32165787 | Added on: January 18, 2016
H.P. Lovecraft and the world of hidden object games. I don't know if more of this is available, but if it is, I will absolutely be tracking it down ASAP. Horror and HOG already go together quite well, but it's strange how perfect a fit the eldritch horror of Lovecraft is for the slow-burn of the HOG world. Eerie locations, crumbling necropoles, ancient tomes which need to be pieced back together - this is all a perfect fit for the object hunting gameplay of HOGs. So it's only natural that this particular game has such a solid foundation due to its adaptation of Lovercraft's sole full-length novella, At the Mountains of Madness. The game is a fairly straight adaptation of the story, leaving out the bleaker elements, and adding copious puzzle-solving to the story's more procedural investigation.
Now, the Hidden Object judging criteria!
Criteria 1: To what degree do the puzzle screens look like a thrift store vomited on my monitor?
This is a bit of a problem in the game. While for the most part the developers have tried to ensure the items being looked for are things that would naturally occur an Elder City being investigated by a New England university - mapping tools, first aid supplies, and the like. Then the game will throw in some random nonsense just to fill out the scene, such as a violin and untold amounts of household and cooking supplies. It's not an excessive amount, however, and the game is largely good at making sure that everything is an appropriate size and placed in a logical location. A little more annoying is the game's habit of reusing sprites of certain hidden objects from scene to scene - I saw the same sextant more times than I care to count. It's far from perfect presentation, but well above average.
Criteria 2: Are the searches justified by the premise/story?
Almost half the time! While many of the game's hidden object screens hold to the standard 'find 3 important items and 20 others' framework, there are a few where the player is simply asked to track down the items they actually need. Whether it's torn pieces of paper or a broken window that requires piecing-together, these departures were always welcome. Also welcome is the game's use of one of my favourite devices - HOG screens which start out cluttered, but gradually find themselves cleaned up as the player is asked to return to them time and again. It's something of a reward for players who play close attention during their first visit to a screen, as they'll have noticed the microscope and filed that information away for when they inevitably return!
Criteria 3: How well do the various puzzles and object searches meld together to form a coherent whole?
A darn fine job - with gorgeous architecture to gawp at, items-filled screens to dig through, and an enthralling mystery to unravel, Mountains of Madness is an immensely engaging journey. Even the puzzles are just the right balance of challenging and accessible. Standard fare, to be sure, but they're well-enough designed and implemented that they never violate the reality of the world. With the exception of a game of 'Collapse' that turns up right at the end.
I can't stress enough how well Lovercraft melds with the Hidden Object genre. At The Mountains of Madness is the most obvious choice for an adaptation, but a surprisingly large number of his stories would be incredibly easy to adapt, and even demand the treatment in some cases. Who wouldn't want to journey beneath the Sphinx as Houdini? Or find themselves shipwrecked on R'lyeth, scrambling for some kind of escape? People looking for more fantastic settings have all of the dream-travelling to choose from. Even something relatively grounded, such as the Case of Charles Dexter Ward could be transformed into a satisfying hidden object mystery more easily than any of the works of Agatha Christie which are so frequently plundered. No, in addition to being a well-above-average HOG, Mountains of Madness serves as a statement that these are great stories just waiting to be told again in a new format.
Cat_In_RV | Added on: August 6, 2012
This is by far my favorite of the Mystery Stories games. The story pulls you in and makes you feel that you are there. To my mind this is more of an adventure game than a HOG. The HO scenes are incidental to the story. There are many other actions required, and many puzzles of various kinds to solve. The graphics are well drawn and interesting. The variety of scenes is very believeable. If you are stuck, the hint button will show you where to go next. I really like that you can get advice rather than a specific hint. It makes the game more fun. It's also nice that you don't need to go hunting for a walk-through. Everything you need is right there. I have played this game twice and will probably play it again in a few months. I wish there were more like it.
mystemo | Added on: January 23, 2012
The game has a great hook, to get you sucked into it, by using the Lovecraft mythos and this sets a great premise for a hidden object game. The visuals are beautiful and I'm loving the widescreen presentation nowadays. The game features some good thinking puzzles, but does get a little predictable when you have, for example, a star logo on a door and you need to find a star to fit the door. The objects are fairly easy to find, but what keeps things interesting is the story and this does well - but this game only begins what could be a great series of games. It's a bit short at only a few hours max, but we'll see if they bring more now under the 'Mystery Stories' brand.
