Filled with mystery, humor, and suspense, and brought to life in rich 3D-animation, AR-K is a point-and-click story game with a twist
User reviews:
Mixed (265 reviews) - 62% of the 265 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Jul 21, 2014

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Buy AR-K + AR-K: The Great Escape

Includes 2 items: AR-K, AR-K: The Great Escape

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About This Game

AR-K is a classical point and click adventure with an updated twist.

IMPORTANT:This pack includes episodes 1 and 2 of AR-K
  • AR-K: Gone With The Sphere
  • AR-K: The Girl Who Wasn't There

Episode 3 is now available on Steam!
AR-K: The Great Escape

Alicia Van Volish is a former cop and current journalism student who wakes up after a one-night stand with a terrible hangover and a lot of questions: How much did she drink? Did she really take that guy home with her? What was his name? And what, exactly, is the Golden Sphere, the mysterious object that seems the source of all Alicia’s woes?

System Requirements

Mac OS X
    • OS: Windows 7
    • Processor: Intel Atom
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Storage: 3300 MB available space
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Storage: 3300 MB available space
Customer reviews
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Mixed (265 reviews)
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123 reviews match the filters above ( Mixed)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
18.0 hrs on record
Posted: September 26
There are a few good things about this game. I like the characterization and the and the overall plot.

There are quite a lot of bad parts though. The biggest part are the "puzzles". They barely even qualify as puzzles. Most of the time you're just collecting and combining random stuff from around the AR-K, and you hope that it's useful later. Many just never make sense. They tried to fix this in the second episode with the narrator, but he's such a bore to listen to, and the fact that he's overall pretty useless, makes it another failed part.

I've heard that part 3 of this game is much better, however I'll never know because the developers decided to be asses and make us pay more to play the second half of the game. It's like playing a free demo and then buying the full game once you've found out you liked it. Except you pay for the demo and pay even more for the full game.

While I said I liked the overall plot fo the game, the execution of the plot isn't done well. I spent the first half of episode one trying to wake up my roommate for no reason other than I had nothing else to do. The game gave you no reason to wake him up until right before you were ready to wake him up already. The progression of this game has the logic of a three year old. You most likely won't complete this game without a guide or spending days trying the most obscure stuff to see if it does anything.
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3 of 5 people (60%) found this review helpful
5.0 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
This is an interesting game from a certain point of view. I enjoyed playing it, does have a special graphic and game mechanics, the overall sound is okay. Keeps you entertained and satisfied.
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1 of 5 people (20%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
0.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 15
I got cancer :/
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Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
102 of 109 people (94%) found this review helpful
11.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 3, 2014
Be aware that so far only 2 episodes out of 4 are available. The 3rd episode is supposed to be released in January 2015 & the 4th about June 2015.

I should start with the fact that initially i gave this game a negative review. AR-K was a total mess at launch; there were lots of glitches & bugs...BUT it changed a lot since then. All the bugs were fixed (at least the ones i've encountered), steam interface now works as well, and all the glitched achievements were also fixed, i tested them all myself. Lastly, starting episode 2, a very cool feature was added - the narrator, which can give you clues on certain items. I was finally able to play both episodes from the start to the end without any problem.

AR-K is an episodic point-and-click adventure with some very challenging puzzles, and has a very intriguing story which will keep you wanting more with every step you advance through the game. There are also a lot of funny moments which made me laugh out loud several time. One of the game's best feature is the voice acting. Simply outstanding, especially the main character. Overall, its a very enjoyable game. The only con left from my point of view is the resolution, which is 1280x768, and there is no option to change it from the launcher, it looks good enough in window mode, but if you choose to play in full screen - it will not scale up correctly and you'll also get a blurred picture as a bonus. However, the developer said, and i quote : "The next two episodes will be made in 1920x1080".

Let's hope the next two episodes will be properly tested before released, so that players don't have to experience again similar problems, but so far AR-K is worthy of your time, and definitely deserves the attention of all classic point-and-click adventure players.
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186 of 226 people (82%) found this review helpful
46 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
6.1 hrs on record
Posted: February 15, 2015
There are two types of games I really hate to review: criminally mediocre games that you can't really say anything interesting about and games like AR-K, a game that has a lot of heart, but is like a busload of burning orphans careening off a cliff; a terribly executed, tragic waste of potential.


