Reviews by NorthernSpruce

Rise Of Balloons Icon
Annoying mechanics
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - May 29th 2017

The concept is a nice one (using balloons with different properties to bring joy to a city) but the mechanics are needlessly choppy and annoying: you move the main character not directly but by moving a balloon which she chases, leading to situations where you can't see far enough to plan ahead, and other situations where the balloon gets lost and you die. You can't save mid-level so you end up playing the same steps over and over and over when a balloon gets lot or pops, or when you can't see because a bunch of balloons has gotten tangled. . Balloons interact in weird ways with the scenes, sometimes blocking moing doors for no reason. Not too interesting

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Recovery Search and Rescue Simulation Icon
Do not pay any price for this game
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Oct 8th 2016

This is a terrible game. It is fun to ride a bike up and down hills, but that is the only intellectual stimulation you will find. Example: I replayed a mission several times to find a red hat (that's the extent of search & rescue) and never found it because of the time limit. Even on sale it's bad.

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The Silent Age Icon
Very satisfying
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Sep 26th 2016

Well drawn with a clever time-travel theme, lots of decent puzzles and a few tougher ones. A bit on the shorter side as others have written, but not excessively short. I am quite pleased with it and would recommend it if you like point-and-click and puzzle-solving.

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Tulpa Icon
Boring, not worth it
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Aug 6th 2016

You switch between playing as a fragile needy girl and her fragile imaginary friend and try to keep from smashing into bits - which can happen by falling on things, sometimes by just touching things, and sometimes by being a few feet away from your imaginary friend. Dull and irritating.

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Unmechanical Icon
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jul 28th 2016

I really liked this game - clever, many hours of gameplay, sympathetic main character (even if it is a robot), smart puzzles. A couple of quibbles: there are three or four puzzles that require speed and reflexes/hand-eye coordination more than problem-solving, and these are difficult for me so I was disappointed; and I couldn't finish the game because a bug near the end prevented it from saving. (Helpful hint - try not to quit the game after you encounter the elevator!). Evcen with these hassles, though, it was excellent.

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Samorost 3 Icon
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jul 1st 2016

As with other Amanita games, this one is exquisitely drawn and delightful to play. The worlds are fascinating and detailed and the characters interesting and quirky. The puzzles are varied, from quite simple to very difficult, but a built-in hint system makes it possible to advance even stuck but without giving too much away. rEally excellent game.

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Never Alone (Kisima Ingitchuna) Icon
Nice idea but not fun to play
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jun 18th 2016

The indigenous elements in this game are interesting and thoughtful, and the depiction of a little girl and a fox making their way through Arctic landscapes is well done, but the game is largely a question of coordinating jumps and occasionally using/avoiding winds to navigate ledges and platforms. For some reason the key controls are not very intuitive and when combined with the speed and coordination needed for the jumps it is not fun to play.

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Crazy Machines Golden Gears Icon
Lots of fun
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jun 13th 2016

Definitely a big hit for anyone whon likes Rube Goldberg/Heath Robinson contraptions. The physics are quite real-world and the puzzles varied, challenging and satisfying.

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Nancy Drew: The Captive Curse Icon
Usual Nancy Drew excellence
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jun 13th 2016

The accents are not great but otherwise this game is diverting and challenging. As usual there are ghostly/paranormal elements but Nancy never loses her head. Good for quite a few hours of fun and intellectual diversion.

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Sym Icon
Not interesting
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jun 13th 2016

A side-scrolling platform game, black and white. You play as one of two aspects of the main character (you can flip back and forth easily and you have to in order to navigate the game); depending on the role you have at any given time, gravity is either normal or reversed, and you have access to different parts of the game's world. I found it to be mostly variations on jumping from one place to another and trying not to get chewed up by buzz saws. It's supposed to be about social anxiety disorder, which I found a very appealing premise, but the connection to mental health seemed pretty tenuous to me.

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Back To Bed Icon
Once you have played one level...
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jun 13th 2016

Not very interesting - some levels require a bit more patience but each level is just a variation on the same basic challenge. I didn't find it very stimulating at all.

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Anna's Quest Icon
Slow and wordy
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jun 12th 2016

Heavy on long dialogues like many Daedalic games, this one is interesting at times but slow and not very intuitive. Many characters are quite likeable, but the game is not recommended.

