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    Beta Thread

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    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Jan 26, 2014 8:07 pm

    Yippee! My personal taxi and banking service has agreed to lend me the money and drive me down the shop for chocolate and cigs!Happy bounce  Life is good  Snicker 

    Then maybe I'll think about sleep. But Raincliff Phantoms... so good so far!

    djrum

    Posts : 1073
    Join date : 2013-08-12
    Location : Ohio

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by djrum on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:27 pm

    Chocolate? You've got chocolate? I'm going over to your house, JustTheFacts. Plus, you've got the beta of Raincliff Phantoms. MT: Raincliff is my favorite in the series.

    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:31 pm

    Mine too! And yup, munching on the old Cadbury Dairy Milk here  Happy bounce , along with the all important breakfast item - Coke (Zero of course - we don't want fattening! Elk grin )

    djrum

    Posts : 1073
    Join date : 2013-08-12
    Location : Ohio

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by djrum on Sun Jan 26, 2014 10:48 pm

    I scrounged around & found some bite-size 3 Musketeers, maybe left over from Halloween? Heck, I don't know.
    Genki, I think we need a barf smiley!

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
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    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by genkicoll on Mon Jan 27, 2014 1:04 pm

    Yes'm.  Will this one work?  :barf: It's in the Misc category at the bottom.


    _________________
    To the world you may be one person;
    but to one person you may be the world.

    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:03 pm

    Toymaker

    Story:  Take on the role of a detective in Toymaker. A series of murders has been committed by a suspect that calls himself "Toymaker." The Toymaker has left some clues at various crime scenes,  and it is up to you to decipher clues, and eliminate the suspects from the list to find out who is the "Toymaker." Catch the Toymaker in time before he claims another victim.

    Developer: Grey Wizard Interactive

    Excellent HOG!*****

    BASED ON BETA

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    It’s been a while since we had a truly exclusively Hidden Object game. It’s been worth the wait. This a marvellous whodunit with all the flavour and quality of a HOPA without the added stress and confusion associated with complex stories and quests. Here we follow the investigation from HOP to HOP with a smooth and easy transition that will delight true HOG players.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS
    Good quality graphics that make items easy to see – once you look at them the right way, of course! They are accompanied by fun ambient sounds and an excellent voiceover who keeps us up to date without too much waffling and stating of the obvious (yeah, sure, there is a little of that of course). The bad guy is fun, clear voiceover, and the way he hides his identity is a giggle.

    One feature that really tickled me, I found the overhead fan’s steady whup, whup, whup, annoying. Out of pique I clicked on it as if that would shut it up, and it did!! So, we can turn off the fan, then open the window (full realism here, it’s hot so we need to), and we get the sounds of a busy world coming in. What a wonderful touch!

    WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    A serial killer calling himself the “Toymaker” is playing games with us. He leaves clues and video recordings at the scenes of his crimes, taunting us. As the detective in charge of the case, we must follow his clues to various locations and find what he has left for us, solve his cryptic clues and track him down.

    GAMEPLAY
    This is suitably simple. We work in our office. And travel from there to the locations on the map. We have (our fan of course) an achievements display case there as well, which I think is cool.

    Each location has something the Toymaker has left us, which forms part of a puzzle we need to solve. So each chapter consists of us receiving an initial clue, pointing in the direction of one or more locations. In each we conduct a HOP to find another piece. Once all locations have been cleared, we must solve the puzzle to move on. Each level requires more locations be completed and a more complex (but still reasonable) puzzle.

    There is an apparently limitless help button, which you may well need. These scenes contain objects that are cleverly disguised, although obvious once you see them. The game does not have a journal or case book, which I think would be helpful in keeping the story together. While most HOG players aren’t much interested in story, this game has a nice one, and a dossier on suspects or similar would have added to the fun.

    My one serious criticism is that the cursor is way too big. There are also a few translation errors. Hopefully identified and removed by release. *cheeky grin* While the usefulness of a bayonet and a knife may be similar, they are not the same objects!

    COMBINED IMPACT
    This is a neat game, both in design and production standards. I would absolutely have to own it were I a primarily HOG player. As it is, preferring HOPAs, it will still be on my wish list.