Within the day, I was contacted by one of the developers to tell me that they read my review and are working hard to make sure the next episodes live up to expectations. That's great to hear! By actually talking with me about my criticisms it reflects very well on AR-K's team and gives me even more reason to hope that it might come together and I can recommend it to everyone. The review remains the same for now, but those interested in the community behind a work in progress may find that here.

Back to the review

How shall I start to explain the trouble that is AR-K? I know. Look around your computer and try and find a belt or length of rope. Just trust me. I'm going somewhere with this. Got it? Okay, now fold it in half, grab it firmly by each end and pull it taut. Now rapidly move your fists inward and outward. The flapping movement you are seeing is quite similar to how the main character's mouth moves in the first episode of AR-K; outside of cutscenes, anyway.

You might think this is a minor gripe and adventure gamers have always had a knack for looking past poor and peculiar graphics. And you'd be totally right. But I'm only pointing out one teaspoon in an ocean of technical issues and bad presentation. The volume of the spoken dialogue hasn't been normalized, there are a couple of misread lines, the subtitles have been poorly edited, you can't save on your own initiative or have multiple game files, the voices of characters are prone to change once or twice (probably artifacts from old voice actors), there's been some weird scaling when characters interact with each other, it took me about fifteen minutes to figure out how to get items from the inventory screen to interact with objects in the world, and the English localization has a few wrinkles. That isn't even an exhaustive list.

Alright, alright. So that's all really quite terrible, but like I've said, we're fans of point and click adventure games. We can forgive any kind of presentation in the name of good puzzles and and a good story. Let's start with the puzzles then. So, you've got an object on a high shelf that you want to get, a length of rope, and a large-breed dog. What do you do? Obviously, as an adult of average physical ability and a functioning brain, you ignore the rope and dog and climb the shelves, get a nearby box to stand on, or you just wedge your arm behind it and push it over. But you're playing an adventure game so you're probably already conditioned to ignore logical brevity and will do exactly what the game expects you to do: combining rope A with dog B. That's a puzzle in this game I found intuitive and logical and solved within seconds of its presentation. So, dear god, what kind of anti-backwards madness-dimension logic must be employed for me to call this game a completely illogical mess that demands a walkthrough?

Well, let's examine one puzzle from episode one that I like in theory, but was so horribly implemented it was unsolvable. In AR-K, you play an investigative journalist and there was a puzzle based around you asking other characters about a policeman so that you could create some sincere-sounding flattery to get him to help you. That's a totally awesome thing for a game about an investigative jounalist! However, the hints you actually get don't correlate to the actual dialogue options you're presented with during the flattery, at best. At worst, they're totally misleading. For example, you're meant to get his first name from a bulletin board where various people have left posts. Now, the names on the board include three of the four choices you have in the dialogue and absolutely none of the bulletins suggest character traits specific to an officer or to anything else you've learned about him. In fact, the closest logical leap I could find is that one of them mentioned a feature of the specific area he was patrolling, so I assumed that must be the one. Nope. So to solve the puzzle you have to choose one of four dialogue options correctly four times. The game will not tell you which you have gotten correctly and none of your hints are better than my example. Oh, yeah, and in episode one you can't cut off dialogue you've already heard (at least I couldn't find a way).

That's exceptionally awful. And it's doubly bad, because that's such a neat idea poorly done. But it's not the worst. Actually, episode one wasn't too bad. There was one other highly questionable moment that I only solved by clicking everything I had on everything else for long enough to get a result, but only that dialogue puzzle sent me to a walkthrough. Episode two, though.... Did I somehow kill your family without knowing it, episode two? Is that why you tortured me so? The first half was perfectly logical (well, dog-rope-shelf logical), but then there's a bit with a rat, and a trap, and you have to shoot it, and you have to... and you have to *rocking back and forth while crying*. And then you're taking exams for some reason!? WTF!?

