Reviews by T'hain Esh Kelch

Hero of the Kingdom II

Enjoyable adventure

A simple adventure, which boasts the largest number of fetch-quests, I have ever seen before, intermixed with hidden object gaming.

The story is simple: Your sister is captured by pirates, and you have to find her! This is the only story there is for the first half of the game, so storywise it is pretty bland there. Fortunately it picks up halfway through, but the beginning could be a bit more interesting storywise.

Gameplay is simple - You pick up things, sometimes hidden on each map, and give them to people in order to get other things. Repeat at nausea! It does sound boring, but it is actually very relaxing, and there's a soothing soundtrack to go along.

I enjoyed myself, and the repetitive nature of the game made me play for much longer than I should have, because I could just do juuuust one more thing before finishing. :P

Graphics are simple, but suit the game very nicely, and while detailed they are never so complex that you can't find things.

I recommend it for people that don't want something filled with action, and something you can jump in and out of at any time.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Sep 13th 2020
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Skin deep strategy with limiting interface

Spacecom is a scifi strategy game, where you use three different kind of ships (Ship to ship combat, bombardment, or invasion), to wage warface across solar systems.

You start out with a few planets, who may or may not be able to produce more ships, and a few space ships. You then move your spaceships between solar systems, and fight local ships (Happening automatically), or destroy or capture the planets. A few planets are capable of reparing ships, a few can build ships, and some can produce materials for building things. Most planets can do nothing, other than building battle stations, shields, and troops, to protect them.

It is not very deep, as that is all you can do. Every level has a main mission, usually capture or destroy a specific planet(s), or don't loose X number of planets to waves of enemies. There's also 1-3 extra missions, which is usually 'don't loose X ships or planets', 'don't let enemy get X planets'.

It was okay strategy, as some levels were harder and required you to micromanage your ships around, while a few of them was merely (im)balanced to allow you to select all your ships from the start, click enemy planet, and go invade it, and thus finish in 1 minute.

Graphically it wasn't too special. Representative round images of planets, with lines between them. A bit too simple for my liking, but that just made the game all about strategy. I could have liked better differentiation between the ships (A triangle with line above, in the middle or in the bottom!).

I did feel the user interface was hindering me a bit, as there was no overhead map, you had to select individual planets after sending ships to them and then tell them what to do, and the 'Invade' and 'Destroy' buttons were crazily close together given that you are playing in real time! And they were moving depending on what ships you had in your fleet, which was just a BIG no-no! The invade button should stay where it was, and not get replaced with 'Destroy' if you have a single bombardment ship in the fleet!
And I was really lacking a 'you have idle ships waiting here', so I didn't have to scour around large maps looking for small triangles sitting still!

Soundtrack was soothing, although nothing too special. Sounds otherwise were almost non-existing.

I played it on a 2011 Mac Mini, so max resolution was 1344x1008, which was the weirdest resolution I have ever seen.. :D But according to MGS, the game wasn't supposed to be running, which it most certainly was, so I can live with that! So it did look quite old for me, but I again assume that's because my machine wasn't supported. No bugs encountered at all. I didn't try out multiplayer, because the game wasn't that interesting, but I guess it could actually be nice if you want something simple vs. a friend. The multiplayer ranking board didn't work though.

All in all a simple strategy game worth a couple of hours of gameplay. Acceptable, nothing more, nothing less.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Sep 11th 2020
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BIT.TRIP Presents... Runner2: Future Legend of Rhythm Alien

Nice presentation, but boring gameplay

It is a basic runner, going from left to right, while jumping, sliding, kicking, etc. each time an obstacle comes on screen.

It is presented very nicely, with good artwork, great narration, backgrounds and animations that have been caressed for...

But, ultimately, the gameplay just falls flat for me. I didn't find it very interesting. Way too simple for me.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 6th 2020
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Luxuria Superbia

Is this a game?

So that was the weirdest and most psychedelic experience I've had, playing a game. Or was it a game? I don't know. You just click, trying to make four lines of color grow wide. At some point the game told me I lost? I tried again. I clicked more, that game liked that. I didn't.

Weird music. Colors. Eyes. Flags. Being inside a flower? If that's your thing, go for it.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 6th 2020
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Anna's Quest

Excellent adventure game

A hand drawn adventure game, about a young girl who lives with her grand father, until the latter becomes ill and she leaves their home to find a cure. She gets caught by a witch, and a grand adventure unfolds with her in the centere.

Nice hand drawn backgrounds and animations, great characters, nice voice work, good music, and a top notch adventure game with an excellent plot that unfolds as you play the game.

