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I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons #995175
12/27/14 02:09 PM
12/27/14 02:09 PM
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Posts: 3,856
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Reenie Offline OP
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I have bought and played dozens and dozens of games on Big Fish. For the most part, their games are fun, colorful, entertaining and not that expensive if you watch for their sales. I usually felt I got my money's worth even if a game did turn out to be too short or not as interesting as I'd hoped. They always were fun. And their customer service was quick whenever I had a technical problem with a game (which was not often). I had a good experience overall, and the love affair with Big Fish lasted for years. OK. So here comes the big "But...." Increasingly, they are selling what I would call blended games, that do not offer the game play you are looking for, and this has ruined it for me.

First of all, they present their game genres in what appears to be separate categories (Puzzle, Action, Adventure, Hidden Object), but when you delve into a discrete genre, it turns out it isn't sorted at all. For example, if you don't want an HOG, you would expect to look in one of the other genre than "Hidden Object," and find what you want. Not so. They mush all their game genres together in EVERY category, so their genre labels are meaningless. You will find approximately the same list of games in each genre! Sometimes, in the game list, an icon will accompany the title, so you know if it is an HOG or not without even opening it to take a look at the synopsis, but half the time there is no clue. This means you have to open every title, to read the brief synopsis, to learn what style the game really is and what it is about. I actually resorted to this tactic, trying to find an Adventure style game that wasn't heavy on HOG, and it took several hours over a couple of days to weed through the list of games in that one genre. After doing that, I was left with something like twelve games out of a couple hundred that likely were non-Action, HOG-free Adventure games. As it turned out, even this labor was wasted, because . . .

. . . many of the HOG-heavy games do not self-describe their genre even in their own synopsis. So you can go through the weeding process I described above and there still will be no mention of HOG (not even the backhand euphemism, "you will have to find things in each scene") to alert you. You have to download the Trial game and play it in order to determine whether or not it is an HOG or has Action components. I have done this too many times, only to find myself deleting the download because the first scene plops me down in front of an HOG. It is not a trivial matter to download a series of games only to have to delete them. It is a big time suck. These casual games only take a few hours to play in the first place. It seems a bad balance to have to spend as much time trying to find a good game as it does to play it!

Second, you can download and play the Trial game and STILL not be assured of getting the game you want. Several times, I have played the Trial game and enjoyed it enough to purchase the game itself, only to find some impossible arcade sequence or a sudden proliferation of HOG scenes popping up in my face AFTER the point in the game where the Trial portion ended. I don't object to HOG if that is what I am seeking (I have played quite a few of them by choice), but I cannot play arcade games at all. Not only do I not enjoy that frantic-clicking-and-shooting style of gaming, I do not have the reflexes for it, and the stress is too much for me. I will even get chest pain from it. I have had to bail out on those games, losing my money as well as the playing experience. After the latest experience, I looked up the Forum on Big Fish for that particular game, to see what other people said about it, and found a torrent of complaints about the arcade sequence being thrown in - and people having to quit the game.

Third, there are games on Big Fish that have known bugs, about which many players have written in the Forum for that particular game. I know this because I have encountered game-killing bugs in games I bought from Big Fish, and when I go looking in the Forum to see what I might be doing wrong, it is to find the game itself is fatally flawed. Still, the game is for sale. Big Fish has always been quick to give me a game credit when a game crashes irrevocably, I will say that, but why leave the game in the Inventory? This suggests only two interpretations: 1) No one at Big Fish monitors their own game forums to see how players are doing or listens to feedback from their own Customer Service reps, or 2) they don't care enough either to fix the games or delete them from their inventory.

I have written to Big Fish about these issues and received no reply. I suppose it is not worth it to them to adjust their presentation to better serve players by providing clearly-defined playing parameters and meaningful game synopses or to monitor their Forums for problem games. They do just fine with things as they are. Certainly, they made a lot of money from me over the years. I'm sorry to be left with no choice but to quit their site, but it has wasted my time and disappointed me one time too many.

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #995177
12/27/14 02:29 PM
12/27/14 02:29 PM
Joined: Jul 2000
Posts: 37,609
near Yosemite in California
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Hi Reenie, I agree that it can be difficult to figure out which are the HOPA games and which are the adventure games. As I have said before, I usually go to the forums for clarification if need be. There is usually either someone there complaining that it's not a pure adventure game or someone else complaining that it is, whatever the case may be.

As far as technical problems/glitches are concerned, it's up to the developer to patch the game, not Big Fish. To the best of my understanding, all Big Fish can do is report the problems to the developer and the developer can either choose or not choose to provide a patch. I guess I've been lucky, because I purchased my first game from Big Fish in 2006 and only one time experienced a glitch that did not allow me to complete the game (for which I got a coupon code for another game, of course, as a replacement). This is not to suggest that other players haven't experienced more problems, because I know they have. I'm not sure why some players have many troubles and other players do not.