    I recommend this game!

    Try It Here!


    Last edited by JustTheFacts on Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:24 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : ETA Achievements)

    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:11 pm

    Mystery Trackers [6]: Raincliff Phantoms

    Story:  Raincliff is the last place that you thought that you would return to after the previous visit; but this time it would be very different. The top brass have sent you back to Raincliff after detecting something supernatural going on in the city. A reporter has gone missing, and it is up to you to find her and what is really going on there. But tread your path carefully, certain individuals will try to hinder your investigation anyway they can.

    Developer: Elephant Games

    Return To Raincliff*****

    BASED ON BETA


    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    The best game of one of the very best series, the original Mystery Trackers Raincliff was a brilliantly conceived and produced game. One of the best games ever produced in fact. So it is delightful to have the opportunity to return to a place of such vivid memories. And the Raincliff of today is just as exciting, involving, and don’t forget *cold* as the previous one. And a good bit creepier.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS
    This is authentically Raincliff. You can see it all around you, the same taste of the town from the first game. The graphics, at least in the beta version, are not as good, though. The reporter is a little cartoony, and there is an occasional outline to be seen. Perhaps, though, you’ll never see that, as I am writing before the game is complete. Otherwise, the visuals are clear and clean and cold. Yes, I do keep coming back to that, don’t I? But it was one of the qualities of the original game that, among dozens of icy games, it was a stand out for realism. And this follows faithfully.

    And nobody can criticise the marvellous way in which this game makes invisibility visible.

    The sounds add to the atmosphere. The bitter wind whines at you the whole time you’re outdoors. There are all sorts of weird and creepy sounds in the background, and the voices of the invisible chatting as if it was you who couldn’t be seen. Splendid. Some of the sound effects will catch you off your guard, too, and give you nasty shock. The music was sufficiently unnoticeable to allow the other sound effects to dominate.

    WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    An increase in supernatural activity, a missing reporter, something is amiss in Raincliff again. Early signs are that she has been kidnapped, or worse, and the videos she leaves behind her are very disturbing. Evidence clearly points to an unknown number of invisible individuals living in the city, and they are not pleased to see you. But there does seem to be one almost angelic looking person prepared to help. Who is he/she?

    GAMEPLAY
    Raincliff balances HOPs with other mini-games and adventure play well. It is a bit more challenging than most games, but not beyond the logical powers of most players. The adventure component is fairly obvious without being boring, and there is a hint button that takes you to the active area, and an interactive jump map. There is no journal, just a camera so you can replay the journalist’s tapes.

    CE BLING!
    This is a beta version, so I can’t tell you all there’ll be in the CE. What I did see is an Achievements room with beautiful masks, and the most amazingly sweet music! There are also collectible toads, each decked out to represent a different country. There is also a frost mode. This is a neat idea. A thermometer keeps track of how cold you are, which drops when you are outside. When it gets low enough, you must find a morphing object that will keep you warm, such as a pair of gloves that morphs to a book. There is an achievement for playing in this mode, but you can turn it off within the game.

    COMBINED IMPACT
    I don’t know whether it’s the frigid atmosphere of Raincliff, or the eerie feeling of being watched, but on a pleasant summer evening in Oz, I had the shivers playing this game. Either way, you can’t ask for a better demonstration of the success of this game.

    I recommend this game!

    Try It Here!

    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Thu Jan 30, 2014 8:29 am

    Fatal Passion: Art Prison

    Developer: Orneon

    He’s No Da Vinci****

    BASED ON BETA

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    I don’t like the intro cut scene graphics at all. They are pixelated and ugly. Which, in a game about art, is a real shame. Mind you, the art is not Van Gogh or even Picasso, but of a much deadlier genre. I also didn’t care much for the intro in general, although it did have its amusing side.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS
    Forgetting the cut scenes, the art is actually quite lovely. Even the fatal stuff. The game is dark, but not so dark that you cannot see the colours around you or the items in HOP scenes. Exterior shots are not, to my mind, on a par with the close up and HOP scenes, but it is nevertheless professional standards.

