assume the expert levels are for people that have way more experience with this type of game.

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7 Grand Steps: What Ancients Begat Icon
Weird game
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Jan 9th 2015

I assume I just dont 'get it', so take that into account.

But I found it dull, very badly explained, dull to look at. And the gameplay was boring.

Essentially it is a strategy board game. You follow a family through several generations, and have to plan a few turns ahead to consider your next moves. I found it quite shallow, and plain.

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Solar Flux Icon
Well done, but not really interesting
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 30th 2014

Soothing soundtrack, very nice visuals, but I do find the gameplay too simplistic and not very rewarding. I lost interest quite quickly, even though there are a lot of levels, since the game progresses so slowly.

It may be interesting for some people, but just not for me. Maybe it would be better suited for 5 minute plays on an iPad.

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12 Labours of Hercules Icon
Pretty good
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 23rd 2014

A pretty standard time management game. Not too easy, not too hard.

Graphics are fine, if a little too cartoonish for me, but looking good. Controls are easy, and I have yet to find any bugs. Soundtrack is catchy, at least I wasnt bored after playing the first 20 levels.. :)

Recommended if you like time management games.

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LEGO Star Wars: The Complete Saga Icon
Good for children
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Jan 10th 2014

Not so much for adults. Very basic platformer, with a strong Star Wars vibe of course. I think you need to know the movies to get the most out of this game, and you need to be a child in order to enjoy the gameplay.

I found it very bland and not very exciting. I think some character voices would have helped quite a bit.

I also found the beginning of the game quite confusing. Apparently you had to find the entrance to the first Episode, although no explanations were given.

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Crow Icon
Pretty, but blant gameplay
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Dec 14th 2013

It looks really good, with a very nice mood setting.

Unfortunately, the gameplay is quite lacking. You fly around as you like, trying to find diamons, which isn't that interesting, and once in a while you get to fight a boss. Fighting a boss means fly a set path, try to dodge a few obstacles (Most of which are very hard to determine where they will hit you), and then once in a while attack a boss by drawing a line on the screen.

I think you have to be less than 10 years old (literally) in order to enjoy this game very much. Too simple for at least.

If gameplay was more interesting, then it would probably be a much better game.

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Monument Builders: Notre Dame Icon
Below average
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Dec 6th 2013

I really enjoy resource management games, but this one really falls short of the mark for me personally. I would assume that casual gamers that don't play them often, would like this more than I did.

• You learn facts about the Notre Dame! Requires reading though.

• Graphics are not very enticing, with a lack of details and too popping colors.
• Very easy (See above, as I might not be the primary target here).
• Doesn't seem very play tested. You tend to end up doing the 'real management'/gaming in the first half of each level, and then just sit and click the same 4 buildings in the second half of the game to collect the number of resources needed to win. This is my biggest flaw with this game, as it really removes all the fun.
• Some things are not well explained.
• Very creepy 'game host'.
• You can end up in situations where you cant finish the map, without restarting the level. While this as such is fine, as it is a strategy game, this should not be able to happen within the first 30 seconds of starting a map, since you are playing on time and should be able to get an overview before having to restart the level.

I would probably target this game for young gamers aged 6-12 (Im not quite young anymore, but I like my gaming anyway!). They would probably also rate it a tad higher than I did.

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Check vs Mate Icon
Quite good
by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Dec 6th 2013

No matter if you want flashy fighting units, normal chess pieces or a flat overview, this game has it. Several different modes and backgrounds to play on, to give you something to come back to, or give you a break from a 'normal' game of chess. In general a very solid chess game.

The only things I really miss, is actually a quick way to switch the game to windowed mode from full screen, and a quick function on the main menu for jumping into a simple chess game (Instead of having to click through several menus). And some less flashy animated units, as the current one are a bit too gimmicky for my taste (I'd prefer something akin to the old Battle Chess, as another reviewer also mentions.

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