Mosaic Mask Studio
If decent length animated
inventory quests are your thing, and you like the idea of playing an
Angel that has fallen to earth in 19th Century England in the
middle of an inquisition instituted by Greta the Nun, this might well
put a sparkle in your halo.
Once you get it back that is.
Falling to earth has consequences, not least of which is that halos can
come unstuck. Wings donít fare too well either. Resolving the first will
be a lot easier than being able to fly again.
Said angel is Talorel, assisted
from on high by his companions Azael and Salome. They provide insights,
banter and encouragement, as well as hints if you ask for them, though
not always terribly helpful ones.
Being an angel, even a fallen
one, has upsides, not the least of which is angelís breath. You can use
it for all manner of things, including bringing things back to life. The
ability to talk to animals can be useful too, especially given one
puzzle involves trying to convince a bear to cough up an eaten rat.
It should by now be apparent
that this is a jolly and light hearted romp. Collect lots of items,
converse with the good and not so good citizens of the town of Heavenís
Hope, and never do anything in a straightforward manner if a more
ďcreativeĒ way is available. I have said before these arenít my
favourite type of game, but it ticks a lot of boxes.
The world of Heavenís Hope is a
colourful, albeit muted place, with hand drawn screens on which 3D
characters have been animated. It has an offbeat look about it, which
suits the tale being told. The orchestral soundtrack is rather good, and
an extended version is available from the gameís website. Characters are
plentiful and varied, most generally well voiced and acted. Cutscenes
are few, but I liked the old cinematic feel about them.
Nearly everything is an
inventory based task, and you do lots of fetching and gathering. Like
many such games, solves can be opaque, and I did try everything
somewhere more than once. You can reveal hotspots, which helps, but I
did reach for the excellent MaG walkthrough on occasion. Why I would
have thought to do some stuff still eludes me, but given the number of
challenges, on the whole things could be worked at and worked out.
A few puzzles involve a
challenge that can in fact be skipped after a period of time (or perhaps
unsuccessful attempts) which is a plus for those that find timing or
aiming an issue. Kudos to the makers for recognising that there will be
people that play these sorts of games that do not want to be bogged down
by such things.
It can be amusing, and I
chortled more than once, and there are references to other bits of
popular culture. Donít fail to read the beggars sign more than once.
Icons appear above the hotspots
to indicate the actions that can be engaged in, generally look and take,
and speak for characters. The inventory pops up when moving the mouse to
the bottom of the screen, and will eventually include a map and a
notebook. I didnít make much use of the latter, but found the former
helped avoid what can be rather lengthy loads when moving to a new
scene. The ability to jump from one location to another and avoid the
ones in between cut down on the time I spent looking at a blank black
screen. Double-clicking will also move you instantly to that spot within
a scene if you canít wait for Talorel to walk there.
You can save at will, and the
game also autosaves. Right click advances dialogue and you can fiddle
with some things in the options menu, accessed form the gear top left.
It will take somewhere around 12 to 15 hours depending on your stuckness,
and it did, as I said, tick a lot of boxes.
I played on:
OS: Windows 7
Processor: Intel i7-3820 4GHz
RAM: 12GB Ripjaw DDR3 2133 Mhz
Video card: AMD Radeon HD 7800 2048MB
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