Downton Abbey: The Game Launches on Google Play and Amazon Appstore

Downton Abbey: The Game Launches on Google Play and Amazon Appstore

Sep 18, 2015

Downton Abbey is bringing its post-Edwardian charms to Android devices via Google Play and Amazon Appstore.

The game is an adventure/mystery game, with players having the opportunity to advance by success.

For the first time ever the exquisite settings and captivating characters of the hit TV show, Downton Abbey, come to life in its first interactive gaming experience.
It was one of the most exciting days of the year for everyone living and working at Downton Abbey. The day of the village fete had arrived and everyone joined in the day’s festivities. A great time was had by all, however upon returning to the Abbey it was quickly discovered that all was not well… The house had been ransacked! An unknown intruder had been through every room, stealing priceless objects and scattering items everywhere! With the Crawley family’s fortunes on the line and with so many Abbey residents with secrets to hide, no one is safe and everyone is a suspect. The Earl of Grantham has hired YOU to help return the castle to its original state of glory. However, the real reason for your employment is to uncover the real mystery of the break-in as discreetly as possible.

EXPLORE THE ABBEY: The Abbey has been ransacked! It falls to you to explore and unravel the evolving mystery.
SOLVE THE MYSTERY: Who is the culprit? What items have gone missing? For what purpose are the perpetrators working? It is up to YOU to find out!
UNCOVER HIDDEN OBJECTS: Earn the resident’s trust by returning found items to their rightful owners and earn the nobility’s favor. Leverage your relationship with the family to earn the privilege to explore additional parts of the Abbey and advance the story.
COMPETE WITH FRIENDS: Search the Abbey for damaged artifacts in desperate need of repair. Compete with friends and the world to restore the Abbey’s most prized possessions.

The game is free with (in-app purchases).

Dexter: Hidden Darkness Review

Dexter: Hidden Darkness Review

Aug 24, 2015

Weirdly enough, I was one of those that picked up on Dexter fairly late in the show’s life. The series about a serial killer that gets his rocks off by hunting gruesome murders is quite a draw. Now, after the series wrap-up, it’s possible to relive it — somewhat — with Dexter: Hidden Darkness.

The gameplay starts out with cutscene images and text boxes; Debra summons Dexter to check out a body, and we get right into it. During cutscenes, it allows the player to pick scenarios, and then leads to its biggest element: finding hidden objects.

The hidden object sequences are interesting, not overly logical, and generate a point system that leads to energy gains, leveling and more. One basic idea is to gain enough energy to keep on going; if one fails, one can use real cash or allow time to run its replenishment course.

The game does get credit for going beyond being Just Another Hidden Object Game, as it packs in other elements that help create a full-fledged mystery that needs solving. It lands on the source series heavily, and as such, will be fun for fans of the franchise. Within the game itself, one gets to really do research, and the mini-games are fairly creative, if far and few between. The characters are familiar, and one does have to give a shout-out to Harry’s Code.


In some aspects though, the gameplay feels like it trips over itself. The cutscenes do feel a bit, well, rigid after a while, and the navigation feels suspiciously unneeded. While the hidden object sets are interesting, they are repetitive. The dialogue is salty in places, but hey… this is a serial killer’s killer here.

Then there is the energy requirement. The cash/credits/energy/leveling up relationship send convoluted, but to be fair, it isn’t too difficult to keep going for a good while. At points, the energy will be consumed faster than one can replenish through action, and it’s cool that time can be used in lieu of real money.

It’s a relatively self-contained experience that has the advantage of being sourced from a hit show. It doesn’t get boring soon, and is only really slowed by the energy requirement.

Fans of lovable psychopaths can do much, much worse.

G5’s Special Enquiry Detail 2 Goes Free on Google Play and Amazon Appstore for Limited Time

G5’s Special Enquiry Detail 2 Goes Free on Google Play and Amazon Appstore for Limited Time

Jan 12, 2015

Detective caper Special Enquiry Detail 2 is going free for a limited time, courtesy of publisher G5.

A serial killer is on the loose and it is up to the SED detectives to solve a series of gruesome murders of young brides. An elite detective team works their case diligently through various clues to find the murderer before he strikes again. Lamonte and Turino seem to get trapped in this horrific, smartly planned case of cat and mouse. Help the New York detectives uncover the horrible, sassy maniac and catch him before he kills again in this chilling hidden object challenge!

