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#590655 - 01/25/10 08:34 AM Mozart: The conspirators of Prague
HandsFree Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 1104
Loc: Netherlands
Many adventuregame reviews list the absence of musical/tone puzzles under 'positive'.
Making a game about Mozart must be risky business then, if part of the already small AG community doesn't welcome such tasks.
I've just finished the game, and I'm still wondering how many will actually enjoy this game. At least one though, because I did. But I'm an adventuregame enthusiast, play music, like nonsensical stories, and are forgiving of technical inconsistencies.

Mozart really does try hard to scare you off. After the introduction your first task in this thrilling mystery is to.... make a cup of coffee. And while doing that you will find out that Mozart walks veeeeeery sloooooowly. And if you doubleclick he runs very slowly. Fortunately there isn't alot of backtracking needed, but I'm afraid this unexciting start will set the tone (pun alert) for most players.

The game consists of 18(!) chapters that all take place in a single location, most of them only a few screens big. A next chapter usually moves Mozart to another place, making gameplay strictly linear.
Mozart spends the first few chapters with unadventurous daily routine until he finally finds time to visit the freemasons. It's only there that the actual adventure truly takes off, and by that time you are already in chapter 7. The earlier chapters are shorter though than the later ones.
From there the story wanders into Broken Sword territory and way beyond. Apart from cartoony games I don't think I've ever experienced a story as weird as this one. And I liked the game better for it. I was glad the game dropped all pretense and just told a silly story. But if you accept the premise, that I won't reveal, it all makes some sort of in-game-sense. And you really must work to stop the titular conspirators. Several times I thought I reached the endgame, only to find out there was much more to it.

You work your way through the story by using standard AG inventory management, codebreaking, solving mechanical puzzles (those freemasons have a secret handshake, so you bet they also have a secret mechanism for everything, especially if the clockmaker is also a member), and musical puzzles.
The inventory tasks are straight forward and since you never can walk away further than a few screens, even trying everything with everything will only take a few minutes.
I enjoyed the mechanical puzzles. They are definitely on the easy side but that fits the not-so-serious storyline, I think. Most puzzles occured two or three times, increasing in difficulty a bit.

The manual states you don't need to know musical notation to solve the puzzles, but I'm not sure how that would work.
Several times Mozart needs to correct or adjust a score. You see the score in wich fragments are switched around. If you can read and understand music, it's a nice puzzle to see if you can find out what belongs where. If you don't read music, I guess it will be a test of pattern recognition. I like to know how others are able to solve these.
You also need to tune a piano twice. It's not really out of tune, but the notes are wrong. If you can distinguish higher tones from lower tones it should be easy.
And, also twice, you have to put fragments of the Rondo Alla Turka in order. By ear.

And then there's the conducting. Early on, Mozart finds the Book Of Harmonies (I suppose it will be called in English) that reveales 6 secrets of Freemasonry, but in code. Here you must conduct an orchestra by following a circle around the screen with your cursor/baton. Putting in such a task that requires a steady hand and good eye-hand coordination must be the strangest design decision of all. Somehow I fear that players looking for that type of challenge won't be overwhelmed by Mozart.
And it's not educational either, because the patterns don't resemble real conducting at all.
After the conducting you have to finally decode the secret message by erasing superfluous letters. The better the conducting, the more letters are already erased for you. So if your performance was bad, the positive side is that at least there's some challenge to the codebreaking.
And since there are 6 secrets, you will be doing this 6 times.

I played the Dutch version of the game, but all voices were English and with a few exeptions the voice acting sounded good to me. Subtitles and descriptive labels were Dutch, but unfortunately the codebreaking was also Dutch, so this version won't do if you don't understand the language.
Also it uses Starforce.

With about 14 hours it took me longer than I expected to reach the endmovie, in wich there's mention of 'new adventure'. The game has been criticized very harshly, but here I actually think it might take only a little to improve a lot. It must be doable to have Mozart move around faster, get to the mystery faster and not repeat the same puzzles so often. And skip the conducting.
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#590693 - 01/25/10 10:34 AM Re: Mozart: The conspirators of Prague [Re: HandsFree]
Becky Offline
The Medieval Lady
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 02/16/00
Posts: 26894
Loc: Stony Brook, New York, USA
Thanks for the review HandsFree! It sounds like one of a kind. wave One of those games that is a badge of honor on your gaming resume if you can finish it?

