Halloween Chronicles 2: Evil Behind a Mask
(IHOG or Match-3 Adventure)A corny and colorful Halloween treat with a couple of mildly spooky moments.
Options include separate sliders for Music, SFX, Environment and Voices, Stretch (non-default, the game starts with black bars on the sides), Custom Cursor, Full-screen and Special Effects. Choice of three pre-set difficulties, or you can go with Custom Mode.Story
The Boogeyman's last act before being banished is to turn his followers into masks, knowing that humans will one day put them on and unleash his minions, buying himself the time he needs to regain his powers. You head over to your uncle's place for Halloween, where your father proceeds to try one of those masks on... Now you need to stop him from "waking" the other monsters before they can summon the Boogeyman back to our realm.
There is no Journal, but we have a task list with a tab that will hold the notes that you find along the way.Gameplay
Be on the lookout for collectible coins, book pages and morphing figurines. There are three indicators in your task bar that will sparkle if there's something you've not found on that scene/zoom-in yet. You will have only a few locations accessible at any given time, so backtracking is limited, but you need to make sure you've found all of the collectibles before moving on to the next area.
Some things I really liked:
- The MAP is interactive, but also has buttons right there on the screen to turn on/off active locations and/or places where there are still collectibles to find.
- The logic is interesting. I really notice when we're asked to do something totally illogical, but I *also* love to see inventive ways to get things done. We are repeatedly required to think outside the box, but the solutions are (mostly) believable. For instance, using old fashioned, heavy headphones (with a springy cord) as a makeshift hook to grab something far away. That would totally work! The black bar popups from your character will give you hints to what needs to be done if you need it.
- Inventory items combine in a way I've not seen before. You can zoom in on an item and place other items there on the zoom-in to finish combining when you have all of the pieces. Frees up some space in your tool bar.
- Every Mini-games has three buttons off to the side: Easy, Hard and Reset. Yes, there really are different solutions to the puzzles if you choose Hard! Major kudos to you, devs! I love that we can go with an easier option if Hard is too difficult!
are available, and if the place you need to go is more than one screen away, the map will pop up to show you the way.
The Hidden Object Scenes
have varying degrees of interaction, and every scene seems to be a different type, ranging from lists to silhouettes to riddles to making a potion by finding the ingredients.
If you don't like the current HOS or can't find an item (and don't want to use a hint), you can switch to Match-3
(and back) at any time. The match-3 gameplay is fun and nicely Halloween-themed, and has some satisfying explosions when you charge pieces by matching five or more pieces. My only wish is that you could move pieces whilst new ones are falling into place.Sights and Sounds
The graphics are vibrant and fun without being garish, and there are some quite beautiful scenes, as well.
I did mention at the start of this review that the game is a little corny, and that would be mostly due to the voice acting. Start with normal voices, mix in the overly
-dramatic and add a lisping vampire, and I think you can see why I would say that! lol~ In addition, I spotted a couple of puns in the black bar pop-ups that had me snickering.CE Content
- Integrated Strategy Guide
- Collectibles (see below)
- In-game Achievements
- Bonus Chapter
- 20 Wallpapers
- 5 Music Tracks (can be saved)
- 31 Cutscene Videos
- 18 Hidden Object Scenes
- 20 Mini-games
- The book pages you find will go into your Book of Monsters, which you can find in the Extras section
- Figurines also have a section in the Extras, and you can click on them to enlarge and read about them (mythological creature lore)
- Coins are used to purchase decorations for your Trophy Room
I didn't enjoy the extra chapter as much as the main game. The logic was a little more far-fetched, and it seems like an alternate history, as the way it plays out doesn't mesh up with primary storyline. It almost seems like it was written by a different author.Verdict
I really enjoyed the campy humor, the fun variety of hidden object types and the different-but-believable makeshift solutions we need to come up with to progress. The Match-3 we can play instead of finding HO's is well-designed and a nice alternative. The gameplay is a little formulaic, but overall, this was a fun, mildly-spooky Halloween-themed treat.