Just like the first episode, Special Enquiry Detail: Engaged to Kill features amazing detailed graphics, realistic scenery and twisted plot that will keep you engaged for hours. Do you think you have what it takes to bring the killer to justice? Take on Special Enquiry Detail: Engaged to Kill and see if you have what it takes to solve this case.

Key Features:

Six highly intriguing chapters
44 locations to examine
22 mini-game puzzles to solve
A challenging case with multiple suspects

The sale runs from January 12th to January 18th. As already noted, the game is available on Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. It’s also available for free on iOS Windows Phone and Mac.


Hellraid: The Escape Review

Hellraid: The Escape Review

Nov 7, 2014

The hopelessness is palpable.

It’s a huge, shadowy bipod, looking quite otherworldly, in fear inducing garb that is helped in its drive to invoke fear by the hellish light it is bathed in. There is a weapon of sorts in its right hand, which is equally as evil looking as its bearer.

And it is coming at me, slowly but surely. The weapon is raised up to strike me…

Such is the intro to Hellraid: The Escape.

Graphically, the visual part of the game ties in overwhelmingly with the theme of despair. The sets look hauntingly medieval, with torches and pain-inducing tools and machinery making up most of the decor. The artwork has purposefully dark feel to it, and the first person perspective is the perfect mode to drink the horrors within. Gestures and a virtual joystick help control movements and views, and the developer did a good job of creating an environment that conveys fear while encouraging exploration at the same time.

The backstory involves the requisite evil sorcerer. The player’s soul is trapped in a dark prison, and the player has to use his or her brain to outwit demon guards and figure out his/her identity, and the reason he/she is locked up in the first place.


The game is leveled, and yes, exploration is a big part of it. It starts in some sort of casket; the cover has to be moved out of the way, and this is where the aforementioned first perspective works so well. The game encourages players to really explore the local areas, and one needs to do this to find the clues and cryptic notes that are meant to help one long. At the base level, interaction is the name of the game; there are visual cues which help with finding pieces, and tapping objects can reveal collectibles. Further to that, there are also mini-puzzles that appear from time to time, like figuring out how to get out of a seemingly secured room.

So, finding a way to move on through the dungeon-like dwelling gets things done. Missteps are costly though, as that means getting caught and being taken back to the starting crypt.

The biggest plus in this game is probably its intuitive nature; a lot of the gameplay elements just make sense. The controls are simple, and it’s clear I like the first person view. Per dislikes, allow me to be a wuss: it’s almost as if the developer does too good of a job in creating such a desolate atmosphere.

It’s a crafty game, priced well with no other hidden gimmicks, and spooky enough to keep folks intrigued enough to potentially keep with the storyline.

Inbetween Land On Sale for Limited Time

Inbetween Land On Sale for Limited Time

Sep 22, 2014

Game publisher G5 is putting Inbetween Land on sale.

From the press release:

This week, G5 invites you on a mysterious adventure to another world at up to an 80% discount! Are you ready for a breathtaking investigation on a floating island? Then download Inbetween Land for only 99¢ to your iPhone, Android, Kindle Fire and for $1.99 to iPad or Mac, and prepare to test your puzzle solving skills. Offer is good from September 22nd-28th. Hurry to catch the lowest price!

In Inbetween Land, you find out that one of your childhood friends has disappeared and is possibly aboard a mysterious flying island. Through mini-games and fragmented hidden object areas, you piece together the details of your friend’s disappearance and how it ties into the floating Sky Island.

The city’s mundane rhythm is suddenly disrupted by the emergence of a flying island high in the sky. Though the island initially appears to be deserted, the citizens realize that they are not alone in the universe. Before long, the island becomes a tourist attraction, increasing revenues and crime. Then one day, Mary, who works at the city orphanage goes missing after a beam of light is seen coming from the island above. That’s where you come in. You play as her friend, and soon find out Mary brought a mysterious artifact from the island and then vanished. Following the clues Mary left, you will have to open a portal to the flying land, save her and help an extraterrestrial civilization that desperately wants to restore their home. Explore the creepy island, make friends with the spirits of the island’s people, solve challenging puzzles, find missing crystals and bring your friend back home in this absorbing adventure.

