Charlaine Harris: Dying For Daylight
This is the first part of a series that died before it even began. People who bought the game were outraged when they reached the end, only discover a "To be continued..." The title page clearly says "Ep. 1," but I guess they just didn't notice since it doesn't mention the episodic nature in the title. It's a shame since this is a really enjoyable game -- one that I believe was ahead of its time.
The title page has a woman singing -- unusual for this type of game! The Margrave
series is the only other IHOG I've seen that has singing on the main page. There are separate sliders for voice, music, and sounds, and you have an option for full screen or widescreen.
The cutscenes are done comic book style, and the full game is voiced over. The heroine's voice is sultry and kittenish, clearly setting the tone for her character with just a few sentences. The graphics during gameplay are beautiful, with rich colors and interesting perspectives. The game opens up right to a how-to page, showing how this type of game is played. Good for those new to the genre~ Just close this page to start the game properly.
We have a journal that gives us some extra story, and with no unsolicited hints!
Above that (and to the right) is a button you can use to access your trophy room. Here in the trophy room we can listen to the music, examine our trophies, and re-watch any cutscenes at our leisure.
The hidden object scenes are lightly interactive, and our very first scene includes an optional mini-game. If we defeat the game, we get a special prize. Not necessary to the gameplay, but fun~! I love that they made this optional, it's a nice touch. There is a random-click penalty. The HINT button is refillable. You can leave a hidden object scene and return to it later, if you wish, and the hint button will continue to refill whilst you do other things. Some of the items are really hard to find, as there is often glass (or other transparent items) distracting the eye. Nicely hidden in plain sight, not tiny or dark. We will revisit HOG scenes, and the lists are randomized, so there is a likelihood of finding the same items more than once.
Using a hint during the adventure portion of the game will give you a list of topics. Choose one to get a detailed hint. The game is definitely not easy! Unlike most IHOG's of today, using the hint button doesn't give you a directional hint or lead you by the nose by highlighting things you might have missed. The written hints we are given do tell us exactly what need to be done, but missing something (easy to do, there's so much to interact with!) can really trip you up! I like that I needed to *think*, but still didn't need to resort to a walkthrough.
Mini-games are skippable, except for the Hangman game, which is entirely optional. You can do the hangman twice that I noticed.
We have a compass above our journal, which will become useable once we discover additional locations to visit. Clicking on the compass will allow us to instantly transport to a new area of our choice.
There are four chapters, and each time you complete a chapter, you'll get a "To be continued..." and will be kicked out to the main menu. Don't be alarmed, the game isn't over! Just click on the 'Play' button continue on to the next "episode." Although it's a bit cumbersome, this aspect of the game is really nice for those who need to step away from the game for a while, for when you start a new chapter, you'll first get a review of what you've done in the game so far. Now that I've finished the game, I see that every time you complete a chapter, the "Ep. 1" on the title page will change to reflect where you are in the story. ie. When you're on the 4th chapter, it will say, "Ep. 4."
Once you've completed the game, you can still access your trophy room by clicking on the Play button.
I think that all of the voices (save one) were beautifully done, and full of character without being over the top. I like the song that we hear on the title page (and in the trophy room,) and I really enjoyed the graphics and the gameplay. Yes, the game ends only half way through the story, but it's a good stopping point. I wish that people hadn't decided to boycott the game because of the "cliffhanger" , because I really would have liked to play the second game! Alas, after 2.5 years, I don't think that Part II is to be :(
Despite the fact that we only get to play half of the story, I do recommend this game. It's definitely entertaining, and I don't regret buying it in the slightest. The length is good, and the place where the game ends isn't at a dramatic point, so there's none of that "I can't believe they left us hanging there!!" type of feeling, so I was happy with the game.