Golden Trails 2: The Lost Legacy

Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 at 4:40 PM | Category: Casual Games Reviews, News & Talk, Hidden Object Games, Mac Games, PC Games, Puzzle Games, Releases No comments

Golden Trails 2: The Lost LegacyAwem releases the hidden object game sequel to Golden Trails: The New Western Rush. The first one takes ya to the Wild West where you travel around town asking questions about a bank robbery and send the bad guys to jail.

In Golden Trails 2: The Lost Legacy Collector’s Edition, yer grandfather has been arrested. Naturally, being the good grandkid ya are, ya sniff around to find out what the deal is and encounter nasty characters like that scallywag Captain Morgan. Something isn’t right about this guy and he has it in for ya. What’s up with that? Just because yer related to the guy he arrested?

Based on talking with the townsfolk and Captain Morgan, yer grandfather used to be a pirate. Yeah, right. Yer the good guy. How can the good guy’s grandfather be a pirate? This hidden object game challenges you with its diversity of puzzles. I never could solve one of the puzzles and had to move on because we had a deadline to make so y’all (Whoops, thar goes me Texan accent.) could stop waiting for the game and play it.

Avast, thar! I had something to do with the game, so I’m biased. This is not an official review. I loved playing the puzzle games. Some were familiar and some were not for the lily-livered. Most of them make ya work hard for the booty and doubloons.

Ayyy, matey. It feels like “Talk like a Pirate Day” even though it’s not until September. Anyway, grab ye some grog and try out the game. Yo ho ho and a bottle of water! OK, I’ll cut it out already. Seriously, let me know what you think.

Free Download

Tags: ,

Release: Dream Chronicles: The Book of Water Collector’s Edition

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011 at 12:03 PM | Category: Adventure Games, Casual Games Reviews, News & Talk, Mac Games, PC Games, Releases No comments

Dream Chronicles is back! Doesn’t feel long ago since The Book of Air came out. In Dream Chronicles: The Book of Water Collector’s Edition, Lyra has found her way home only to find her town hit by a devastating storm. In search of power, the evil fairy queen of Dreams has cast a terrible curse over all of Wish. With her father gravely ill and her mother missing, Lyra must find a way to break the spell. Journey through beautifully enchanted places, solve challenging puzzles, and seek answers to save Lyra’s hometown in Dream Chronicles: The Book of Water.

Download and try Dream Chronicles: The Book of Water.

Free Download

Tags: , , ,

Empress of the Deep 2

Friday, April 8th, 2011 at 12:06 PM | Category: Casual Games Reviews, News & Talk, Hidden Object Games, Mac Games, PC Games, Puzzle Games, Releases No comments

I don’t know why, but reading about this game made me think of Edward Lear’s “The Owl and the Pussycat” story that I had. First thing that came to mind, “The own and the pussy cat went to sea in a pea green boat.” Strange what the mind conjures from what the eyes see.

Empress of the Deep 2: Song of the Blue Whale Collector’s Edition: Anna awakens on a mysterious tiny island after escaping the destruction of her underwater kingdom. She must find her way to a mystical floating cloud city in the sky, seek out the four Children of Light and save them from the twisted clutches of the Evil Empress Pandora. Along the way she must rescue and heal enchanted animal slaves in this fantastic Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game!

Here’s the original Empress of the Deep: The Darkest Secret.

Download and try Empress of the Deep 2: Song of the Blue Whale Collector’s Edition.

Free Download

Tags: , , ,

Shades of Death: Royal Blood

Thursday, March 24th, 2011 at 11:15 AM | Category: Casual Games Reviews, News & Talk, Hidden Object Games, Mac Games, PC Games, Releases No comments

Shades of Death: Royal BloodSpeaking of royalty, anyone interested in the big royal wedding coming in a month? I wonder how someone messed up this mug that is supposed to show the royal couple only to display Will’s brother Harry instead?

OK, back to Shades of Death: Royal Blood. After your father dies, your sister Violet requests your help at the Family Castle. After arriving, things seem to be in disarray. Explore the castle and help Violet get to the bottom of a dark mystery in Shades of Death: Royal Blood. Use your Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure skills to explore the grounds and solve tricky puzzles. Discover what had frightened your father and find the truth behind his death.

Also available for the Mac.
Free Download

Download and try Shades of Death: Royal Blood.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Meryl Evans

Tags: , , ,

Solve a Series of Murders in Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Curse of the Full Moon

Friday, March 11th, 2011 at 1:07 PM | Category: Casual Games Reviews, News & Talk, Mac Games, PC Games, Releases, Time Management No comments

The March Super Sweepstakes: Our hero Felix is giving away hundreds of super prizes every week in March. Buy any 1 Collector’s Edition game or 2 standard version games in a given week, and you’ll be automatically entered in the drawing for that week’s prizes. (U.S. residents only.) Buy more pairs of games for more chances to win!

