Gaming Reviews

Published on February 8th, 2014 | by Ben Rueter

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Silent Valley and Nightmares From The Deep: Siren’s Call IOS

Silent Valley: Mystery Mansion from G5 Entertainment is a fairly straight forward horror adventure game that finds a spooky mix of challenge and exploration without it being too cumbersome.

 

Mystery Mansion starts with players in the shoes of a just married wife named Victoria who is embarking on her honeymoon with her new husband, Peter. It’s apparent these two have pretty awful taste in where to spend their getaways as they choose to spend it at a obviously creepy isolated mansion owned by a haggard old woman.

 

Peter, without seeing anything wrong with their destination, meanders inside where the player find out later he has disappeared. While snooping for Peter, Victoria begins to see ghostly images and that’s when she sees the urgency in reuniting with Peter in order to escape. And possibly write an angry review on Expedia.com.

 

The game is a point-and-click adventure. Victorica will enter a motionless room, with the exception of some minor animations like falling leaves and moving water, and the player will click on certain objects discovering clues and gathering tools.

 

Tools are collected at the bottom of the screen in a slide out bar. It would have been nice to have the items pop up a an inventory screen. Players have to swipe their finger across the toolbar to find one item. It’s a nitpick and perhaps this looks and works better on a iPad, not an iPhone.

 

The puzzle and tool use is simple and not too mind-numbing. It requires some backtracking but it never becomes exhausted.

 

There is a variety of mini-game style, logic and jigsaw type puzzles in separate rooms in or near the mansion. A few creative puzzles is a nice surprise and it would have been nice to see them more often for variety sake. Recreating a picture with paint or placing farm toys in the correct combination to produce milk are a fun diversion from the regular jigsaw logic based puzzles.

 

For those players who lack the patience or are stuck on a puzzle, the game has a hint button that will allow players to skip puzzles or highlight areas to progress the exploration.

 

After solving a puzzle, players are usually rewarded with a valuable tool or totem that will unlock a new area on near or in the mansion.

 

It’s a shame that the animation is so basic as the art is well done and looks appropriately creepy and picturesque when the moment calls for it.

 

The game lasts no more than four hours, but the price point matches the time spent with the game. $4.99 for the iPhone or $6.99 for the iPad. The story won’t turn heads, but as a portable iOS game it offers plenty of intrigue and challenge for players with a wide skill set.

 

3 stars out of 5

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Nightmares from the Deep: Siren’s Call

Not having played the first game I was a bit out of place, but the amazing art in the game drew me in.

You play as Sarah Black, a curator at the Caribbean Naval Museum. Like Indiana Jones, Black’s seemly boring job is, of course, filled with swashbuckling pirates and danger. All seems to be going normal when she is given a strange box containing a one-of-a-kind artifact, a Golden Octopus. Just as (un)luck would have it, a band of fish-men break in and steal the relic. Black is out to get it back and this tale leads her to take on Davy Jones and the monstrous Kraken.

 

A sea romp where players take on Davy Jones and a Kraken doesn’t make the story original or unique, but G5 Entertainment is able to make an involved adventure.

 

The game progresses as you point on objects of interests, discover tools and pirate loot along the way. Tools are used to solve puzzles like a game of Mahjong and unlock new areas.

 

The puzzles are varied and well done here and Siren’s Call even throws in a few actions moments that require more than simply button presses to progress.

 

Tapping on the iPhone or iPad screen gets repetitive, but the inclusion of interactive action moments is a major plus for this style of game.

 

Even if you get stuck on a puzzle or become lost somewhere in the story, there is a helpful hint button that allows you to quickly solve a puzzle by pressing the it and a glowing beam will arc in the direction you need to go. It is a use it or leave it feature that doesn’t deter from the challenge.

 

The art in this game is extremely well done. The dark tones and the deep sea blues glow and dim to fit the spooky mood. Like Silent Valley: Mystery Mansion, also by G5 Entertainment, I felt that the animations are lacking compared to the vastly superior visuals. Though the animations work better in Siren’s Call than in Mystery Mansion, I still wanted to see the beautiful sea panels animate more fluidly. A little animation would go a long way towards realizing the tense atmosphere.

 

Once completed, the game offers some replayability with bonus features like ‘The Book of Davy Jones,’concept art, re-watchable cut scenes and re-playable hidden object scenes from earlier in the game.

 

If you don’t care to search for hidden objects Siren’s Call won’t change your mind. What you’ll find here is a small action adventure created as a point-and-click game. If you are looking for a simple puzzle adventure to take on a long ride, Siren’s Call delivers. The price of the game is well worth the time you’ll spend under the sea exploring. Short in length, but offers unique challenges and thrills.

 

The game costs $4.99 to unlock the full game.

 

4 stars out of 5

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About the Author

Ben Rueter has been writing for a number of years ranging from video game pieces online to traditional journalism articles as well. Every since he got his hands on an Atari 2600 and learned his way around DOS, he’s been keeping up with all kinds of video games. Ben is also an avid movie fan from classic Sergio Leone to Charlie Kaufman movies.



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