Inbetween Land has all the key features to provide a delightful gaming experience: soft music, engrossing Sci-Fi themed plot and three game modes – Casual, Normal and Expert – so you can adjust the desired level of difficulty. You also have a useful journal add-in that keeps track of the story and tasks to accomplish. But what really makes this game stand out, is its glorious visuals. Fantastic scenery, comic-like cut scenes and witty puzzles will glue casual game fans to their devices and let them fully enjoy Inbetween Land. The game is developed by Specialbit Studio and published on iOS, Android and Mac by G5 Entertainment.

Key Features:

52 Fascinating locations to explore
19 Thought-provoking mini games
3 Game modes: Casual, Normal, Expert
4 Engaging comics
Out-of-this-world storyline

From September 22nd to September 28th, the game can be had for $0.99 on the Play Store and Amazon Appstore.

[Source: G5 Press Release]

The Room Review

The Room Review

Aug 15, 2014

Mobile gamers rarely get to experience truly innovating games. Most of the high-quality titles are simply good at copying others. The Room is an incredible exception to that fact, as it’s the most fun and unusual quest I’ve played in several years.

The subject of The Room is a series of intricate and impossibly complex locked cabinets, containing clues about a mysterious discovery the player character needs to uncover. The game quite literally revolves around these lockers. The player needs to move the camera around the locker and try to unlock all of its locks, clasps and seals by a series of actions that might just make a person go crazy. The player needs to find keys, pick combinations, scout the locker for clues – and I’m not being sarcastic when I say that it’s damn easy to get lost around the cabinet. Screenshots don’t do justice to the crazy amount of elements each locker contains, and although there are hints, I got mildly frustrated several times, trying to solve the puzzles, or trying to find what the hell I was supposed to do next. It’s not that frustrating to complete, but it’s quite a challenge.

Another outstanding element in The Room is its design. Each piece of each safe is rich with engravings, details, and has great sound design. I literally cannot believe The Room 4this game is only worth a dollar, because it’s easily one of the best-looking and atmospheric games on the platform. The controls are quite awesome as well. Not only do they make use of the touch-screen, but they actually don’t make me want to strangle myself with an earplug cord! During the game, the player has to slide, rotate, turn, and switch an untold number of plugs and bits, and actually having to perform the actions, instead of just clicking on stuff, gives a great amount of satisfaction.

I’m not sure, but it’s entirely possible that The Room is number one Android quest there is. It’s worth ten times its price, and it even manages to cram a captivating story inside of its locked cabinets, in the form of notes and diaries. I don’t want to imply that it’s perfect from all sides – actually, screw that. The controls take a bit of getting used to, but besides that, The Room is a perfect Android quest.

Special Enquiry Detail 2 Review

Special Enquiry Detail 2 Review

Oct 16, 2013

G5 hits up with yet another hidden mystery thriller in the name of Special Enquiry Detail 2. Yes, it’s a sequel of first game of similar name from the productive development house.

In this one, brides are being hunted by the maniacal Engagement Killer, and it’s up to detectives Lamonte and Turino to figure this out. They get tapped by special request from the influential relative of a bride-to-be.

At it heart, this game is a hidden object game. The gameplay almost immediately goes for quick identification and isolation of clues that can be used/manipulated to help solve the bigger mysteries. Interacting with characters is a huge part of the game; very useful information can be gleaned in this manner, and are almost needed. Logical sequences need to be adhered to, and in some cases, solving a current problem entails going “ahead” in the game to collect itemspec1 that can be used to solve said problem.

Mini-games are also a part of the solution process; in the one a keen eye is needed to separate wires; others are as simple as looking for specific items.

The graphics are nice, with creative cutscenes providing atypical buffer. In fact, this is one game that I looked forward to seeing how the video clips linked the story together. A lot of detail is put into making stuff look realistic, with wistful coloration adding a degree of gravity to the storyline. The dark scenes looked sufficiently spooky, and even the audio bits conveyed the plot nicely; the game uses both dialogue bubbles and audio to denote speech.

I though the graphical representation of person-to-person interaction could have been a bit more refined; the disembodied torsos weren’t ugly, just a bit weird when weighed against the rest of the graphics. Some clues are bit extraneous, but as far as flow, this is one of G5’s more polished offerings.

Which, with G5’s history, is saying quite a lot.

