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    Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

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    genkicoll

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    Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by genkicoll on Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:17 pm

    Twisted Lands: Shadow Town
    by Alawar Entertainment

    Series links: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town, Twisted Lands 2: Insomniac, Twisted Lands 3: Origin

    Available at:
    Alawar as Collector's Edition / Standard Edition
    Big Fish for PC as Collector's Edition / Standard Edition
    Big Fish for Mac as Collector's Edition / Standard Edition
    iWin
    GameHouse as Premium Edition / Standard Edition



    Gather items, solve puzzles and make spine-chilling discoveries as you explore a deserted island in Twisted Lands: Shadow Town! Why does your heart beat faster when you peer into a dark room? What makes the hair on your neck bristle when something invisible whispers in your ear? Dive into the emotion of fear, and find out, in this spooky Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game.

    The Collector’s Edition includes:  


    • Bonus gameplay
    • Detailed video walkthroughs
    • Perplexing puzzles

    Click images to enlarge
       


    Last edited by genkicoll on Thu May 01, 2014 11:45 am; edited 4 times in total

    genkicoll

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by genkicoll on Sun Jan 08, 2012 7:56 pm

    Twisted Lands: Shadow Town (Adventure/IHOG)

    I hesitate to actually add "IHOG" to the description of this game. The game is scattered with hidden object scenes, but I think it would be more accurate to call this an adventure game, as the further you progress, the fewer hidden object scenes you will see.

    Before I start, let me just say that I think this is a fantastic game, a must-buy.

    Options include separate music and sound, full-screen, custom cursor and easy mode (uncheck for no sparkles).

    The opening sequence is skippable, and you can speed it up by clicking through it, always a nice option to have.

    I did not like the game when it first started. If I hadn't known that there was more to the game (evident by the spooky menu screen and the beautiful task bar), I'd have stopped playing within the first five minutes. I had an instant dislike for both of the main characters. I don't generally care for the style they used for the characters, but that's not the problem - it has something to do with their attitudes, which rubbed me the wrong way.

    The beginning of the game is all background information which is in tutorial mode. You CAN, however, skip the tutorial if you wish. The hidden object scene hints at the quality of the game, but it's not immediately evident that this is going to be something special.

    You're going through the steps, then abruptly everything changes... and I DO mean abruptly! It's quite confusing, actually, one minute you're doing something, and the next you're thinking, "What the hell? I must've missed something!"

    I think this abruptness was intentional, to give you an idea of how the main character is feeling. I understand, but I'd have liked the transition to be a bit smoother.

    Now the game starts getting interesting. A couple more HOG scenes, a bit of moving around, and then the whole feeling of the game changes. It is no longer a game, it is an immersive adventure, from the wonderfully dramatic music to the spooky graphics, it is evident that this is not your average game.

    Little touches throughout the game add up to make this a game of high production values. During hidden object scenes, there are animated items, some of which you may have to collect (unusual in my experience). You will repeat hidden object scenes multiple times, but you have a different list of items to collect each time. There is movement throughout the game, sometimes tiny details which you may not notice if you're not paying attention, sometimes unmistakable, such as rolling fog. Like The Great Gatsby, the attention to detail and the understated animation impresses me more than I can fully relate. Suffice to say, I am extremely impressed.

    I mentioned the toolbar earlier - it is fantastic. Who'd have thought that one could ever describe a toolbar as fantastic?? What makes it so different, you ask? It is retractable, like many toolbars, it has a HINT button (refillable) and a journal like many others, so what sets it apart? It's beautifully done with animated statues on each side (when you pull it up and when it retracts). They added even more detail when you use the journal, having a tentacle that settles back upon it when you've finished reading it.

    Speaking of the journal, a lot of information goes in there - things you experience, extra story... but also some hints of what you're supposed to do, which is both good (if you need help) and bad (if you don't want the help). You will find that there is a LOT of story to this game, should you decide to immerse yourself in the newspaper clippings, diaries, etc that you find throughout the game. You do not HAVE to read all of this information to proceed in the game, although you may have to click on said items to progress.

    The story is gripping enough that I am now on my second time through the game... today. It has its confusing moments, but overall, a solid storyline.

    Navigation is done via crystalline directional arrows. When you move the cursor to make a movement, ALL possible exits to the scene will light up, a MUCH-appreciated touch, as it cuts down on confusion.

    The HINT button is available throughout the game and has a moderate refill speed. During a HOG scene, it will circle a hidden item, during the adventure portion of the game, it will show you which direction you need to go, or highlight an item you may have missed.