    The music and background noises were so unobtrusive I can’t remember them – whether that’s good or bad I’ll let you decide. I do remember some almost inaudible mutterings, as of people just out of hearing range, which I thought was absolutely excellent atmospheric stuff! The voices of the characters were also very well portrayed. Particularly young Beckie.

    WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    A spurned lover turns to magical art to take his revenge. From his palette spring forth all manner of scary stuff, from medieval dragons to deadly plants. But we are not helpless. We too can wield this magical palette and paint needed items into life. Got an evil flower to deal with? Paint up some weed killer! And that is exactly what you do. Some of the other problems caused by this grieving madman are really quite humorous. How much trouble can a bowl of Jello be? Well, that depends on your point of view – from the outside or from the inside?

    GAMEPLAY
    A nice variety of puzzles and 3 types of HOPs. There are simple silhouettes, multiple items, and HOPs where you must replace the items to their correct spots. The puzzles so far are easy. I did not find the adventure moves intuitive, so had a bit of a hard time getting around for a while. But there is an interactive jump map, very basic but it does the job. And a directional hint. The journal consisted of pages on the story and replayable videos.

    One thing about this game I liked, there was plenty to do in each scene. This did lead to a little back and forth, but so far the locations are sensibly proportioned. Another thing that was kinda fun because it was different, was a little thing. The needed items being dislodged from their hiding spots within a HOP by the activity you are generating in it. Nothing spectacular, but worth a Mona Lisa smile. (*rueful grin* sorry, just had to)

    CE BLING!
    In a beta, we’re not yet privy to most of that, but there are 30 lovely little birds to be found. For the rest, we’ll have to wait and see!

    COMBINED IMPACT
    This is a great concept, which the devs have handled quite well, if not sensationally. With better cut scenes, though, this might have been a five star game.

    I recommend this game!

    Try It Here!


    Last edited by JustTheFacts on Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:06 pm; edited 1 time in total

    genkicoll

    Posts : 7460
    Join date : 2011-12-29
    Age : 43
    Location : Pacific Northwest

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by genkicoll on Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:03 pm

    What's the name of the game, darlin'?


    _________________
    To the world you may be one person;
    but to one person you may be the world.

    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:05 pm

    Oh stupid me! I'll put it in now - Fatal Passion: Art Prison

    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Fri Jan 31, 2014 9:20 am

    9 Clues [2]: Hallways Of Madness

    Developer: Tap It (Artifex Mundi)

    Totally Different Approach****


    BASED ON BETA

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    With a simple yet arresting intro, we are launched into our role of Private Detective, in a game that is truly unique. This game is a sequel to 9 Clues: The Secret Of Serpent Creek, and if you loved that one, you’ll love this one too. It approaches the game of detective work in the same quirky way. Do not be deceived by the oddness of the graphics (which will endear themselves to you over time) into thinking this is an amateur production. It’s not. It’s a humorous, intelligent and original game totally unlike standard HOPAs, but retaining the character of an adventure lite game.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS
    The graphics are indeed strange. The animation of characters’ faces (and there are a lot of characters in this game, 28!) is achieved in the weirdest way, and I’m at a loss to describe it. The face is sort of mobile while the head remains stationary. Somehow. Odd. But it is part of a package in which the graphics are goofy, colourful, imaginative and well formed, so maybe it’s just part of the nature of this game.

    Lip sync! This game has it. Always a bonus, particularly with so much talking. Our player has her own voice, and it is wonderfully played. Other characters have their own accents and styles, each is an individual, and all of them are well acted. The sounds are well done, nothing too overt, and convincing crashes and screams. The music is a little repetitious for my taste.

    WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    A desperate call for help, by an unknown person, has you and your detective partner, Owen, off to an island everyone else seems to be in a hurry to leave. This is where Owen traced the call, to a mental asylum on the island. You barely arrive, when a person flies backwards through an upstairs window, and lies dead at your feet. Well, sure looks like there’s something worth investigating! Particularly when you realise this is the person who phoned you.

    GAMEPLAY
    Ah, truly refreshing to see a different style of gameplay! There are puzzles and HOPs, although less than average I guess, because there are other ways of tracking down clues. The HOPs are interactive lists, visited twice, but with the earlier items you took still absent – that spells class to me. And you have the option of playing mahjong instead of the HOPs. The puzzles are not hard, although they do vary a bit.

