Reviews by T'hain Esh Kelch

Hero of the Kingdom II
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Enjoyable adventure

A simple adventure, which boasts the largest number of fetch-quests, I have ever seen before, intermixed with hidden object gaming.

The story is simple: Your sister is captured by pirates, and you have to find her! This is the only story there is for the first half of the game, so storywise it is pretty bland there. Fortunately it picks up halfway through, but the beginning could be a bit more interesting storywise.

Gameplay is simple - You pick up things, sometimes hidden on each map, and give them to people in order to get other things. Repeat at nausea! It does sound boring, but it is actually very relaxing, and there's a soothing soundtrack to go along.

I enjoyed myself, and the repetitive nature of the game made me play for much longer than I should have, because I could just do juuuust one more thing before finishing. :P

Graphics are simple, but suit the game very nicely, and while detailed they are never so complex that you can't find things.

I recommend it for people that don't want something filled with action, and something you can jump in and out of at any time.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Sep 13th 2020
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SPACECOM
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Skin deep strategy with limiting interface

Spacecom is a scifi strategy game, where you use three different kind of ships (Ship to ship combat, bombardment, or invasion), to wage warface across solar systems.

You start out with a few planets, who may or may not be able to produce more ships, and a few space ships. You then move your spaceships between solar systems, and fight local ships (Happening automatically), or destroy or capture the planets. A few planets are capable of reparing ships, a few can build ships, and some can produce materials for building things. Most planets can do nothing, other than building battle stations, shields, and troops, to protect them.

It is not very deep, as that is all you can do. Every level has a main mission, usually capture or destroy a specific planet(s), or don't loose X number of planets to waves of enemies. There's also 1-3 extra missions, which is usually 'don't loose X ships or planets', 'don't let enemy get X planets'.

It was okay strategy, as some levels were harder and required you to micromanage your ships around, while a few of them was merely (im)balanced to allow you to select all your ships from the start, click enemy planet, and go invade it, and thus finish in 1 minute.

Graphically it wasn't too special. Representative round images of planets, with lines between them. A bit too simple for my liking, but that just made the game all about strategy. I could have liked better differentiation between the ships (A triangle with line above, in the middle or in the bottom!).

I did feel the user interface was hindering me a bit, as there was no overhead map, you had to select individual planets after sending ships to them and then tell them what to do, and the 'Invade' and 'Destroy' buttons were crazily close together given that you are playing in real time! And they were moving depending on what ships you had in your fleet, which was just a BIG no-no! The invade button should stay where it was, and not get replaced with 'Destroy' if you have a single bombardment ship in the fleet!
And I was really lacking a 'you have idle ships waiting here', so I didn't have to scour around large maps looking for small triangles sitting still!

Soundtrack was soothing, although nothing too special. Sounds otherwise were almost non-existing.

I played it on a 2011 Mac Mini, so max resolution was 1344x1008, which was the weirdest resolution I have ever seen.. :D But according to MGS, the game wasn't supposed to be running, which it most certainly was, so I can live with that! So it did look quite old for me, but I again assume that's because my machine wasn't supported. No bugs encountered at all. I didn't try out multiplayer, because the game wasn't that interesting, but I guess it could actually be nice if you want something simple vs. a friend. The multiplayer ranking board didn't work though.

All in all a simple strategy game worth a couple of hours of gameplay. Acceptable, nothing more, nothing less.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Sep 11th 2020
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Anna's Quest
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Excellent adventure game

A hand drawn adventure game, about a young girl who lives with her grand father, until the latter becomes ill and she leaves their home to find a cure. She gets caught by a witch, and a grand adventure unfolds with her in the centere.

Nice hand drawn backgrounds and animations, great characters, nice voice work, good music, and a top notch adventure game with an excellent plot that unfolds as you play the game.

Highly recommend for adventure game fans!

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Mar 9th 2020
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realMyst: Masterpiece Edition
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A masterpiece

Myst is an old classic, which certainly holds up today. It is a masterpiece of exploration, puzzles, clues, and amazing visuals (Well, they were somewhat more amazing back then, but still looks fantastic in many places). It certainly has aged, but gameplay wise it still holds up.

It has this special tranquil and relaxing feel, that no other games have matched I believe. Puzzles are just right in how hard they are to solve, and the story is actually also quite interesting.

The game was a bit weird with the graphical performance, but ran acceptable on my 2011 iMac with 2GB Radeon 6970M. One of the graphical options created black boxes on my screen, but other than that, no issues encountered at all, despite running it under macOS 10.13.6 which MGS says isn't supported.

Highly recommended.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 4th 2019
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SteamWorld Dig
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Wonderful game

If you are looking for a simple, yet somewhat challeging game, oosing with charm, then this is the one you go for.

You play a robot who arrives in a small town in a desert, looking for his uncle. You start digging below the city, and find all kinds of wonders! Armed with only a pickaxe, you have to work your way through minor puzzles, easy enemies, and dig to find gems and other treasures. Along the way you'll get various upgrades and other stuff.