    That brings me to "Easy mode". Having the game on easy mode does not make it "easy", it simply gives you a bit more help. Hidden object scenes that need to be played will still have sparklies, no matter which mode you are in, but having it in easy mode will help you find items you might not notice, otherwise. The "sparkles" on items you should interact with are not "in your face" - they are understated, and if you're not paying attention (Hrmmm... Who, me? ), you may miss them. I love that you can have the easy mode on and still not feel like you're being hit over the head with unsolicited hints. If you are new to adventure gaming, I highly suggest leaving the game on easy mode.

    I had "a-ha" moments several times throughout the game, as Shadow Town has elements of many games that I have enjoyed in the past: Vampire Saga: Pandora's Box, Mystery of the Mary Celeste, The Great Gatsby, PuppetShow, Dire Grove. It reminded me of each of these at different points, but this game is all its own.
    Definitely a recommended game. If you don't like it at first, give it some time - I'm sure glad I did! :thumb:

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:21 pm

    Don't Go On First Impressions

    December 30, 2011

    First time I tried this game, I gave up almost before I started. There is too much time spent on the (irritating) lead in and I found the gameplay annoyingly hard to follow at first.

    However, I'm here to say I was wrong. After playing and enjoying the sequel, Insomniac, I gave this one another try. It's actually very well done, and I have no hesitation in recommending it.

    The intro doesn't really lead you to expect the superb artwork that follows. HO scenes are uncluttered yet challenging and relevant. Music very atmospheric although it got on my nerves after a while. I enjoyed the focus being on HO rather than puzzles as I'm not much at them.

    The adventure stuff was a little difficult to follow and I needed to use hint to point me to the next task more often than usual, but it did follow a logical sequence in line with the story.

    My only criticism (other than the 'film' segments, which I never took to) is that there is too many clicks involved in getting from the scene where you find the tool and the scene where you use it. To and froing is okay by me usually, but it tried my patience here.

    In the game's defense, part of its governing logic and theme is being trapped in mazes, so there is a reason for it.

    The ending was satisfying even though you never really find out what was going on. More on this is available in the sequel, where much of this game's story makes more sense. Great games to play back-to-back.

    I recommend this game!

    Esme

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Esme on Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:42 pm

    THIS GAME.  Overreaction

    genkicoll

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by genkicoll on Sun Apr 27, 2014 1:53 pm

    Mahaha Belly laugh

    Justie, you probably don't know this, but Esme is famous for her rants about this series Snicker


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    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:01 pm

    Oh dear! lol  better block my ears La la la! 

    Esme

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Esme on Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:02 pm

    Stupid lizard/fish people who don't obey the laws of physics....

    *walks away grumbling to herself like a crazy conspiracy theorist*  faceplant

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:06 pm

    been a while since I played it, but isn't that the sort of thing you expect from stupid lizard people who exist one who knows what, come from who knows where and are the bad guys, and maybe, like, supernatural or was it extraterrestrial. I know that they were outside the box somewhere.... just ssayingg  Snicker

    Esme

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Esme on Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:10 pm

    There is a boat. floating. UNDERWATER!

    You carry around a lighter for the whole game... UNDERWATER!

    You don't even know that you are somehow a lizardperson.... UNDERWATER!!!

    This game tried to kill me. 
     SOS!

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:13 pm

    Crazy faints And you are going to choke me. Not enough ways to say how much I am roflmao HA! HA! HA! HA! HA! Belly laugh 

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:14 pm

    um, were we underwater in that game? Dunno 

    Esme

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Esme on Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:18 pm

    You fall out of a boat in the first scene after your girlfriend whacks you. Or something like that. 

    This game drives me bonkers(er)!

     faints 

    LOL!

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Apr 27, 2014 2:43 pm

    I HATED the beginning of it. It was really weird and boring and confusing all at once. But after that, was good. Still confusing, and misty, but good.

    Esme

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Esme on Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:09 pm

    This game tried to kill me... three times. No one will ever convince me otherwise.  Yeah right

    luvtoread

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by luvtoread on Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:59 pm

    JTF---You must play all three.     I believe it was Insomniac  that had the steroidal
    chicken.    Shock    We were doing a group play,   and we were afraid that esme had stopped to
    smell the flowers and we would have to rescue her  Offering  OH!  (or was that in Origin?)    

    esme has the Best  Rants   Ever!!    Belly laugh

    Esme

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Esme on Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:04 pm

    I don't even know how I got sucked into that group play! LOL 

    I am still scarred from the experience.  Laugh

    luvtoread

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by luvtoread on Sun Apr 27, 2014 5:08 pm

    I'm still laughing!! Belly laugh

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by JustTheFacts on Sun Apr 27, 2014 9:59 pm

    I remember the chicken! I think. Where it jumps right up into your face? I thought that was another game?

