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

Sonicomi

Sonicomi

Step into the shoes of a gravure photographer and help the adorable model Sonico to kick-start her career. Sonicomi is more than just a typical visual novel as it also places a camera in your hands and requires you to take photos of Sonico according to the briefs of clients. Thanks to 18 different endings, interesting characters and a multitude of clothing options for the shoots the game has more than enough replay value to keep players busy for ages.

Gameplay: An interesting mix of visual novel and 3D photography scenes.

Graphics: Sonico is the only 3D model in the game, but she looks great and has plenty of charm.

Sound: Good music and sound effects along with two different voice actress options for Sonico

Resette’s Prescription ~Book of memory, Swaying scale~

Resette’s Prescription ~Book of memory, Swaying scale~

Help the short tempered Resette and her feline companion Gaede as they enter the mind of a young boy suffering from a sleeping sickness. This point & click adventure features charming chibbi character designs and beautifull hand drawn watercolor backgrounds along with an interesting storyline. It is quite a short game though, and the puzzles pose little challenge, so it might not appeal to everyone.

Gameplay: Short and easy, but certainly very entertaining.

Graphics: We love the beautiful and unique visual style.

Sound: Unfortunately there is no speech, but the music is very good

Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride

Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride

Face dangerous creatures and evil spirits in this engaging hidden object game from Artifex Mundi. The game features their trademark polish when it comes to visuals and presentation, but the story is actually very good as well. It features 14 hidden object scenes to complete, but these can be substituted for a domino mini-game if players prefer. Add to that 24 varied mini-games and plenty of interesting locations to explore and you’ll find that this is an adventure not to be missed.

Gameplay: Nothing too out of the ordinary for the genre, but the domino mini-game is a nice touch.

Graphics: Beautiful hand-painted locations with plenty of detail and nice use of color.

Sound: Decent voice acting and a great soundtrack

Mythic Wonders: The Philosopher’s Stone

Mythic Wonders: The Philosopher’s Stone

Join Emma as she searches for her missing uncle in a couple of elemental based realms while outwitting the guardian that is intent on stopping her. Mythic Wonders: The Philosopher’s Stone features great visuals and entertaining puzzles as well as decent hidden object scenes that make up for the rather generic storyline. Thanks to the robust customization options it is also an adventure that can be enjoyed no matter what your skill level is.

Gameplay: The puzzles are enjoyable and the hidden object scenes well done.

Graphics: Beautiful hand drawn visuals that show a lot of imagination.

Sound: The soundtrack is quite enjoyable, but the voice acting is average at best

Tibetan Quest: Beyond the World’s End

Tibetan Quest: Beyond the World’s End

Travel to Shangri-La and find your missing niece in this hidden object game from Brave Giant LTD. It doesn’t have much to offer that is new in terms of gameplay and story, but remains enjoyable throughout. The setting is interesting and the polished visuals as well as atmospheric audio make up for the lack of challenge.

Gameplay: Not much of a challenge, but still fun.

Graphics: Definitely not a realistic depiction of Tibet, but the visuals are detailed and polished.

Sound: Nice music and great sound effects

Pinball FX2 – Aliens vs. Pinball

Pinball FX2 – Aliens vs. Pinball

If you are a fan of the Alien license and enjoy pinball then this pack is a no-brainer. It features three tables that not only look great, but are a lot of fun to play as well. Zen Studios also made sure that the tables stay true to their source material in regards to audio and visuals. Even amongst all the other excellent titles already released for Pinball FX2, this pack stands out.

Gameplay: The Aliens vs. Pinball table is the most fun, but the other two are great as well.

Graphics: Great use of the source material.

Sound: Once again the source material is used to good effect

The Secret Order 3: Ancient Times

The Secret Order 3: Ancient Times

The Secret Order 3: Ancient Times offers more of what made the previous installments so much fun to play. It doesn’t make any drastic changes to the formula, but instead polished everything up a bit and switched to a more fantasy theme. It is still not perfect and probably won’t sway players who aren’t already fans of the genre, but once again provides a couple of hours of solid entertainment.

Gameplay: Veterans might find it a bit easy, but there are some nice puzzles to solve.

Graphics: More colorful and detailed than previous installments.

Sound: The sound effects are a highlight, but the music and voice acting is mostly good as well