Called into a small city from the capitol, you have been put in charge of solving a string of mysterious murders! Around the same time as the murders, a wolf has been appearing around town and spooking the townsfolk. With rumors of a werewolf swirling, it’s up to you to get to the bottom of the mystery and set the record straight in Shadow Wolf Mysteries: Curse of the Full Moon!

Free Download

Bring hope to the people of Egypt in The Timebuilders: Pyramid Rising, an exciting time management game! Assistant to the Royal architect Senmut, you have been appointed the daunting task of reconstructing villages and bringing hope to the people of Egypt. Only you can save them from banishment to eternal darkness by the mighty god, Amen-Ra. Hire workers, manage resources, build structures and gather stone all while fending off alligator attacks and more!

The Timebuilders: Pyramid Rising is available for Mac.

Free Download

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Meryl Evans

Tags: , , ,

The Serpent of Isis: Your Journey Continues

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011 at 8:08 AM | Category: Adventure Games, Casual Games Reviews, News & Talk, Hidden Object Games, Mac Games, PC Games, Puzzle Games No comments

Well, how about that? This description doesn’t say “Exciting” game.

Find the Tomb of Isis and finish the search that Robert’s Grandpa started! Travel the globe and find clues that will help on your search! After Professor Thomas Penroy is kidnapped, it’s up to you to take over the hunt for the legendry Tomb of Isis in this perplexing hidden object puzzle adventure game. Unravel ancient mysteries and solve incredible riddles in Serpent of Isis – Your Journey Continues!

Free Download

If you haven’t played The Serpent of Isis, you might want to check that out, too.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Meryl Evans

Tags: , , ,

Study: Casual Video Games Helps Reduce Depression and Anxiety

Friday, February 18th, 2011 at 9:46 AM | Category: Casual Games Reviews, News & Talk, Game News, Mac Games, Match 3 Game, PC Games, Puzzle Games No comments

I believe this to be true. At the end of 2009, I played Bejeweled Blitz for hours — something I rarely do. We had a family crisis and there wasn’t anything I could do about it. Playing the game gave me purpose (trying to top my friends’ high scores) and helped me relax a little. Games also come to the rescue when my brain won’t focus.

It’s like those times when you don’t feel like going to a party or another social event. Once you get there, smile and chat… you feel better. Casual games (non-violent, family-friendly) do that for me and I can get on with my day. Here are the details of the study:

East Carolina University’s Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic completed a year-long randomized, controlled clinical study to look at the efficiency of casual video games for reducing symptoms of depression and anxiety. Almost 60 subjects that met the criteria of clinical depression participated in the study. Half of the subjects were part of the control group. The participants played three family-friendly, non-violent puzzle games: Bejeweled 2, Peggle and Bookworm Adventures. (All of the games are made by PopCap Games, underwriter of the study.)

The result was a 57 percent reduction of depression symptoms along with improved moods.

“The results of this study clearly demonstrate the intrinsic value of certain casual games in terms of significant, positive effects on the moods and anxiety levels of people suffering from any level of depression,” stated Dr. Carmen Russoniello, Director of the Psychophysiology Lab and Biofeedback Clinic at ECU and the professor who oversaw the study (as well as previous studies involving the same games’ effects on stress levels). “In my opinion the findings support the possibility of using prescribed casual video games for treating depression and anxiety as an adjunct to, or perhaps even a replacement for, standard therapies including medication.”

Ehh… I’m not sure I’d recommend games as a replacement to standard therapies and medicine. But at least, it’s an option that might work with all the therapies or for those who are just feeling down, but haven’t been diagnosed with depression. Depression is a real problem, a real illness. But some don’t see it as a real illness without physical symptoms. Nonetheless, games do affect the mood and chase the doldrums away.

Russoniello said that the games had both short term (after 30 minutes of game play) and long term (after one month) effects when compared to the control group.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Meryl Evans

Tags: , , , ,

Super Bowl 45 Weekend with Playfirst Games

Friday, February 4th, 2011 at 9:06 AM | Category: Casual Games Reviews, News & Talk, Discounts, Mac Games, PC Games No comments

I love Playfirst games. Flo, Diner Dash, Wedding Dash, Dream Chronicles and on and on. Over 60 of its original, non-Collector’s Edition games are available for $4.99 at Big Fish Games through February 7, 2011 at 11:59pm. Use code: Playfirst. With the wintery weather hitting a lot of places in the US, playing games is a great cure for cabin fever.

My recommendations:

Check out the Playfirst games sale. As always, you can try the game before you buy it. Just make sure you try it in time to buy the game before the sale ends.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Meryl Evans

Tags: , , , ,

Awakening: Moonfell Wood

Thursday, January 6th, 2011 at 9:05 AM | Category: Casual Games Reviews, News & Talk, Hidden Object Games, Mac Games, PC Games, Puzzle Games, Releases No comments

Awakening: Moonfell Wood follows Awakening: The Dreamless Castle. After awaking from a century long slumber, Princess Sophia finds an empty world where not a single soul can be found anywhere. Search for helpful clues and discover Sophia’s destiny in Awakening: Moonfell Wood, a hidden object puzzle adventure game. You’ll follow your fairy friend while exploring beautiful magical world to help Sophia find her people.