Ridindawind | Added on: January 24, 2012
This game pulls you in from the very beginning, and keeps your interest til the credits have run!! Using the H.P. Lovecraft story is a neat concept and adding a female character gave it a bit of a twist as you change characters throughout gameplay. Love the graphics and the scenes. The artwork isn't the best I've ever seen, but it is still very nice and pleasing to look at. The narration is short and to the point,the narrators voice is deep and gives you feelings of foreboding and fear. Very well done!!. It is a very graphic and creepy with lots of dead bodies so this is definately not for younger children, being a mother and grandmother I would say it's ok for 14 and older. I really enjoyed the HO scenes,mini games and puzzles some are easy, others a bit more difficult, a nice mix. The story line is wonderful, I have always been fascinated with the stories of other beings on this planet. The hint system is wonderful,giving you small increments of help each time you click on it, there is no waiting for the hint to refill so you are able to use it whenever needed. I have to admit that eventho I played in casual mode I had to use the hints a few times.. IMHO this is one of the best HOG's I've played, The developers totally ROCKED IT !!! JOB WELL DONE.!!! I do hope that that the "Mystery Stories" will turn into a series, with such a bang up beginning!! So wether you're a lovecraft fan or just enjoy a very well done HOG, this game is well worth a play and a permanent slot in your game library:) I Highly Recommend it! :) This game also has great replay value and I will be playing it again often. Enjoy ! LW
emi1 | Added on: January 23, 2012
this game grabbed me from the moment i opened it. the music is the 1st thing-it is suspensful/kinda scary/dark. it sets the mood brilliantly. the graphics are dark also-figuratively and actually. i thot i'd have problems finding items when i 1st began playing, but that wasn't the case @ all. the dialogue is absolutely PERFECT. that's the 2nd thing that pulled me in-his voice is deep, his tone indicates his fear/reluctance to face something terrible and unknown, but it also indicates that he knows he must act to save the expedition. the story is gr8/facinating. i want to know how this one ends. the game itself is finding items in different locations-some items go in your invetory to use later. i liked the different ways u find items-words/shapes. i did find myself a bit frustrated when i wasn't sure what location i should proceed to, but i found that using the hint button was extreemly helpful. i really like that the hints don't tell u exactly what to do, but give u details that lead u where u need to go. i played the casual mode, and found that even in that mode the game is challenging. the mini games are typical-ring puzzles/putting together torn apart pages, etc. i liked that u can skip the mini puzzles if u like. i think if u like HOGs, u'll like this one. i can't wait to see how it ends. wonderful job to the makers of this one.
Jem888 | Added on: January 23, 2012
I liked the graphics, the storyline was okay but not great. The puzzles were really easy. I played the game through in about 3.5 hours. I used a free game coupon so I enjoyed it and it was a nice relaxing way to spend the afternoon in on a snowy day. I would recommend getting as a free or sale game unless you are really new and inexperienced with HOG's.
Tayotae | Added on: January 27, 2012
This game has good graphics and great sound effects. You feel like you are the and it is cold and the wind, oh man the wind. Planes crach alot here, so be perpared. The is no direction to guide you in this game. It is a kind of hunt and pick thing. You will have to use all the imagation you have and then some to move through this one. Good luck.
chi23 | Added on: January 23, 2012
liked this game made me think, had to use hint more then I liked, but still had fun playing.
GameDancer | Added on: February 8, 2012
I gave this game a 4 star rating because I was saddened that the game play was short. The graphics were decent but the music was a bit irritating. I'm a H.P. Lovecraft fan(read all his short stories) so I was familiar w/this story line. I thought the creators could have lengthened this game more especially towards the end because this was one of Lovecrafts's longest short stories. A map for this game would have helped but than the game play would have been even shorter ;( The mini games were good & the hidden objects at times were challenging...good memory test for your brain remembering where the HOs were to complete tasks. I was looking for more... it's a good game but not a great game perhaps because I already knew the story line & so much more could have been offered to us gamers.
lre7 | Added on: January 24, 2012
After reading other reviews and playing the trial, I was really looking forward to playing the rest of this game. Little did I realize there was so little game left. I also like more HO scenes in my HO games. I don't mind running back and forth in a game too much, as long as there is plenty of game. Very disappointed in this game and bummed I used a cedit to get it.
anno0406 | Added on: January 30, 2012
I found this game to be really beutifully done, but it is quite hard to sometimes figure out what to do. a plus for the story.
loopy | Added on: January 23, 2012
I liked this game okay, it was challenging and interesting. But you had to flip back and forth from one scene to the other too much for my taste. I understand having to re vist other sites on a HOG game, but you pick up one thing, have to go to another site for one thing, go back to original site, do one thing, pick something up and go back again. It was kind of annoying. Not for little kids, there were dead bodies and blood in the opening of the game.
tbug53 | Added on: January 23, 2012
This game is very entertaining, beautiful graphics, and what I liked most of all I didn't have to read the letters/dialouge as it was audible.The only thing I could complain about is that it is much too short...
