Paranormal Files: Silent Willow Beta Test

When the husband of a paranormal investigator goes missing, it’s up to her and her team to track him down. Can they save him from the forces of evil or is he the evil they’ve been fighting?

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It Happened Here: Streaming Lives Beta Test (Big Fish Games)

When a series of grisly murders occurs in the city of a podcast reporter, she sees an opportunity to make it big. Unfortunately, this mysterious killer is on to her, and she must find them before they find her.

Wasn’t expecting an opportunity to beta test again this quickly, but I’ll take it. What’s even better is that this game stars a podcaster and I’ve actually been thinking about going into podcasting myself. Anyway, the game is a murder mystery and, believe me, I’m a sucker for those. You play the main character, Emily Smith, a reporter who recently went into podcasting. I can’t say much about the plot because I only played a fraction of it, but I will tell you that the fraction I did play ended on a startling cliffhanger.

The game play is that of your typical hidden object. You collect items as you explore different scenes and then use them to advance through the plot. There are also mini games you can play, though one of them is a slide puzzle. Since I’m hopeless at those, I had to skip it. Like other hidden object games, you can use a map though the map comes in the form of a GPS app. However, not only can you use your phone to get around but also to record any messages that might be helpful towards the case. You can also replay the messages you record any time in the game.

This game is quite intriguing and left me wanting more. I plan on buying the full version when it comes out.

Rite of Passage: Bloodlines Beta Test

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When a reporter visits her childhood friends, she finds herself in the middle of a murder plot.  Can she find out who did it without becoming the killer’s next victim?

The plot is your cliché murder mystery, with a friend of a prestigious family trying to figure out who the murderer is.  Be prepared for some slight spoilers about the game. For starters, one of the servants is romantically involved with the family’s wealthy daughter.  However, clichés are not always bad as I found myself intrigued by the secrets of this very family and wanting to find out who the murderer is. In addition, it’s the closest I’ll ever get to attending an interactive murder mystery play.  One thing I had a problem with was when you come across a red herring where a woman who loved the son poisoned him for spurning her. When you confront her, she confesses that she did poison the son, but she meant to give him the antidote later.  Whether or not she meant to give him the antidote, the law still needs to punish her. If you shoot someone, the police won’t pardon you because you meant to take the bullet out and heal the wound later.

The game is your typical hidden object with you exploring various locations and collecting items to progress further in the game.  Some items require you to participate in hidden object scenes and you can even play mini-games. You also have a book filled with information about each of the characters that you add to as you find out more about the story.  If you’re stuck, use the rechargeable hint. I actually didn’t find the game hard to understand, so I rarely used it.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I am most definitely buying the full version when it comes out.

My Brother Rabbit Beta Test

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When a little girl falls ill, she and her brother imagine a childlike world where they can escape their troubles.  This world stars their stuffed bunny rabbit as he tries to find water for a dying flower.

The game is unique but, other than that, there’s not much to say about it.  I like the creative telling of the storybook world, filled with wonder and possibilities.  Meanwhile, we have the painful reality of a little girl having a terminal illness. The story itself has the style of an interactive picture book, with no words and only pictures to guide you.

Unfortunately, the game play does not live up to the design.  It is your standard hidden object, with you having to locate certain items and use them to advance the story.  Sometimes you have to play mini-games in order to advance the storyline. If you’re stuck, use a hint. Unfortunately, this game is so confusing that I found myself spamming the hint button more than once.

This game is unique, but that’s about it.  I have no interest in buying the full version.

Persian Nights: The Moonlight Veil Beta Test

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When the twin moons of Persia approach their full phase, the Academy restricts the students from using magic for their own safety.  Unfortunately, this is when Melika’s sister goes missing. Now she’s alone as she searches for her missing sister.

This is a fantasy story with a mystery twist.  I’ll admit, I didn’t go into this game expecting much but I was pleasantly surprised.  I loved the artwork, the setup of the world and the interaction between the characters!  I never even played the previous game in the series and I had no trouble following this game.

The game play is your typical hidden object with you collecting items and using them in various locations.  Some objects require you to take part in a hidden object scene. This game has an added bonus of giving you a loving companion who can breathe fire when full and eat fire when hungry.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is very intriguing.  I’m definitely buying the full version when it comes out!

Shadowplay: Harrowstead Mystery Beta Test

When you and your friends try to solve the ancient mystery of the disappearance of Harrowstead, you find yourselves at the center of a supernatural phenomenon.  Is this the same phenomenon that destroyed Harrowstead? Can you stop it from destroying your town?