    In detective mode, you identify objects in a room that might be clues, say footprints or a bloody knife, and as you identify each, it comes up in a list at the bottom that looks just like a HOP list. But instead, you are filling, not emptying that list. I suggest you play the first scene in the easier two of the three modes of difficulty available. They have the cursor glowing near the clues. Not all of them are as obvious as the ones I’ve mentioned. They are easy to find, though, once you get what it is you’re looking for. And after that, you’d probably want to do away with that help.

    Once you have completed your list of clues, you assemble them in order of “arrival on the scene”, so to speak. That is, in the order they were left, created, or removed. This is a simple visual puzzle in which you place the “clue” tiles in order using a background design as reference. You then enter retrospective mode, in which you are given an animated and narrated explanation of what happened. It is really quite fun. And so you have completed your investigation of the first scene, and received your first of the nine clues featured in the title.

    For the adventure side, you have a journal which breaks up into objectives, character dossiers, and the “9 Clues” you need to complete the game, which stores all important evidence. The hint system is directional, and you also have an interactive jump map that tells you next moves. It is not a difficult game to play, and some may find it too easy, even on the hardest level of difficulty, but it is enjoyable less for the challenge than for the sheer entertainment value.

    BLING!
    I do not believe this game will be released as a CE, but it does have quite a lot of bling! in the form of achievements and collectibles. Collectibles include: 9 hidden clue symbols (?), 9 pieces of a model of the asylum, and 15 phantom (morphing) objects. And there are achievements for all these plus a variety of story and performance based ones. They can be accessed from the options menu.

    COMBINED IMPACT
    What a delight! Fun characters, great and unique gameplay, professional production values, and collectibles!

    I recommend this game!

    Cuddlefish

    Posts : 9
    Join date : 2012-01-01

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by Cuddlefish on Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:50 pm

    Great reviews.

    Thanks Just.

    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Fri Jan 31, 2014 4:41 pm

    Thanks cuddlefish!

    luvtoread

    Posts : 1161
    Join date : 2012-09-06
    Age : 56
    Location : Johnstown, NY

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by luvtoread on Fri Jan 31, 2014 6:48 pm

    I knew you would do a much better review than me!!     Smile

    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Fri Jan 31, 2014 7:11 pm

    Thanks luvtoread, I was a bit worried if I could explain it clearly either - it's a bit difficult to explain, isn't it? But its fun. Nice to do something genuinely different.

    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:52 am

    Here are some BETA games from popular developers. I'll tidy this up eventually, but these are all the betas I have links for, whatever the source.

    Hey, look genki! A list! Yay!!

    01/02

    ERS www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25988/forgotten-books-the-enchanted-crown-survey/index.html

    Are you ready for Off the Record: The Italian Affair BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25978/off-the-record-the-italian-affair-survey/index.html

    29/1
    Shiver 4: Siren BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25968/shiver-siren-survey/index.html

    Grim Facade 4: A Wealth of Betrayal BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25969/grim-facade-a-wealth-of-betrayal-survey/index.html



    Big Fish Games Studios
    Mystery Case Files 11: Return to Dire Grove BETA - coming  2014
    Spirits of Blackpool - A Mystery Case Files Adventure F2P - coming soon...

    Daily Magic Games
    Dark Dimensions 4: Somber Song BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25003/dark-dimensions-somber-song-survey/index.html
    Ominous Objects: Family Portrait BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25923/ominous-objects-family-portrait-survey/index.html

    Elephant Games
    Royal Detective: Queen of Shadows BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/23380/royal-detective-queen-of-shadows-survey/index.html
    Mystery Trackers 6: Raincliff's Phantoms BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24959/mystery-trackers-raincliff-phantoms-survey/index.html
    Riddles of Fate 2: Into Oblivion BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25038/riddles-of-fate-into-oblivion-survey/index.html
    Grim Tales 6: The Vengeance BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25446/grim-tales-the-vengeance-survey/index.html
    Surface 5: Reel Life BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25583/surface-reel-life-survey/index.html
    Haunted Hotel 6: Ancient Bane BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25918/haunted-hotel-ancient-bane-survey/index.html

    Blue Tea Games
    Dark Parables 6: Jack and the Sky Kingdom BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25394/dark-parables-jack-and-the-sky-kingdom-survey/index.html

    Eipix Entertainment
    Danse Macabre: The Last Adagio BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25159/danse-macabre-the-last-adagio-survey/index.html
    Final Cut 3: Homage BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25812/final-cut-3-survey/index.html
    Off the Record 2 BETA - coming soon...