Graphics are really well done, cute, bot not too cutesy, and really fits the world. It is oosing with charm! Gameplay is great, with an emphasis on platforming and minor puzzle solving. Game is quick to load, and easy to learn. Story is not the important part here, but it does the trick.

Highly recommended!

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Oct 6th 2018
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Shelter
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Beautiful, relaxing, but not much of a game

You play a badger mom, who has to take care of her 5 young, while moving them to a new shelter.
The game looks beautiful, and has a very relaxing setting, but you don't actually do much. You just keep moving from place to place, while picking up the occasional vegetable for the young, yipping at a fox, or duck from an eagle.

If you need to turn off your brain while doing something relaxing, this is your game. If you expect anything with more action than Tetris, this is not the one.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Oct 6th 2018
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12 Labours of Hercules V: Kids of Hellas Collector's Edition
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Same old stuff

Good, but more of the same. Same mechanics as the prevous game, same graphics, new levels, and surprisingly, an even more lame story than the previous game (Do they have 6 year old to come up with these?).

I do find the levels a tad less tedious than in the previous game. There are not as many levels where you completely loose the overview like in the 4th installation, which is a good thing.

Bottom line, if you liked game 1, 2, 3 and 4, you'll also like this one. One thing I can say though, is that there's a few *really* hard levels in this one, more so than ever before. So if you are the one that goes for 3 gold stars, you'll have a challenge in this game.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Aug 26th 2017
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Botanicula
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Quite good

Very unique setting with gorgeous backgrounds and animations. Some good puzzles, although not too hard. Story not very complex.

Very recommended as a casual game to get away from everything.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Feb 18th 2017
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12 Labours of Hercules IV: Mother Nature
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More of the same

If you've tried the previous 3 games, then you are just in for more of the same. There are a very few minor mechanical additions, but other than that, it is the same.

Even though the previous entries hasn't really been Charles Dickens level writing, the story this time around is incredibly silly and pointless. 4/5 of the game you spend battling bad guys which hate you for no apparent reason other than you are you (Hercules), and the last fifth of the game, you're chasing a jumping egg. Yes, a jumping egg. Why? It destroyed a hotel. Yes, really! I don't know. It was so ridiculous.

I'd wish I could just click my way though the cutscenes, instead of having to wait for the spoken test. Of course, you don't need to text.

Anyway, the time management stuff and gameplay is still great, and it looks good too, so 4/5 here.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Nov 26th 2016
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Assassin's Creed 2 Deluxe Edition
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Amazing game!

What a blast I had - That was an amazing game, and really huge too. At first I was "Wow, this city is big, and I can explore it all???", and then when they added another smaller town "Woot! Can't get bigger than this!". And it couldn't. Except for those 4 more cities, 1 of them even larger than the first one, that was added! And they each had their own distinctive style, which I really enjoyed.

It looked great, even despite its age, and the gameplay was a blast. The overall story line, which ran across the entire series was a bit weird, and you really needed to know what happened in the first game, which I didn't. But the stand a lone story line was really good IMO, and very immersive. I could have done without the series storyline, except maybe for the finale - That was well done, and really made me want to play the next games to see how the story evolves.

The gameplay was as mentioned *really* good, and I had so much fun running around on buildings and stalking guards, and then assassinate them, or chasing thieves in the city. I was really skeptical of the franchise when I started the game, but it just kept getting better and better. So much to explore, so many secrets to find! The history side of the game is also really good, so those that like that, is in for a treat.

It ran really great on my 2011 iMac, so no complaints there. Minor drops in FPS when the camera was panning over the cities with a gazillion buildings in view, but that was also all. Very satisfied there. Motion capture and lip movements were spot on, so that also helped dragging you into the game and feel the characters.

Of course, there were also negative sides to the game:
• The game is an obvious console-first port. That made the controls really confusing, and even after throwing 35 hours into the game, I still was clicking at random in the cut scene sequences where I had to click a certain button. That's just awful. And the menus were definitely NOT made for a mouse, even though you have to control your character with the mouse. So stupid.
• Encountered a few minor bugs where enemies would stay 'tagged' on your character even though you escaped to the other end of the city, and a few places where my character wouldn't move onto a spot where he should be able to go. Fortunately these occasions where *very* few, especially considering the size of the game, so it was really a minor thing that didn't annoy me at all.
• Ubisoft has a launcher that popped up when you launched the game. No Ubisoft, I don't care about promotions, and when I click my game icon, I don't want a launcher with another "PLAY" button. Just launch the freaking game.
• Fighting could be quite tedious, especially in larger groups, and I really hope they improve on that in future games. Stalking and assassinating was by far the best part, and I sometimes went really far to get around groups (Maybe that was intended?). But you have a medium sword-thingy, and a big sword, yet they felt quite useless compared to your sneaky knife, so I almost never used them.
• Some of the overall story line puzzles were so cryptic that they didn't make sense and you had to look up the answer online.

Yet, 5/5, and highly recommended - Best game I've played since Borderlands 2.

by T'hain Esh Kelch, Denmark - Feb 12th 2015
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