Thrills abound as the ghost-hunters from the hit TV show “Paranormal State” race to solve a terrifying Civil War haunting!
User reviews: Mixed (100 reviews)
Release Date: Nov 26, 2013

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Buy Paranormal State: Poison Spring Collector's Edition

 

About This Game

The Paranormal Research team from the hit A&E TV show "Paranormal State" is called in to investigate a terrifying supernatural event at Poison Spring State Park, historical site to a grisly Civil War battle. Join the team as their newest member, solve this ghostly case, and reunite two wayward spirits in this eerie Adventure game!

  • Scour over 40 locations and 20+ Hidden Object scenes of hauntingly beautiful Poison Spring State Park!
  • Enjoy detailed, hand-painted artwork, full voice-acting, and a story inspired by true events!
  • Detect spiritual occurrences with special gadgets, such as the EMF Meter, the Thermal Cam, and more!
  • Solve 30 spooky puzzles and save the state park in Paranormal State: Poison Spring!

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows XP Service Pack 2
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 1.2+ or compatible graphics card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 786 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 1.2+ or compatible graphics card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Hard Drive: 786 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: OSX 10.7 (Lion)
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 1.2+ or compatible graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 786 MB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: OSX 10.9 (Mavericks)
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 1.2+ or compatible graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 786 MB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Ubuntu 12+
    • Processor: 1.6 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: OpenGL 1.2+ or compatible graphics card
    • Hard Drive: 786 MB available space
Helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Posted: June 16
While I haven't watched the TV series, I suppose if the game was about a faux paranormal group, it would have been more interesting.

As a casual HOG (Hidden Objects Game) that I purchased cheap via the Steam Summer Sale, I enjoyed the game for its challenging puzzles, premise and design.

But the story is hoakie, the majority of the characters really offer you any help except two and for those who want realism with the supernatural, you're not going to get that, considering that the dead will be communicating with you quite clearly.

You do get an extra chapter after you beat the game.

While I need three more achievements, one playthrough for the game is enough for me. The acting is hoakie, the limited interactions, character involvement and facial expressions hurt the game. It's only saving grace is wanting to find out who was responsible and why...

I recommend this game if you can get it under $3 but anything more than that and it's not recommended.
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2 of 4 people (50%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: May 17
Paranormal State was a documentary show about the real efforts of Ryan Buell and his best friends to become Ghostbusters. He is joined by Eiffel 65 (some hippie woman), Sergei Federov (a tech guy), Hurricane Katrina (the interview woman), his gramma Lorraine, and some other woman with a creepy smile as they struggle to discover the sinister events occurring at Poison Spring. This game is a documentary, and the events were filmed in real time.

From a gameplay standpoint, PS:PS is solid. The hidden object scenes are a tad on the easy side, but they never repeat themselves, The other puzzles tend to be enjoyably difficult, with the exception of two Tower of Hanoi (more like Tower of ANNOY) puzzles that show up, and a boring 'jump stones over other stones until only one's left' puzzle.

The story itself is pretty unusual, for being based on real events. (After all, something with the name Paranormal State would never lie about ghosts, right?) The Ghostbusters roll into Poison Spring to help Iris (the curator of the park) fend off the Cherokee version of Satan, along with the help of some old fogey Indiana Jones wannabe (seriously, the dude has fedoras all over the place, and a whip, and he has a poster of Indy in his tent). You also meet the ghosts of a black Union soldier and his Cherokee lover, the daughter of the dude who summoned the Cherokee Satan in the first place (so, your typical Romeo and Juliet stuff). I really had no idea the Civil War was almost decided by a demon summoning, so this game is truly edutainment. (That couldn't be wrong, could it? After all, a show with the integrity of Paranormal State would never lie...would it? ...Nahhhh!)

Overall, a fine experience for any fan of HOGs, or the show this was adapted from. Plus, an extra 10/10 for demonstrably proving the existence of demons, life after death, and time travel (since I found sushi in a Native American grave that had been sealed since the Civil War).
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111 of 170 people (65%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 27, 2014
"The scariest bit was his face"

My attention was brought to this game while it was still trying to get through Steam Greenlight and was offering free keys to users willing to vote. Now the game is up, and while me and many other users are still awaiting the promised keys, this game appeared in a bundle, so I've picked it up there so I can play and review the game for all those who are still waiting.

