The Adventures of Mosaika Review

The Adventures of Mosaika Review

Oct 29, 2013

The Adventures of Mosaika is a mystery thriller from Fire Maple Games.

The game combines elements of hidden object and logical puzzle solving into the gameplay. To get the most out of it, a lot of patient wandering with attention to detail is needed. There are plenty of items to be identified and collected to the inventory via taps, and some items or areas can be zoomed into visually.

As noted, getting out and about is key. The gameplay starts in a room, and the mystery solving gets underway with unique woodwork. The game area expands to outdoor areas and there is an interesting mix of nature, science and mystical facets. I like the random nature of the game, in that the clues are not linear in nature. You can go on and mos1on picking things up, solving puzzles, collecting more stuff and then going all the way back to visit places that have already been visited. The clues are not overly complicated; an empty notch here, an color-coded abacus there. A measure of memory it’s needed, because almost everything can be helpful, from a random log of wood to bird feed. Literally. The game progresses, a zig-zag pattern develops, and this isn’t bad in my book. New sections get discovered, and along with these, more clues. All together, some sequences stretch the imagination a tad, but it is a game after all. For moments when things get to complex, a magnifying glass helps with hints and solutions.

The game navigation is fairly straightforward; tapping the edge of the screen in the general direction of the next area moves play to the next screen. I think the mapping/scene selection mechanism could be more inuitive though; gestures would have helped a bit.

The visual aspect is vivid, with hand-etched artwork being the centerpiece. It’s always great when the environment becomes an enjoyable part of the game, and this is definitely possible here. The animations are sparse, but when they do make an appearance, they do feel alive.

It’s a simple game an a welcome addition to the genre.

The Past cannot be Outrun Review

The Past cannot be Outrun Review

Dec 21, 2012

Escape games are a different genre than many people are used to. These type of games are a combination of “find what doesn’t belong” and a puzzle game. The Past cannot be Outrun is a game set where the main character wakes up in an building where they have no idea how they go there. Upon looking around, there are a lot of strange things to be found.

Each room has something of value. Looking around consists of tapping on areas of the room if it looks like there is something important there. If not, the game will tell you to move along. On the tablet I used to test The Past cannot be Outrun, it seemed like I needed to tap just below the objects vs. right on them. Even the arrows to move the screens left or right and to back out a screen were the same way.

Make sure to look at each item found quite well. There are more than one use for many of them and they can be used several times to complete different tasks. The items also need to be used in a specific order. There really isn’t any levels per se, just advancing to the end. The overall goal is to escape from the building. As more clues are found, more of the story unfolds.

For any noobies to escape games, The Past cannot be Outrun can be a real challenge. Luckily there are lots of different walkthroughs and clues on various sites out there. I have only played a few and they are always a real challenge. Part of the reason is, the instructions and guidance is very minimal. It is all about using logic and thinking about the items and clues at hand. Sometimes there are creative solutions needed.

Scrubs Review

Scrubs Review

Jan 5, 2012

It’s only been off the air for a few years, but the absence of weekly Scrubs episodes is still a source of pain for me. I’ve been a huge fan of the show for quite a long time, which is why when this game arrived I was practically jumping with excitement. ♪I’m no Superman…♪

The game, like the show, takes place in Sacred Heart Hospital and you are an intern starting your very first day at the hospital. The characters from the show are all there, represented in caricature sort of bobble-headed versions of themselves (Dr. Cox is my favourite), but for the most part you complete each stage alone. The day that you start your first shift happens to be July 5th, and apparently after the previous day’s festivities the entire staff and all of the patients in the hospital have gone home to sleep off their benders. The hospital has been left in an absolute shambles and it is up to you, lowly intern, to clear it all up. The game is actually an item-collecting puzzle. Each scene is filled with tiny objects that must be collected. Sometimes there is a necessary order, as one item allows you to retrieve another. And hidden through out every stage there are countless tiny, nearly invisibly translucent pills. The pills are the currency of the game, and you can collect and trade them in for bonuses and power-ups. The bonuses come in the form of hints to help you get out of particularly difficult scenarios. There are also some mini-games too that you can unlock, such as wheel-chair racing down the halls of the hospital. It’s possible to interact with the rooms too, like opening closets, turning on lamps, and opening drawers. But watch out for your nemesis, The Janitor, who frequently pops up to distract you from your work.

The game is pretty creative in terms of the idea and the story. It’s also a little bit off the wall, just like Scrubs could be. Finding a diamond extracted from a woman? Needing to collect enough surgical equipment to impersonate a clown? I don’t know how they came up with it, but it’s pretty funny.

Unfortunately, despite all of that I have to admit to being incredibly disappointed in the game. Except for the names of the setting and characters, it actually has nothing to do with the show. I feel like this game was made by people who were told about Scrubs, but have never actually seen a single episode. They know the character names, and have seen their pictures, but anyone who has seen the show knows that the personalities of these characters is what made it such a classic. The wit and uniqueness is completely gone from this adaptation. I was expecting a game full of trivia and in jokes, and there was just none of it. The only things they got right is that the Janitor hates everybody. For a Scrubs game to have none of the heart of Scrubs…that’s incredibly disappointing.