Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Escape the Bathroom

Escape the Bathroom is a pretty standard escape game but a well designed one. (Don't be scared off by the Japanese writing; you can absolutely solve this game without knowing any Japanese... it'll just keep you from being able to read the note at the end.)

As you check out the room, you’ll notice some shapes scattered about. Compare them with the number pad by the door and you’ll see that assigning numbers to those shapes is the key to the game (pun partially intended).

You need to find soap, three toothbrushes, toothpaste, a hot water tap, a photograph (there are actually two pics in the room, but you’ll only need one of them), a dentist’s mirror, a light bulb and a razor.

The soap and hot water tap are out in the open but the tap is stuck in the shower drain and you need to figure out how to get it unstuck, maybe by using something slippery. (Hint: the cold water tap works just fine.)

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Once you’ve got the hot water tap, put it where it’s supposed to be. Now it's ready to be used. Use it. Give it a little time and then see if anything’s changed in the room. You should now have the information you need to open the medicine cabinet. Or at least the clue to what colourful information you need. (And once the cabinet is open, don’t get so distracted by the puzzle that you forget to check everywhere for objects.) Hey, did you notice that the bottom of the toothpaste tube looks like it might make a handy tool. Did you notice anything in the room that might need a tool?

Those are my hints for the parts of the game that I had to think a little harder about. If you need more clues or want a full walkthrough, head over to Free Games News.

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Monday, June 16, 2008

Fun with Fashion

JoJo’s Fashion Show is the best fashion-themed computer game that I have ever played, hands down, bar none, no contest. It’s a time management game with real flair; it’s creative, it has variety and really cool clothes! As you can see, I can’t rave about this game enough. I’m hooked! Fashion Solitaire is another fashion game with a unique game play; it's pretty cool but I didn't like the clothes as much as in JoJo’s.

Fashion Fits! reminded me more of a Diner Dash style game in that you have customers coming into the store at random intervals and you’re responsible for stocking shelves, cleaning changing rooms, cash, customer service, etc. Plus there are the usual upgrades, etc. I’m not sure if I’ll end up buying it, but I definitely wasn’t ready for the trial to end when it did… so that says something. Posh Boutique also reminded me of a Diner Dash style game, but in this case it felt old and tired rather than a successful time management formula. I don’t know why I didn’t enjoy it as much as Fashion Fits, I just didn’t. If I were you, assuming the concept intrigues you, I’d give them both a chance because I think it’s just personal preference and not that one game is superior to the other. Fashion Boutique is also reminiscent of this style but not as well done, I thought, and I didn't enjoy having to drag the customers around as part of the game play.

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Fab Fashion and Fashion Rush are both quite similar in their game play even though their graphics look very different. They both require a similar first step (Measuring a model in the first case, taking a client’s order in the second), then cutting the fabric, then sewing the fabric, then delivery of final outfit. Both add accessories, new designs, etc. I think I slightly preferred Fab Fashion, just because you have more control over the upgrades, new designs, etc. Vogue Tales is yet another game along similar lines. In none of these cases did I feel the need to purchase at the end of the free trial period, however. So I recommend trying them out, but you may not end up wanting to buy them.

Fashion Craze might be fun or it might not, but I couldn’t tell you because—as with all Alawar games that I’ve attempted to play — i.t … r.u.n.s … s.o.o.o.o … s.l.o.w.l.y … t.h.a.t … i.t … m.a.k.e.s … m.e … w.a.n.t … t.o … k.i.l.l … m.y.s.e.l.f…. So I have only “spent” four minutes of my 60 minute trial but it took me 20 minutes to play that so-called four minutes. If Alawar games work for you, knock yourself out. But if you’ve had trouble with them in the past, then avoid this one, too (you can read about my Alawar frustrations in Farm Frenzy Fails).

FYI... Zen Fashion may have fashion in the title and may have some vague connection to fashion, but it's actually a matching game, not a time management one. And not a particularly special matching game, in my opinion. Posh Shop is another fashion game that is more of a match game than a time management one but, in this case, it's a unique style of match game that I actually really enjoyed.

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Sunday, February 3, 2008

Hide and Seek

I've been trying out a few Hidden Object games recently: Dream Day First Home; Polly Pride Pet Detective; Blood Ties; and Go Go Gourmet.

To start with, Go Go Gourmet is a combination of a Time Management restaurant game and a Hidden Object game. I managed to find sufficient versions of the demo so that I could play it all the way through without buying it, but I had no desire to play it again so I don't think it's worth a $19.99 purchase (I'd pay $9.99 tops).

Blood Ties looked really cool but I found it so boring that I didn't even bother finishing the demo. Maybe it would be more interesting if I was a fan of the TV show, but I doubt it. There doesn't seem to be anything about it that separates it from the slew of Hidden Object games that are out there at the moment.

Polly Pride Pet Detective is one that I am actually considering buying. It has an interesting storyline, some clever twists on the Hidden Object part of the game and some additional mini-games that made it quite fun for me.

Dream Day First Home is another Hidden Object game that I definitely recommend.

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Part of the reason is that First Home has another story concept that interests me: home decoration. But I say story concept rather than storyline because it's not nearly as involved a narrative as Polly Pride. But it has even more mini-games, also has twists on the hidden object part, plus has some choose-your-own-story elements and if that's not enough there's even a second house to work on once you've finished the first. So worth a purchase, in my opinion. (Although not necessary to purchase since it is available as a torrent if you search for it.) I haven't tried the two previous Dream Day games since their story concepts (wedding and honeymoon) don't interest me as much.

While I'm talking about Hidden Object games, older ones that I've enjoyed include Mystery Case Files: Prime Suspects, Mystery Case Files: Ravenhearst and Hidden Expedition: Titanic. But this type of game can get old pretty fast so, in my opinion, newer games need to have more bells and whistles to be worth buying.

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Thursday, December 20, 2007

Picross

I found this new puzzle game that I'm rather addicted to called Armor Picross. It's a nonogram puzzle (sometimes called a griddler), which is a picture logic puzzle where you fill in squares in a grid according to numbers given at the ends of the rows and columns to reveal a hidden picture. And in case I didn't explain that very well, here's a screenshot from the instructions:


The website has plenty of different puzzles to choose from, ranging in difficulty from easy (5x5 or 10x10 grids) to extreme (25x25). If you want a little extra guidance on how to solve these puzzles, there's a helpful website called Nonogram Solver that you can check out. Have fun. And don't blame me if you get addicted, too!

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