The storyline is a mystery with a supernatural twist, one of my favorite type of genres.  I’m sure many of you know that the town of Harrowstead is a work of fiction. However, those of you familiar with Roanoke know that there is history like this in real life.  In this case, inventing a fictional town works more to the story’s advantage because it gives the writer more freedom. It’s also a sequel to another game but the storyline is so simple, you don’t have to play the original to know what’s going on.  Trust me, I didn’t even know it was a sequel until the survey pointed it out to me.

The game play is typical hidden object with you going to various locations in the game.  You can pick up items scattered throughout. Some of these items will require you to participate in a hidden object game.  You can also complete mini-games, which you can skip you find too hard. The game has a rechargeable hint option so that you can use it whenever you get stuck once.  However, the game is not complicated to follow as I completed all of the mini-games and only used the hint option once. When I did the latter, it pointed me to take something that I honestly should’ve figured out on my own.  Let’s just say it was one of my stupid moments.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I’m definitely buying the full version when it comes out.

Argonauts Agency: Golden Fleece Beta Test

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When Jason gets news about a legendary Golden Fleece, he assembles the Argonauts Agency to go find it.  Will Jason succeed where others failed?

This story is a fun re-telling of the Greek myth of Jason and the Golden Fleece, much like Disney’s Hercules.  I’ll admit that I enjoyed it and there is a reference where you have to rescue Medea in one level.  For those of you unaware of the original myth, Medea was Jason’s wife, who helped him complete the trials to earn the Golden Fleece.  Jason repays Medea by divorcing her in order to marry the princess of Greece.  Trust me when I say that it didn’t end well.  I’m hoping it ends better for them in this game.

Once again, I received the offer to beta test a game that’s about town building.  I just hope this doesn’t become the new norm.  In the game, you have to use workers to build bridges, factories and anything else that can help you achieve your goals for the level.  Jason just stands there until he has to defeat a Minotaur or collect a papyrus.  The Minotaur was actually Theseus’s deal but, in the Disney Hercules series, Hercules got himself involved in a whole ton of adventures that he never took part of in the original myths.  Unfortunately, the beta test comes with two bugs.  The first is when I couldn’t click on the Minotaur to advance through the level until I got a lucky break.  The second is when I beat level ten and the game wouldn’t let me continue.  I hope that Big Fish Games will fix these bugs when they release the full game.  Anyway, you have to earn one star in order to advance throughout the game.  The faster you complete each level, the more stars you earn with three being the maximum amount.

This game is fun, even with the bugs.  I think I might buy the full game when it comes out.

Meadow Story Beta Test

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When an erupting volcano destroys the village of the Halflings, they must find a new place to call home.  Can they recreate a village with the same serenity?

The plot is a simplistic fantasy story and, for those of you who don’t know, Halflings are Hobbits with a different name.  The game play, on the other hand, rather shocked me.  I’ll admit, this isn’t the first time Big Fish Games sent me a beta-test, but it is the first time I’ve received one that wasn’t hidden object.  This game is a mixture of a village sim and a time management game.  You gather materials and use them to create different buildings.  Then gather materials from those buildings and use them to either make more or upgrade the ones you already have.  Meet the quota in order to advance to the next level.  How well you do depends on how fast you complete the level and what difficulty you picked at the beginning of the game.  You can pick regular, hard, or, if you’re not looking for a challenge at all, you can play the game in relaxed mode.

This game is beautiful and addictive.  I’d definitely buy the game when it comes out.

Mortimer Beckett and the Crimson Thief (Big Fish Games)

When a mysterious thief goes from country to country stealing valuable artifacts, it’s up to Mortimer to stop him.  Will he be successful, or is this one challenge too great for Mortimer Beckett.

I have to say, this is the first of the series that deals with something that’s not supernatural, science fiction, or fantasy.  This one actually plays out like a mystery novel except you know whom the culprit is.  You just don’t know what the culprit’s up to.  In some ways, the game reminds me of a Sherlock Holmes story where Arsene Lupin challenged him in the same manner.

The game play’s a little bit different from the last two games.  You still go around collecting items to add to your inventory through the map.

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However, you also have the challenge of collecting pieces of various tickets.  After finding the artifact, you use the ticket you assembled to go to the next country.  I have no idea why someone would tear up tickets and leave them scattered in hard to find places, but it saves money on travel.  Sometimes, you might have to play mini-games and ask citizens for help in order to advance through the story.

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If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is rather addictive.  I give it 7 out of 10, a classic mystery with a modern day twist.