Reviews by Scott Henderson

Shiver: Moonlit Grove
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Disappointing - poor design

Moonlit Grove suffers from a number of problems. The cursor does not change from the standard pointing arrow, even though the game is designed to do so. This created a large problem with the hidden object screens. These mini games always had an object or two that needed to be created or found. Some of these objects however were buried several layers deep. For example, in order to grab a ring, a snake needed to be lured away, which meant opening a locked cage, which meant finding a key that was hidden in a jar, which meant finding a hammer to break the jar, which meant...add this Rube Goldberg-esque scenario to a game where the cursor doesn't change and one is clicking on everything and anything that looks like it might be useful. During gameplay it meant consulting with the Hint function often to show areas of the screen one needed to click on. The game also suffers from what I call nonsensical logic. Given the objects in one's inventory, there are numerous ways to accomplish the same task in the game. However, the game wants a specific object to perform a specific task. Anything else will not do. It makes no sense. In addition, the same generic response is given whether one is trying to hammer a nail with a doughnut or break a chain with a sledgehammer. Shouldn't the latter example be given a slightly different response? Most of these games are designed to be fairly linear, which is fine. Unfortunately, this game responded with a statement regarding something the player character hadn't been told about yet. Oops. More play testing and a better design would have helped this title tremendously.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Jul 30th 2015
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Final Cut: Encore
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Very well designed

Final Cut: Encore plays out like a well put together popcorn movie. The game is tightly designed both in terms of plot and gameplay. The cut scenes keep the story moving at just the right pace and the mini-games are integrated so well, they seem to be just another part of the story. Highly recommend.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Jul 23rd 2015
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Monochroma
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Great platformer

As a platform game, this is one of the best I've played. Very logical and just challenging enough without being overly frustrating (although there are some puzzles that come very close). The game saves itself along the way and does so after every major hurdle, so you are not having to replay large sections of the game over and over. Again, because of some degree of difficulty, your character(s) may die repeatedly trying to get through portions of the game and those you do replay. There is no skip function.

The atmosphere/plot of the game is interesting and the sound effects and visuals really lend to the game. There are a few places where it was difficult to determine depth and what looks like a platform to jump onto is actually behind your character and you will end up jumping onto nothing. This is a minor complaint though and may not appear this way to all players.

While I don't want to give away the ending, I will tell you it is rather sad and somewhat disappointing given the hours one spends avoiding bad guys and otherwise working out difficult puzzles.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Jul 16th 2015
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The Emptiness: Psycho-Philosophical Quest
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Unique gameplay

This definitely a different kind of hidden object game. There are two women that present "spells" for you and your goal is to locate the letters that form the spells in the different areas of the house. The house is the same for each spell so one ends up searching the same areas repeatedly for the letters. The letters are cleverly hidden and I found myself asking for help more often than usual. There are multiple side tasks that keeps one busy between and during the search that are pertinent to the storyline. Some of which pertain to the kind of path you will follow: that of light or darkness. I followed light, but I'm curious how the game would end if I had chosen otherwise.

There are enough creepy things that jump out at you to warrant playing the game with a light on! From the beginning, you get the sense that the game is more about setting a mood than solving puzzles. Although there are enough of those as well. I will admit to chuckling a little bit when the title "The Emptiness" was spoken at the end of the opening video. It's bit melodramatic to an otherwise interesting introduction. The audio of the actors has no relation to their lips moving so it's a bit like watching a badly dubbed foreign film. Those are minor technical issues though and don't really affect gameplay. The only irritating moment for me was when the game asked for a glass to be filled with water. There are glasses and sources of water in multiple locations, but the game wanted a specific glass filled with water from a specific place. Lapses of logic like that and the repetitive nature of the location are the only criticisms of an otherwise great game.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Jul 1st 2015
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The Fog: Trap for Moths
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Mostly good story, but vague and buggy

As hidden object games go, this one has a good storyline that drives the logic of why things are located in illogical places and what motivates the main character to keep going. That unfortunately doesn't last throughout the entire game and toward the end, one is just going from one room to another (back and forth) as pieces to solving puzzles are found in the opposite room.

Most of the time, the game's text and obvious logic will help one get thorugh the game, but there are many times when logic is thrown out the window and it's not obvious what the next move should be. If anyone can tell me what the authors had in mind in order to solve the diode puzzle, please let me know. There is a great video walkthrough here: http://www.gamewinners.com/Cheats/index.php/More:The_Fog:_Video_Walkthrough. However, the person who made the walkthrough accidentally hit the Skip button on the diode puzzle herself, so no luck there.

The bug that got me was when a helmet was repaired and then taken from a foot locker. That foot locker also contained a piece of a later puzzle. However, once the helmet puzzle was solved, the game considered the foot locker no longer active and wouldn't allow me to look into it again. Because the game autosaves, my only choice would have been to start over from the beginning and I honestly didn't like the game that much to play it again. I did watch the walkthrough though and I would agree that the game ends a little too abruptly and not in very satisfactory manner to answer all the questions raised during the story.

Overall not great, but started off better than most. If it weren't for the bug, I'd probably be rating this game a 3 out of 5.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Jun 2nd 2015
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Anoxemia
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What's the point?