Okay, so the puzzles are half okay and half unsolvable moon logic. That does not a good adventure game make. But, hey, we've still got the story, right? It's a noir thriller, with the cartoony charm of Sam & Max, and it's set in space - the best setting! There's no way this could be bad, right? Well, hmm. It's okay. Episode one starts off with a good noir hook involving a mysterious MacGuffin and ends with the uncovery of a sinister plot, a betrayal, and ominous forshadowing. I even like the simple touch that we're playing a female investigator under the influence of a "homme-fatale" in a typically masculine genre. However, episode one is just a lot of screwing around on a college campus with very little movement in the story. It also doesn't help that the main character is kind of rough around the edges and performs some unlikable deeds. And it's not so gut-bustingly funny that you can forgive the character's misanthropy like with your Sam & Max. That said, episode two fixes all of those problems. The plot thickens and things happen. The protagonist actually appologizes for, say, maiming her mostly helpful roommate. And, most importantly, a disembodied narrator is introduced that only the protagonist can hear. There's some wonderfully funny lines between them and the narrator is able to voice our concerns with the protagonist's actions and manners.

The narrator is also supposedly there to give you hints, but these are as helpful as the aforementioned clues with the policeman puzzle.

So we've got a badly designed, technically messy game with a story that's all over the place. No, I can't recommend this game. I really wanted to. If you had told me last week that I'd be playing a noir-themed adventure game in the style of Lucasarts or Telltale set in freaking space, I'd have said, "Yes! All of this! Melt it down and inject it right into my eyeballs!" I want AR-K to be the video game equivalent of the underdog kids in an 80s sports movie, where after a synth music montage with a robot, the devs crank out an adventure game that beats down the big bully Triple A teams that give adventure games wedgies.

Maybe it still can be that. There are still two episodes that haven't been released and episode two was mostly an improvement over episode one. In recent history, Tales of Monkey Island went from a mediocre first half to an adventure worthy of its pedigree. I'll keep an eye on AR-K's upcoming episodes and maybe I'll have the good fortune to erase my work here and tell you how badly you need to play this game. For now, though, I wouldn't.
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50 of 54 people (93%) found this review helpful
11.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 13, 2014
Kickstarted this. Played both available episodes. This review initially did not recommend the game because of frustrating bugs. Shortly after posting it Sergio Prieto contacted me and fixed them within an hour and a half on a Sunday morning.

+ Fantastic customer support. Seriously, wow.

+ The chains of logic are mostly reasonable so "adventure game logic" isn't too bad.

+ The voice acting for Alicia (from Ash Sroka, Tali Zorah's VA) is really, really good. It stands out above the rest of the cast, especially Episode 2's wildly inconsistent Narrator. No one in the cast is awful, just uneven in quality. Blaine and Nuno's VA are pretty good too.

+/- The writing is uneven. Way too quick to break the fourth wall, characters jump from emotional state to another, the Narrator doesn't have a consistent dynamic with Alicia. It is also genuinely, laugh-out-loud funny at times.

+/- Visually it is not good. It communicates what it needs to visually and cartoonish enough to Not Awful, but still not good.

- The UI is awful. Example: First episode has 3 different sodas to use. Once collected there's no text identifying them in the menu. Just three nearly-identical items with disparate uses.

- The UI is weird. Dialogue topics in the menu are treated like items that you give to NPCs. It is a weird choice, like it was made to circumvent some problem with big dialogue trees. Ambar is both an NPC and an item in your inventory in Episode 1, which is also weird.

- As stated before: Buggy.

"It's okay for an indie point-and-click adventure game" sounds like damning with faint praise, but I'm okay with the result and looking forward to future episodes. I recommend it.
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64 of 79 people (81%) found this review helpful
12 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
38.1 hrs on record
Posted: January 10
There's a character in AR-K who force-feeds her roommate vomit, sics her large dog on the same depressed roomie while he's perched on a second story window so that he falls, sleeps with a guy in order to ransack his apartment and kill his pets, and tricks her friend into getting arrested. The villain, you say? Actually, no. It's the protagonist.
Another reviewer described the main character, Alicia Von Volish, as unrelatable, but for me it's worse than that. She is manipulative, narcissistic, destructive, petty, condescending, smug, crass, and cruel. The protagonist is a monster.
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62 of 82 people (76%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Not Recommended
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: July 23, 2014
IMPORTANT - This game is half finished. Literally - only two of four episodes are done. The only reference I've seen to this is in other user reviews, so... yeah. Be aware of this.

