Otherworld 1: Spring of Shadows
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Options include separate sliders
for Music and Sound, Custom Cursor and Full-screen (has auto-widescreen). Choice of Casual, Expert or Hardcore Mode.NOTE
for the extreme arachnophobes: There is a scene where you need to find (non-moving) spiders.Story
You move out to the countryside to start a nice quiet life, but fate has other plans. You quickly learn that the family that had been living in your new home disappeared under mysterious circumstances, and you could swear that picture of a little girl just spoke to you... Enter another world, where magic is not always beautiful, and shadows watch your every move.
has three tabs in it: A task list (check mark), story (magnifying glass) and characters (silhouette of a person). We get regular updates with extra story in the magnifying glass section, and background info is added as we discover each character.
The story took several unexpected turns and surprised me more than once.Sights and Sounds
The music is very nice, ranging from beautiful to creepy to comical depending on where you are in the story. Cutscenes are voiced, though the rest of the game is not. What we're lacking in quantity is made up for in quality, with compelling voice overs that make you wish that the whole game was dubbed.
The graphics, while not stunning, are nicely-done and environmental.Gameplay
I don't think the first one shows up until you've accessed the magical world. but be on the lookout for collectible fairies
as you play. These fairies can be on zoom-ins, but I didn't spot any during HOS.
The game is sometimes a bit fiddly with the placement of items, so if you think you've got the right solution, just try again!
There IS a MAP
, but you won't find it until Chapter 2 of the game. Individual locations are not marked. This map is used to insta-transport to new areas
of the world. Areas that have unfinished tasks will have an lantern next to them, but you'll never see more than two open areas at once (the rest will be locked). Pro tip
: Although there is no fast-travel within areas, if you want to quickly move back to the first location of a region, just click on the map and select the area you're in for a nice time-saving jump.
Using a HINT
during the adventure portion will either pinpoint a hotspot or give you a text hint
(NOT exact instructions) about what to do next.
The Hidden Object Scenes
are primarily find-x-number-of-items, but there are several other types, including fragmented objects, finding pictured areas of the scene, solving riddles, pairing up related items and finding items by picture. I was actually 3 hours into game before seeing my first find-by-list HOS! These scenes can have items hidden inside other objects, so mouse-around, and click when your cursor turns into a hand.Mini-games
range from mosaic/stained glass-type puzzles to cutouts (using your cursor to trace lines) to pattern recognition, and more. There are 62 mini-games, total, and all of them were doable for me... Although I sometimes needed to use the HINT button to help me out with some aspects. ;)Pro tip
RE the stained glass towards the end of the game: There are a LOT of cutouts you need to do here, but all you have to do is click on the black lines - you don't have to trace the glass cutouts ;)
The main game has a great ending, beautifully setting us up for the next game in the series. I did get called away from the computer several times, and I took the time to comple every mini-game, so it took me almost 6 hours to complete this part.CE Content
- Integrated Strategy Guide
- Bonus Chapter
- 60 Collectible Fairies
- 6 Wallpapers
- 36 Concept Art
- 10 Replayable Cutscenes
- 14 Music Tracks (no option to save)
The extra chapter is a prequel, showing the events that led up to the family's disappearance, and introducing a character whom we'll meet in the next game. Here you'll find the one and only HOS that has the interactive items marked in a different color (yellow). The puzzles for this chapter are a bit more of your standard fare, whereas the main game had minis that are a bit less common.Verdict
:Otherworld: Spring of Shadows
has a tale that took me by surprise, drawing me in and shaking me about like a ragdoll. I think that the story is its greatest strength, followed by the fun and interesting gameplay. A beautiful beginning to a series which I look forward to playing more of!