Tag Archives: Point and Click

‘Hector Badge of Courage: Episode 1’ Coming to Mac and iPad (and PC) April 27th

For those who have been waiting for the release of Hector Episode 1 on the iPad, good news: you only have to wait a little bit longer.

Telltale Games has announced that Hector Badge of Courage will be released on the iPad on April 27th along with being released on both the PC and Mac.  And as an added bonus, Puzzle Agent will be given away for free to all preordering people who order Hector for either Mac or PC.  While a price point for the iPad version has not been announced, the PC and Mac versions are up for pre-order for $9.99.

Hector Badge of Courage was listed as one of the best adventure games during the App Store’s 2nd anniversary when we counted down the best games in the App Store, and while it is a bit “old” now, it’s still worth a look into.  Catch it in the App Store on April 27th, and we’ll be posting any other available news.

 

‘Hector Badge of Courage’ Episodes 2 and 3 Releasing Later this Year

We loved Hector Badge of Courage Episode 1 and named it one of the best games within the two years of the App Store’s existence.  Since then, we haven’t heard much about Hector and his whereabouts; what the company was going to do next with Hector.

Fortunately, we were eventually told that Hector Episode 2 and 3 will be published by Telltale Games, one of the larger game publishers of point-and-click adventure games.  They’re best known for publishing Back to the Future HD, Monkey Island Tales HD, Puzzle Agent, and Sam & Max Episode 1 for the iPad and iPhone.

The dispersement of Hector across multiple platforms will be starting “Spring 2011”, with Hector Badge of Courage Episodes 2 and 3 being released later this year.  We really don’t have more information than that, but it sounds like Hector will be an iPad exclusive.

We’ll be posting more information as they become available.

Scarlett and the Spark of Life Review: Graphically and Lyrically Great

A Princess in distress. The stereotypical story line would call for the handsome Prince to valiantly come along and sweep her off to safety. But such is not the case for Princess Scarlett in Scarlett and the Spark of Life: Scarlett Adventures Episode 1 by Launching Pad Games. Instead, the feisty Scarlett takes matters into her own hands to escape, motivated by what we learn is to save her sister. What follows is an adventure that will entertain as well as puzzle you. In a unique blend of Point and Click adventure meets Choose your Ending storybook, Scarlett and the Spark of Life has a great story, eye popping graphics and an easy to use interface.

Likes:

Storyline: The writing is witty and quirky, both leading to a pleasurable experience. The unique adventure and the cast of characters met along the way are entertaining and the story that unravels will elicit several laughs. Stereotypes thrown out the window, Scarlett doesn’t need a Prince to save her, she will construct her own talking horse to aid in her escape. The story is so good that it kept me playing just to figure out how Scarlett solve her predicament.

Graphics: The style chosen is wonderful and bright, with beautiful colors that add to the atmosphere. Clever scenes of a quaint village make the game smoother and actually make up for some of the game’s shortcomings. Combine the graphics with the story and it was a well planned comic book that was delightful and amusing.

Dislikes:

Dialogue: Despite the excellent story, the game has much more reading than would be expected in a point and click adventure. Even if this game was designed to be a choose your own ending story, the dialogue loops prevent that. The game leads you to the right choices no matter what you do. Choosing the improper dialogue responses merely end up artificially lengthening the game than anything else. The story is pleasant enough to read through but this excess of dialogue gives the game a bit of an identity crisis. Is it a point and click with too much dialogue or a choose your own adventure story with some puzzles mixed in?

Interface: While the point and click interface is spot on and done extremely well and accurately, the hint system makes the game a bit too easy. For each scene that you enter, the hint system lights up every spot on that screen that has possible interaction. While you still need to figure out what to do with the items you find, this makes the game a little too easy.

Puzzles: Well, there weren’t enough of them and they were not hard enough for the seasoned point and click adventure player. With the hint system and the game pretty much guiding you by the hand scene by scene, the puzzles were too obvious. If you missed some key item along the way, the game would not progress until you went back and found it. There were moments of greatness though as one or two puzzles really were fun to solve, but ultimately this is a great game for a beginner to get a feel for the genre.

Overall, while enjoyable, the game had a few shortcomings that made it confusing to not only classify but to hold my attention. As clever as the story is, it is almost too clever and drawn out. Even though the story that comes out of even incorrect responses is fun to read, it would have been preferable for the choices that you made to affect the outcome of the game. Perhaps if you take too long the kidnappers catch up to the Princess. Perhaps good old Gherkin never sees the light of day if you can’t figure a way to repair him.

Scarlett and the Spark of Life: Scarlett Adventures Episode 1 by Launching Pad Games is a great start for what could ultimately be a classic Adventure series if it can find its true identity and work within that framework. The point and click adventures that have too much dialogue do not appeal much to me, as I like to play my games and not read them; but I really did enjoy the story of Scarlett. If the next episode has more puzzles and less dialogue that would be a huge step in the right direction. In the end, Scarlett does ride off into the sunset; not with a Knight, but with a mechanical horse. Those kinds of witty scenes and excellent writing do give me hope for what the future might hold for the series.

Scarlett and the Spark of Life: Scarlett Adventures Episode 1 by Launching Pad Games was reviewed on both a 2g iPod Touch and a 4g iPod Touch, both with iOS 4.1. It is available now for $2.99.

