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    Love Alchemy: A Heart In Winter

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    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 54
    Location : Western Australia

    Love Alchemy: A Heart In Winter

    Post by JustTheFacts on Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:31 am

    Love Alchemy: A Heart In Winter
    by Ilving Studios and Alawar - December, 2013

    Available at:
    Alawar
    Big Fish
    iWin



    When a new romance blossoms, the door to mystery opens in Love Alchemy: A Heart In Winter. Follow a young woman as she's caught in the tightening web of intrigue surrounding her charming but mysterious lover. To do so, you'll have to search for hidden objects, solve puzzles, and win mini-games, even as the game romances you with its astonishing beauty. From opulent castle halls, to creepy dungeons, to exotic faraway lands, you'll want to stop and soak in the visual splendor. But you won't because each discovery will lure you closer to an ending you won't expect. If you enjoy adventures that hold your heart in their grip like a budding romance, then play Love Alchemy. As the door to mystery opens, you'll be helpless against it!

    • A magical love story
    • Amazing worlds inside paintings
    • A shocking alternate ending
    • Captivating characters
    • Challenging puzzles

    Click images to enlarge
    __

    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 54
    Location : Western Australia

    Re: Love Alchemy: A Heart In Winter

    Post by JustTheFacts on Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:33 am

    Developer: Ilving (correct spelling) Studios (& Alawar)

    Loved It At First Sight!
     

    Sunny Sunny SunnySunny Sunny

    BASED ON DEMO

    It’s a rare treat to get the chance to rave about a standalone standard edition game, but this one is wonderful! It looks good, sounds good, and has a pleasant easy flow of gameplay.

    Yes, in widescreen, the images are stretched (I prefer the black bars myself). Yes, there are plenty of HOPs, and the puzzles must have been very easy, because I can’t remember a single one! Yes, there is plenty of handholding (at least in the easiest of 2 game modes). And finally, yes, the story is simplistic. But it is all done so wonderfully well despite a tight budget, and it is just plain delightful relaxing fun.

    Now, for me, one of the all-time best HOPA game ideas is the “world in the painting”, which I guess gives this game a big head start with me. And the story, original only in the sense that it adds a different quirk to a familiar theme, is the “Bluebeard” story. "Don’t go wandering the castle while I’m gone, dear, or you might find the tormented souls for my previous 7 wives!" But it is such fun when combined with the “1000 door” concept of many worlds within the castle.

    And all that beautiful colour! The graphics are good quality and beautifully drawn, and show beautiful locations and characters. The cut scenes are wonderful! They put ‘creepy’ into a game that might otherwise have been too pretty to chill the bones.

    There are no  voiceovers, and to  begin with, there is too much info given too quickly to catch it all, but that settles down after the intro. The music is varied and relaxing for the most part, and there are lovely vignette sounds in each world.

    The gameplay is simple. You wander the empty castle finding strange locks and hidden doors, and stumble into HOPs where you can usually find what you need. There is a fair amount of travelling before you start to find the items needed to open all the rooms you uncover, so it is good that your map is a jump map.

    It doesn’t, however, tell you anything else other than your place within the castle. If you are in one of the other worlds, you will need to choose the portrait that takes you there. Hint is directional but limited. It takes a while to recharge.

    The HOPs are a standard non-interactive word list. Not at all difficult, the items are clearly shown, the graphics are bright and sharp, and it is not overly junked. You visit some of them twice, but with very long gaps between. There are some mistakes in translation, but not enough to cause a lot of frustration.

    There don’t seem to be many puzzles, but now I think about it I can remember one. An easy "follow the music" type. The notebook is helpful for interpreting the purely drawn instructions you sometimes get.

    I love this game. BECAUSE it is easy – on the brain and on the eye. I am having a hard time restraining myself to wait till next year to buy it.  HNY 

    AFTERTHOUGHT: No cute pets. And this game, too, is set around Xmas.

    I Recommend This Game!

    Sportygal2009

    Posts : 165
    Join date : 2013-09-03

    Re: Love Alchemy: A Heart In Winter

    Post by Sportygal2009 on Wed Jan 01, 2014 8:38 pm

    DELETED


    Last edited by Sportygal2009 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:39 am; edited 1 time in total

    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 54
    Location : Western Australia

    Re: Love Alchemy: A Heart In Winter

    Post by JustTheFacts on Wed Jan 01, 2014 11:38 pm

    Thanks for the completed game review Sporty, I was hoping you'd do one. I really liked this game and would have bought it anyway because of that, but I am glad to hear it is not all over an hour later, as some at big fish were suggesting.

    It always amazes me how fast some people claim they've taken to play a game. What is it, a race?

    And sometimes, I swear it would not be physically possible to click that many times, even if you were psychic and knew exactly what to do and where to point!

    Hope you had a good NYE!

    Sportygal2009

    Posts : 165
    Join date : 2013-09-03

    Re: Love Alchemy: A Heart In Winter

    Post by Sportygal2009 on Thu Jan 02, 2014 10:48 am

    DELETED


    Last edited by Sportygal2009 on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:39 am; edited 1 time in total

    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
    Join date : 2013-09-01
    Age : 54
    Location : Western Australia

    Re: Love Alchemy: A Heart In Winter

    Post by JustTheFacts on Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:00 am

    I agree, 3-4 hours is fine. And most games I've played take that. The games like Fates Carnival and some of the other MCF games, Nevertales and just about anything Elephant puts out, obviously take a lot longer. And sometimes I am reluctant to play a game that is going to be a marathon, and those days, an easy short game (preferrably one I haven't reviewed yet  Evil Grin ) is just what the doctor ordered!

    But every now and then a game is released and it really is only an hour and half, even for me, and then I think their complaints are justified. I am so glad to hear this wasn't one of them.

    Oh! And Yes, some games, I could never play without stopping to smell the roses. Even horror ones, done well, like Bloody Mary, can be beautiful and worth gazing upon. I try to explain to my friends why I love these games so much and that is the first thing I think of. I love the look of them and I love imagination shown by the artists when they create such amazing sights to see. It's the secret to my enjoyment of the fantasy games - which wouldn't really be my style, except I've got to have such beauty where I can get at it!

    Unlike everyone else in the universe, I actually LOVE a good wallpaper of the game and have screensavers and slideshows made up of the wallpapers from all the CEs that I own. It can, on occasion, even be the swing on CE vs SE

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