The Ghost Archives Review

The Ghost Archives Review

Apr 10, 2016

The Ghost Archives is an interesting hidden mystery caper from the crew that all but wrote the book on the handheld genre, G5. it packs in the mystery, puzzles and action that one inevitably expects from the Android development power publisher.

Shady Valley is our spooky town location. The game provides the option of two gameplay flavors: one gets Casual Mode, which is advertised as being a bit easier, with skip and hints that charge relatively faster than the alternative Expert Mode, which is geared towards experienced players looking for a challenge. Also, the latter has glints, while the former does.

The opening sequence does it’s part to create a foreboding atmosphere, detailing some missing folks in Shady Valley, and that leads one to an optional tutorial, which starts on a moving bus. The tutorial quickly and seamlessly gives the player an idea of how to play, and how to use things such as the inventory management system, the diary and the hints. Additionally, interactions are shown, as well as the use of objects to accomplish stuff. There are tasks to keep track of too, and these help keep one on gaming track.

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The player takes on the persona of a S.O.U.L. agent, which is looking into the weird happenings; others have come before, though, which is a somewhat disconcerting fact. After the preliminaries, the true stuff starts.

As noted earlier, it all comes together as mainly a hidden object thriller, and this where it really shines. The artwork is particularly well done, with different environments and great use of virtual lighting. At some points, a simple touch to find items on a list mechanism works; in others, one might, say, move objects (by tapping) o recover concealed items. The game also manages to incorporate logic mini-games.

The different elements come together pretty nicely, preventing, to a degree, too much monotony. The mystery is cohesive, and is more than just the cherry on top.

The Secret Society Review

The Secret Society Review

Jun 7, 2013

G5 pounds out yet another hidden mystery game, this one cloaked as a shadowy thriller. Welcome to The Secret Society.

This first person adventure starts with a somewhat cryptic message from my Uncle Richard’s personal secretary, Christy, telling me he has disappeared, and asking me to come the mansion as soon as possible to retrieve a note left for me.

The tutorial reveals I have this special power, like my uncle, to move inside of magic pictures. While learning the ins and outs of discovery, I do learn from Uncle Richard’s mysterious letter that I have control of the mansion… and his seat on the shadowy Order of Seekers.

The gameplay itself is a mix of hidden objects, puzzles and the completion of tasks. In keeping to the backstory, I secret1get to visit parts of the house to find objects, or to complete tasks gently given to me by uncle’s butler. The finding sessions are timed, and the different parts are scenes that had individual rankings; going through them several times increases the mastery rank and increases the action points and game money needed to unlock further levels. There is also a system of energy that has to be accounted for.

The time factor makes the game interesting. With this system, speed is ultra-important, and too many bad guesses hurt.To help counter the the dwindling time, I did have access to a limited number of guesses that helped ferret out hard-to-find items. It’s a great idea, as it (along with the occasional silhouette searches) distracts from the somewhat repetitive use of the objects.

Looks-wise, it is just about as fantastic of a game that one can expect from a G5 effort; the artwork is superb, and it has beautiful animations. The intricate nature of the scenery does help to enhance the gameplay a great deal.

Only G5 can continually reinvent a genre it practically created on Android, and in this game, it does it relatively well.