I do understand how you feel, but my experience has been a very positive one. Thank you for giving us your thoughts.

I'm curious - what game are you referring to that had the arcade sequence? wave12

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #995404
12/29/14 10:14 AM
12/29/14 10:14 AM
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Canal Fulton, OH
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I too have bought many games through BFG. But I have a different opinion. I find pricing to be very good, especially with sales and punch cards. I know that I can rely on BFG to provide virus free downloads. I have friends who download from other sites and end up with serious computer problems. Anytime I've contacted BFG regarding a problem with a game, I've received satisfaction in the way of either technical help, a refund, or coupon code. I think the game forums do provide some insight. But negative input tends to invite more negative posts. BFG does monitor the game forums to some degree. However, the best way to get help is to contact BFG directly. I tend to play at a difficulty level that allows me to skip mini-games. I can't think of a game I've played that I couldn't complete because a mini-game was too difficult.

The bottom line is indeed the bottom line. And I think BFG does a good job of providing what casual gamers are looking for at fair prices. And as competition heats up among casual game developers, the games continue to get better. JMO To be fair, I don't really understand your overall complaint, Renee. I've always felt the games I bought were what I expected.

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Sparkle] #995406
12/29/14 10:35 AM
12/29/14 10:35 AM
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"I've always felt the games I bought were what I expected."

That's my opinion too. I think for their catalogue of Casual games and the support they offer alongside BigFish can't be beaten thumbsup12


Time : The Most Precious Commodity
Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #995407
12/29/14 10:53 AM
12/29/14 10:53 AM
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I agree with Mad, great selection of games and support is great. I have bought the odd turkey as a result of not waiting for reviews, but over the years have really enjoyed playing Big Fish games.
As far as tech problems are concerned, I'm sure that developers of games test on various systems and use beta testers. Issues may arise if certain computers have existing problems. For instance if I have a freezing screen problem, it is almost certain that I have a dust bunny problem. Quick blast with air and all is OK. santa

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Upsydaisy] #995416
12/29/14 11:53 AM
12/29/14 11:53 AM
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Canal Fulton, OH
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I agree with you re: reviews, Upsy. I'm in the habit of checking forum reviews and for technical issues. in addition, after playing probably hundreds of games, I've learned which developers best meet my expectations. I think BFG provides numerous ways to help one determine whether to purchase any given game.

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #995425
12/29/14 01:30 PM
12/29/14 01:30 PM
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San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Reenie Offline OP
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Marian, I did finally get a reply from Big Fish, and they apologized for being so unresponsive "due to holiday overload." They readily offered me a coupon for a new game. As I said, they offer great Customer Service when things go wrong or even if you don't like a particular game. They offer a diagnostic service to help people with their individual systems design, too, and I have been through that with them when a game would not run. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. When I have gotten a game that is faulty, they have always sent me a coupon to replace it. It is one of the reasons I stayed with them for so many years (almost as long as I have been on 'Boomers) that my password is laughably simple compared to what we all use these days. laugh

I pretty much agree with the comments that followed my original post. The first sentence of my post, and actually the whole first paragraph, addressed the fact that I have played Big Fish games for years, found them reasonably priced, and their Customer Support good. However, my original issues still remain valid.

If the people behind Big Fish policed their own Forums, as well as acted on feedback from their own Customer Service complaints, 1) they would realize the necessity to clarify in their game synopses which games deviated from the genre in which they are listed, and 2) they would remove from sale games that were known to be faulty. Maybe the first issue is not as critical as the second, but you can't imagine them taking seriously their own feedback Forums if they still retain for sale games with known game bugs in them that rendered them unplayable. Some people may take the position that it is not Big Fish's fault if there are bugs in the games they buy from vendors and sell on to us. OK, but even if Big Fish may not beta test every game before offering it for sale, once made aware of a problem by enough people to realize it isn't just one person's playing setup, they should remove that game from sale.

As for the SKIP function itself, I sure am aware of it! I like tough puzzles, I play on the harder setting, and don't think I've used the Skip function more than half a dozen times in ten years; if I need it, though, I'm certainly grateful it is there. yes The problem arises when the game that stops you by throwing up an arcade sequence does not include this Skip option. That is one complaint that consistently popped up on the Forums. It is as though the designers of those games said, "I don't care if you don't like timed and manic Arcade play, you're going to do it anyway." I gamely tried, but as I said, I am physically unable to play that way. As for someone who plays casual games on the Easy mode, expecting to skip mini-games at will, they would be stopped cold by the lack of an option to Skip.