Highly recommend for adventure game fans!

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Mar 9th 2020
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Interesting way to learn

At its heart, this game is about information on typography. You learn about how writing was initially invented, how the printing press became important, and then move on to typography at its core.

Interspaced between these short snippets of information, there's a simple physics driven platforming game. There are some nice backgrounds, really sothing music, and some clever letter-based levels.

I enjoyed it. It is very simple, but does the job. Don't go into this expecting a deep platforming game though, go into it expecting an interactive Wikipedia article on typography. Although, some of the characters you have to find on each level, can be quite hard to get to.. Especially at the later parts. And then there's the secret level.. Oh boy, that's definitely for us hardcore platformers! 8)

Recommended for anyone looking for something relaxing and informative.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Feb 18th 2020
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realMyst: Masterpiece Edition

A masterpiece

Myst is an old classic, which certainly holds up today. It is a masterpiece of exploration, puzzles, clues, and amazing visuals (Well, they were somewhat more amazing back then, but still looks fantastic in many places). It certainly has aged, but gameplay wise it still holds up.

It has this special tranquil and relaxing feel, that no other games have matched I believe. Puzzles are just right in how hard they are to solve, and the story is actually also quite interesting.

The game was a bit weird with the graphical performance, but ran acceptable on my 2011 iMac with 2GB Radeon 6970M. One of the graphical options created black boxes on my screen, but other than that, no issues encountered at all, despite running it under macOS 10.13.6 which MGS says isn't supported.

Highly recommended.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 4th 2019
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PixelJunk Monsters

Too simplistic

A slightly different take on your normal tower defense - You control a being that runs around the map and builds the towers, and collects gold after each monster that dies.

Graphically, it looks like something hand drawn by a child, mixed in with CGI coins whenever a monster dies. It has cutesy look overall, but the simplistic drawings and extremely simple animations are not very interesting. The music is also very simple, repeating, and gets boring very quickly. Explanative popups come up all over the screen, which is quite annoying. To start a map, you have use your action button, instead of the logical approach, which is clicking with the mouse.

Gameplay wise, I don't think it adds much to have a hero run around the map. If I was 10, I might think this was a better game, since I would likely be more challenged. Often you can't see the coins you have to collect, so you have to run around in huge areas of each map constantly. The monsters are the same on each map, and not very imaginative. Not many towers to select from, and very generic at that. Upgrades for the towers are not explained at all, so you don't know what you get for upgrading them.

Overall, not very interesting and too simplistic in its presentation. Good for young people or those that doesn't want a complex game.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Oct 20th 2018
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SteamWorld Dig

Wonderful game

If you are looking for a simple, yet somewhat challeging game, oosing with charm, then this is the one you go for.

You play a robot who arrives in a small town in a desert, looking for his uncle. You start digging below the city, and find all kinds of wonders! Armed with only a pickaxe, you have to work your way through minor puzzles, easy enemies, and dig to find gems and other treasures. Along the way you'll get various upgrades and other stuff.

Graphics are really well done, cute, bot not too cutesy, and really fits the world. It is oosing with charm! Gameplay is great, with an emphasis on platforming and minor puzzle solving. Game is quick to load, and easy to learn. Story is not the important part here, but it does the trick.

Highly recommended!

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Oct 6th 2018
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Beautiful, relaxing, but not much of a game

You play a badger mom, who has to take care of her 5 young, while moving them to a new shelter.
The game looks beautiful, and has a very relaxing setting, but you don't actually do much. You just keep moving from place to place, while picking up the occasional vegetable for the young, yipping at a fox, or duck from an eagle.

If you need to turn off your brain while doing something relaxing, this is your game. If you expect anything with more action than Tetris, this is not the one.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Oct 6th 2018
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Building the Great Wall of China Collector's Edition

Okay as a simple time waster, but it's a childs game

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.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 28th 2017
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12 Labours of Hercules V: Kids of Hellas Collector's Edition

Same old stuff

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.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 26th 2017
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Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars Director's Cut

Very good adventure game

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.

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

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.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Feb 18th 2017
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12 Labours of Hercules IV: Mother Nature

More of the same

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.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Nov 26th 2016
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Call of Duty 2

Tense and still good

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.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Jul 5th 2016
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Rage: Campaign Edition

Could have been SO much more!

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

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Nov 14th 2015
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Back to the Future: The Game

Okay I guess, but not much of a game

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.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Oct 31st 2015
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LEGO Harry Potter: Years 1-4

Fun and simple, yet wast

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.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Mar 15th 2015
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1912 Titanic Mystery

Below average

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.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Feb 14th 2015
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