This game is rather vague in its purpose and difficult to understand in the gameplay. Things seem to kill off your character frequently and you are forced to restart at the beginning of the level, not where you left off forcing you to play sections over and over again. You have to wonder about a game that rewards your "first death" as an achievement. Not sure what I paid, but it was too much.

by Scott Henderson, USA - May 26th 2015
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Tengami
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Good value & interesting game play

To start, I will say the puzzles are rather simple and gameplay length is somewhat short. Having said that, the visuals, music and gameplay style (that of a popup book) are the things that really set this game apart. Having written software I know how difficult and time consuming it can be. From the short list of updates on Steam, it is apparent that the development team cares about their product and supports it. Overall, a good game worth the price of admission.

by Scott Henderson, USA - May 26th 2015
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The Others
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Frustrating

Perhaps it is a staple of these games to place the object for which one is seeking in the most obscure, random places. To me, it makes gameplay illogical and annoying. Toward the end, some puzzles required two objects to solve, but if you had only one, the same response was given as if you were trying to solve the puzzle using a completely wrong object. A different response would have been more helpful to at least acknowledge that one was on the right track. In addition, one hears the main character's voice a lot throughout the game, but when the "others" start to appear and disappear out of thin air, there's no, "Oh wow" or "That was weird." Nothing. Finally, the reveal of the story was a bit "hit you over the head" with its message and has a kind of idealistic view of the world. Not something I really want to get after playing a game to forget the outside world for a while.

by Scott Henderson, USA - May 26th 2015
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Inbetween Land
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Average Adventure

The puzzles are designed to be fun to play rather than exceptionally difficult to solve. From this perspective, the game is an enjoyable way to kill a few hours. Storyline is rather linear and the plot is a really thin. Towards the end I didn't feel very involved, just solving various puzzles to get to the conclusion. For the price paid, it did not disappoint.

by Scott Henderson, USA - May 20th 2015
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Lilly Looking Through
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Only Part 1

Really enjoyed the game and discovering what I needed to do to move on to the next level. The hint system just shows you what can be clicked on at the moment, so not enough if you get really stuck. I was a little disappointed in the ending as one is left very up in the air (pun not intended) as to what is going to happen next. Knowing how much work is entailed for such a game, the $10 price tag is a bargain. This is an excellent point and click adventure game and I look forward to the sequel.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Dec 27th 2013
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XCOM: Enemy Unknown - Elite Edition
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Great!

All reports of this game being fun, addicting, involving and absorbing are true. I found the "Frequent/Intense Profanity or Crude Humor" description odd in the Information section as I did not experience any of that. I experienced a few glitches, but nothing worth avoiding buying the game: 1) in a few of the maps, the soldier's path was oddly circuitous (soldiers would run around a wall rather than through an open door in the same wall, for example), 2) navigating to the proper level within the game could get a little tedious and 3) once the display started flashing green, red and white for no particular reason (rotating the camera seemed to solve the problem). Again, these minor flaws are by no reason a valid point for not purchasing such a wonderful game that will keep you hooked for days. I can hardly wait to play it again.

I am running the game on a 30" iMac circa 2011 with 10.8.4

by Scott Henderson, USA - Jun 15th 2013
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Batman: Arkham Asylum
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Good replay value

Definitely challenging at times, the game will keep you coming back for more. The mini challenges are fun to go back and play again after the main storyline is finished and also to help hone those fighting skills. I would agree that not being able to customize the controls is a flaw and while using just the keyboard and mouse is possible, game play would be much improved with (and is designed for) a controller. A minor complaint is the lack of a jump function. Batman will jump when necessary, but not always when one expects or desired. Getting over obstacles can be frustrating at times.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Oct 1st 2012
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Deus Ex: Human Revolution - Ultimate Edition
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Involving game

Fun game and well worth the price. Given it's length I'm not sure I'd play it again soon, but can see how different choices would lead to very different game play. Ultimately the choices at the end would still be the same though. A little disappointed that there wasn't an option for dialog in the PG range. Hearing the F word repeatedly in a game is just not something I'm used to. Also not sure what the anti-Mormon rhetoric on the radio was about, but could have done without that too.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Oct 1st 2012
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Tomb Raider: Underworld
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Worth the price

This game should be subtitled "Kill Laura Croft" because you'll do quite a bit of that before the game is finished. The game can get frustrating at times in recognizing which ledges Laura will run off and then hold onto and those she won't (usually resulting in her falling to her death). There is one point in the game where employing the hand over hand technique requires use of the Interact key ('E') for speed, something not documented anywhere and only found by reading a walkthrough. Again, my Laura suffered quite a few deaths before I gave in to getting help. I am running an iMac with a 2.93 GHz i7, 4G RAM and ATI Radeon 5750 with 1G. The only glitch I had is the same one I've experienced with all the Tomb Raider games which is one of the camera getting positioned in an area that doesn't allow a clear view of the playing area. I wish there was a way to pause the game, detach the camera and then move it around. Still, it is a rich adventure and well worth the $25 price.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Jul 8th 2012
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Kivi's Underworld
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Highly Addictive

I enjoyed this game quite a bit. Only downsides are 1) power ups cannot be viewed as to what they do until you pick them up and 2) end game was non-existent. Power ups are limited to 3, but you don't know if you should dump one for another until after you've played a few levels. Also, after completing the last scenario I was expecting *something* to happen. The game just let me replay the last level again.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Jan 31st 2009
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World Mosaics
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Highly Addictive

Game play is somewhat like minesweeper only the numbers are given outside the grid, not inside. The game is also much more fun to play. Most puzzles can be figured out by logic alone although at the higher levels the hints and some guesswork are necessary. This is a challenging game without being frustrating.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Nov 24th 2008
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Dodge That Anvil
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Good for version 1.0

Game play is a bit inconsistent. No support for 2nd mouse button. Cannot keep on screen character still with mouse. Once character starts to "pick crop", cannot stop action to avoid being knocked out.

by Scott Henderson, USA - Apr 30th 2008
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