Friday, November 14, 2014

Game Review - The Far Kingdoms

Game Review - The Far Kingdoms
Score: +2/-6
Summary: Mostly a hidden object game, but with a considerable about of match-3 and several mini-games.
+ Challenging in that it gives you less clues than other hidden object games. If you are hoping for a very casual, relaxed, and EASY game, then this isn't for you, even on the easiest setting.
- Mediocre artwork initially/during cutscenes but better in-game, though maybe not as good as other contemporary games.
- Poor scripting. For example, after you have completed your task with a particular character, their dialog doesn't change and they still say that you need to bring them various quest items.
- Sometimes when you need to apply an item to another item, the area where your click is valid is small or not intuitive. You may have the correct action but it is invalidated by the game not recognizing that you are clicking on the correct object. This occurs most often when you have a spell/potion recipe and you are trying to click on the mixing vial on the lower right corner.
- Hints are worthless because they are invariably misleading.
- Some Match-3 games are nearly impossible to complete, or take so much time that it bores you to sleep. The reason is the number of token types: Too many on a restrictive board setup can lead to no-moves-available. You may have to use the 3 free shuffles, after which you get a Skip button. There is challenging, but the difficulties here change it to tedious.
+- You will not always get a cursor context change where you need to take an action, usually when you need to use an inventory item on an object. For people who play without hints such as shimmering areas to indicate actions needed or hidden object games, this increases the difficulty and makes you think instead of being led by the nose all the time. Other people will find it frustrating.

Overall the game definitely needs more polish in the user-interface to bring it up to par with contemporary hidden object games in terms of intuitiveness and friendliness. There are many better games with more exciting storylines and pacing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Skyrim Quest Checklist

The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim Quest Checklist (version 2014-November-12)

This is a simple checklist for all quests, Skill Book locations, and Unusual Gem locations in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. The ZIP file contains a Word for Windows version and a PDF version. Download the Skyrim Quest Checklist here.

Highly recommended mods are:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

City of Steam v2.8.1 - Transmuter

Here are some tips for using the City of Steam (v2.8.1) Transmuter.
  • You get a lot of Transmuter Orbs but not a lot of Coolant. Save your Coolant till you have maybe 10 or so. Save your Orbs till you have 100+. Then, during a long Vanquish, work on the Transmuter.
    • Do your minimum 5 spins each day to collect Orbs and Coolant from the Transmuter NPC, but keep accumulating. In the later game, you will be Vanquishing the Tower which can take a long time, and the Transmuter is one of the minigames you can play to pass that time while also waiting for a match in the 1v1 Queue.
  • If you start with too many bombs and the pressure is up too much, you will likely not get a good prize so just reset.
  • If you start with no pairs or triplets, you are also likely not to get a good prize so you might also want to reset, unless you are going for the collectible Transmuter Essences, which you can accumulate to get character bonuses.
  • If you aim for the Collectibles, then you should be willing to lock in low value prizes like shillings and metals because they have a higher likelihood of showing up.