Majestic & Involving
BASED ON DEMO
Although not the best graphics I’ve seen lately technically, the intro to this game is superb. The time period is 1920s or 30s, or whenever art deco was the rage, and is very well depicted. The story is set in a fantasy world in which a company offers the rich and famous the ultimate luxury, to be able to step into their dreams.
You receive an invite to their underwater dream theatre, with the implication that you will finally meet the mother who left you at the orphanage 25 years earlier. There appear to be mysteries within mysteries in this one, and at this early stage there is a sense of ominous possibilities that should have been out of place in a pleasure dome – but it is not.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
As above, the graphics won’t wow you, but there are a lot of well done cut scenes, all excellent and interesting, and there’s a backstory, told with old fashioned movie reels, that is also fun. Other information is sometimes received in diorama form. Objects in the HOPs are clear and colour is good. Plenty of light . The sound tracks are also very well suited to the period – dramatically so. I am not a fan of the art deco era, and I am pretty much over the number of games set in this time, but I believe this is perhaps the most faithfully enshrined. Even the narrative voiceovers match the times.
There is an emphasis on HOPs, and they come in 3 types – interactive list, misplaced items and progressive silhouettes. They are not difficult, but the interactive lists are far more interactive than most. Over half the items are originally unavailable, and sometimes the number of steps required to find it is quite a lot. At least, early on. Later HOPs are more standard. Puzzles are colourful and interesting, and relatively easy – so far.
The adventure action is fairly easy too, aided by an interactive jump map and a directional hint. I think a notebook would have been helpful – but it is not quite essential ...
There are a few cute critters around, but they help and leave. Except our pet bot , Atom, who is our personal security system, although what that entails is not immediately obvious. Apparently, we can upgrade our bot so that he can help us in other ways. At the point where the demo finished, I was trying to find and rescue 5 kittens, for what purpose I know not, other than to stop them crying (the plaintive sound of a distressed kitten is almost too much for this crazy cat lady to bear).
We have peaked into 2 of the 5 dream worlds indicated, so I hope there is more to do in them, or the game won’t have much depth to it. I was a little disappointed that there has been no underwater scenes so far, but the point at which we were left at the demo end makes it a guaranteed cert there’ll be at least one!
There are 16 collectible roses, which aren’t very well integrated into the game, are about all there is outside the usual gallery items (includes wallpaper, concept art, sketches and movies but not music). There is also a collection of character profiles.
While I was totally absorbed by this game and enjoyed every minute of my hour, the CE extras did not impress me at all, so I will wait for the SE.I Recommend This Game!
Note: Not received well in Big Fish forums - for what that's worth