(Adventure-lite w/some HOS)
Options include separate sliders for Music, Sound Effects, Environment, and Voice, plus Full Screen (Windowed), Wide Monitor, and Custom Cursor. Having Wide Monitor selected will give you an almost
full screen image -- there's a small black border on all four sides -- BUT if you unselect it the game stretches beautifully to fill the whole screen.
We have three modes to choose from upon starting the game: Casual, Normal, and Expert. As usual I went with middle-of-the-road with Normal.
I remember that when this game first came out, I saw people talking about just sitting and watching the menu screen to see the beautiful river and waterfalls. Now I see why! Breathtaking, and that's just the menu page!
Our task bar is locked in the open position by default, but we can make it retractable by hitting the lock at the left side of the bar.Just a note that most of the CE content is accessible without completing the game.
Once we enter Nearwood, you'll see that there are some little creatures that look like tribbles with eyes and long ears; the Snoop-sees. There will be a "few" of them on every scene (I only saw two on most scenes,) and for every three you find, you'll unlock a new snippet of story in the Encyclopedia located at the bottom right of your task bar. Your cursor will NOT change when you're hovering over a Snoop-see.
HINTS -- assuming that you're not on Expert Mode -- are refillable, and using one during the adventure portion of the game will give you a directional arrow without discharging your hint.
There are no instructions on the mini-games unless you want them -- just click on the question mark in the lower left corner if you need them.
We have a jump-to MAP, but it takes a while for the teleport amulet to "cool down" before you can jump again. The map shows areas of interest (though that doesn't mean there's an action that you can currently
take,) as well as your current position.
We have a variety of HOS-types, including find x-number of items, silhouette, and drag-and-drop, but NO find-by-list. The game plays more like an adventure-lite than an IHOG.
There is NO rapid-misclick penalty in Normal or Casual mode -- not sure about Expert mode.CE Content
- Integrated Strategy Guide (stays open to where you left it, does NOT show locations of Snoop-sees)
- Bonus Chapter
- 11 Music Tracks (downloadable)
- 9 Concept -- Click on the A button beneath to see the finalized picture(s)
- 8 Wallpapers with two resolutions to choose from
- Collectible "Snooop-sees"
The Strategy Guide stays open to where you left it, but it does NOT tell you the location of the Snoop-sees
I have read that there are 90 Snoop-sees in the main game, but I'm not sure how many there are total -- I found 107. Finding these creatures unlock "Snoopedia" pages, which is a cute extra that tells you all about the Snoop-sees and their accomplishments.Bonus Chapter
This takes place a few years after the main game ends, and there are 11 all-new locations. Although short (and with more HOS) I still enjoyed the bonus.
So do the extras make this game "CE-worthy"? That's really up to you to decide! I enjoyed looking for the Snoop-sees, almost as much as looking for the beholders in Dreamscapes
) Speaking of Dreamscapes
, that would be the best game to compare Nearwood
to. The gameplay and overall feeling are very similar, although I think that Dreamscapes
was darker in theme.
This is a game that I would consider light and bright, and I absolutely enjoyed every minute of it! Everything was beautifully done, from the gorgeous graphics to the lovely music to the interesting gameplay to the great voiceovers and colorful characters. I found the game to be delightful