¸.•*¨).•´¸.•*¨) Nightmares From The Deep ¸.•*¨).•´¸.•*¨)
(¸.•´ (¸.*´ ¸.•´(¸.•´ The Cursed Heart ¸.•´ (¸.*´ ¸.•´ (¸.*´
~My Personal Progress~
Story: 300% [beat the game three times, in regular and expert mode]
Time played: 10h05m total [3h55m 1st run (regular) + 3h15m 2nd run (expert, mahjong achievement) + 2h55m 3rd run (expert, hidden object achievement)]
Achievements: 100% [15/15 ACMs]
"Nightmares From The Deep: The Cursed Heart" is a simple hidden-object-/puzzle-game set in a mystic "cursed Pirate"-Adventure.
The story is simple and straight forward: you're a museum's curator and proud mother. You receive the dead body of Captain Remington, who was - back then in his days - a feared and cruel pirate. In fact, you are the one who brings him back to life and Remington flees with your daughter to Skull Island. Obviously, it is your task to rescue your duaghter and break the curse that keeps the old Captain alive. One should not expect a deep and emotionally moving story behind such a game and so didn't I, to be honest. That's simply because such games are ment to be played casually: easy to learn, even easier to master! In comparison to other games of this genre this game made a quite good attempt and at least tries to build up tension and most of the time keeps you a little curious, indeed. Of course, this isn't comparable to extraordinary RPGs, for example, but within its own genre this game knows how to sell its plot well (therefore my STORY-rating is pushed from a 2 to a 3).
The difficulty was mainly rated with the highest difficulty-level in mind. There are two modes you can choose from: "regular mode" that shows on your maps all places where actions are available and gives you a shorter charge time for hints, and "expert mode" that doesn't give you hints at all and lets your hint-bar fill up more slowly. If you play this game for the first time, expert mode can be really hard, indeed, because you have to spent more attention on clickable items and have to backtrack a lot to find spawning hidden-object-scenes, but there is one big downside: the game offers a complete "strategy guide" ... I would rather call it a "click-through", to be honest. It's an entire list of all objectives, you have to fulfill, including all clickable items with a beautiful photo gallery. This is ... *clearing throat* ... ment to be nice, really, but this game is simple enough and offering a complete walk-through is destroying the last bit of a challenge completely ^^" Without this "feature" my rating would probably have been a 3 of 5 due to the expert mode, but in this case I decided to reduce it to a 1 out of 5 because even the "clever puzzles"
(as stated in the game description) weren't clever enough in my opinion but rather easy-peasy.
The gameplay is solid and the voice acting is ok. This game is actually just a simplified Point&Click-Adventure (because the game chooses the appropiate interaction-method with objects automatically, e.g. "talking" while hovering about persons, magnifying things that can be inspected, and collected objects from your inventory aren't combinable, at all) with hidden-object-/mahjong-elements and - let's be honest - it's hard to screw something up that's as simple as clicking ; ) Autosaving works perfectly fine and I didn't bump into bugs or crashes of any kind. However, there doesn't seem to be a way of starting a new game as long as your current campaign isn't finished, despite of creating a whole new player-profile; not the end of the world, but mildly annoying. Due to some restrictions I had to play this game three times to earn all achievements. Mini-games can be played in two different modes: One is the common hidden-object scene and the other one let's you solve the object finding by playing mahjong. To earn the achievements "Self-guided Tour" and "Mahjong Master And Commander" you have to solve all 28 mini-games in a playthrough either only as hidden-object-puzzles or only mahjong-challenges, and during my first run I tried out both mechanics and wasn't able to complete these puzzles a second time in the other mode. I'm not sure if this was intended. If it was, then I've got to criticize that this design-decision artificially lengthens the game time for those who want to get a Perfect Game.
The graphics are generally good and offer a decent resolution, the only thing that disappointed me, was that the game description claims to have "AAA-quality cinematics"
that it clearly doesn't have! The cinematics didn't scale with the resolution and because I play with a FullHD-monitor, probably as most players these days, I had to watch horribly pixelated cutscenes. Either the devs didn't test the quality on a common monitor or they simply lied ... no matter what applies, it's awefully negative, in my opinion.
I decided to decrease the rating for the game's replayability, although I personally played it three times. The reason simply is, that on one hand I only would have needed two playthroughs - maximum -, if I had paid a little bit more attention. And on the other hand I want to evaluate games as objectively as I can, which means, that I have to be aware of people that don't care for achievements like I do. These people would probably not consider to replay this game, because it doesn't offer new challenges, alternative endings or anything else that makes this game worth playing again.
"Nightmares From The Deep" is a decent game. Those of you who like hidden-object-games will probably have some nice hours to spend with this. I personally don't think that it offers any original ideas or breakthroughs in this genre and didn't create tension or fun above the ordinary, but on the other hand I don't see any severe reason to prevent you from buying this game, if that is the kinda game you like and enjoy, because despite the misinformation about the "AAA-cinematics" it offers a solid quality and I consider it as one of the better hidden-object-games on the market.
Thanks for wasting your precious time reading my review. Although I try to evaluate as objective as possible and justify my statements with facts, there is always a chance that my opinion might not be the widely recognized one. You should rather see this as a little guide-line and should figure out for yourself if my preferences match yours : )
Feel free to rate and to leave a comment with your opinion about the game and my review to help me improve and/or add me as a friend if you're interested in a little discussion or just small talk (discussion ... no flaming, you know the difference?! - sure, you do :D)
-- Elunestra ^^