    Ers Games Studios
    Beyond the Unknown: The Golden Sarcophagus BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24244/beyond-unknown-the-golden-sarcophagus-survey/index.html
    Christmas Eve: The Secret of Pandora (early title: The Miracle of Snow Hill) BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24752/christmas-eve-the-secret-of-pandora-survey/index.html
    Ghosts of the Past: Bones of Meadows Town BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25277/ghosts-the-past-bones-of-meadows-town-survey/index.html
    Dark Tales 6: Edgar Allan Poe's The Fall of the House of Usher BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25589/dark-tales-eap-fall-of-house-usher-survey/index.html


    Artifex Mundi + Grey Wizard Interactive
    GW - Toymaker BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25418/toymaker-survey/index.html
    Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride (The Abyss) BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25214/grim-legends-the-abyss-survey/index.html
    Nightmares from the Deep 3: Davy Jones BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25706/nightmares-from-the-deep-davy-jones-survey/index.html
    GW - Dark Swans BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25552/dark-swans-survey/index.html


    Boomzap Entertaiment
    Emberwing: Lost Legacy BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25258/emberwing-lost-legacy-survey/index.html
    Awakening 6: Redleaf Forest BETA - comming soon...

    Maria Glorum Games
    Mystery of the Ancients: Three Guardians BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/23344/mystery-of-the-ancients-three-spirits-survey/index.html

    Mad Head Games  
    Rite of Passage 3 BETA - coming soon...

    Orneon Games
    Fatal Passion: Art Prison BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24478/fatal-passion-art-prison-survey/index.html

    Vast Studios
    Forgotten Kingdoms: Dream of Ruin BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25894/forgotten-kingdoms-dream-of-ruin-survey/index.html


    Alawar Games


    Elefun Games
    Fear for Sale 4: Phantom Tide BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25579/fear-for-sale-phantom-tide-survey/index.html

    Deep Shadows Games
    Dark Clown Mystery BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24078/dark-clown-mystery-survey/index.html
    Tales of Terror 2: House on the Hill BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25409/tales-of-terror-house-on-the-hill-survey/index.html

    Other developners
    Bad Omen BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/22783/bad-omen-survey/index.html
    Mysteries of the Past: Shadow of the Wendigo BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/21808/mysteries-of-the-past-shadow-wendigo-survey/index.html
    Dark Romance: Vampire in Love BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24003/dark-romance-vampire-in-love-survey/index.html
    Mystery of the Unicorn Castle: The Beastmaster BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/23997/mystery-of-unicorn-castle-the-beastmaster/index.html
    Bluebeard's Castle: Son of the Heartless BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24353/bluebeards-castle-son-of-the-heartless-survey/index.html
    The Curse of Port Bridge BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24574/tales-untold-the-curse-of-port-bridge-survey/index.html
    Spirit Seasons: The Tower BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/23735/spirit-seasons-the-tower-survey/index.html
    Demon Hunter Chronicles from Beyond The Untold Story BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24840/demon-hunter-chronicles-beyond-untold-story/index.html
    Stranger than Fiction: Ghosts of Seattle BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24913/stranger-than-fiction-ghost-in-seattle-survey/index.html
    Nightmare Visions: Dream Eater BETA #2 - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25490/nightmare-visions-dream-eater-survey/index.html
    Bridge to Another World BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25082/bridge-to-nowhere-survey/index.html
    The Secret Order 3: Ancient Times BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25094/the-secret-order-ancient-times-survey/index.html
    Unrecognized Geniuses: The Master of Living Things BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25223/unrecognized-geniuses-master-living-survey/index.html
    Lost Lands: Dark Overlord BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25283/lost-lands-dark-overlord-survey/index.html
    Fright BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25505/fright-survey/index.html
    Haunted Manor 3: Painted Beauties BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25584/haunted-manor-painted-beauties-survey/index.html
    Ancient Tales: The Roots of Evil BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25621/ancient-tales-the-roots-of-evil-survey/index.html
    Silent Nights 2: Children's Orchestra BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25631/silent-nights-childrens-orchestra-survey/index.html
    Haunted Camp: Evil Games BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25707/haunted-camp-evil-games-survey/index.html
    Origins: Elders of Time Survey: www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25711/origins-elders-of-time-survey/index.html
    Chronicle Keepers: The Dreaming Garden BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25863/chronicle-keepers-the-dreaming-garden-survey/index.html
    Witch's Pranks: Frog's Fortune BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25899/witchs-pranks-frogs-fortune-survey/index.html