In brief: An very patchy game with potential, and it's hard to argue with the price, but ultimately not recommended due to poor puzzle design and interface issues.

In boxers: Another Kickstarter project, AR-K scrapped past its $100,000 goal by promising to be an episodic sci-fi point-and-click adventure "with an updated twist". Sadly, that twist seems to be how unfinished the game feels - which hopefully will be fixed down the line.

You are in control of Alicia, former cop-in-training who was forced out of the academy when accused of stealing a mysterious golden sphere that she finds in her locker. Now in training as a journalist, she must uncover the great conspiracy surrounding the sphere and yadda yadda yadda. After she dresses and gets to class, of course, since she was up all night partying.

...the sad part? That synopsis does a better job of establishing things than the ACTUAL GAME. The introductory cutscene feels like it was cobbled together at the last minute, and the haphazard way Alicia's backstory is rammed down our throats in another cutscene some 30 seconds later doesn't help matters either. We're given no real introduction to this world or anyone in it before we're asked to care about some partygoing chick, and it takes quite a while for us to warm up to her... which really isn't ideal in an adventure game

The graphics aren't exactly amazing either. I know this isn't the biggest sin in the world - I've always said gameplay is the most important aspect of a game - but there's just something slightly off about the art style and it's incredibly hard to put my finger on. Maybe it's the character's proportions? I dunno. Have a skim through the game's screenshots and see for yourself.

Another nitpick is the interface, which I don't feel is particularly well explained. All you get is two screenshots with arrows pointing stuff out, but that's hardly going to sink in when you first see it, especially when it takes a good 10 minutes for you to start actually needing to use the information provided. A slightly more in-depth tutorial at the start of the game would have worked much better here... as would being able to access these 'how to play' images during the actual game rather than having to quit to the main menu every time you want to see them.

Speaking of the interface, there are things which are never explained that you need to use, and things that ARE explained which you can't use. For example: you'll need to use your dog to solve several puzzles, but it's never once made clear that you can actually select or use the dog for anything.

Also, there's supposedly a 'narrator' that can give you hints if you get stuck... but I couldn't find any trace of him in the first episode, despite his presence being mentioned in the tutorial. And that's a real shame, because you'll NEED hints - there are some very random puzzles in this game (like using the cola with the sewer? Where did THAT come from?) that make it far harder than it should be.

On the more positive side, the voicework is really good. The main character in particular is great, but everyone is generally of a higher calibre than I would expect for a game made by such a small team. The music, when it kicks in, is quite nice, and the story, once it gets going, is pretty entertaining. It's just such a shame you'll struggle to get to it, since it only really gets going about two-thirds through the first episode.

This is a game that, at the end of the day, still needs a lot of work. There's a lot of potential there, but the problems I've mentioned are big ones, and they really do get in the way of what I hope will eventually be a pretty decent game. It's hard to really recommend at the moment - but at least you won't have to pay a fortune to see what it's like for yourself.

*UPDATE* - This game has receive several updates since I wrote my original review, and will no doubt receive more - or at least, I hope it will. I'll try and update this review with each update.
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36 of 42 people (86%) found this review helpful
2.8 hrs on record
Posted: July 21, 2014
*Update: I have just been able to finish chapter one, so I've decided to update my review*

Having just finished chapter 1, I can say I am pretty happy with this game. If you enjoy older style Point and Click adventure games then this is likely up your alley. It seems very much an homage to the Monkey Island games. I can't directly compare the two, but it has some puzzles very similar to some in those games and even a direct reference in the dialogue at one point. I will say that in comparing it to that, it is very much in the older style point and click games. If vague clues, and running around just trying to combine every item with every other item, or trying to interact every item with every interactable part of the world isn't your thing then you may not enjoy the game.