Story
As someone who doesn't watch television, my knowledge of this was minimal until I looked it up for my review. The knowledge that the series was supposed to be reality TV just makes this so much worse. Anyway, this game has the team, along with you, a new guy who doesn't receive a name, go to see someone about some recently strangeness at the site of a Civil War battle. This really was a weak point of the game, and given I know now of the 'reality TV' series, I can only face palm at the thought that it would be so poor as well.

Presentation
Expressionless faces and emotionless voices. This was so bad. The characters from the TV show have some poor caricatures, most of which don't closely match the original characters. Still, they aren't so bad you couldn't match them to a photo. The fact that the faces are never changing, no matter the current events, well, that is less forgivable. The main character just has a creepy stare that never changes through the game, and the rest aren't much better. I've been informed that the voice acting isn't from the original actors either, which doesn't bother me as I've never watched it, but the poor quality of it certainly does. Little emotion to it, and bad all round.

At least once you ignore the characters, the rest is at the expected level of quality for a hidden objects games. Items are clear, but don't stand out, which is what you would want from the genre. Nothing special to mention, but no more complaints from this section.

Controls
Purely point and click with the mouse. The only problem here was picking up an item to use on the same screen, as where you would expect the pointer to be isn't always correct, resulting in trying to guess the correct positioning to continue on.

Gameplay
With a hidden object game, there isn't a lot to the gameplay. A number of rooms to look through, finding hidden object puzzles, logic puzzles and items for solving the logic puzzles. In two of these, the game is fine. Hidden object puzzles went as expected, even if it doesn't bring anything special to the table. Locating items for the other puzzles is also simple enough.

The logic puzzles, here there are some more problems to add to the list of flaws. Some of these are quite alright, while some of them seem to have no logic to them, just attempting everything until it works. One early puzzle was to get the electricity working by replacing fuses. You have several empty slots and several coloured fuses. The slots weren't marked in any way that I could see, you just tried each fuse until a small light lit up, then moved to the next. That isn't any sort of puzzle, just random guessing. If there was a logical solution, it wasn't visible to me. There were several others handled just as poorly.

Lifespan
This game is quite short, being under 5 hours to beat both the original campaign and the bonus content unlocked after that, though that is an acceptable length for the genre. There are also 20 achievements, but most if not all will be unlocked the first time around. There are some difficulty settings but this only effects what level of hints you will receive during the game, something I never used myself. Chances are you won't bother with this game once you have completed it the first time.

Closing
Overall, this game really isn't worth a purchase, at least not at the asking price. There are many better games available capable of testing both your eyes and your mind, without inflicting the problems mentioned.

4 / 10
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32 of 42 people (76%) found this review helpful
8.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 30, 2014
Well it is not bad, in that I completed it and didn't feel ripped off, there weren't any technical issues. However there are many other similar and better games on Steam that I wouldn't recommend this one unless you are starting to exhaust Steam's catalogue of hidden object games.

It is not scary, there are a couple of jump scares but they don't really affect the scariness of the game. However I did feel uncomfortable playing this game for the following reasons.

The art work in general is very good. However the character animation during dialogue is really uncanny as it is just large blinking eyes and in the group scene at the beginning strange head tilts.

The characters motivation is a bit off, you play as the newest member of the paranormal investigation group, but you are given all of the equipment during the game and sent off to do almost all of the work, so you end up wanting to tell the other members of the team to get up of their backsides and do something. I would understand if you were split from the group or there was some story dynamic to make you do it, but there isn’t. An early example is that you have to answer the phone in the back of the car on the way there, even though you are in the front passenger seat and there are four people in the back who are nearer the phone, and are more likely to know the person on the other end. Assembling an electrical item with the technical expert next to you, because he cannot be bothered? It gets worse.

Hidden Object Scenes, not too difficult to implement you would think, but these are the most annoying I have ever played. Using synonyms is ok, half hiding objects are ok, but most of the scenes have objects which require multiple actions to find. Which is fine but there are a lot of them. I should mention that the hidden objects appear to be the same in subsequent play throughs. Normally I would expect a scene to have 12-15 hidden objects selected out of database of a greater number of possible objects, sometimes they always include a particular object needed to advance the plot, but there is usually some variation, in this game there isn't any. This is made worse because even when you know two objects work together clicking on one with the other is difficult due to the detection of the game engine, if often doesn’t detect the click unless you click a certain part of the object but this seems to vary, and not in a predictable or intelligent way.