    Hot Lava Games / Mumbo Jumbo
    Midnight Mysteries 6 BETA - coming soon...

    Gogii Games


    BLAM! Games
    Limits of Sanity: Paradise Island BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/24342/limits-of-sanity-paradise-island-survey/index.html
    Thirst for Glory: Beyond Illusions BETA - www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25838/thirst-for-glory-beyond-illusions-survey/index.html

    ???
    http://www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25498/nightwalkers-the-lurker-survey/index.html
    http://www.bigfishgames.com/download-games/25894/forgotten-kingdoms-dream-of-ruin-survey/index.html




    NON HOG Games
    Royal Envoy 3 - files.playrix.com/games/beta/royal-envoy-3.exe

    djrum

    Posts : 1073
    Join date : 2013-08-12
    Location : Ohio

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by djrum on Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:01 pm

    Wow, JustTheFacts! How in the world do you find the time to beta, demo, play and write your awesome Reviews?

    Thank you for all your hard work!  Clap

    JustTheFacts

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

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:06 pm

    It is my solemn duty to be everywhere at once lol. It keeps me feeling productive, because I am ill and can no longer work, gotta find something to keep my mind occupied and make me feel useful again.

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sat Feb 01, 2014 12:08 pm

    If you are interested in a particular, btw, let me know and I'll review it. Not knowing when these first came out means it's a lottery whether I get to the ones about to be released. So I'm keeping track from now on.

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sat Feb 01, 2014 4:37 pm

    (Mystery Of) Unicorn Castle [2]: (The) Beastmaster

    Developer: Meridian 93

    Worth The Wait*****

    BASED ON BETA

    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    The evidence suggests it is a sequel to the Mystery Of The Unicorn Castle, (exact name, same developer) which was released 5 years ago. That sure is a long gestation period. But it may well have been worth the wait.

    While not an extraordinary game in terms of production values, it does have a unique approach to gameplay that I find very intriguing, and lots of nifty little ways in which it is made more appealing.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS
    With a good and engaging intro, this game involves your emotions straightaway. The graphics are good. Clear and well drawn. Nothing to complain about, but they are not outstanding either. I do love, though, the game interface. It is an almost iridescent almost-white blue against a dark background, with the bare minimum of clutter around the (lockable) inventory bar. A neat trick is having you zoom into the close-ups rather than opening a window. And you can choose to turn off this feature if you wish.

    The game is narrated by our character, and for most part is very well done, although his intonation seems a bit off from time to time. There is quite a lot of talking involved, so many will be pleased to know that you have the option to switch this off as well. Special effects are good, and there is a variety of ambient sounds, including silence. The music is sinister, yet quiet rather than frightening, and includes voicetracks.

    WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    A young girl has been kidnapped under unusual circumstances and we have come in to investigate a nearby abandoned castle. We catch a glimpse of Sophie and her kidnapper going into it, and we are off in pursuit. Along the way we also meet a ghost who asks us for help, in return for assistance in the matter of the kidnapper. Oh yes, and let's not forget the giant, aggressive, almost human, rats!

    GAMEPLAY
    This game has some HOPs, but really not many. I think I encountered two in the demo. There are slightly more puzzles. Nothing is actually difficult, and I didn’t even use the directional hint, or skip. You do have a choice of 4 difficulty levels and I was playing on the easiest, but I really don’t see it will make much difference. The interactive jump map gives you active HOP scenes as well as active tasks, visited and unvisited areas. There is a diary that holds your notes and replayable videos.