‘Monkey Island 2: Le Chuck’s Revenge’ Out now for iPhone and iPad

Monkey Island, the first one, was probably one of the best re-imagined retro games for the iPhone, also making it as one of the best point-and-click adventure games on the platform.  I had an enjoyable time with the first version, and while I’m not too keen with point-and-click adventure games, Monkey Island drew me in like no other.

Fortunately, LucasArts has decided to release the second Monkey Island, named Le Chuck’s Revenge to both the iPhone and iPad (separate versions, separate costs).  It brings all the “special” it brought to the first game in the series, with the ability to switch between classic and enhanced graphics, redone musical score, voiceovers, and a hint system.

If you were a fan of the first game, this seems to be a no-brainer.  Hopefully I’ll be able to get my hands on this title before the night wanes into dawn.

Monkey Island 2 SE: Le Chuck’s Revenge is available on the iPhone for $7.99 and the iPad for $9.99.

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1112 Episode 2 Review: Where in the world is Louis Everett?

When Agharta Studios first released 1112 Episode 1, they had the distinct honor of developing the first point and click adventure game exclusively for the iPod Touch and the iPhone. After much time, the much anticipated sequel, 1112 Episode 2, finally has been released into the App Store. While Episode 1 could get away with some flaws because it was a groundbreaking original title for this platform, the bar of the genre was raised in the interim for Episode 2.

In 1112 Episode 2 you play again as Louis Everett and pick up where you left off in Episode 1. Didn’t play Episode 1 yet? Quite alright since there is a synopsis available for you watch in the “Extras” section.  Mr Everett finds himself again in strange circumstances. He is now in a hotel with weird dreams and strange surroundings. Noises and voices come from the room next door. Strange encounters with a crazy guest of the mysterious hotel he finds himself in, and attempts at matchmaking between the maid and the hot dog stand owner are fun to accomplish. But in order to return to his quiet idyllic life in New Jersey he must first come to discover where exactly he is and how it came to be that he arrived there.

Most fans of the point and click adventure genre will enjoy 1112 Episode 2. It seems that you can interact with your entire environment. There are options for just about every object, from the normal to the unusual. Just wait to see Mr Everett’s reaction when you try to torch or destroy ordinary objects. There are segments where you can even choose to polish the floor tiles. The best method of attack however is to try to interact with everything you see and hoard as many objects as the game allows because at some point, maybe not immediately, they will be needed.

Likes:

Artwork: I am a big fan of the comic book styling. The graphics are top notch and remain clear whether filling the screen or zoomed in tight.

Interaction with objects: The interaction with your environment controls have been improved and it is much easier to make a choice now what to do with the objects your find.

Inventory: Drawn as a control panel of sorts, choosing objects to use on others is quite intuitive now. If you choose the wrong item to use, Mr Everett will always respond with a witty retort. Though in dire circumstances, his demeanor can be quite witty, if only in the driest of manners. From this inventory screen you also have access to the save screen, a character information screen and other cool add ons.

Dislikes:

Touch controls: Some of the touch controls needed to complete a puzzle are atrocious. The multi-touch on some puzzle is sometimes non-responsive at best. It takes some lucky swipes to combine items at times. The developer has admitted that depending on the size of your fingers you may or may not have trouble with some of the touch puzzles.

By far the worst of the touch controls however occurs when unscrewing screws in a panel and then again in a crate. The touch needs to be so precise and at a certain pace that failing that, the screws tighten again. I am fine with making it challenging but the magically re-tightening of the screws needs to be addressed. I was actually working up a sweat by the time it came to the last screw. This is not only unrealistic but unnecessary.

Variety of puzzles: While some of the combinations of items is quite ingenious leading to some great brain teasers, it seems the developer either ran out of ideas for some new puzzles or attempted to artificially elongate the game in response to complaints that the first in the series was too short by adding a series of Sudoku puzzles in the mix. While that would not be so bad as perhaps one distraction, there are three of them in succession that increase in difficulty. For someone like me who has played Sudoku it is no problem, but for the rookie Sudoku fan this could be a game staller. No tutorial, no rules of Sudoku, no explanation at all has left some players scrambling for Sudoku solving websites in order to continue on with the game. Some hints system, or some ability to skip the puzzle if absolutely necessary should be included as an option. Players should not be penalized if they have not played a Sudoku puzzle before, and with no instruction this is asking the impossible from some.

Collection of items: Collecting items for use either immediately or later in the game sometimes borders on a tap fest. I found myself tapping on every bit of the game to find the “take” command just in case I needed that item later. It is also safer to take an item that is available to bring along because in some instances if you miss an item early in the game it disappears later in the game when you might need it. This has resulted in some players not being able to progress in the game, a serious bug that needs to be addressed.

Overall, the artwork is stunning and it is definitely enjoyable to watch and follow the story. I found myself quite engaged in the fate of Louis Everett. Though not as blatant as Episode 1, there are still some spelling errors found in Episode 2. Most resulted in a chuckle from me, but a bit more polish to eliminate those errors in an update would be in order. Of course I was disappointed that the ending left you hanging – so I hope that Episode 3 comes along quickly.

Hardcore point and click adventure lovers will love this game, but with some of the difficulties in the touch controls and inability to backtrack to gather missed items, new point and click adventurers should not choose this as their first attempt at the genre. Those that do not like Sudoku should also give a second thought at how willing they will be to solve three Sudoku puzzles to progress in the story.  With those caveats, I do think that 1112 Episode 2 by Agharta Studios is at least worth a look.

1112 Episode 2 by Agartha Studios version 1.0 was reviewed on an iPod Touch with 3.x OS and is available now for $4.99 in the App Store.