The first hidden object scene contains 4 objects out of 12 which require multiple actions; the highest appears to be 6 out of 12. Some of the solutions are nonsensical. It is almost as bad as the famous puzzle in one of the Gabriel Knight games that requires you to place tape over a hole in a fence to chase a cat through, such that hair is stuck to the tape, which you then use to make a fake moustache to disguise yourself as a character that doesn’t have a moustache.

This followed through into the other puzzles, melt that substance with a melting point over 1000 degrees C on a campfire ok. Go to great lengths to get a source of light, even though there is an electric work light only feet away etc.

Gameplay aside I felt uncomfortable playing the game for three main reasons.

1) The game requires you to vandalise and steal items during you investigation at times when there is no urgency. If the game required me to steal a first aid kit to help someone who was dying, I would say fair enough, or break a car window to retrieve a phone to call for the police, well they can just bill me for the window.

However the game requires me to steal and cause damage at times in the game when as far as the group is concerned, no one is in immediate danger, or the only reason to break the law is for the benefit of our investigation. Randomly destroy and damage Native American artefacts for no reason because later on you will just happen to need them, take whatever you want even though the owners are not far away, because well who cares.

2) Health and safety, running into a burning building to rescue someone, dangerous but necessary. But don't worry; you won’t be doing anything like that.

Instead:

Instead thrill in the danger of lighting candles so you can see to fill a gas tank, because someone cannot be bothered to go back to the car and get a torch.

Damage a building water supply and leave it leaking in a room with the electricity switch on, to clean a mirror to see something in the reflection which you would see by just turning around.

3) Native Americans, I don't know much about Native American culture, however it is featured and plays a prominent part of the game. But it all seems very stereotypical, dream catchers - check, Indians wearing fringed buckskin - check, big head dresses - check, totem poles - check. Everything from old cowboy films before laws were brought in to stop white people in makeup playing Native Americans - check. I doubt that all of the Native American symbolism used is genuine, and even with the genuine items, I doubt that any one nation included all of these elements. It would have been less of a problem in a more fantastic setting, but the associated TV show is delivered as a documentary, and the game is set in a real world setting. It made me cringe and I am a white Englishman, so I expect it would really upset actual Native Americans. I just felt that it was all a bit racist, and apart from holding my hand up and saying "How", it couldn't have gotten anymore unpleasant.

So I would in closing say, the game is not terrible, but almost all of the hidden object games on Steam are better. It is really only for fans of the TV show. Go play something by Artifex Mundi (Developed not just distributed by.) and you will have a better experience for a bit less money.
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20 of 25 people (80%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
10.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 7, 2014
Casual level of difficulty for the Hidden Object Puzzles, but also a good story for Veteran Mystery game fans meaning you can be 93.14% sure you will enjoy this game. Lots of different puzzles to keep things interesting. This game is based on an A&E show, players are a member of a college club called the Paranormal Research Society, or as the cool kids say PRS. In Poison Spring all kinds of creepy stuff happen, and the game is even scary as well at parts! One of the characters Ryan Buell just looks creepy, the characters in cinematics look expressionless which also makes it eerie. Dont let steelhands get away with his master plan to decieve this group of pesky kids, they are supposed to be in college but they all look way to old and one of them looks 90 so not sure what that is about.

Feels pretty short, after beating the game is a bonus game where you return to the dreaded Poison Spring to solve yet another mystery. The puzzles are very well put together, the hidden object parts really fit and dont look like a garage sale vomited stuff all over, each part has a sound, or most do making it feel in depth. Be careful behind some objects are ghosts! Lots of those weird ghost hunting gadgets from the audio device to the camera and a digital signature thing is in the game making you feel all x filey.

Here is a link for history buffs: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Poison_Spring

*If game is blinking, right click the exe and set it to disable DPI scaling... Problem solved :D
Turn out the lights, use only a candle while playing for maximum chills and thrills!
Rating: 10/10 Value: $7.99
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