A Vampyre Story
Options include separate sliders for Music, Effects, Voice, and Anti-aliasing, plus subtitles and high-quality lighting. It automatically adjusted for my widescreen, and looks great that way.
- Esc. takes you to the main menu, where you can save or load your game, adjust your settings, or exit the game.
- Left-click anywhere on the screen to move to that spot, and to bring up an options bubble, click and hold until the options pop up. Options are: Examine object, use/pick up, talk, and fly.
- Right-click to access your inventory. To combine objects in your inventory, simply left-click once on each object. To use an item on your surroundings, left-click on item, then move the cursor to the edge of the screen, which will close your inventory.
- Right-clicking on an exit will also allow you to jump directly to a different scene without having to wait.
- Holding down the Space Bar will make Mona walk faster, and tapping it will allow you to skip dialogue and cutscenes, if you wish.
- Press the Tab Key will show you all of the hot spots on the scene. Be sure to move to the edges of the scene to see everything.
The game starts out with a LONG intro. I'm talking about ten minutes long. OK, I looked it up on youtube, and it's only 8.14 minutes long, but I was close!
This isn't a bad thing, you understand, but if the idea of a lot of story doesn't appeal to you, then adventure games probably aren't for you
Right off the bat I knew what I was supposed to be doing, but no idea how I was supposed to do it. Was I supposed to wander around, or could what I needed to accomplish be done right where I already was? To be honest, if not for the fact that I OWN this game, I probably would have given up early on and not looked back. Since I DO own it, I didn't let my impatience get the best of me, and I'm SO glad I stuck with it!
In case you didn't read my quick-guide above, when you want to interact with something, you need to click and HOLD the mouse button for the options bubble to pop up. Don't let go until you choose how you want to interact! I had trouble remembering to keep the button depressed...
There is no HINT button, no MAP, no JOURNAL. You're on your own! The space bar and/or right-clicking on a directional arrow will be your besssst friend! Instant transfers to where you want to go are a wonderful thing! While watching Mona sashay across the screen is entertaining, you'll tire of it quickly, believe me! You will do quite a bit of back-and-forth whilst you play -- mostly to find things that you missed the first time around
Hitting the Tab key will show you all of the active areas on the screen, but I STILL missed things here and there, mostly because I simply did not expect something to be there!
There is a TON of talking in this game -- no black bar tips -- everything is remarked upon verbally by either our character, Mona, and/or by her helpful, wisecracking, bat-sidekick Froderick. You will spend a LOT of time listening to the characters, but you can speed them up a bit with the space bar. You might miss part of the conversation if you're too space bar-happy, but you CAN have them repeat what they said (most of the time.) While interacting with characters, you have multiple choices of things to say/ask. Anything you've already said gets grayed out to help you remember what's been talked about, but you CAN click on the grayed-out options to see/hear them again. You'll want to check out every option when talking to someone to be sure you don't miss something. There are hints scattered throughout conversations and item descriptions, but very few are blatant. You're going to have to THINK on this one!
You should, of course, pick up anything that can be picked up, but be aware that some items have descriptions and interactions simply to help set the scene and help immerse you in the game... and that some items that you THINK don't matter are actually important!
Something I really love about this game is the way the inventory is handled. Right-click to access your inventory, which pops up on the page in the form of a coffin
There you'll see anything you've picked up, as well as a picture of Froderick. Click once on any item in there to pick it up, then drag it to the edge of the screen to have the coffin disappear so you can use it on the screen -OR- drop it on another item in your inventory to combine them. Click and hold on item for the options bubble to pop up. Here's the part I really love: REALITY! Heavy and/or bulky items aren't going to be dragged around with us! When you try to pick it up, Mona will say something like, "This might come in handy, but I'm not carrying it around with me. I'll keep it in mind for later." The item then goes into your inventory, but is blued-out. When you get to a place where you need said item, select it and drop it where needed, and Mona will automatically go and grab it. You'll get to watch a short cutscene of her grabbing it, then coming back to the scene to use it. AWESOME!!
And don't forget that Froderick is an inventory item! Sometimes he'll need to be combined with an inventory item. When this happens, a picture of him with the item will show up in your inventory, ready to be used. Puzzle solutions can also show up in your inventory -- only once that I can think of did I need to write down the information I needed for a puzzle.
As for the puzzles, there aren't a lot of mini-games, per se -- the whole of the game is a puzzle to be solved. I was pleasantly surprised to find that almost everything we were required to do completely made sense! There was one sequence towards the end that had me stumped, and I was progressing, but not understanding WHY I was doing these things... and then it hit me! Wheeee, I love those A-HAH!
This game is a comedy-adventure, rife with humor every which way you go. During our group play, RenaissanceMom mentioned that the humor is a bit juvenile, and I have to agree, but it's still a hoot. It was the pop culture references that had me rolling. The devs poke fun at everything from music to Stephen King to snot to Edgar Allan Poe to Ozzy Osbourne (much funnier if you've heard Ozzy speak)! They even make anachronisms (items from the wrong time period) funny! I love the quirky art style, too.
Mona is naive, airheaded, and completely in denial about her situation, despite her ability to turn into a bat. Our helpful companion, Froderick, always has some kind of snarky remark on hand (so to speak
) and can be incredibly helpful. Every character seems to have a different kind of accent, and ALL are not only well done, but beautifully cast -- nice since there is soooo much talking in the game!
I did have a couple of technical problems with the game, but they didn't affect my enjoyment of the game all the much. First off, I was running the game on Windows 7. The transition cutscenes did not have any subtitles (so I had to turn the sound up, so as not to miss anything!) and these scenes wanted to repeat immediately. Luckily, I knew to hit the space bar to skip the second play-through of these scenes. I also had a problem with characters sometimes talking over each other towards the end of sentences, but I think that this may be a timing issue related to having the game available in multiple languages.
RM had a game-stopping glitch, so be sure to SAVE OFTEN
!!! -- always a good idea with adventure games. The glitch had to do with the fertilizer, and I will post the info here, so that you don't have the same problem:
Be sure to use Froderick (from your inventory) on the planter box to identify the bulbs BEFORE you use the fertilizer!!
This is not just a straightforward, quickie solution-type of game. As I mentioned, you will have to THINK. You'll get to a point where you know just what to do, and then... realize there are more layers to your task than you originally thought. Despite this, I didn't need the walkthrough all that much -- mostly because I missed seeing an exit or a hotspot
I found the game to be a lot of fun, and was sad when it ended! The game is described as having over 20 hours gameplay, and while I didn't get that much time from it, I'm sure I hit half that... but again, I did sometimes use the walkthrough
Now, it turns out that this is only chapter ONE of the game!
It ends at a satisfying place, and I was very happy to have played it. Even if chapter two never comes out (it's on hold,) I'm very happy that I played this game. You see news about A Vampyre Story: A Bat's Tale
HERE, and there was a failed Kickstarter Campaign for a prequel last year (just found that out today!) There is a newsletter you can sign up for if you'd like to keep in-the-know about A Vampyre Story: Year One
I absolutely had a ball with this game, and I will be playing it again one day. I REALLY hope to see more Vampyre games soon! In the meantime, I must get Ghost Pirates of Vooju Island
and play it, because it's the most recent game by these devs, and I need more!
Definitely recommended for lovers of comedy and adventure!