Love Story: Letters From The Past tries very hard to emulate a Nicholas Sparks romance novel replete with tons of melodrama and aching sentimentality but the generic and highly repetitious hidden object gameplay torpedoes any hope of the game making an iota of sense.
I guess pigs can fly as Anuman Interactive/Microids has finally made a game that feels contemporary and compares well to its peers. Based on Victor Hugo’s famous novel Les Misérables: Cosette’s Fate adapts his work into, of all things, a hidden object game. Most modern fans will probably remember Claude-Michel Schönberg’s and Alain Boublil’s musical take on the novel or director Tom Hooper’s recent big-budget movie adaptation. However, trying to shoehorn a literary classic into a game is certainly audacious and it has to be stated that developer Anuman Interactive is probably not any casual gamer’s first choice to head such a project based on their past output.
A while ago Hell apparently froze over because I finally played an Anuman Interactive/Microids produced hidden object game called Deadly Association HD that was actually decent as it seemed someone on staff finally managed to pen a coherent story. Sure, the gameplay was exactly the same as virtually every title that came before it but the narrative at least kept me interested during its short playtime. However, here we are a few months later with Jennifer Wolf and The Mayan Relics and, if anything, it proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Deadly Association HD was a complete fluke.
Mystery Cruise is an exercise in mediocrity from bland generic environments to uninteresting repetitive objects to discover. Throw in a ridiculously overwrought plot and a protagonist who is drawn as a kind of airhead and you have a recipe for disaster. Kudos goes to those players who actually manage to witness the ridiculously abrupt and totally dissatisfying ending.
The plot for Stolen Beauty HD: Fashion Mystery sounds very much like a reject script from a US daytime soap opera as a fashion journalist named Eva Sanders travels the world unravelling a rather awkward tale featuring supermodels that have had bad luck befall them, usually through physical maladies, that force them out of their vocation. Getting fat or having spots break out all over your face might sound, in the grand scheme of things, to be relatively minor issues yet for these young women it is enough to send them into hiding for fear of ruining their image. While I can’t say that the plot is rock solid the game does manage to mildly hold some intrigue until it decides, rather abruptly, to quickly change direction in the last thirty minutes of gameplay by introducing an element of the occult which simply does not work nor make an ounce of sense.
I better check the skies because pigs must be flying right about now as I’ve finally played an Anuman Interactive developed game that actually has a more or less coherent story. I feel as if I should reach for the nearest bottle of Dom Perignon and celebrate the rest of the night away. In all seriousness, Deadly Association HD is yet another cookie-cutter hidden object title with every single merit and fault found in their entire pantheon of games. However, it finally manages to go where no Anuman game has gone before in sucking players into a CSI inspired narrative that actually is logical and gripping enough to keep one entertained.
Ahh Anuman Interactive, my “favourite” hidden object game company. Of course I’m joking here but let it be said that no matter how “great” I find their games that they just keep pumping them out in their assembly line mentality to throw as much product out there as possible hoping to somehow strike gold. To be fair it isn’t as if the games are unplayable but one would think that after so many misfires that they would have learned by now to at least expand beyond their comfort zone but alas Criminal Investigation Agents – Petrodollars HD feels much the same as past games with perhaps one big caveat. When one thinks of all the best hidden object games out there and the storylines associated with them one can see that just about every genre has been touched upon from dramatic plots to comedic tales of revelry yet the majority focus on fantastical events and mystical lands of yore. Criminal Investigation Agents – Petrodollars HD takes a much different tact although I’m not sure if I would describe the end result as being enlightening.
When I read the title Atlantis: Mysteries of the Ancient Inventors HD the first impression that immediately came to mind was that I was probably going to experience a game where I would discover some insight into Ancient Atlantean culture and its many supposed fantastical inventions. Alas, what I received was yet another example of banal game design that hardly manages to present a coherent plot other than, “Let’s go find Atlantis.” Now, that is not necessarily a bad idea as there are literally a thousand variations of what happened to the long lost Atlantean civilization but the game makes the fatal mistake of crafting a hidden object experience that surely ranks as one of the worst on the market.