Sep. 21st, 2015 12:53 pm
telophase: (Default)
I just read this article on creativity exercises that the Foursquare dev team does on Fridays, and this one seemed both entertaining and able to do online.

Murder Mystery!
Read more... )
telophase: (cat - Sora basking in the lamp's light)
I've just finished playing through part I of PassionFruit Games' Tiger Eye, based on the paranormal romance of the same title by Marjorie Liu. I shall avoid doing extra work by stealing [personal profile] rachelmanija's quick description of the plot and pasting it here:
Dela is a psychic who opens a magic box. Hari is the ancient shapeshifter who pops out of it after being imprisoned for thousands of years as the slave of the owner of the box. The novel avoids accidentally creepy power dynamics by having the characters realize how creepy and horrible Hari’s situation is, and do their best to free him. Sexy and sweet. (Her original post here)
The game is, as they say, for the casual gamer, which is pretty much the sort of person who sticks to Bejeweled and other Popcap-type games, and who likes solving puzzles, albeit not fiendishly difficult ones.

The gameplay works pretty much like this: you get a cut scene that advances the plot a little, then the screen shows a location, which is seeded with one or more puzzles to solve - find the hidden objects, or click on an object and solve a puzzle associated with it. Once you've solved the puzzles, the plot advances a bit and you get another cut scene. Sometimes there are little purple question marks floating in a scene - you got a bit of bonus dialogue if you click on one of those. Puzzles range from cryptograms to rearranging blocks to form a picture to matching words up. They're not significantly hard - none of the fiendish puzzles from the Professor Layton games here - and there are hints available and you can skip puzzles if you give up and just want to get on with the story.

And much like Professor Layton, you get the niggling feeling that this city is full of completely incompetent people who need the heroine to solve all their problems for them before they can do anything, but I suspect that's pretty much the nature of games that try to integrate puzzles into the plot. :)

You also fill up a "psi orb" throughout the game, which allows you click on it and reveal a hidden object if you can't find it. If you manage to let it accumulate 50 hints, it unlocks the Extras area in the Main Menu, which gives you (highlight to read if you can't stand not knowing) a paper-doll Hari you can clothe in various outfits, and access to some preliminary art from the design stage.

You can also purchase a deluxe version with a strategy guide - it's not a complete walkthrough, but gives you hints and short descriptions of cut scenes - and the soundtrack. I went ahead and got that version, betting that I'd probably like the music, and I do - I'm not going around humming it, by any means, but I'll drop it onto my iPhone and use it when I need background noise.

The art ... well, it's adequate. But I'm kind of a snob about art, as you know. :) The plot follows the plot of the novel, and if you're interested in the romance, I'd suggest you read the book first, because you don't get to spend much time in the heads of the characters in the game, so you're not as invested in them. At least, I assume you're more invested in them in the book; I haven't read it. :)

So: if you like easy to middling-hard puzzles, recommended. I'll go ahead and get part II when it comes out because I like these sorts of puzzles. I like Professor Layton puzzles too, at least when I'm not screaming at the DS, trying not to throw it against the wall, and stalking over to the computer to Gamefaqs it. I ran into a few puzzles in Tiger Eye where I resorted to a hint, but I never felt hugely frustrated.

Stick with it after the credits roll; there's a little cut scene after that.

Rated PG-13 for minor violence, light innuendo, and cartoon manbutt.

ETA: What I completely forgot to mention is that about 4/5 of the way through, I hit something that caused the main screen to freeze up right after I completed a game. I reported this to the company, who responded very quickly, and had me e-mail my saved game file to them so they could investigate. Turns out it was a bug, which I was the first to report (although he said another report came in 30 minutes after mine did!), and they've fixed it and it will be in the patch they release in a couple of months. He also re-set my saved game to the proper point and sent it back, and I was able to continue without incident from there on out. So I recommend the company because of the extremely quick responsiveness and how nice they were! My judge of the worth of a company isn't whether or not I encounter any problems, it's how they respond to it, and they pass with flying colors.

I don't know the details of the bug, but I assume that if it hit *everyone* they'd have learned of it prior to now, so I suggest going ahead and buying the game now if you think you'd like it, and just contacting them if you run into it.

ETA2: Oh, well, in case you want to know, it's available from the site linked above in download form only, for $6.99 for the most inexpensive version with no extras, up to $12.99 for the version with the strategy guide, wallpapers, and soundtrack. Currently PC only, although they're coming out with a Mac version later this month. You can download a free demo and play a bit of the beginning of the game, if you want to try before you buy.
telophase: (Koumyou - hee)
...discovered last night as I was watching [livejournal.com profile] myrialux play Assassin's Creed II: if, while Ezio is holding a box, you move him side to side rapidly, it looks just like he's doing a dorky little dance.
telophase: (Mello - megalomania)
I have just created Mellotropolis in the country of Nepal. If you click on the link, the city will get improvements. :)
telophase: (Mello - crazy face // avataresque)
(Will be posted over on Tpop site once their servers stop acting up, hence the first paragraph, since I know most of you know that lived in Africa.)

Many of you on this site don't know that I lived in Tanzania as a kid. My dad was a grad student in wildlife science, and so he moved us to the Serengeti National Park for two years while he did field biology there and gathered data for his dissertation.

What this has to do with a video game is that having lived in East Africa, where there are real hippos and real hippo pools, and knowing a lot about hippos, means that I know they are dangerous creatures. Way cool, nifty to see ... but you do not mess with hippos. Hippos kill more people than lions in East Africa. Our favorite hippo-pool had a cliff over it, where we'd drive the Land Rover and park to watch the hippos. Since it was up on a cliff, the hippos couldn't get out of the pool, go all the way around the edges of the pool, and climb up the road to the top without us seeing them, so it was reasonably safe. As safe as you get in the bush. We knew better than to get out of the car on the other side of the pool, though, because hippos are deceptively fast.

So the bit in the Kindom Hearts I game where you actually swim through hippo pools? Scares the bejeezus out of me, every time. It doesn't matter that it's animated and the hippos are big pink balloons that bob up and down that you can jump on. There's just something in the back of my brain that says: hippo pools=bad mojo.

(...and since I'm still in the middle of the game, no spoilers please. :D I've hit the big cut scene after the boss fight in the jungle and after you go behind the waterfall, but I haven't gone any further.)

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