Fortix

Fortix

Cheap and short but you’ll definitely get value for your money. Fortix is a variation on a age old concept but adds a few nice twists of its own and is the perfect “in-between” time waster. You won’t be spending hours playing it and will probably get most of the achievements on your first play through, but at the price it’s being offered there’s no reason not to pick it up.

Gameplay: A very simple concept, but quite fun.

Graphics: About as Indie as they come, but has a certain charm to it.

Sound: Catchy but limited

9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek

9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek

Join a paranormal private investigator as she rushes to the aid of her friend who runs into some trouble in the town of Serpent Creek. The Secrets of Serpent Creek is probably a little too short and easy for veteran players, but casual players or those new to the genre will still find plenty to like. It is not a groundbreaking title in any way, but the story is entertaining and the cast of interesting characters makes it worth a second look.

Gameplay: Quite short and very, very easy, but still offers plenty of entertainment.

Graphics: The usual hand painted scenes, but nothing really memorable.

Sound: The music is good and the voice acting much better than what the genre typically has to offer

4 Elements

4 Elements

4 Elements is a polished and entertaining match three game that is well worth checking out if you are a fan of the casual genre. The story is aimed squarely at children, but the gameplay offers fun for all ages. It is one of those games that are perfect for playing when you have a few spare minutes to kill and don’t feel like firing up something more involving.

Gameplay: Addictive, but rather easy and somewhat repetitive.

Graphics: Colorful but nothing really special

Sound: The music remains unobtrusive for the most part

Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink

Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink

Clockwork Tales lacks a compelling plot, but makes up for it with a unique steam-punk setting and some lovely hand-drawn visuals. It also veers a little too close to being short and easy for our taste, but it is certainly entertaining while it lasts. Anyone looking for a change of pace from all the supernatural themed hidden object games will definitely enjoy this game. Clockwork Tales is also very newcomers friendly, so if you are unfamiliar with the genre, it is a great place to start.

Gameplay: A nice gentle introduction to the genre with relatively easy puzzles and mini-games.

Graphics: The same high quality hand-drawn artwork that we have come to expect from Artifex Mundi.

Sound: The voice acting is decent enough and the music is rather good

Alphabeats: Master Edition

Alphabeats: Master Edition

Alphabeats offers a new spin on word games by challenging your vocabulary as well as your reflexes. Creating the longest and most complicated words using letters dropping from the top of the screen is harder than it sounds, especially when tied to a fast beat. The game requires some quick reflexes as you must also dodge unwanted letters, so don’t expect a completely tranquil experience. However, if you have a good vocabulary and decent selection of songs to import into the game, it can certainly keep you busy for a while.

Gameplay: Challenges your word knowledge as well as reflexes.

Graphics: A little more bland than we would have liked to see.

Sound: Includes a nice selection of music tracks as well as the option to import your own

Eventide 2: The Sorcerers Mirror

Eventide 2: The Sorcerers Mirror

Eventide 2 unfortunately doesn’t quite live up to the high standards set by the original game, but it is still an imaginative adventure with some great visuals. This time it is your niece that requires rescuing after being kidnapped by an evil sorcerer with sinister intentions. The game features much less mythical creatures than the first and the absence of a bonus chapter makes it feel even shorter than it is, but a new moral choice system adds some replay value. If you are a fan of the genre or would like to get your feet wet with hidden object games then Eventide 2 shouldn’t be missed.

Gameplay: Less mythical creatures than the original, but the story is still entertaining and the Eastern European setting is unique.

Graphics: Nice hand painted backgrounds and great use of color.

Sound: Not a lot of background tunes, but they are all good and the voice acting isn’t too bad either

Memory’s Dogma CODE:01

Memory’s Dogma CODE:01

Memory’s Dogma: CODE1 kicks off with a very interesting premise as far as visual novels go and initially seems like it is going to be an epic science fiction yarn. While the story doesn’t exactly live up to expectations, it remains interesting throughout and doesn’t end on a cliffhanger as one would expect from an episodic release. The visuals and audio in the game are surprisingly good for an indie title, so it is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the genre. The characters and story didn’t’ exactly blow us away, but does have a lot more depth than all the fan-service oriented slice of life visual novels that are all the rage these days.

Gameplay: No branching paths and the story doesn’t quite live up to its initial premise, but overall very decent.

Graphics: Polished, detailed and featuring some nice character designs.

Sound: The music is varied while the Japanese voice acting is top notch

Sakura Nova

Sakura Nova

The setting and characters are all good, but nothing ever happens to really make you care about either. The game does feature a free patch to add back all the censored content, so anyone looking for a nukige title will probably enjoy Sakura Nova. Unfortunately, those looking for a memorable story or plan on playing without the patch are likely to be disappointed.

Gameplay: There are choices to be made and three different endings, but the story is a bit lacking.

Graphics: Like other titles in the Sakura series the visuals are beautiful, but static.

Sound: Not much to say about the music, but the voice acting is pretty good

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek is definitely starting to show its age in terms of visuals, but the story still remains compelling. The game is also stuffed to the gills with challenging hidden object scenes, although the puzzle scenes are nothing to write home about. The game is still a great example of the genre though, and well worth checking out before moving on to more recent entries. Just be prepared to put up with some annoyances, such as a lack of fast travel option.

Gameplay: Plenty of challenging hidden object scenes although the puzzles are a little weak.

Graphics: Plenty of varied and well-drawn locations to explore.

Sound: The soundtrack and ambient effects are very atmospheric, but the voice acting could have been better

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily is a hidden object game with some interesting clue hunting scenes and a story that, for once, isn’t steeped in the paranormal. It is however also a very short game and can be completed with ease by anyone familiar with the genre. Provided you don’t mind the lack of challenge there is still fun to be had with the game, but unfortunately there is nothing really remarkable about it.

Gameplay: Hunting for clues and not just hidden objects is a nice feature.

Graphics: The locations are detailed, but a little limited.

Sound: Average music and the voice acting could also have been better in spots