Authentic Sequel, Pure MCF
BASED ON DEMO
I know everyone has been waiting breathlessly to see if the new developers of this game (Elephant) could possibly bring us a game that is all that the MCF series (you could almost call it a tradition) means to the fans. Especially seeing Elephant are not known for making games with a high level of creepy, or difficulty.
In order to prepare myself for this game, I have just finished attempting
to play the original MCF: Madam Fate, of which this is the sequel. The similarities are amazing. The result is a game with the degree of more difficult gameplay, creepy atmosphere and solid story of the original game, joined with the exceptional graphics, ‘spectacular’ effects, and the bling! of an Elephant game.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
Very high standard, as you’d expect. The graphics are dark, but richly colour drenched and clear. Lots of purple, flashing lights and animated fluff to liven up the scenes. Characters from Madam Fate are so close to their earlier pictures, it is as if the same artist has done them. The sounds of the carnival are creepy, there’s not a lot of voiceover, but it is as excellent as last time around. Music in tune with the theme and some of it is lifted directly from the earlier game. There are also a lot of pauses in the music where you only have carnival sounds around you. Tense.
Well, we’re back at the end of the game Madame Fate, with a small difference, Madame Fate is back from the dead and in need of our help. As yet it is not clear what that entails, but it is to do with lifting a curse. I felt the backstory of the game was lacking. I haven’t completed Madam Fate yet, and I felt a little lost. Much worse if you’ve not played Madam at all.
Classic MCF gameplay. Trickier than usual puzzles, and puzzle boards. The puzzles are remarkable in themselves, mostly original, but in keeping with the carnival (and MCF) theme, and requiring a good bit of brain strain. Puzzle boards are a real problem for me, I’m hopeless at them, but I don’t want to skip them all either. So the good news is there are puzzle hints available on the board! Excellent!
Two of my favourite puzzles from the earlier game I have not yet seen here – word puzzles, and finding multiples of a single item or two on a pic of one of the characters. These are always fun. The only HOPs are few and far between, and are very interactive, with complex actions required to get the item. Some of the items are moving and must be caught when they’re visible.
There are oodles of collectibles, achievements, and extra gameplay. Some of these I think may not be CE exclusives.
*Standard Features: Gallery items, bonus chapter, in-game Strategy Guide
*Morphing Cards (in the HOPs), which allow you to play in-game solitaire
*Old Pounds (banknotes, used with Isis)
*Bobble-head figures (12)
*Doomed (a page with the info cards of each of the characters)
*Achievements (beautiful fans for trophies)
*Solitaire (can be played any time inside the game). Others have wondered what the point is, but I like this feature – I find mega-games like this one tiring, and would enjoy a little break from the brain strain without leaving the game
*Mutoscope, which is a strange recording device you use in the game to see backstory, and can replay in the Extras
*Isis – your cat assistant. You can buy stuff for her with the collectible “old pounds”
*Spirits Of Blackpool preview – a Play 4 Free by the looks of it
*Secret Room – which will probably be like others Elephant have done and... SPOILER! Be the equivalent of a Reader’s Digest of the game, using all the puzzles, but in a supplementary story that is skeletal.
I (unlike every other fish in the oceans) am not a big fan of the MCF games, but love Elephant games. So I was intrigued to see how the combination would appeal to me. I think it is an excellent meshing of two styles into an overall exceptional game. Whether I’ll be able to work out enough of the puzzles to complete it is another question altogether!I Recommend This Game!