Reviews by NorthernSpruce

Mystery of the Nautilus
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Poorly done

I have to agree with Captain Skurvy - not a fun game at all. It reminds me of Amerzone, a game that may have been OK on PC but that makes no sense in its Mac version. The only way I could finish it was with a walkthrough written for PC, and it is clear that the Mac version is a really bad copy. On the one hand, you know exactly where to click because there is a gear or hand icon on it; on the other, even knowing what needs clicking, the way things fit together is illogical. So to reiterate: don't waste your time and money!

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Mar 21st 2013
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Bob Came in Pieces
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Definitely worthwhile

I didn't know if I would like this game but the graphics are excellent, the puzzles challenging and clever, and the physics of the game are stunningly realistic. There are enough power-ups to keep you motivated and they really help with subsequent levels. The story is simple but appealing. Highly recommended!

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Mar 7th 2013
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Puddle
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Downhill fast

Not bad at first, but I just couldn't stomach one of the liquids you have to play with. If you are squeamish, stay away. Otherwise, not too bad.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Mar 4th 2013
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Puzzle Agent
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Fun a challenging enough

Nicely drawn and a diverting story, it is really a series of true puzzles, which is refreshing. Ample hints if needed. A bit short and the puzzles could have been more diverse, but probably worth the cost.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Feb 1st 2013
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The Abbey
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It's a nice-looking, OK game

Pros: I like the cartoon style of animation, appealing scenes, interesting stories, some good puzzles.

Cons: Slow-moving characters (really - they just mosey everywhere - you can skip some long walks with a double-click but sometimes you just gotta put on some tea while they walk from one end of the screen to the other); incredibly long dialogues which fortunately you can skip with a double-click once you've read the subtitles; some puzzles are tough and illogical.

Diverting enough, but not great.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jan 23rd 2013
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Lume
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Very short but quite good

As another reviewer has warned, this game is extremely short, but what's there is beautifully rendered and entertaining.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Dec 27th 2012
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Edna & Harvey: Harvey's New Eyes
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Stay away

Interminable dialogues, pointless and illogical storyline, ridiculous puzzles, and light-hearted treatment of serial killing and youth suicide. Terrible.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Dec 27th 2012
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The Cross Formula
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Mostly hidden object

Most of the game is hidden object, with a few puzzles, some entertaining. Each chapter includes a jigsaw type activity that I found boring. Partway through the game it crashed and then when I re-opened it, it started at an earlier point in the game, and several crucial steps would no longer work, so the game couldn't continue. Disappointing.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Dec 21st 2012
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TRAUMA
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Short, quiet and thoughtful

This game has four chapters, each of which has a main ending and an alternate ending. It took me about about two or three hours to complete everything, but then it is inexpensive. There is no violence (despite the name!) but it may be a little too dark for younger children. It is really more of a hidden object game, though there is a small element of puzzle-solving. The images are carefully done, the voice acting is a bit solemn (in keeping with the storyline) and I would recommend it (given the price) for a few hours' quiet diversion.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Dec 17th 2012
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Doc Clock: The Toasted Sandwich of Time
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Lots of fun

The basic premise is the same at every level: a little dude is traveling in time with his smart-aleck backpack and needs to build vehicles out of odds and ends. Despite the simple structure, it is very enjoyable and the physics of the game are very impressive - small changes really make a difference in the way vehicles perform. The scenes and challenges are good. The ability to re-do puzzles using a time-traveling feature (very easy to use) is great.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Dec 15th 2012
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Inbetween Land
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Short but pleasant

Not a very long game, but good puzzles and enjoyable scenes. The storyline is a bit of a stretch, but that's a minor criticism. Worth the price.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Dec 15th 2012
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Pid
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Brutal battle ruins game

I was all set to give this game five stars on the strength of the graphics, the fun and endearing storyline, the music, the challenging and clever puzzles. There are a few too many timed puzzles for my liking - one required at least twenty tries - but it was shaping up to be an enjoyable game.

