Reviews by green_knight

Crow Icon
I wanted to like this game; I didn't
by green_knight, United Kingdom - Apr 29th 2015

I'm glad that games like this exist; I'm happy to see them at Macgamestore. That said, I found the navigation clumsy and at times dizzying - I never felt in control of where my character was moving to. and I could not immerse myself in the graphics, either. A better concept than execution, IMHO.

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The Tiny Bang Story Icon
Tedious
by green_knight, United Kingdom - Apr 29th 2015

The graphics of this game are absolutely stunning; but sadly they're not enough to keep me playing. This might be better classified as a 'hidden object' game since the main mechanic is to find things. If you're lacking the patience, eagle eyes, or right way of thinking to find everything and to solve the puzzles along the way, you're in for catching dozens of mosquitoes per hint; if you need more than one hint, you will be clicking around the screen for a very, very long time to get anywhere.

If you love this type of game, you'll probably adore it. I didn't.

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Iesabel Icon
Immersive, addictive, fun
by green_knight, United Kingdom - Apr 27th 2015

Expect to die. (There are penalties, but you can go on, and if you're lucky, you'll retrieve your gold and XP).
I'm only starting this - level eleven (it's a quick progression), three or four quests done, a couple of talents acquired - and I enjoy it a lot. You're dumped in a meadow without knowledge of the world or the storyline, and you do the usual - loot bodies, collect random plants, bash up barrels, and fight whatever monsters come at you. (Some of them are… interesting.) The controls are somewhat hard to figure out (not all features are explained, and click-and-hold to fill empty slots only occurred to me after half a day and some unsuccessful googling) and if I'd realised that I can hit things by pressing 's' instead of clicking the mouse on the main action button, I would have died less.

But once you're there, you move around an immersive world, and very quickly I stopped thinking about what to do next and let my fingers do the walking/running/bashing.

This game lacks the last polish: sometimes the soundtrack stutters, I find the mutterings of the barbarian hard to understand, the interface is a little bit awkward and does not always react as expected, dialogues break in odd places. Otherwise it would have been a five-star game for me.

Runs great under Yosemite 10.2.

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The Book of Wanderer: The Story of Dragons Icon
Unusual gameplay, good example of the genre, some niggles remain
by green_knight, United Kingdom - Apr 17th 2015

This has unusual gameplay for a Match 3 game, nicely done graphics, and it's very addictive. (Also runs great under Yosemite). I would have liked to see more story, and a better explanation for the bonuses you can use - the first time I played through I used up my extras and found myself in a place where I had to replay certain levels a lot before hitting the right combination of skill and tactic. That's par for the course; but little things like a sparse tutorial and no 'replay' button make this more tedious than it needs to be.

Overall, if you like the genre, and like a quick - but not unchallenging - Match 3 puzzle, wholly recommended.

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FATE Icon
Crawl Dungeons for Fun and Profit!
by green_knight, United Kingdom - Feb 5th 2015

This game makes no pretence about your goals - you take up a quest or three, go into the dungeon, fight monsters or collect items, and return for your bonus and the next quest, yet after 8+ hours of gameplay (oops), it does not feel repetitive. This game is easy to pick up and control, even if you're not super-coordinated or able (or willing) to learn a thousand different spells and weapons to be the biggest baddest fighter in town: my bespectacled cat-loving librarian is doing just fine, thank you.

If you love the style of King's Bounty, you will love FATE, too - it has the same quirky flavour.

I'm playing on a 15' Macbook with 10.9 and have not had any problems whatsoever; the only feature I cannot figure out is 'play for 15 minutes'. I always want to do one more thing...

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Heroes of Hellas 3: Athens Icon
Sadly prone to crashes
by green_knight, United Kingdom - Jan 2nd 2015

(I'm giving this three stars because if you're happy to only play up to level 6.4, it's still a pretty neat game concept; the crashes don't render it unplayable as such.)

Well, yes. Level 6.4, where you need to clear everything and ask Boreas for help three times, and every single time bar one the game locked up, grabbed 100.2% of processor power on my Macbook, and stayed there. Bar once, when I wanted to document this crash again (a year after first reporting it) and much to my suprise, was transported to the next level.
Imagine my annoyance when after finishing I started playing the bonus level and the game crashed with a failed assertion every single time I tried to play the first bonus level. Every. Single. Time.
There's much to like about this game - some of the graphics are a bit twee, but there's a storyline and varied gameplay and you can make some decisions about which buildings to erect (though they seem mainly cosmetic); tiles, boards and gameplay are well-designed (a couple of levels are a bit tedious, but this clearly has been playtested and is well balanced) - but with persistent, repeatable crashes on more than one OS I hesitated about giving it even three stars.