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#590804 - 01/25/10 03:10 PM Re: Mozart: The conspirators of Prague [Re: Becky]
HandsFree Offline
Addicted Boomer

Registered: 07/05/08
Posts: 1104
Loc: Netherlands
It certainly is one of a kind.
It's not especially difficult though. The showstoppers could be the conducting and the scoring. If you have problems with those, it will be a challenge to reach the end.
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#590805 - 01/25/10 03:18 PM Re: Mozart: The conspirators of Prague [Re: HandsFree]
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42636
Loc: Alabama
sad
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#591067 - 01/26/10 11:25 AM Re: Mozart: The conspirators of Prague [Re: looney4labs]
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23704
Loc: United Kingdom
"Rondo Alla Turka" was one of my early exam pieces as a youngster so I think this game will be a must for me, if a full English version is ever released devilchili

Thank you for the detailed review, HandsFree thumbsup
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#592224 - 01/30/10 04:27 PM Re: Mozart: The conspirators of Prague [Re: Mad]
metamorphium Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 04/09/04
Posts: 572
Mad, then this is must see for you:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNtYYuWILNE smile

Re. the actual game, I'm gonna try it if it ever comes out. Thanks handsfree for pointing out the key points, I'll keep my eyes on it.
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#592227 - 01/30/10 04:43 PM Re: Mozart: The conspirators of Prague [Re: metamorphium]
Mad Offline
True Blue Boomer

Registered: 11/21/00
Posts: 23704
Loc: United Kingdom
Wow !!!! bravo

Was that brilliant or was that brilliant ????

Thank you so much for the link, metamorphium thumbsup

[And I have to admit that that performance might just have been a tad more accomplished than any renderings of mine ever were lol lol]
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#592956 - 02/02/10 02:33 AM Re: Mozart: The conspirators of Prague [Re: Mad]
PolloDiablo Offline
Settled Boomer

Registered: 05/02/05
Posts: 613
I agree with all the negative sentiments above, but for me they were so bad they took away all enjoyment of the game. Especially the conducting mini-game, which I hated with a vengeance. It is totally impossible to do with a trackball but even when I especially bought a "normal" mouse for this game I couldn't do it flawlessly, which is what you have to do right at the end of the game. Make one mistake and you're in an endless loop of retrying... needless to say I never got to see the end.

And then there is the story, which asks you to believe you would go play a leisurely game of cards when there is an emergency going on and you absolutely need to go to another location immediately, and secret doors will open when you play the violin at them...

Like HandsFree, I think it is a big help if you can read musical scores (that is, recognize half or quarter notes, understand which instruments can play several notes at once or would use notes that go on ledger lines, know where a dot or accidental goes etc).

As I did not enjoy this game at all, I would not recommend it to anyone. I guess I am one of those harsh criticizers razz
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#608049 - 03/23/10 08:16 AM Re: Mozart: The conspirators of Prague [Re: PolloDiablo]
Oranger Offline
Shy Boomer

Registered: 03/05/05
Posts: 68
Loc: Russian Federation
Originally Posted By: PolloDiablo
I agree with all the negative sentiments above, but for me they were so bad they took away all enjoyment of the game. Especially the conducting mini-game, which I hated with a vengeance. It is totally impossible to do with a trackball but even when I especially bought a "normal" mouse for this game I couldn't do it flawlessly, which is what you have to do right at the end of the game. Make one mistake and you're in an endless loop of retrying... needless to say I never got to see the end.

I'm with you here. The conducting game is a nightmare. But it's nothing as compared to the task to tune the piano! The gamer is supposed to tune four keys to make them sound to the pattern. I was at music school as a kid, and I got a great ear for music but I haven't managed to get through the task so far! I can play this pattern on real piano, but I can't make the piano in the game sound the way it should. mad

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#609735 - 03/29/10 07:31 AM Re: Mozart: The conspirators of Prague [Re: Oranger]
Jenny100 Offline
GB Reviewer Glitches Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 10/24/00
Posts: 35621
Loc: southeast USA
If they'd get rid of the dexterity garbage and allow puzzle skips/autosolves for the more challenging music puzzles, it would probably be a decent game.

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#609991 - 03/30/10 08:22 AM Re: Mozart: The conspirators of Prague [Re: Jenny100]
looney4labs Offline
GB Reviewer Moderator
Sonic Boomer

Registered: 04/05/04
Posts: 42636
Loc: Alabama
I'm with you Jenny. I'm not even gonna try this one as I know I can't do the music puzzles.
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