My only real compaints would be it's a tad short, but I've yet to play chapter 2 which is also included so we'll see what that adds to the playtime. As well as mentioned in my original review, that I would of prefered a way to skip through dialogue with the mouse, instead of having to use the escape key. As well as the dialgue ending up being a little hokey at times, with humor being slightly heavy handed. There are still some technical issues I'd run into, the occassional game freeze with certain interactions, the sound sometimes skips or repeats itself or animations could be a little funky but if none of that is deal breaking, i'd say the game is definately an enjoyable experience.

As a footnote, I'd like to say a thank you to dev team. One of them had been in contact with me the past couple of days, taking information from me and giving me updates on fixes they had been working on that pertained to my issues. He found the issue with my anti-virus and the games engine, that was causing all the crash issues I was having and got me a workaround so I was able to play. Any dev team willing to help out the playerbase like that deserves recognition.

Keeping my original post here, though most technical issues are no longer appliciable. Ended up being an issue with my anti-virus and the Unity3D engine.

*Update: One of the devs has been in contact with me, taken information from me on my issues and said they will be working on trying to fix what they can as soon as possible.*

Wish I could recommend this game, but as it currently stands for myself I cant. When it actually works, its a pretty fun retro style point and click adventure. The story seems interesting, the graphic styling is pretty good. Solving things so far hasn't been too over the top as far as I've been able to play. The only real non technical complaints I'd have for the game is the inability to skip dialogue without having to use the escape key, I prefer to play these types of games with only the mouse, so it's a little bit of a pain. As well as the writing being a little hokey, tries a little too hard to inject humor and it falls flat at times.

But when it works is not very often, between the game straight up crashing or freezing during interactions. Or the inventory UI becoming totally uninteractable without having to quit out of the game and then restart it, trying to get anything done is super frustrating when almost the entirety of the game is randomly trying to interact objects with things in the environment and its a crap shoot on whether or not the game is going to just freeze or crash every time you do. If they can fix these glaring technical issues, and the game is actually playable I'd be willing to update my review.
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28 of 30 people (93%) found this review helpful
8.9 hrs on record
Posted: July 20
I'm rather surprised by the amount of negative review this game has received. True: it has its share of problems, mostly a number of fairly illogical puzzles and hard-to-guess solutions to progress further into the story. And for a game that is at its core a classical point-and-click adventure game, these are really important flaws, and potentially game-breaking ones.

But the strong points of the game (actually the first two episodes of a series bundles into one game on Steam) are so important that they dwarved the negative aspects, at least for me. The story is excellent and, although a bit quirky at times, original and well told. Playing as the extremely spoilt and ill-behaving, but still surprisingly likeable university student Alicia von Volisch, turned out to be a real treat with lots of twists and turns. That's no surprise, given that the well-known comics author Greg Rucka was taken onboard by the Spanish Indie developer Gato Salvaje to write new episodes following the first one. Apparently, it's the objective to deliver five episodes in this series, of which the third one has been released in 2015 (which I still need to play). A Kickstarter-project managed to raise enough funds to keep the project going, so let's hope Episodes 4 and 5 will follow suit.

Even a greater plus of the game is the appearance of Ash Sroka, the superb voice actress playing Tali in the second and third installments of the Mass Effect trilogy. Her fresh and intriguing voice makes sure that Alicia comes to life in a more than believable way, and it's no exagerration to state she carries the game for a large part upon her shoulders. But the others voices are excellent too, as is the visual artwork portraying a Sci-Fi setting on a large spaceship (artificial planet?) somewhere in the future.

Last but not least, this game shines in the way it turns upon its own genre - the point-and-click andventure - and questions several of its core ingredients. Both Alicia and the "narrator" in the second episode sometimes comment on what the player has to do, on their own actions, or they even quarrel among each other. This kind of humour, where personages in a game are well aware of their being part of a game, injects the genre with fresh life and a lot to think about. And since it is so well done, it made me laugh out loud several times too. Not all situations or even jokes work perfectly, but the majority does, and they turned this game into a very unexpected, pleasant experience for me. It's one of those games bought as part of a bundle and started just out of curiosity, only to find out there is much more beneath the surface than I'd ever expected.

