Excellent HOG With Old-Fashioned Style!****
BASED ON COMPLETED GAME
Don’t like pure HOGs. Can’t stand romances. Never glad to see photo-realistic graphics. Yet I love this superficially simple little game. Old fashioned graphics, no voiceover, no fancy cinematic cut scenes. Yup, they are all there, the signs of a low budget game. But it is actually an excellent game, capable of producing hours of absorbing and involving fun.
Provided you recognise it for what it is. A really well produced and intelligently designed HOG. It has puzzles, and you will still need some adventuring skills, but the fun lies in how those things are woven into a simple HOG game.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
Although the graphics are not widescreen, they are very impressive. Good colour, clear images, nice detail work. Just beautiful to look at. The sounds are also superior to many games. Excellent ambient sounds, and relaxing not too repetitive music, with a light touch of romance without going schmaltzy.
The story is pleasant and quite interesting, even though it is not the major focus of the game. A deserted bride brings a curse down on a town, which then sees no marriages or wedded bliss for 20 years. You, matchmaker extraordinaire recently retired from your previous Matchmaker game, decide the town needs your kind of help.
But there is much to be done apart from matchmaking, and more to the story than a simple loss of romance. You must solve the mystery of the “Curse of the Deserted Bride”, and free the town from its loneliness. So you must juggle clients, social engagements, interviews with people who may offer you clues, and searching for the dolls that are linked to the curse.
This is the fun part of the game. There is no one type of game dominating here. There are HOPs of course, interactive lists that are interesting in themselves, with many zoom in spots, and locked compartments, and they involve a large variety of mini-puzzles within and without.
But there are also many other visual puzzles to solve! Including: spot the difference, jigsaws, rebuilding or repairing from a diagram, completing a list of actions that require you finding and using things in the location.
The adventure gameplay is relatively easy, our work is nominal at most, and there are hints (that are hints) from a little cupid fellow who looks just perfect. There are also 13 dolls to be collected as part of the resolution of the curse. These are nasty things that clash with the overwhelmingly pleasant atmosphere of the game, but I love them for that and their eerily imaginative conception.
There’s a map which shows us where we found the dolls, a journal that keeps the history up-to-date, and objectives list that is where we find the next scene to play. I really like this method of introducing the next HOP locations. Just a bit different, whilst logical and easy.
And wrapped around this structure is your choosing of suitable matches, based on items found in their personal spaces. Assessing their compatibility, setting up a date for the couple and so forth, all tied neatly up in a bow. Love it.
I managed to lose track of time during the demo on this, which I tried just today. Had to have it immediately to continue. Playing the full game only confirms my initial impressions. This is a fine game. The making of it must have been a work of love. Different, and thoroughly enjoyable.
I recommend this game!