New And Improved HdO –
Says All You Need To Know***
BASED ON DEMO
Well, it’s HdO, a series and game style I absolutely hate, but I was so impressed to find it rereleased, complete with horrific reviews calling the game “outdated”, written (did you notice?) in April 2013! So I played the demo – all of the demo! I was cut short by the timer! And I still can’t tell you what it is that kept this jaded old reviewer so absorbed.
For those who haven’t had the dubious experience of playing previous HdO games, they all have a feel that is theirs alone. They look archaic. The game play is classic iHOG, little to no animation, find the items in the location – not junk piles, small items, photo-realistic graphics, no choices of difficulty for the main game (will come back to this), no voiceovers, a lot of unavoidable talk, and a tutorial that really got in the way. No choices for the next move.
Its unique features, which is why this style of game has its fierce defenders, include a parallax view (picture is bigger than the monitor, so you can move around it, use a zoom-in option and such, to create a kind of 3D effect in otherwise boring and inanimate locations. Likewise, the story treatment is sort of realistic, in the sense that it is based in the here and now, no swords or magic potions to find, and has a logical progression. Nothing is technically difficult about the game, HOPs are challenging mainly because the items are often small. The puzzles are not new or difficult – except you arrogantly don’t pay attention to the puzzle’s instructions, because there’s no going back, and there is 3 minutes to wait for skip! No map needed, you can’t choose the next move.
There is a strange hint system that gives you a finite number of hints, but after using one, you can wait for 1 minute for the base one. You can collect “hints” by finding stars in each location. Easy peasy to see. There’s a Match 3 puzzle which you do as well, which rewards you with new hints. But there is also a misclick penalty. There is a choice on some puzzles (which are called jigsaws in this game) to opt for the easier version, but you must wait 1 minute for it.
So. That’s the game. What? What’s the story? Well, we are after a guy for tax evasion and possible murder – of our partner of course. So we put a tracking device on one of his colleagues and follow him. We really hate this guy, and we are gonna get him, fair means or foul. Actually, no. We may be the muscle arm of the Tax Bureau, but we’re not totally without morals! Hee hee.
Well, heck, I just don’t know! It is the same as every other HdO game, and should totally appal me, but it didn’t. It is the kind of one-off, never play it game, except that one wet wintery day when it suddenly seems to be the right game for the mood. Or as a cult classic. Or for HdO fans, a new and much better technically game from the series.
Which means there are people out there who are going to love this game. But it probably won’t be you.