Layton Brothers Mystery Room Review

Layton Brothers Mystery Room Review

Sep 17, 2013

Layton Brothers Mystery Room is a fun game from Level-5 Inc. that serves as a spin-off of the lovable Professor Layton series.

Off the bat, fans of the original franchise will notice that it isn’t a strict Layton saga. The game doesn’t work too hard to force the association, but does have some elements that arguably make it worthy enough to carry the name.

The format of the mysteries is interesting. The two I tried are rated as being relatively easy, and start off with suspicious murders. There were a few suspects, and a bit of story attached to explain why and how the suspect is determined to be such; the crime and the characters feel quite reasonable.lay1

Interactive discussion stills between Inspector (Professor) Layton and rookie Lucy Baker move the deductions along, and there are several points when user interaction is needed. For example, after the crime is described and main players are revealed, it becomes time to drill down and isolate a viable perpetrator. Based off of the info given, Prof Layton pushes for an educated guessed, at which point it is time to guess. The answer to this determines how quickly the murder can be solved.

The game eventually progresses to a crime scene re-creation. Using the zooming feature, it’s possible to examine and collect pertinent clues from pre-highlighted areas. In some cases, items invisible at first glance are shown when closer up.

By using these crime scene tools, a relaxed interrogation process and allowing the ever-sharp Inspector Layton to troubleshoot the deductive process, one should inevitably close in on the guilty party. And then the real battle begins. The back and forth to elicit a confession is like something out of Law & Order: Criminal Intent. The cheeky action component is cool; the suspect has a shielded heart, and every valid accusation chips away at the shield and heart until the suspect is defenseless against the weight if the dastardly act and confesses, solving the case.

For a chapter-based mystery game, he format is refreshing; it’s not possible to go far past the two initial cases because of a pay wall. The dialogue is a bit stilted and protracted in places, but overall, it’s definitely worth trying out.

The Last Express Review

The Last Express Review

Sep 6, 2013

Solvable mystery adventures are the cream of the mobile gaming crop as far as I’m concerned, and it’s not everyday we get a port like The Last Express on Android. It is borne from the popular PC game of the same name by the renown creator of the Prince of Persia line, Jordan Mechner.

The game is played in the character of Robert Cath, a likable fellow fleeing his own troubles. He is on the move, and is looking to hook up with an old friend on the Orient Express. From there, the story explodes. Literally.last1

Artistically, the game is a fine period piece. The animations bridge the staggered artwork that makes up most of the background visuals. From the reflected outfits through the intricate nature of the train’s tapestry, there is a definite aura of beauty that envelopes the game. Said animations are not wasted, and as such, when they do occur, the player unconsciously pays attention to them. The usual playing perspective is an adjusted first person, and the interactions may not seem to be the most natural, but within the user interface that governs the game, it all looks and feels great even as it brings 1914 to life.

In a lot of games of this type, the storyline is more or less rigid, regardless of actions. In other words, outside small variations, you get the same outcome. What I like about the this story engine is that the variations in end result seem to be affected by action and inaction. Different characters have different goals, and the characters seem to be quite intertwined, even if somewhat reluctantly. The action mostly goes in real-time, which is unique, and thus, the rewind button is of good value at times. There is a three-part hint system that can be helpful as well; other familiar elements (like the player inventory are available for use.

The Last Express is a great tale. It does plod along at times, but for the most part it is scarily engaging and pleasantly fulfilling, even for a port of an older game. It reads like an action story that one would invariably enjoy on the big screen; word is is that that dream may actually become a reality.

For now, we get to be in the story.

Where Angels Cry Review

Where Angels Cry Review

Aug 7, 2013

There should be a personal kind of hell for hidden objects games that don’t show you which things need to be collected. So far I’ve encountered only one such game, this one, but it’s already enough to drive a man crazy. Where Angels Cry isn’t a bad game – it’s quite original, if anything. But collecting a barely-seen object, when you don’t even know how said object should look like, is like searching for a straw at a straw factory.

The story of Where Angels Cry is a bit convoluted. The main hero is a monk, who was assigned to some distant monastery in Alps to investigate some strange happenings, including the disappearance of one monk, and a statue of an angel that suddenly started crying tears of blood. It’s a strange mix of a detective, mystery and mythical genres, and surprisingly, it works somehow. Although Where Angels Cry isn’t that different from other hidden objects games, its story is sufficiently interesting and mysterious to keep the player playing, despite sudden urges to throw the device at the wall in a fit of anger.

