Heart’s Medicine: Time to Heal (Gamehouse)

When the head surgeon won’t take Allison Heart as an intern, she has to make do in other specialties.  Meanwhile, Allison’s ex-boyfriend, Daniel, becomes the new head of the hospital and Connor, another old flame, dates another intern.  Can Allison succeed in her career while also having to juggle her personal life?

This is it, the long awaited season 2 of Heart’s Medicine.  Your favorite characters are back and new characters join in the fun.  Even Emily makes a cameo in her own special levels, but I’ll discuss that later.  In the last game, each venue had a side plot to go with each doctor’s specialization.  This game starts out similarly until you get to the Emergency Room.  Then you have one issue you have to solve for the rest of the game.  Not only is it heartbreaking, but we also learn more about Allison’s past which I won’t give away.  This case will follow Allison all the way to surgery, where she’ll meet a doctor who cares more about efficiency than he does about his patients.  This conflicts with how Allison develops emotional attachment to her patients.  As for which I think is better, this situation reminds me of the movie Patch Adams.  For those of you who haven’t seen the movie, it’s about a doctor who believes that you can heal patients through emotional connections.  According to the Nostalgia Critic, the movie undermines its own moral through the side-plot with Patch Adam’s love interest, Carin.  She starts out cold and distant until Patch persuades her to start trusting people.  This leads her to go to the house of a medical patient with severe mental issues who ends up killing her.  The Nostalgia Critic uses this scene to undermine Patch’s sarcastic argument asking about what would happen if the doctor developed emotional attachment to their patients, would they explode?  Then points out that, when you get emotionally involved, you make bad decisions that could be potentially lethal.  However, Dr. Quinn (the head of surgery) makes decisions based on what would save the hospital money and doesn’t really put his full-effort into helping his patients.  In fact, like the medical staff in Dr. Strange, I suspect that he would be more likely to cut off an organ donor.  It’s the very reason why my mother refuses to have her organs donated and encouraged me to do the same.

As I said in the first paragraph, the love triangle from Season 1 returns.  In the first game, Allison had to choose between the sweet and stable Daniel and the jerk with a heart of gold Connor.  Here, the two have switched roles with Daniel becoming more reckless and Connor turning into the stable one.  What I’m about to say comes with spoilers, so feel free to skip this paragraph.  The stress of becoming the new head of the hospital gets to Daniel as he turns into a pill-popping maniac, stealing medicine from his own hospital.  Despite the seriousness of the situation, I’m very happy about this development.  Usually, when people want to have a drug addict in their stories and still want to keep the rating PG-13, the go to drug is marijuana.  Amateur writers treat these users as if they’ve just been discovered using heroin, one prominent example being a cartoon drug PSA movie I watched in Middle School that the Nostalgia Critic tore apart in a review.  In this game, they use an actually addictive drug, Ritalin that often has the street name of kiddie coke, to demonstrate Daniel’s addiction.  Connor becomes the voice of reason Allison depends on to help her through a tough emotional time.  Many people are unaware of this, but there is a label known as the Madonna Whore complex saying that a woman can either be an innocent and virginal wife or an evil and manipulate whore.  There is no middle ground.  While the gender reverse can happen in fiction, people usually give the bad boy of the love triangle more sympathy than they would give a bad girl.  In this story, neither one of them are the good boy or the bad boy.  Daniel and Connor are just people with strengths and flaws who can’t be so easily labeled as to which one is good or bad.  The woman version of this makes an appearance in the game with Connor briefly dating the new intern, Jenny.  While Allison does show jealousy, Jenny is not evil.  She’s just the new intern who happens to be dating Connor and breaks up with him because they’re incompatible.

The game play in this story is similar to Season 1 with a few notable differences.  For instance, you can now play special challenge levels and, once a venue, you can play as Emily in the hospital cafeteria.

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These levels are my favorite because it’s such a unique take on the Heart’s Medicine game with the addition of a familiar character that is, in a way, responsible for Allison’s existence.  Had it not been for the success of Emily’s series, Delicious, the same people would have never made Heart’s Medicine.  Another difference in this version is that the game will occasionally show cut scenes set to music that sets the mood of the situation.

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Other than that, the game play is not so different from Season 1.  You click on patients and take them to the treatment center that they request.  Then heal them and check them out.

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Some patients will require you to play a mini-game, which can get rather difficult, believe me.

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When they get their full health back, you can check them out at the front desk.  You need to get at least one star to advance to the next level but try to get all three, if you feel lucky.  You can find Oliver the guinea pig and complete a challenge in each main story level.  Every challenge you complete gives you more diamonds, which you can use to buy items for the new hospital wing.  You can also collect trophies throughout the game and view character profiles.  One thing I didn’t like about the profiles was that the game classifies Dr. Quinn as slightly autistic.  As someone with autism, I found that classifying one of the game’s sociopathic characters as such is a little insulting.  When I played the game, I assumed that, because many patients die in Dr. Quinn’s profession, he just stopped caring.  To say that he’s slightly autistic feels like putting a label on him the same way a girl I knew used to put a label on me.  She would go so far as to see a rude character on TV and loudly declare them autistic.  Last but not least, be sure to check out the ending credits for a little Easter egg that’s almost guaranteed to make you laugh.

