Campfire Legends: The Hookman
Options include separate sliders for Music and Sound, plus full-screen and Help (tips). On my widescreen there are huge black bars on both sides, but none on the top and bottom, at least.
Our interface is different than I'm using to seeing in this kind of game. The task bar at the bottom of the screen shows us which items we need to find, and our actual inventory is kept on the left side of the screen -- you can click on the Items button to access, but it will automatically open on scenes that you will need an inventory item on.
You have to earn your HINTS by finding bugs (aka fireflies) on the scenes. You can only have five hints at any one time, so wait to pick up bugs 'til you need 'em! They will appear on scenes you've been on before, so keep an eye out~
When you use a hint, you will see a message on the screen, and possibly a directional arrow (if whatever-it-is is not at your current location.) There is a rapid-misclick penalty, but it is not all that invasive. You can also use the bugs to get tiered hints to help you solve puzzles. No bugs, no help!
Some scenes are wider than can fit on one screen, and in these cases, you can click an arrow on the side of the screen, which will then scroll over to let you see the rest of the room. Items you need to find can be strewn across multiple locations; sometimes in plain sight, sometimes on zoom-in scenes. You never know where something will be, and it really amps up the difficulty level... especially when you consider that you have a limited amount of hints at any one time! Those pesky bugs do respawn, but you have to find them before you can use them!
The plot is refreshingly different. For once we're not rescuing a clueless husband or boyfriend, and it's not just the same old hookman story of urban legend. It took us places I never expected!
Although it seemed
short, it probably wasn't -- I've been playing mostly adventure games lately, and they're significantly longer than casual games!
The game mechanics are so very different than the casual games we see every day that it didn't really feel like an IHOG... but I can't term it an adventure, either! We spend a lot of time retracing our steps (in small areas) thinking, "I know a saw a x-item here somewhere, but where was it??" Usually this kind of thing is really frustrating, like in Silent Scream: The Dancer
when we saw that hammer in the attic, but couldn't pick it up. We knew we'd need it, but couldn't take it! In this
game however, it just added to the reality of the situation, possibly because there are no hidden object scenes like we're used to seeing. Coupled with the sinister plot, it added to the tension; Hurry, hurry, we have to hurry!
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that this game was much more than I had expected it to be, and more than anything, surprised at how very different it is from the usual IHOG fare