Where Awakening: Moonfell Wood succeeds most is in its vibrant graphics that make you feel like you’ve walked into a fairytale. Its puzzles don’t have anything special as you’ll find many of the same things — find 15 of X objects, for example — in other games.

Download and try Awakening: Moonfell Wood.

  Copyright secured by Digiprove © 2011 Meryl Evans

Tags: , , ,

Cradle of Rome 2 PC Game Review

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011 at 11:23 AM | Category: Casual Games Reviews, News & Talk, Game Reviews, Mac Games, Match 3 Game, PC Games No comments

Friends, Romans, countryfolk… lend me your eyes. Cradle of Rome swallowed up a lot of my time for weeks as I matched my way to level 100. When I reached the 100th level, I had one citizen that I left to earn and could never get that guy. I let it go and accepted the Roman journey more than satisfied and delighted me.

Last year, I reported Cradle of Rome 2 was on its way. And many others kept asking when it was hitting the streets. As eager as I wanted to go on another journey in Rome, I figured Awem wanted to perfect the game before sharing it with the world. Sometimes deadlines need missing for quality’s sake.

And you might expect, Cradle of Rome 2 was worth the wait. After all, it was enough time to memorize Marc Antony’s speech from Julius Caesar. No excuses for not knowing it by memory. Hey, I memorized it in 10th grade. Funny thing about memorized poems and speeches, I end up like the author, play or whatever they’re from. Anyhoo… the game!

Adventure Mode — my favorite mode by far — of the match three game opens with the miracle story of two brothers and asks you to restore Rome’s glory by buying blueprints and then constructing the building. This makes way for the tie in with the mini-games to give them a little purpose. First, you start playing level 1 and make matches until you break all of the blue tiles. You’ll be done within 30 seconds with just four blue tiles.

Cradle of Rome 2As you make matches, you earn units of food, gold and supplies. Every blueprint costs so much food, gold and supplies. Once you have enough for a blueprint, you can buy it after successfully completing the mini game behind it. Mini games include jigsaw puzzles and finding matching pairs. While these are common mini games, it’s a little break from the matching grind. Completed jigsaw puzzles reveal a building blueprint — so that’s a great tie in with the story.

After completing a building, you can earn a citizen. Every citizen comes with a task you need to complete during the matching to win the citizen. It may be making as simple as matching five tiles to as challenging as making 10 moves in 10 seconds. Adding citizens also gives you an advantage in the game. One citizen gives you 500 extra units of gold in every new level. Another fills up a bonus faster. These bonuses can make or break a level for you depending on your strategy. Bonuses gives you more time, destroy all of the same type of tile, break one tile and so on.

Not only do you win trophies for every citizen, but also for special events such as completing five levels without a time warning and playing the whole game without losing a life.

New in Cradle of Rome 2 are the nasty skulls. When you match three skulls, it puts three blue tiles back on the board. Yeah, like I said, nasty things. As annoying as they are, they increased the game’s challenge. At least, they don’t show up in back to back levels. So you do get a break. Sort of. When not facing skulls, you may face narrow rows or columns that make it hard to break the tiles in them.

Two other modes include Tourney and Blitz. You unlock Tourney after scoring 500,000 points. Blitz stays locked until you’ve finished all 100 levels. These modes rely heavily on the clock, which turns me into a panicky gal. I prefer the clock in Adventure Mode. In Tourney, you have to break all the tiles in the level as fast as you can. The faster you finish the level, the higher your award.

Cradle of Rome 2Let’s say on Level 1, you need to complete the level within 10 seconds to get the gold medal, 15 seconds to get silver, 20 seconds to get bronze or end up with nothing. Seeing the little medal flash from gold to silver to bronze to zilch drove me batty. Even putting my hand over that area of the screen — it was HARD to even get a bronze medal in spite of all the tips and tricks I deployed.

I can tolerate Blitz more than Tourney. This one resembles what you may know as Endless Mode in other games. As long as you keep making matches, the clock slows down. Keep playing levels until the clock runs out. Like I said, I’m jumpy when it comes to heavier timed games, but those who love it will enjoy getting more out of the game.

Cradle of Rome 2. Worth. It.

Download and try Cradle of Rome 2. (Here’s the Mac version.)

FCC warning: The reviewer had a small role in the development of the game and received a copy of the game from the company, which in now way influences whether the game review is good, bad, reviewed or mentioned.

Tags: , , ,

Subscribe to this here blog: RSS or E-mail

Get Updates

  • Categories

    • Archives

    • May 2014
    • March 2014
    • January 2014
    • November 2013
    • October 2013
    • September 2013
    • July 2013
    • June 2013
    • May 2013
    • February 2013
    • December 2012
    • October 2012


    • Connect with Meryl

        Follow meryl on twitter Connect on LinkedIn Connect on Facebook Connect on pinterest Connect on Google Plus