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point and click adventures

    Tsioque: A Princess Led 2D Adventure

    Sometimes a girl just has to save herself
    Tsioque fends off danger

    Now, I know what you’re probably thinking… How the hell do I pronounce Tsioque? Well rather than butcher it in text, just watch the trailer and listen real carefully at the end.

    Chi yok? Whatever, name aside the game looks cute right? Tsioque is a 2-D animated adventure game available now on Steam. It seems to have started several years ago on Kickstarter (2015) and is finally available in its full version, released on Steam on Nov 7 this year. 

    You play as a young lady, Tsioque, who had to defend her cattle from the evil court wizard that took it over and threw her in the dungeon. Her mom, the queen, and her army are of fighting so it’s up to Tsioque alone. The goal, of course, is to kick his butt out and reclaim your home. The game is a point and click story adventure with good voice over work and music score.

    The puzzles throughout the game aren’t exceedingly difficult. You’ll have to do some trial and error with some things and some of the mini-games are very precise timing, which can be aggravating. The game is dark but fun, so I would say Tsioque would probably be good for preteen and up if not a little younger.  

    Overall, the game is pretty and the dialogue can be amusing. It was nice seeing a female lead character. The only real downside is the length of the game, about 3.5 hours, and an odd shift in story. But I definitely enjoyed it regardless.

    If you’re into this style of game and fantasy settings you’ll want to pick it up and give it a go. And hey, it’s on Steam – so if you’re on the fence, just throw it on your wishlist and snag it during a sale!

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    Tales from the Dragon Mountain 2: The Lair Review

    lair

    I’m starting to really enjoy the point-and-click adventures from G5 Games, now that I’ve reviewed a number of them. The latest, Tales from the Dragon Mountain 2: The Lair, isn’t perfect, but it still may edge out most of the others to land in one of my top spots and it’s well worth the under-$5 price tag in Mac’s Apple Store.

    Players take on the role of Mina Lockhart, who apparently got rid of some bad guy named Strix in the previous game (I haven’t played Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Strix, so I can’t really speak to the quality of that game). Apparently, Strix is back, and Mina and her sidekick Malik have to defeat him again in order to protect the mythical creatures of Dragon Mountain. her quest involves finding items, solving puzzles and opening a portal, all to locate Strix’s lair.

    Unlike some of G5’s other games, this “hidden object” title doesn’t actually include the type of mini-game in which you get a list of items and have to locate them all within a mostly static picture. Most of the puzzles here are actually logic games of one sort or another – slide balls along tracks to get objects where they’re supposed to go, solve tangrams, find all the things you need to make a loaf of bread, or plant and pick flowers. These little diversions are fun and usually make sense within the confines of the story, although they’re not especially creative compared to some of the puzzles in other G5 games. There were one or two that I had no earthly idea how to solve based on the instructions given to me, so I just skipped them.

    This particular title happens to be short on story, but that’s okay. One of my other G5 favorites, Nightmares from the Deep 2: The Siren’s Call, is much more intricate but also more pretentious and embellished, and I didn’t really mind the lack of  characterization, curses, and complications in this one. This game is simpler – the tasks are not complicated, the missions are relatively easy and more logical,  and the puzzles are challenging but mostly straightforward. I just felt like I didn’t have to think so hard to figure where to go to get things or how to put items together.

    According to a press release, this game features 63 scenes, 27 mini-games, five chapters and three difficulty modes. You can unlock achievements by collecting stone dragons and solving puzzles (you can skip the puzzles, but you won’t get the achievements). A “combiner” tool automatically shows you the silhouettes of the objects you need to solve a particular problem, and the ever-handy “hint” button is always available when charged. Attractive settings inside a town and a mountain include a flooded cavern, a pumpkin coach, a cemetery, a windmill and a garden. The voice acting is so-so but likable, although the words sometimes don’t match up perfectly with the written dialogue.

    Tales from the Dragon Mountain 2: The Lair from G5 Entertainment and Cateia Games is currently available for the Mac iOS, iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire and Google Play (Android) for $4.99. The version I played was designed for Macs.

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    Apps, Games, Video Games
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    Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call

    siren
    G5 Games puts out some fun throwaway point-and-click mysteries, and Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call is no exception. In this game, which was released last week for Macs (but was already available on other platforms), you are asked to solve hidden-object puzzles and other mini-games in a sea-worthy tale that includes Davy Jones, fish-men, and the ominous threat of a kraken about to sink a ship full of people.

    In the story, you are Sarah Black, the curator of the Caribbean Naval Museum. You receive a package from a strange messenger. But, once you open it, it’s taken from by mysterious assailants – the Praetorians. The messenger then reveals himself to be a fish-man who needs your help to rescue the siren named Calliope. Thus, the adventure begins.

    The setting of the game is a fishing town called Kingsmouth, where the citizens have been under a curse cast by Mayor Murray (with help from the sea-devil, Davy Jones). This curse is turning them into fish-like creatures, and must be lifted. To do this, you must travel through town, discovering the truths about Mayor Murray and his horrible acts as you find your way into secret rooms, explore a haunted ship, and finally catch up to the kidnapped siren in the old lighthouse. Calliope is the source of Mayor Murray’s power, and only she can control the horrible kraken that Mayor Murray has sent out to do his evil bidding.

    I’ve played G5 Games titles before, but not from the Nightmares from the Deep series, and I liked this one the best. For one thing, it’s got some pretty visuals and cool environments, and a story that mostly makes sense (although I can’t help but wonder why my fish-man friend stands around and makes me do almost everything). For another, it’s not too easy to lack fun, but not so difficult that you’re ever stuck for long. On “Casual” mode, sparkles will alert you to things you need to click on next; a compass icon in the corner lets you skip puzzles, or get you a hint where to go next if you need it.

    Also, the games and puzzles actually seem to advance the story – which was not the case in the last game I reviewed, Brightstone Mysteries: Paranormal Hotel. Each hidden objects puzzle (which can be skipped if you prefer to play a quick mahjong matching game) gets you something you need. And other games fit well into the narrative. For example, in one section you’re required to make coffee for a surly guard who thinks you’re a serving wench. Well, in addition to finding a working grinder, coffee beans and a cup, you spike his drink with sleeping potion and that’s how you get past him.

    In another area you make your own torch to light the way through a labyrinth (using symbols you found by decoding a set of pictograms). Other sections have you matching symbols to open doors, finding and unscrambling pieces to complete pictures, examining a circuit breaker, figuring out how to break into an old safe, getting an old newspaper printing machine to work, and solving math logic puzzles.

    Like other G5 games, this one’s easily playable by kids who can read – and atmospheric enough to scare my eight-year-old in certain spots where, for example, ghosts jump out at him. There’s no objectionable content in it, so it’s great for older kids as well as teens and adults. There’s nothing groundbreaking about The Siren’s Call, but it’s great amusement for the short term and I recommend it if you like point-and-click adventures that will last you the better part of eight or ten hours.

    

Nightmares from the Deep: The Siren’s Call from G5 Games is now available for Mac OS as a free downland with a full game unlock for $6.99 through the App Store. It’s also currently available for iOS devices, the Kindle Fire, and through Google Play for Android phones and tablets.

    View the trailer here:

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