Where Angels Cry 5Okay, maybe I’m a bit overreacting, since Where Angels Cry isn’t that much more difficult than the rest of hidden objects games. It’s just that removing a comprehensive list of objects to collect means that the game turns from one of attention, to one of pixel-hunting. It basically demands the player to scan every pixel to find whatever object is needed. At the very least, it helps with the process: holding the finger on the screen and moving it around will spawn a small hand icon, or a magnifying glass, if it hovers over an object of interest. Screen can also be zoomed in and out by pinching or distancing two fingers on the screen. If searching for the required items and thinking about the next step isn’t enough of a challenge, there are also a couple of dozen cherub statues that are scattered across the levels, and finding them all will grant some additional sweeties.

Overall, Where Angels Cry is quite a fine and sufficiently challenging game. Although I thought it to be a bit short, it’s still a game of great challenge, and interesting story, which is enough for a hidden objects game.

Pilot Brothers Review

Pilot Brothers Review

Jun 24, 2013

Pilot Brothers is a kidnap mystery caper from Android gaming stalwart G5.

This game does not take itself too seriously, and this is clear right off the bat. First, we have the mystery: a rare, striped elephant has been stolen, and its up to Brother Chief and Brother Colleague to figure it out.

Yes, you read that correctly.

It comes with a point and click tutorial that shows how to find active area and items, and how to guide the brothers, and how to use items to complete tasks.

From there, it told directly into the game. Using items from the inventory, actions had to be initiated. For example,pilot1 getting into the zoo is a mini-adventure all by itself, with water, screeching cats and the distressing distraction of an enormous hippo heiny.

A key to successful gameplay is recognizing important objects, and interacting with them. It also means figuring out how to use the siblings in tandem, like using a piano to cause jumping. The riddles are fun and challenging without being overly silly. There is a healthy dose of the whimsical incorporated into the game; instantly growing bananas are an interesting touch. It is possible to switch characters to complete a task, and some of the tasks seem to call for a specific brother.

The gameplay is highlighted by the zaney artwork. The game environment is creatively rendered, with gleefully atypical looks. The animals, buildings and animations all come together to create a very unique graphical interface. The different scenes all have the unique character that are underlined by the purposely jumpy animations

My biggest gripe will probably sound somewhat weird: I felt that the gameplay got a bit too involved at times. A few solution sequences seemed contrived, almost forced. I also thought it was almost too easy to get hints.

It’s still hard not to enjoy this game, and to be fair, I didn’t even try not to. For something different, give it a try; the app is initially free with an in-app purchase required for full unlocking, so there should be little fear.

Righteous Kill Review

Righteous Kill Review

May 21, 2013

G5 hits us with another hidden mystery thriller, this one called Righteous Kill. It details the investigative adventures of Officer Vasquez and NYPD’s Vigilante Unit as they hunt for clues to prove the guilt of Terry Collins, who is suspected of perpetuating an extrajudicial execution of a criminal who escaped justice. It is loosely based on the movie of the same name.

It’s similar to a few other G5 games, but this one caught my eye because the premise is interestingly different. I was a detective tasked with solving a heinous crime by collecting clues.

This is where the hidden object element that the developer is renown for takes center stage. The clues were hidden in the scene right1mosaics that made up most of the game. I used an inventory list to assist me in the collection of the clues, which were all hiding in plain site. Every time I found an object, it was struck off the list automatically.

I think what sets the game apart is how the objects are hidden. The developer uses line perspective and projected lighting to create some well-camouflaged items. Graphically, the scenes were very intricate, with plenty detail which made seeking stuff a bit more of a challenge. For especially hard-to-find items, there was a rechargeable UV utility that highlighted the item, and the game had excellent cutscenes as well.

I especially liked the mini-games that popped up at times. They broke up the monotony of object-finding and enhanced the story.

My biggest complaint? Repetition. I got to a point that I felt the mystery got lost in the camouflage itself. I could have done with less doubled or tripled hidden bats. I think there was a major opportunity to really tie in the clue finding with the overall premise of the game, and I think, unfortunately, that gets lost as it progressed.

Still, it’s a pleasant game that taxes the brain function in an especially exciting way.