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Evolver Icon
Great idea, so-so execution
by green_knight, United Kingdom - Dec 29th 2014

I bought this in the sale and don't regret it: it's a very fun take on the match-3 genre with a novel mechanism and fun graphics, but it gets let down by a number of things (in no particular order):

- This is a short game: three worlds with six levels each, and while the graphics change, the gameplay is identical. Plus three (equally identical) bonus levels - but when one substracts the graphics, there are really only two ways to play.
- glitches: sometimes in the bonus round, the arrays become confused, and suddenly holes appear in the display, pieces don't move up to close that hole, pieces cannot be selected, or the selection applies to a piece not under your mouse, and pieces start occupying the same space. That makes the round unplayable, and since bonus rounds can take up to half an hour, having your game scuttled at the last minute by a computer bug is no fun at all.
- the gameplay is innovative, but the mechanics have drawbacks: you get, in effect, punished for making combinations of multiple pieces (rather than rewarded, as in other match-3 games), and the click-and-click-again gameplay is slower than click-and-drag (I play Bejewelled. I *know*) which makes the bonus round harder to play. Combine that with a selection that isn't always working (because you clicked in empty space and didn't see that it didn't actually select), and play becomes a bit hit-and-miss at the time when you can't afford mistakes.
- the graphics are cute, but the backgrounds are too busy and somewhat distracting

Overall, I'd recommend the game if you like the genre, but don't expect it to be wonderful because you'll be disappointed.

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Magic Petals Icon
Best kind of game
by green_knight, United Kingdom - Nov 27th 2014

This takes a well-loved game type - anyone else remember Snood? - and gives it a unique twist: the combination of the game area, power-ups and unique challenges make it an outstanding game of its type. Graphics, controls, and overall gameplay are spot on, and don't be put off by the pretty flowers: this is a pretty hardcore game, and you need to get your strategy spot on.
It's also extremely addictive.

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King's Bounty: Darkside Premium Edition Icon
Sadly unplayable
by green_knight, United Kingdom - Nov 24th 2014

I wanted to love this game. KB: The Legend is one of my favourite games; I play it a lot, and I had been looking forward to this. What little I've seen of the game was far too linear and very boring; but due to bugs I lack the patience to play any longer.

- the arrow keys were disabled, so I could only use the mouse to play which makes gameplay tedious and many places on the map inaccessible
- the mini-map and main map have different orientations, which is confusing
- battlefields overlap the content at the bottom of the window so you cannot click on all cells of a battlefield
- there is no tutorial, it's sink or swim. Even as someone familiar with the franchise, I felt I was sinking
- the text is written in a near-unreadable font: far too small and so badly rendered it keeps dropping certain letters, so that every piece of text becomes a chore. When you spend as much time figuring out text as you do playing, something needs to be fixed.
- the game crashes every time I switch to another application. (Much of my gaming time is while waiting for other things to happen: I need to check apps and respond to e-mail. This is not negotiable.)

Other than that, the ability to explore which the other three games had to varying degrees is missing from this game: until you reach the island of the Light you can go along corridors only in a fixed order and the interactions and battles you have are strictly scripted; the opportunity to experiment with different armies and equipment has been mostly eliminated in the first part of the game. I started games as all three races and had very similar experiences, which destroyed the conceit of the game.
And then I got to the Island of the Light, which felt as if it was phoned in: you can sail around the outside, or you can stay where you are dumped and fight three very overpowered enemies. There was nothing to explore, no-one to interact with, no side quests or quirky details or minor enemies guarding small treasures: all the things that made the first three parts of the game fun to play.

Add to that the requirement to run Steam, which is a resource hog and causes problems of its own, and I can only throughly recommend that people stay away from this.

Play King's Bounty: The Legend. It's a great game.

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The Sims 3 Icon
Full-on immersion
by green_knight, United Kingdom - May 6th 2014

My main complaint is that you can only play the Sims and nothing else. And since this is mostly, when all is said and done, a boring game - you do the same kind of actions over and over and many of them won't show results until much later - my tolerance for sitting in front of it and doing nothing else is very limited. If you could switch the game to the background, do boring admin, and every now and again nudge your Sims to go to the park or the pool or to do their shopping, it would be a more playable game.

My greatest disappointment was that you can no longer play neighbourhoods - once you leave a family, you can no longer go back to them, so the ability to create a number of families of your choice, watch them interact, and control them has been taken away. That makes the game more boring than its predecessors.

I really wanted to love this, but I cannot.

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Seven Seas Solitaire Icon
Sheer Fun
by green_knight, United Kingdom - Dec 1st 2013

This game has been a surprise find for me. It takes simple gameplay and uses an ingenious array of boosters and hindrances and random events to produce a surprisingly unfrustrating experience (you can always make up for failed levels, if you have a decent strategy overall). Combined with flexible upgrade options that make each game different and whacky graphics that will simply make you laugh, this is an all-round winner. (Runs well on Mavericks, too.)

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