    What’s unusual about this game is that along the way, quite frequently, you will be asked to decide which way to behave. Help the ghost or not? Allegedly it will alter the way the game progresses, and it certainly does change the achievements you win.

    CE BLING!
    There are both achievements and collectibles. The collectibles are Halloween pumpkins, and there are 50 to be found. They are not all easy to find, either. The other collectibles are fireflies, which instantly recharge your hint meter when you catch them. The achievements have their own Trophy Room in the main menu and are given out for a mix of both story-related (and for once, you may fail to get a story one, depending on your choices), and performance-based. A panel pops up in the game when you receive a trophy, and again, you have to option to switch it off. I know many will like THAT feature!

    COMBINED IMPACT
    I really enjoyed this game. It was fun from the very beginning and kept my interest all through the demo. Maybe it isn’t a world class performance, but it is very good, and has that indefinable fun factor.

    I recommend this game!

    Try It Here!

    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
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    Age : 54
    Location : Western Australia

    Danse Macabre (:The Last Adagio)

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:48 am

    Danse Macabre (:The Last Adagio)

    Developer: Eipix

    Deadly Romance****

    BASED ON BETA


    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    I’ve played this demo twice now and still got so caught up in the game that I forgot to takes notes! Wonderful introduction gives you all the backstory you need, and a fair indication of how this story is going to go. No dramatic train crashes or air disasters, but a good old-fashioned love-crazed villain with a taste for fire.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS
    As usual with this developer, the graphics are superb. This is a somewhat darker game than is their usual, but they handle it well and most locations are in fact very well lit. The darkness is more an atmospheric thing. There is a certain glossy shine to the theatre scenes that I find a bit off putting to me. But then I’m not European and am therefore not used to seeing that much gold gilt! All items are easy to see and not small.

    The voices are excellent fun, done in pseudo-Italian (?) accents, that fit wholly with the characters and  the story. The flautist is my personal favourite. The characters in the location are still, while there is a smaller pic beside the speech box where lips do move. I always like this feature. The music is a little different, though don’t ask me to describe how. But it is low key ominous and quite pleasant. As the game is about ballet, I was a little disappointed not to hear any classical stuff.

    WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    You are meeting your sister after her performance as star of the most popular ballet, written for the love of the composer’s life. It was performed here for the first time 30 years ago, immediately prior to the theatre burning to the ground. Having watched the intro through, we know that the composer burnt the place down in revenge for finding his loved one, the prima ballerina, with another man.

    Your sister does not show, and you are outside wondering what to do when the stage manager opens the door. No, he says, the theatre is empty, there’s no one here. But there is a light an upstairs window, and voices. You must get in and find your sister! In keeping with demo tradition, we finish with a cliff hanger, but how we are going to get out of this particular predicament totally escapes me! Can’t wait to find out!

    GAMEPLAY
    The play is dominated by HOPs. So far, there have been several, either interactive lists or simple silhouettes, which are introduced four at a time only, which requires a slightly different search strategy. What may have been irrelevant before could be needed now. As an alternative, there is a bubble popper game, in which each sparkling bubble you pop removes an item from the list. Again, an somewhat unusual strategy is required.

    The puzzles so far are incredibly easy. I hope they get harder later on, because if I think they’re easy, a lot of people will think they are laughable. One puzzle got on my nerves. A simple follow the notes memory game. But if you missed once you had to go right back to the start from one note again.

    There is an interactive jump map that shows objectives as well as active tasks and current location. I don’t like how long it took to unfold it each time we use it. Hint is directional. The journal has a diary and objectives. The tutorial is particularly well written.

    CE BLING!
    There are two types of collectibles. 30 yellow roses for Marie’s bouquet, which are easy to spot and there is a lot of them early (10/30 in the demo), and 12 morphing items which are a lot harder to find. Being the beta, there is no more information yet.

    COMBINED IMPACT
    I really liked this game. It is not my favourite Eipix. But it is up to their usual excellent standards. My enthusiasm is tempered, I think, by the lack of originality in the story, and all that golden gilt!

    I recommend this game!

    Try It Here!