Recommended to anyone looking for a point-and-click adventure with a twist, a good story and a great voice actress.
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Recently Posted
8.6 hrs
Posted: September 22
What a very unpleasant little game. There is scope here for an interesting episodic story, but the awful interface and technical aspects of the game make it an utter slog to play, rather than an enjoyable experience.

I have no idea if the developers speak English as their first language, but there are a lot of spelling mistakes in the subtitles, and they often don't match the spoken dialogue anyway. The spoken dialogue sometimes has the wrong inflection, so when a character is obviously supposed to be screaming in frustration or annoyance, the actor just reads it in a bored, disaffected tone.

The lip sync is all over the place in the cut scenes, and the sound sometimes drops out all together. The animation itself looks very cheap and nasty, like one of those demo CDs that were around in the 90s showing off "new" 3D rendering software. But I guess the budget ran out at some point - when you're handing over the items for a cocktail, the game shows the same animation every time of the character handing over a plain cardboard box... It's also possible to end up in a situation where the game is playing two conversations over the top of each other, for example if the main character is monologuing and you click on an NPC, she'll start up a dialogue but the game won't cancel the monologue. There's no way to skip lines of dialogue.

The interface is clumsy too. It's not possible to cancel an action once you've started, and there's no way to quickly move between locations (many games would use a double-click for that). Items in your inventory aren't labelled, so if you don't remember what they are you have to try and guess what they are because the game won't tell you. You also can't save and load, having to rely on the game's autosave. There's an options screen, but the only options seem to be "Continue" and "Quit"

The puzzles don't really make a lot of sense either, and I had to resort to a walkthrough several times. The game will sometimes stop you boarding the subway because the character "doesn't want to run away from [her] problems" but then after picking up a completely unrelated item suddenly it becomes an option, but you're given no indication it's possible. A dialogue based puzzle gives you no indication you're on the right course, so you have to try every single possible combination to see if it produces the desired effect. The "clues" the game gives you for this puzzle also don't seem to have anything to do with the solution.

Oh, and the lead character is VERY unlikeably and unrelatable. I think we're supposed to find her "wild" and a rebel, but she's just very annoying. Hahahaha! She gets drunk and can't remember what she did! So funny! Oh, and she's completely sociopathic too...hurting and maiming people seemingly for the sake of it, with no consequences for her actions. In the second episode for some reason she actually starts cursing with no censoring, which might surprise people if they weren't expecting it....

Interesting setting for the game - sci-fi detective story (even though the character spends most of her time at school or in her local bar she's supposed to be a journalist or something)...kind of like Blade Runner without the dystopian aspects.....but a very unpleasant experience.

Oh, and achievements didn't work for me.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.9 hrs
Posted: September 16
nice cartoonie game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Putt-Putt in my Butt-Butt please
3.1 hrs
Posted: September 9
Its okay. The main character is pretty trashy though.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mongoloid Mike
1.1 hrs
Posted: September 3
I couldn't stand the protagonist of this game.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.8 hrs
Posted: August 22
Product received for free
Game is not tragic, but some polishing would do wonders.
AR-K is game with sexy female protagonist (b00bs). And some not bad voice-acting and not spectacular visuals. But I like it. It's 'rich in animation'.

I got it for free and had some fun, so I can't downvote this title.
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All Might
0.9 hrs
Posted: August 4
Not the best point-and-click adventure I've played, and I have played alot in my time.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
2.3 hrs
Posted: August 1
The graphics is too old, like 20 years ago.
Alicia’s character. She is so sassy and snarky that she almost cracks the monitor. She also likes to shove her sexuality (and her gigantic boobs) in everyone’s face.
The plot. It takes us a whole episode to even learn where this story is taking place. And by the end of Episode 2 all we have is a McGuffin, but no clue on what this story is supposed to be about.
The puzzles. Partly because the interface is horrid, partly because the tame adventure game logic escalates to Gabriel Knight 3 levels of insanity.
Helpful? Yes No Funny