Review by Cordia, Nov. 14, 2010:
This awkwardly titled game comes from PlayFirst’s vault, developer of many popular games, such as the Wedding Dash series, the Dream Chronicles games, Alice’s Teacup Madness, Passport to Perfume, and The Fifth Gate. PlayFirst has a reputation for putting out games that are reliably of high quality. I’m surprised I have not reviewed more games by them, actually, but that will come with time.
Love and Death: Bitten is an Interactive Hidden Object game, bordering on Adventure-lite. It is another vampire story, if the title of the game did not tip you off straight away. There is a modicum of walking between areas, and I did use a walkthrough at one or two points, but it is not terribly difficult. I took 3-4 hours to finish the game, so it may feel a little short, but unless the length of a game is a deal-breaker, I would not factor that in.
The quality of this game is high. The artwork in the hidden object scenes are particularly beautiful. I may actually replay Love and Death: Bitten just to go through the scenes again. The game shifts the point of view of the player between the two main characters in the story, which does a very good job of adding depth to the game. I found the game play itself to be very well done and interesting, especially near the end.
The vampire theme may be a bit overdone these days, but this one still stands out to me as being better than the rest- in part, due to the ending. Not everyone liked the ending, but I found it to be refreshingly unusual, and I am anticipating the sequel eagerly. The voice acting probably could have been a bit better; one male voice in particular is a little bit over the top for me. I do like the main female’s voice, however. The story has some clever twists, even in this tired genre, and it clearly sets up a sequel.
The puzzles are quite varied and unique- I do not recall any of the very standard mini-games showing up anywhere, either. They help make the game more immersive, rather than seeming to be filler for the rest of the game. Some of the hidden object scenes have small tasks within them, like moving an object to the proper place instead of just finding it. The progression of the scenes is fairly logical and clear, and I only felt like I was wandering aimlessly the few times I checked the walkthrough.
I would recommend this game to any fans of Interactive Hidden Object games. I suspect the sequel to be one of the endless premium games, butas much as I did enjoy this one, I will be just fine waiting for the standard version to come out, unless there is something incredibly innovative in the next one, which I doubt.