Previously known as Tales Untold: The Curse Of Port Bridge
Wonderful As An SE****
BASED ON BETA
Excellent intro with superb cinematic cut scenes and quality narration. I really liked how this game began. But from the start the story just doesn’t connect properly. Everything is just a little off somehow.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The graphics, particularly the cut scenes, are beautifully crafted and a delight to the eye, although perhaps a bit dark in places. There is plenty of life and colour, all the same, and the detail is good. HOP scenes are crystal clear, and surprisingly uncluttered. The voiceovers are good. The narrator’s at the beginning of the game is excellent. An attempt at lip sync works well enough. The music is nondescript. It’s not really music at all, just isolated, very gentle unobtrusive bars. I like it. The game could use some more distinctive ambient sounds.
This is the game’s failing. While superficially, it is fairly straightforward, the story is a collection of disconnected parts that have at this time only the merest of hopes to be tied together. We are returning to our island home after an absence that has lasted since we were sent away to boarding school aged 5! Not for the usual reasons – dead and/or missing parents, but because the storms on the island made it unsafe to live there. But our parents continued to do so until your father’s recent disappearance. Now your mother wants you to come home. Now? When it is clearly MORE dangerous?
Then there is the story of your father’s previous adventures, the sole survivor of a ship that disappeared. The tugboat that brought in a deserted ship covered in salt. The salt that seems to be alive and taking over everything and everyone except you. The business with the magic shells. It’s all obviously connected somehow, but it is not until the very end of the demo that you get a glimpse of how that might be so.
The game’s primary component is its adventure action. There is a lot of running around looking for lock parts, putting out fires, that sort of thing. All fun enough, but not integrated into the story. The puzzles are easy, says she who normally skips a lot, and there are a fair few of them too. Certainly more than the HOPs, which in the demo consist of one progressively interactive word list (find & use) and one standard interactive list, which is visited twice.
There is a journal I barely noticed, an interactive jump map that unfortunately only tells you where there is ‘something important’, i.e. unfinished objectives, not necessarily available for solving yet. The hint is directional, and often more help. We also have movie reels, done in the black and white silent style of newsreels of the time (1922). The inventory bar locks. There is (in the beta at least) NO choice of difficulty.
There is one unique feature, a collection of 4 magic shells, each of which gives you a special “water power”. So far, that has been the ability to evaporate water and the ability to freeze it.
There are extras, achievements and collectibles, not specified in the beta, but one collectible is 25 posters (beachside posters of the era).
Without a choice of difficulty levels, this game cannot qualify as a CE. I would also like to see the story tightened up before I’d want to hand over my money. Again, ... I can’t recommend it if it is a CE, but it is a fine SE.
I recommend this game!