Until - small spoiler alert! - the second boss fight. A big red balloon-shaped thief is unbeatable, about sixty percent of the way through the game. Perhaps an extremely experienced and coordinated gamer with precise controls may eventually be able to defeat him, but I just haven't been able to. Unless you LOVE intense action and are good at games that require coordination and speed rather than methodical problem-solving, this game will likely frustrate you. Too bad.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Dec 15th 2012
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Still Life 2
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Dark and coarse

It's a matter of taste, I suppose, but I disliked this game a great deal because the atmosphere is so dark, the crimes graphically described and depicted, and the language and themes very coarse.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Oct 27th 2012
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Drawn: Trail of Shadows
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Loved it

This is a pretty short game but full of entertaining puzzles. They aren't super challenging but they are fun and diverting and nice to look at. An especially nice feature is the storybook pages that pop-up every once in awhile with quirky actions to carry out and puzzles to solve. Creative, positive, and a pleasant way to while away a few hours.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Oct 14th 2012
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The Book of Unwritten Tales
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Fun story

This game is really good for several reasons: it has many chapters and levels (it lasts longer than many comparably priced games), the graphics are great and the characters and storyline are actually very appealing. The puzzles are feasible - nothing insane or requiring cheats, but sometimes causing enough perplexity to be challenging. On the whole, I'm glad I purchased it.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Oct 14th 2012
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Atlantis: The New World
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Very strange

What a bizarre game - confused, chaotic storyline with forays into Siberia and Baghdad from Egypt, talking dolphins floating around in crystal skulls, magical hearts - sheesh. A little challenging, nice graphics, but it's a weird jumble of unrelated-seeming stories and puzzles.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Oct 14th 2012
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Amerzone
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Really disappointing

Some of the scenes are pretty enough, but as another reviewer pointed out, this game feels like a half-hearted highlight reel from a much larger game. There are several places where you can walk into a room without much detail and without any interactions possible - no entertainment or puzzle-solving value. When I played, a bug prevented me from collecting vital documents as I encountered them; yet, as annoying as this was, it didn't actually hinder me from finishing the game because there are so few objects to find and interact with. All I had to do was randomly apply objects to places where it was clear that an action was possible. Dull and insipid.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Oct 14th 2012
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Crow
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Some pleasant features, otherwise not worth it

The best thing about this game is the experience of flying over the landscapes, which can be quite detailed; the movement in flight is very fluid and natural and the experience is quite restful. The game itself is really not fun at all: it comes down to fighting a series of enemies with two actions "attack" and "put up a shield". You have no control over how well you attack; you either attack or you don't, and success is randomly determined. The fight segments have the strange shortcoming that during them you can't actually control your flight, you just fly round and round in a predetermined pattern and your only decision is "attack" or "shield". The fights posed little challenge for me (and I am not an experienced gamer or skilled at quick play at all) until what looked like the last one, which switched from mediocre to impossible. I quit the game and uninstalled it in disgust. There are two other kinds of actions in the game: you have to look for jewels (to get skill points) and for story points but looking really just consists of flying around and the jewels pretty much reveal themselves; and you occasionally exchange your skill points for skills that affect your success in attacking or shielding. One other nice feature is the opportunity to choose whether to show mercy at the end of a fight, which seems to affect the outcome of the game. Overall, much of the game was pleasant and restful, the rest was really frustrating. I don't recommend it.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Oct 7th 2012
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Botanicula
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Challenging and uplifting

The puzzles in this game are quite challenging and entertaining, and the story and characters are quirky and endearing. The overall atmosphere is lush, unpredictable, full of colour and sound and movement, and the game easily captivates the attention while diverting with smart, sometimes very difficult, puzzles. Very highly recommended.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Sep 24th 2012
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Cleopatra: a Queen's Destiny
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Quite satisfying

I wasn't expecting much from this game - it was on sale and the opening was a little wonky (the main menu is visual and requires interacting in non-intuitive ways with features of the room, rather than simply being a menu), but I was very pleasantly surprised by how smart and challenging (without being gratuitously obtuse) the puzzles were. An especially helpful feature was the detailed notebook, which made it possible to reason out every one of the puzzles using logic and creativity. The story isn't bad, the scenes are fun and great to look out, the puzzles are terrific - it would have been worth the full price but on sale, it was definitely a keeper.

by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Sep 16th 2012
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