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The Book of Unwritten Tales 2 Icon
Game freezes a few minutes in
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Nov 1st 2015

Don't bother - on my MacBook Air, (meets minimum requirements and downloaded and installed without incident) the game gets past the opening tutorial and ithen nvariably freezes. Too bad.

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Please Don't Touch Anything Icon
OK for the price
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Aug 8th 2015

Clever and creative, with many surprises, but the puzzles were not obvious to me. I really like puzzle games but this one just wasn't very intuitive. A lot of the clues that are available are very obscure so there's a lot of blank staring, figuring out what to do next. I prefer puzzles with more of a story to them - this one didn't do it for me.

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Morningstar: Descent to Deadrock Icon
Short, interesting
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - May 25th 2015

The game doesn't take very long to finish and the main character's voice is annoyingly bored and affectless, but the puzzles are interesting. The option of getting a clue by calling one's shipmate works quite well and is handy. The puzzles are not generally very hard but a couple require more trial-and-error.

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Fire Icon
Save issues
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - May 21st 2015

The puzzles are OK and the story is fun and offbeat, but I keep having issues saving this game. For one thing, there is only one save-point at each level, so even if you have made a lot of progress on a level, you lose it if you have to quit and you need to start over at that level. As you can imagine, when a level is especially challenging and you need to come back to it a few times, it gets pretty tiresome doing the same steps over and over. Much more frustratingly still, two times out of three the game saves normally, but every so often when you save and quit you come back to a brand new game with nothing saved. Doing a level over two or three times is bad enough, but after having to start the entire game over twice I called it quits.

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Broken Age Icon
Not bad - but unfinished
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Feb 21st 2015

There is a lot to like about this game - the art, the offbeat story, the likeable characters and entertaining settings. It took awhile to grow on me as it initially seems quit dull, but this is deliberate and if you give it time it becomes very interesting.

You can play as two different characters in two completely different scenarios - one a young woman in a fantasy realm who has a monster to fight, the other a young man on a spaceship who is bored with his safe and predictable life. Some plot twists start to make sense of it all but the stories are abruptly interrupted with the message "End of Act I - Act II coming soon". In other words, wait for another game to be released, who knows when. That's a pretty cheap trick. So it's reasonably entertaining and has relatively challenging puzzles, but a very unsatisfactory ending that any buyer should beware of before investing.

Incidentally, the game requirements indicated that this game required more video RAM than my MacBook Air has, but I took a chance since this has often [roved unfounded before, and the game worked fine for me

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Syberia II Icon
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jan 2nd 2015

Unlike helivoy, I haven't any issues saving games or using inventory, and there are quite a few save points so if you have to leave the game you just have to make sure to walk through one of the set points to save your progress. This has worked okay for me. The puzzles, however, are absurd. Several make no sense and just require a long and more or less arbitrary series of actions. (So far, for those who know the game, the lemming puzzle and the clock puzzle are especially infuriating). Any game may have one or two dud puzzles, but this is just one after another. I liked the first Syberia but this is pretty bad. And I know it is just a game, but a little bit of effort could have avoided cartoonish characters like the caricatural two-dimensional monks and the offensive portrayal of an intellectually handicapped character.

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Lifeless Planet Premier Edition Icon
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jul 9th 2014

Much of the game is quite impressive - nice vistas, interesting puzzles, good storyline. Much of the game consists of making jumps but, even though I have a problem with reflexes/hand-eye coordination, it wasn't a problem as patience and experiment paid off. Then towards the end, out of nowhere, wind is introduced into the game and it becme impossible to me. I must have attempted one jump forty or fifty times. Looks like I won't be able to finish the game. So pointless to ruin an excellent game with a ridiculous twist.

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Fall of the New Age Collector's Edition Icon
Really good
by NorthernSpruce, Canada - Jun 27th 2014

I was surprised by how good this game is. A real puzzle adventure, with a small handful of hidden-object puzzles. The various mini-games and puzzles are impressively diverse and clever, the story is actually engaging and interesting and the scenes well-drawn. More than once as I played it I actually caught myself smiling at how clever and entertaining the puzzles are. Highly recommended for puzzle-lovers

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