    Butterflyshrimp

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Butterflyshrimp on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:39 pm

    luvtoread wrote:JTF---You must play all three.     I believe it was Insomniac  that had the steroidal
    chicken.    Shock    We were doing a group play,   and we were afraid that esme had stopped to
    smell the flowers and we would have to rescue her  Offering  OH!  (or was that in Origin?)    

    esme has the Best  Rants   Ever!!    Belly laugh
    Hi All -

    JTF - Luvtoread is right....you 'must' play all three Shadow Town games.   I think we (or I...but DJ was in the group also) 'smelled the roses' too many times in Insomniac, esme disappeared,  we had an APB out on her with a group rescue planned... (that doc was planning a certain brain surgery),  then everything got sort of hazy.  I've never tried so hard to escape from a game in my life & had doubts I would in Insomniac.     Stars 

    Luvtoread - Your so right about Esme's rant...it was priceless.  I wish I'd printed a copy of it.     Belly laugh   It was Shadowtown #3 that had the giant steroidal mutant chicken/human/lizardman what-cha-ma call it.  I don't know if we ever decided for sure which it really was.  Does this mean we need to do another group play of all three Shadow Towns?         Shock      Sweat drop        I'm not telling esme!    I vote for Luvtoread or DJ.      Whistle


    Last edited by Butterflyshrimp on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:48 pm; edited 1 time in total

    Butterflyshrimp

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Butterflyshrimp on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:47 pm

    Esme wrote:I don't even know how I got sucked into that group play! LOL 

    I am still scarred from the experience.  Laugh

    It wasn't your fault esme.  We sort of egged you into it (pun intended) with the giant mutant steroidal chicken/lizard man thingy.       Poke with a stick   
    Begging didn't work, so we resorted to drastic measures....OMGosh...what a great rant you had!      Belly laugh

    Butterflyshrimp

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Butterflyshrimp on Sun Apr 27, 2014 10:55 pm

    JustTheFacts wrote:I remember the chicken! I think. Where it jumps right up into your face? I thought that was another game?
    JTF - The giant steroidal mutant chicken (or whatever it was) might have been jumping around in the game but we didn't see it.  This was 'after' the fact.   lol

    Butterflyshrimp

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Butterflyshrimp on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:16 pm

    Esme wrote:THIS GAME.  Overreaction

    ROFLMFO...again!       Belly laugh      Happy bounce

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by JustTheFacts on Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:54 am

    I actually have played all 3 games. And they certainly do work better as a team, but I didn't play them all together like that. I remember only how much I revised my opinion of Shadowtown after playing Insomniac, and then some long time later I played number 3. Was all very cleverly done I thought, but I would have loved to have been there for esme's rant!! Evil Grin 

    Butterflyshrimp

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by Butterflyshrimp on Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:17 pm

    JustTheFacts wrote:I actually have played all 3 games. And they certainly do work better as a team, but I didn't play them all together like that. I remember only how much I revised my opinion of Shadowtown after playing Insomniac, and then some long time later I played number 3. Was all very cleverly done I thought, but I would have loved to have been there for esme's rant!! Evil Grin 
    I played each game several times trying to figure them out.  I liked Twisted Lands:  Shadow Town but couldn't figure out why/when things happened the way they did or their sequence.  In Insomniac, that game had me running in circles with questions.  After completing Shadow Town #3, some questions were answered...before we got to the giant mutated chicken/lizard/man or whatever it was...that led to more questions.  They were fun games on one hand but on the other hand their was little to hold onto for a logical explanation, which only led to more questions for me.  Only one other game at BF frustrated me as much as Insomniac...Whitehaven Mysteries.  The legal complications in Insomniac & White Haven Mysteries are mind boggling to me with both games having the same legal conclusions.  Me...getting too involved in a game...never!  lol    Embarrassed

    esme's rant was marvelous (and so funny), I wish you could have read it also...you would have loved it!  She's a pro!      Evil Grin

    JustTheFacts

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    Re: Twisted Lands 1: Shadow Town

    Post by JustTheFacts on Mon Apr 28, 2014 2:28 pm

    Yes, I remember the ah-ha! moments with both of these games when it became clear what the missing piece of the puzzle was. All of a sudden, I had to totally re-examine my perceptions!  Shock 

    It's a very rare game (or book or movie) where the end is actually a (logically acceptable but unexpected) surprise. I cherish those that do.

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