Yes, you can read lots of reviews and scan through all the Forums to see if there are problems with a given game and if it has any gotchas in it that will not suit your playing style (despite its genre label on Big Fish), and you even can play a Trial game for free. I've done that, too. For hours. rolleyes As I said, I happily have played hundreds of Big Fish games over the years. My point was that the process of winnowing can take more time now than actually playing the game itself! Most casual games, and especially the HOGs, don't last more than a few hours (a day, at most). It is illogical to have to spend many times that long trying to find out what each game really is like and if it is playable all the way through, then to download a Trial and play that as well, then finally purchase it only to find that the game's problems arise in the portion of play AFTER the Trial period.

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #995429
12/29/14 02:34 PM
12/29/14 02:34 PM
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Canal Fulton, OH
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Certainly sounds like BFG isn't for you, Reenie.

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Sparkle] #995434
12/29/14 03:23 PM
12/29/14 03:23 PM
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San Francisco Bay Area, CA
Reenie Offline OP
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Well, Sparkle, it was for many years. It may simply be that I have played all the games that suit me already? laugh Big Fish is a good site that has lots on offer, and regularly issues new games, but it does have its drawbacks and we need to be open and honest about that.

I think the most valuable function that forums such as ours here on GameBoomers can provide is a place where every and all forms of feedback can be offered up for open discussion without the rancor that is endemic to many game sites. That is one reason I have been a member here for almost 15 years. People here are open-minded, respectful of one another, and well-spoken. And we know this site does moderate every post and respond accordingly.

Not every game is a fit for every player, nor every game site perfect, but by communicating with one another about the bad as well as the good parts of the game world, we all are helped to make better choices.

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #995435
12/29/14 03:41 PM
12/29/14 03:41 PM
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Reenie, Sparkle didn't say anything disrespectful or anything remotely needing moderation from GB staff so I'm not sure what you are trying to say. You were allowed your opinion, and members are permitted to add theirs.

Ana


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Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #995437
12/29/14 03:55 PM
12/29/14 03:55 PM
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Posts: 3,856
San Francisco Bay Area, CA
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Oh dear, I didn't mean to imply anything negative, for heaven's sake. I meant what I wrote: that people on 'Boomers are respectful and non-aggressive while so many sites are not.

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #995439
12/29/14 04:20 PM
12/29/14 04:20 PM
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Canal Fulton, OH
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Fact is Reenie that most of the people who participate in the Casual Games forum here are satisfied with BFG. I don't see why your commentary is either helpful or informative. You are certainly entitled to your opinion. But it all comes off as insulting to those of us who are happy with BFG and the games offered just the way they are. It's one thing to complain about technical issues, stories, and such. It's quite another to bash BFG because they no longer meet your own personal criteria. No one denies you have the right to shop for games wherever you want. Just don't understand why you had to go on at length about why you're "done with Big Fish". It just doesn't seem appropriate, considering that Gameboomers daily posts descriptions and links to the latest Big Fish Games. I've often posted negative comments about individual games, usually related to gameplay, quality, or content. Doesn't mean I think BFG overall is not worth my time. Evidently, you've determined that the negatives outweigh the positives. It seems sensible then to drop out. As for me, I'm still all in and glad that I found Big Fish Games. And I don't need any help making "better choices". That's a determination each individual can make for themselves.

Last edited by Sparkle; 12/29/14 04:33 PM.
Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #995443
12/29/14 04:33 PM
12/29/14 04:33 PM
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Posts: 37,609
near Yosemite in California
Marian Offline
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Originally Posted By: Reenie
Oh dear, I didn't mean to imply anything negative, for heaven's sake. I meant what I wrote: that people on 'Boomers are respectful and non-aggressive while so many sites are not.


I knew that's what you meant, Reenie; no worries. reindeer

Sparkle, I'm happy with Big Fish too - let's hope that 2015 will bring a lot more good games for us to play. happydance12

Who knows - maybe there will be something released that's too good for Reenie to resist - we will let you know, Reenie, if that happens. grin12

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #996598
01/06/15 04:37 AM
01/06/15 04:37 AM
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Reenie,
I'm sorry you are done with Big Fish. I too have trouble with action/arcade scenes and in the past when I purchased adventure games from sites other than big Fish, I paid $20 or more for them, had no trial and ended up not getting to finish them or in a few cases go past the opening sequence because of an action sequence. I appreciate and adore Big Fish for so many more reasons - price, trials, customer service, variety of games offered, forum for help within a game, and getting a new game daily to mention a few. I hope you are able to find a site as good as Big Fish that suits your needs. I have been with Big Fish since around 2006 and own hundreds of their games.
Kathy
happydance

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #997074
01/08/15 03:22 PM
01/08/15 03:22 PM
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FORT PIERCE, FLORIDA USA
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Me to, Kathy even before that year. I'm still buying Big Fish

Patsy


PATSY
Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: PATSY] #997082
01/08/15 03:43 PM
01/08/15 03:43 PM
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near Yosemite in California
Marian Offline
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Nice to see you here, Patsy. wave

Kathy, my first Big Fish game was Mystery Case Files: Huntsville, and I believe I purchased that in 2006 - we go back a long way. smile

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Marian] #997130
01/08/15 11:02 PM
01/08/15 11:02 PM
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Hi, Marian!