This game is heartfelt and challenging.  I give it 7 out of 10; it loses a point for the issue I touched upon earlier.

Delicious: Emily’s Wonder Wedding (Gamehouse.com)

When Patrick finally proposed to Emily, she couldn’t be happier.  Unfortunately, Patrick’s mom comes to town and everything is one bad omen after another.  Can Emily remove the omens in time for their wedding?

Like the last game, this one uses an episodic format.  The plot of this story is revealed by the title, Emily’s getting married.  Unfortunately, problems arise from the very beginning.  As the game goes on, Patrick and Emily are constantly fighting and you’ll wonder if they’re going to cancel the wedding.

The premium edition comes with ten extra levels that explain what happened while Emily was away.  Edward’s trying to run the restaurant, which isn’t easy with Angela’s obnoxious husband Jimmy thinking he can completely change the restaurant without Emily’s permission.  In addition, am I the only one who finds it creepy that Jimmy calls Edward dad?  Jimmy’s just as old as he is if not older, which makes Angela marrying Jimmy disturbing if you think about it.

The game play is the same as ever.  You serve customers at the table or deliver takeout.

During the second day of each episode, an event occurs that you have to take part in.  The only difference is that in this one you can play various scenarios that allow you to invite previous characters to the wedding.

Some of them are Emily’s ex-boyfriends and an ex-girlfriend of Patrick’s, so I really don’t get why they’re invited.  Watching shows like Friends and How I Met Your Mother have taught me that you never invite your ex to your wedding.

This game is fun and addictive.  I give it 7 out of 10, a possible finale for the Delicious games.

Delicious: Emily’s Childhood Memories (Gamehouse.com)

Emily’s parents are selling their farm causing her to relive all her memories.  You will be experiencing her life from the 1970s all the way to the present.

The premise is simple; it’s about Emily’s childhood.  During the game, you learn what made Emily the person she is today.  You also learn how she met Francois.  Not to mention that you see every friend Emily’s made, how she and Angela are so close and you get to meet Emily’s first crush.

The game play is the same as every other one in the series.  Customers come to your shop and you have to serve them before they get angry.

You can go for the goal of the level or try for expert.  During each level, an event happens and if you finish it, you get more points.  During the story, you can snap pictures of a moment and add it to the album.

Sometimes you get more information about Emily’s childhood when you do this.

The game is fun and informative.  I give it 7 out of 10, not bad at all.

Delicious: Emily’s Holiday Season (Gamehouse.com)

It’s the holidays and Emily just got a new job working at a hotel.  She’s managed to catch the eye of her manager and a co-worker.  Not only that, but she’s also preparing for a visit from her eccentric family.

Okay, the romantic choices are both extreme.  Richard is so worried about his own issues that he makes little to no time for Emily.  Paul is so clingy and dependent that he falls in love in a day and proposes excessively soon.  It doesn’t occur to either one that there might be a middle ground.  However, I have to say that I did like the introduction to Emily’s family.

I especially loved her free-spirited sister Angela.  They’re both so different and yet you can tell that they love each other.

The game play is the same as the last one.  In each level, you serve customers who either sit at the table or order takeout.

You also have an in-game event that you can complete for extra points.

You can get the target score and have one hundred dollars for spending on decorations or get the expert score and have two hundred.

One thing that separates this game from the last one is that you answer questions based on your opinion.  When you get to the credits, you see how popular your views are.  You are also the one who gets to choose who Emily ends up with.

It’s fun and a great introduction to Emily’s family.  I give it 8 out of 10, an experiment on adding romance to the games.

Delicious: Emily’s Taste of Fame

Emily’s back and this time she has a chance to make it big.  A television network just offered her a prime time cooking show.  Only problem is that her car broke down and she might not make it to the studio in time.  All she has to rely on is the kindness of the citizens of Snuggford.

This story is actually pretty cliché.  It’s about fame and fortune verses friends and family.  Emily makes friends that help her with her car in return that she helps them with something.  Each one makes a meaningful connection with her that she doesn’t find at the studio.  On her show, she pretends to be happy and is just selling stuff.

I won’t tell you what she chooses but it’s pretty obvious from the get go, at least it is to me.

The game play is the same with one added feature.  Each level comes with a scenario that you can participate in to earn extra points.

Other than that, it’s the same as usual.  You make products for your customers, buy stuff for each restaurant, catch a mouse each level and unlock an entertainer and cleaner.

The only place you don’t get an entertainer is the Snuggford State Fair and that’s only because you can have passersby singing on stage.

This game is fun and addictive.  I give it 8 out of 10; it’s the one where the series finds its footing.