Haunting Mysteries: The Island of Lost Souls
I have to mention the contrast presented as you load the game. Here we have a dark and serious story, which starts out with the super-cute logo of Fuzzy Bug Interactive. Wha... ? Hahaha
There are separate sliders for Music and Sound, a custom cursor option, and two modes of play -- Casual and Expert -- and the tutorial is option on both. The game automatically adjusted for wide-screen, and looked great that way.
The game tracks your time, so it's easy to see how long it takes to complete the game... not to mention trying to beat your own "score"!
The HINT refills at different rates, depending on which mode you choose. Using a hint during the adventure portion will tell you nothing
-- just that you should look elsewhere.
The game started off with back-to-back HOS, which didn't bode well for me, since I really enjoy the adventure elements of these games, but there was a good reason to have two so close together, and afterwards, the adventure and HOS balanced out very nicely.
HOS are just your basic lists, but there is occasionally some very light interaction (like opening a box to find more items.) Items that need an extra step are listed in yellow. These scenes are a bit junky, and there are no too-dark areas. but some of the items are really too
well-hidden!. These scenes repeat once each (except the first two,) and the lists are randomized.
I went with Expert mode, and there is a rapid misclick penalty. There are no sparkles on this mode except to indicate HO scenes.
There is NO journal. The story progresses through interaction with other characters and the occasional letter or diary you may find. There is also no MAP, though I don't feel the game really needed one.
There are sometimes no instructions for the mini-games (remember that I'm playing on Expert,) but I was able to figure them all out without any troubles.
Your inventory scrolls left and right, though you can't see the arrow unless you mouse-over your task bar. There's (what I consider) a glitch with the inventory, in that when an item is used, the other inventory items do not move over to take its place, so you may have three empty slots that you can see, but still have a second "page" of items that you need to scroll over to see. Right-clicking does not return an item to your inventory -- you have to place it there manually.
There are 32 achievements in the main game, even in the standard edition of the gameCE Content
- Bonus Chapter
- Integrated Strategy Guide (stays open to where you leave it)
- Achievements (24 "secret awards")
- 9 Music tracks (no save button )
- 9 Concept Art
- 6 Wallpapers
- Mini Games (6 jigsaws, plus one HOS that they decided not to use in the game)
- 3 Screen Savers
The bonus chapter takes place at least several years before the main game, and I didn't find it as interesting.
The main game took me three and a half hours and the bonus took ~ 1 hour, 25 minutes for a total of just under 5 hours (not including the bonus jigsaws and HOS, which I didn't play.)
I missed eight of the main achievements and nine of the bonus achievements. *shrugs*
This is not a difficult game, even in Expert mode. I found it relaxing, with a decent story and fun gameplay. I do enjoy a challenge on my HO scenes, but a few items on each scene were TOO hard to find. I really don't think the game can be completed without using the hint button, and by the time I hit the bonus chapter, I was a little irritated by the too-well-hidden items.
In the end, I have to say that I enjoyed the game. Worth the CE price? Absolutely not, but if you get a great deal (like 1/2 price CE's,) then I'd recommend it.