Cursed Fates: The Headless Horseman CE
Just a warning for those who don't like any type of animal abuse in their games: We do use a slingshot to scare something off during gameplay, and we have to destroy some bugs, as well.
We have to catch a bat, then use its wings in a recipe :(
This kind of thing repeats throughout the game, but the part in the spoiler tag was the hardest for me to deal with.WARNING
for the arachnophobes: One huge spider that we must deal with, but luckily, we don't have to see it for all that long.
Options include separate sliders for music and sound, plus full screen and custom cursor. The game automatically adjusted for my widescreen, and looks great that way (no black bars.)
There are two modes to choose from when you enter the game: Easy and Difficult. No sparkles in difficult mode, so that's what I went with~ Hidden object scenes are indicated, and mini-games are, as well.
The first intro (upon starting up the game) was very good, but I wish they had used a different narrator -- the subject matter really deserves a dark and eerie voice, not just dramatic. My opinion, of course, but I'd have loved to hear a voice like the narrator from Deadtime Stories
The rest of the voices seemed to be very appropriate for their characters, and mostly well done. The music is understated, setting the tone without being annoying or repetitive.
The story is very dark, very disturbing, and yet not really all that scary. There is implied violence, but no blood or gore.
There is a drop-down box located at the top of the screen, where you can access your trophy room. Trophies need to be purchased, and your currency is golden horseshoes
. These can be found on just about every screen, including HOS, so keep an eye out! In this trophy room we also have a display case for any achievements that we earn, with 20 possible.
There are five chapters, or six if you have the Collector's Edition, and once you finish a chapter, you cannot return to most of those locations, so be sure to find those horseshoes as soon as you enter a scene (assuming that you're interested in collecting them
) The first chapter seemed very short to me, but don't let that throw you off -- this is a very long game!
Something I REALLY appreciate, artistically, is that there is a real feeling of time passing as you play. When you enter a scene for the first time, it may be daylight, the next time stormy, then when you go back it may be nighttime. VERY cool! Of note is that each time there is a transition in time, you may find new items at the locations, so keep that in mind!
Using a HINT during the adventure portion of the game will give you a directional arrow without discharging your hint.
There is no MAP, but as mentioned, when you finish a chapter, most of those locations will become inaccessible, thus lessening the likelihood of getting lost. Something I really like about the to-ing and fro-ing in the game is that the devs give us good reasons for retracing our steps. "Oh, I found x-item, I need this two screens back!" and when you get there, you realize that there's a HOS to do.
Hidden object scenes vary from find-by-picture to list, with the list-HO's being lightly interactive. Items marked in yellow need some kind of action before they can be found. There is a rapid-misclick penalty, and hints refill at different speeds depending on which mode of play you've chosen. The last item you find is the one that will go into your inventory. These screens repeat, but usually are a different type each time (picture or list.) Just a note that each time you replay a HOS, there will be a horseshoe in a new place on the screen!
The HOS, and indeed the game itself, start out being pretty easy, but get more challenging as you progress.
The journal has two tabs: One for clues, and one for notes that we find. The clues tab shows us things that we didn't actually DO, such as finding something in a pocket.
I wouldn't have known about it if the journal hadn't popped up! Maybe I just missed it! I didn't notice this happening later in the game. We have extra story in two places: The journal, of course, and the main menu screen!
New things will pop up on the menu screen as you progress in the game, and mousing-over these items will give you extra information.
We can combine things in our inventory to get useful items. For instance, we have two pieces of something in our inventory, and when we drag one item and drop it on top of the other piece, the item becomes whole.
The mini-games are varied, and no instructions are given unless you want them -- just click on the ? in the top left corner of the screen if you need them.Collector's Edition Content:
- Integrated strategy guide
- Bonus chapter
- 10 Screen savers
- 10 Wallpapers that are not just in-game screens
- 7 Music tracks that you can listen to only -- no save function on these :(
- Collectible - 73 Golden Horseshoes and use them to buy trophies for your trophy room
All extra content is accessible at any time, save the bonus chapter, which will be unlocked when you finish the main game.
The strategy guide stays open to whatever page you were on last, and has a separate chapter to show the location of the horseshoes. This is VERY useful, as some of those horseshoes are really well hidden... and sometimes (though not often) there's more than one on a screen!Bonus chapter
The main game ends abruptly, but the bonus chapter is not needed to have a satisfactory ending. What it does give us is final closure on
The Headless Horseman, himself.
The bonus chapter seemed pretty short to me, but my gameplay got interrupted at least four times, so that may have affected my awareness of the time.
I'd like to point out the amazing time progression -- I am just SO impressed by how they handled this, and with the effort they put into the changing graphics. SO impressed!
Overall, this is an offering more aimed at the more experienced game players, with a more mature storyline, and more complex gameplay... although my perception of this may be skewed by the fact that I was playing on Difficult mode
Despite having more HOS than I generally like, I definitely recommend giving this game a try.