PopcornLover | Added on: January 23, 2012
I was very surprised by this game; I had started to think that the HOG genre was getting stale. However, this game has given me hope. Based on the novel by H. P. Lovecraft, this game has been added to my Christmas wish list. The game stays pretty faithful to the novel (as I remember it, anyway), the only big difference that I saw was that there were no female characters in the book. You play as Lynn Morgan and sometimes as Dr. Dyer. You are investigating the lose of contact with an Antarctic expedition, only to find that almost everyone has be murdered. The most remarkable thing about this game is the hint system, I've never seen a game that used anything like it. If you click it once, you will get just general information, like what direction you need to go. If you click twice, you'll get a lot more info on what to do. This helps both the novice and the expert gamer who doesn't want or need "hand holding". The other unique thing was the hidden object scenes; if you visit a site more than once, all the items you found before are removed from the screen. The skip button refills quickly, too. The voice over tells you what you need to know without yammering on forever. I thought the mini-games were nice, but they didn't offer me much challenge. The graphics are good, but don't have the "star quality" of a Blue Tea game, but that's a relatively minor thing. This is a very good game, and a wonderful adaptation of a book. This game deserves a 4.3 rating.
talba | Added on: January 23, 2012
This really is one of the best games that I've played in a long time. The storyline was pretty good, the graphics were great, and the game play was just challenging enough. The mini-games provided a nice break. I highly recommend this game to anyone who likes HOGs.
MrsB | Added on: March 7, 2012
Good illustrations, I thought I was just getting into it when the game was over.
lsmith20 | Added on: July 23, 2012
I really liked this game overall. I thought the graphics were really good and the story was interesting. My only complaints are that it was kind of a short game and it wasn't always clear what to do next. I would love to see more games like this, maybe even some sequels.
ashjames | Added on: February 21, 2012
the good comments make it seem like this is the best game to buy and its not. i think its was a waste of money and ive never said that about any other game. the reason why i say that is because its too rushed. you come to the alien city and you enter like 2 or 3 buildings of the entire plane and when you find out what killed the "elder things" you start running away. the story itself is all over the place. i just think there couldve been alot more to do.. alot more to discover even a way to defeat the monsters under the city not flee em lol..
Syren | Added on: January 25, 2012
Put your thinking cap on! This game is mostly about finding objects you need to solve puzzles and completing tasks to move forward; which is what I really like. It's more adventure, problem solving oriented than HOG scene oriented. So it really comes down to what kind of HOG you prefer. The graphics, storyline, etc were good. You played mainly as one character, but as another at some points, which is always interesting if done right. Which it was except when they split up, you were told to leave all your supplies behind and go forward into the unknown. Made scenario seem unlikely to me. Some puzzles were very quite simple, but others required a bit more thinking and if I recall correctly you always needed to find certain objects before you could complete them. But hints were plenty if you needed them. I gave this 4 instead of 5 stars for two reasons. First, I hate having to navigate all the way back to the start point for an item you weren't allowed to "pick up" before, then navigate back to were you were to complete a task. Since the storyline requires that in some cases, ok. But to have to go back for an item you weren't allowed before is just annoying. I think an interactive map that allows you to jump straight to a scene is needed if going back and forth like that is going to happen more than a couple times even is getting lost is unlikely. Second, it was just too short. Fun with a FunPass, but I wouldn't purchase a game this short. Only took me a couple hours. And once you played and solved everything, I'd say there is no replay value. It sounded a lot creepier than it actually was. There was a couple scenes that made it not so kid friendly depending on age. I'd rate it PG-13 to be on the safe side. All in all, this is the type of HOG I prefer and look for. Very involved and lots of puzzles and tasks. HOG scenes were pretty good, just enough to keep the hidden object vs. task oriented game in balance. I'd recommend it definitely to those with a FunPass.
DCinMI | Added on: February 18, 2012
I bought this game because it had so many good reviews. I've played more games of this type than I could easily count. Usually after playing for a short while, I settle in and get a feeling for how the game works and what I'm supposed to be doing. Not this game. The only time I know what I'm supposed to be doing is when I happen to stumble on an actual H.O. scene, and then I can't always tell what I'm looking for or looking at. I use the hint button, go where it tells me to go, look around, can't figure out what to do, use the hint button again, etc. Over and over and over. There's no map, no way to know if you've finished searching a location or not, no way to know if you need to travel all over the place looking for items and solutions or whether everything you need is nearby. I don't know how many times I've clicked on something because my cursor changed shape or whatever, and then it says something like, "That's interesting." or "that looks like an ancient Egyptian martian face." or something equally unhelpful. I rated it "somewhat relaxing" only because there was no option near to what this game makes me feel. I am a peace-loving person, but I actually want to punch this game in the face. Others have said this game is too short, but it's plenty long for me, since I get frustrated and quit after only a few minutes. I don't mind a challenge, but I at least like to know what the challenge is.