My first Big Fish purchase was "3 Cards to Midnight" in 2009. When I learned that Chris Jones was in it, I just couldn't resist lol ! After that, I was addicted to casual games and never looked back. I can't say enough good things about BFG because they have always made things right, even if the mistake was mine.

I remember playing "Mystery Case Files: Huntsville", but I think my SIL purchased it from another website and she sent me the activation code <sheepish grin>!

Susan

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Susie07] #997131
01/08/15 11:22 PM
01/08/15 11:22 PM
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near Yosemite in California
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If I hadn't heard of Big Fish until 3 Cards to Midnight was released, that surely would have drawn me to their website! Love Chris Jones, love Tex Murphy. I need to replay 3 Cards to Midnight, in fact. thumbsup

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #1000696
02/02/15 03:04 PM
02/02/15 03:04 PM
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Reenie - I am with you all the way wink Big Fish is just not what it used to be. The new owners obviously doesnt have the same interest in their customers as the original did - well, in my opinion whistle . For that reason they have lost a lot of members.

But I guess we cant blame them for the glitchy games - developers of casual games just doesnt test them properly. But I agree that when a problem is found with a game, it should be taken off their site. That would also force the devs to fix it smile


Last edited by FrkBrok; 02/02/15 03:05 PM. Reason: wrong smiley

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Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #1000698
02/02/15 03:29 PM
02/02/15 03:29 PM
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YOu are entitled to your own opinion, but I don't really understand the criticism and would love an example of what has changed. duh It is still run with the same principles, they have the same staff, excellent customer service etc. Paul is still running it.


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Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: BrownEyedTigre] #1000713
02/02/15 05:40 PM
02/02/15 05:40 PM
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Yes, everyone IS entitled to their opinion but I am definitely with YOU on this one, BrownEyedTigre yes

I have never experienced anything but the best Customer Service from Bigfish !! praise


Time : The Most Precious Commodity
Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #1000729
02/02/15 08:29 PM
02/02/15 08:29 PM
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I do enjoy Big Fish but I have to agree with the first part of Renee's statement. They dont put the games in the proper genre's and that does annoy me. frown

Other than that though, I dont have any problems with them, cheap and easy access, just wish they would get them in order. smile


Helen
Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #1000742
02/02/15 10:38 PM
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Reenie, just a suggestion to try; many stores offer 2 BF games on a cd for about 10 dollars. The game package will also offer a code for a free game at BF but you do need to email them regarding that. I've been buying games from Walmart when I can since I really can't afford for awhile to pay a monthly membership.


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Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: Reenie] #1000744
02/03/15 12:01 AM
02/03/15 12:01 AM
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your Walmart sells big fish games not ours they haven't sold any for about 2years or more
just those video games like war hammer. and no pc games they all seem to be for x box
and playstation. such a shame dianne

Re: I am done with Big Fish, and here are my three reasons [Re: dianne] #1000846
02/03/15 02:44 PM
02/03/15 02:44 PM
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We don't have Wal-Mart around here. They tried once, and the community response was so vocal and negative that they gave up and went elsewhere. However, we do have Target stores and they are pretty much the same thing. I have bought packaged Casual Games there, too, but have seen the same progression away from adventure or casual games for the PC in favor of hack-and-slash games for the console. frown

Big Fish is great at the coffee-break games! I never bought games fast enough to make a monthly membership worthwhile, and very quickly bailed out on that; you don't need to run a "Card" to buy their games. No sense in having a monthly hit on your credit card if you aren't making it up in game purchases. Like I said in my original post, I bought games from them for many years. I still do buy an occasional game, when I have heard enough about it to know I'd like it. I just don't go there to search randomly for a new game anymore; too difficult to sift the wheat from the chaff.

BTW, I recently played Lost Land: The Four Horsemen, and if it isn't the best casual game I've played, it ranks in the Top Five! Top notch scenery and graphics, cinematics, and concept. The game has a satisfying long play time. The map is great, you can dial in your preferred level of difficulty, navigation is clear, and there are Hints and Skips for those who need them. Even the HOGs don't have you playing "find-the-skis-in-the-desert-house," but finally have you seeking items relevant to the game and the very scene you are in at the time. Thank you for that! happydance The mini-games are a bit too easy. There is a Bonus Game at the end that is like a Prequel, also a new twist. Excellent game in all respects. I am going to watch for more games by that developer for sure!

Last edited by Reenie; 02/03/15 02:46 PM.
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