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Feb 02, 2014 7:55 am

    This game has been released at GameHouse. But 3 attempts to get it to give me the option to play the free trial failed, so I went looking for another version and found this beta.

    Dark Clown Mystery

    Developer: Intenium

    Creepy Clown!***

    BASED ON BETA


    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    The intro to this game is much longer and quieter than most opening cut scenes. But it does allow the situation to be explained without the need for dialogue or narration. And it’s kinda eerie too, suspenseful. I think it is worthy of attention.

    SIGHTS & SOUNDS
    The visuals are really quite excellent, clear and clean and very well rendered. Of a quality to rival some CE games. The cut scenes in particular are impressive for such a low key (budget?) game. And the glimmering tiger alone is worth the effort of trialling this game. There are great background sounds and the music is okay. No sound effects or voices at this stage, which makes the game seem reeeeally creepy. In broad daylight you feel like you’re walking around in the dark all alone. I assume, though, that the version for release will have at least some sound FX.

    WHAT’S HAPPENING?
    I love that this is told without anyone saying anything. We watch a woman get off a bus and head for the town of Silent Marshes (maybe there won’t be any SFX after all?), meeting up with friends in a diner and they are having a pleasant conversation when a very scary, very crazy looking clown turns up.

    All is screams and everyone runs away in different directions, but the clown gets at least one of your friends before you run into him and, faint? When you wake up, you are alone in a crocodile infested swamp with only a pelican and his catch of fish between you and some very nasty teeth.

    GAMEPLAY
    The gameplay is standard HOPA. The pace is a bit slow, as there does not seem to be much to do in each location.

    There are a few slightly tricky puzzles, just enough to throw me off my stride, but probably okay for most. The HOPs are interactive lists that are clear and uncluttered, but where I had real trouble finding some items. They are made more difficult by a cursor that looks very similar in both point and pick up mode.

    There is one ‘find multiples of (crocodiles, eeek!)’ in the swamp. The other HOP scenes are visited twice. Hint and skip are both quick in the easiest of 3 difficulty levels. There is no map, but hint is directional. The journal keeps track of the story – which I at least am interested in hearing more about! What grim past has come back to haunt your friends?

    COMBINED IMPACT
    This is not a fancy game, and it is not going to knock your socks off. But it is very atmospheric and immersive. The game play is nothing new, but of a slightly more difficult level than most, and its visuals are way better than most standalone SEs. In all, an enjoyable experience.

    I recommend this game!

    Try It Here!

    volnole68

    Posts : 131
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    Age : 70
    Location : North Carolina

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by volnole68 on Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:00 am

    JustTheFacts wrote:It is my solemn duty to be everywhere at once lol. It keeps me feeling productive, because I am ill and can no longer work, gotta find something to keep my mind occupied and make me feel useful again.


    I admire you greatly for this Just! You are working very hard to address your personal issues within yourself.  What a great example you set for others.

    Plus, you are providing us a wonderful service! I now look for your reviews every day.  Thank you so very much.

    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
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    Location : Western Australia

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:05 am

    Thank you so much for your kind words. My life has definitely taken a turn for the better since genki first asked me if I'd mind her putting one of my reviews here! Happy bounce Wish I could remember which one it was - I'd frame it.  Belly laugh 

    You can post 100 reviews on the big fish game pages, and never get any feedback at all, and not much more from the forums. Here, I'm talking to real people!!

    Also, to people who have a life outside big fish. Was getting a little insular there for a while!

    JustTheFacts

    Posts : 5071
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    Location : Western Australia

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:11 pm

    In between Shiver 1 and Beta trials, I have had great fun putting together a spreadsheet that not only gives me a neat list of the trials available, but also can list it either alphabetically or by link address. The advantage of link addresses is that *drum roll* they are numbered and can be ordered to show which game survey was issued first!!!!

    Seems a reasonable indication, because the few that were on my list that have now been released are all among the oldest numbers.

    Which makes this next one look archaic. It goes back more than 2000 web pages before the pack.

    Sponsored content

    Re: Beta Thread

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 4:48 pm


      Zoo Tek Phoenix

      Current date/time is Tue Dec 06, 2016 4:48 pm