It’s the first Saturday of the month and in order to make the month to come a little bit easier, as well as hopefully highlighting some games that you may have otherwise not played, GodisaGeek.com is here to show off some games from the Mac App Store.
This time on Mac Medley, we’re taking a look at Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart from Artifex Mundi and Totem Tribe Gold from Enkord.
Keep reading for a full review of each game, and even a handy little button to allow you to download them for yourselves. Don’t forget to check back to GodisaGeek.com for more Mac Medleys in the future.
Titles are available from the Mac App Store unless specifically stated otherwise. If you like what you read, click the small black “App Store” button to load iTunes up and purchase the title!
NIGHTMARES FROM THE DEEP: THE CURSED HEART:
I’ve played and reviewed quite a few G5 Entertainment games on the iOS devices for Mobile Monday, and most of them have been adventure games. However, no matter how many adventures games come out on the App Store, and no matter how intuitive the controls appear to be, there’ll never be anything quite like using a keyboard and mouse to play the same kind of games on a PC or Mac. Nightmares From the Deep: The Cursed Heart, developed by Artifex Mundi, is one such game. A title that knows exactly what it is, exactly what its target audience is, and knows exactly what message it wants to convey to them. But does that automatically make it a game worth playing?
The story starts with an introduction to the legendary pirate Captain Henry Remington, a notorious man who was thought to have made a pact with the devil in order to gain powers beyond normal men. Eventually, the armed forces caught up with him and forced him to walk his own plank, sending him to a watery grave, but that wasn’t the end of his story, as we’ll soon discover. Hundreds of years later, the body of Captain Remington has been discovered and you’re getting ready to put it on display at the very centre of the new pirate exhibition in your museum, but it’s not long before things start to go awry and the mystery of how Captain Remington was so well preserved after being underwater for centuries isn’t the only enigma you’ll be solving.
The game plays just like any other adventure game in the sense that you’ll need specific items in order to progress through the game and you’ve generally got to perform puzzles in order to attain those specific items. Thankfully, if you get stuck, there’s a handy ‘Hint’ tool in the bottom right of the screen, but it’s on a cooldown timer so you can just use it whenever you want. As this is a G5 Entertainment adventure game, the scene search puzzles make a comeback, but you can choose to either skip these entirely using another button on a cooldown in the bottom right, or solve a Mahjong puzzle in its place. These search scene puzzles aren’t as regular as they are in other G5 adventure games, so people that are getting more than a little tired of them can breathe a small sigh of relief.
Controls in Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart are as easy as you’d expect from an adventure game that sits you in front of a keyboard and mouse; arguably the preferred weapons of choice for the adventure gamer. All of the actions that you’ll perform require clicking on things straight away, or clicking on items in your inventory before clicking on them in order to use them together. If you’ve played an adventure game before then you’ll have no problems at all here, and even if this is your first foray into the genre, thanks to the helpful ‘Hint’ and ‘Skip’ functions, you should find settling into the game mechanics a breeze.
Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart is an extremely fun adventure game from G5 Entertainment and Artifex Mundi. The story is entertaining, if a little hammy, and the visuals are outstanding, especially during the transition between scenes. It’s an easy game for veterans and newcomers alike to pick up and enjoy, and with the addition of achievements and multiple game difficulties, there’s a good chance people will be playing through the title on more than one occasion.
TOTEM TRIBE GOLD:
In a general sense, real-time strategy (RTS) games are always going to be better when you’re playing with a keyboard and mouse. The games were designed with these peripherals in mind – even the original PlayStation version of Command & Conquer was bundled with a PlayStation mouse that wouldn’t be used for anything else. So when it came to sitting down with Totem Tribe Gold, a casual RTS from Enkord, the fact that I was able to play the game with my preferred weapons of choice – the aforementioned keyboard and mouse – would make the game a more enjoyable experience despite any obvious downfalls it may have. Right?
Totem Tribe Gold is an RTS title with a greater emphasis towards the more casual side of the gaming spectrum. Things get difficult at times but that’s mostly due to the small puzzles that are thrown your way rather than any strategy problems. Most of the time you’ll simply be placed on an island, given a vague idea about what you’re supposed to be doing or finding, then left to your own devices until you’ve completed the task. Then rinse and repeat on a different level/island until you’ve finished the game. Not bad if you’re looking for a casual semi-puzzle/RTS game, but not really that entertaining if you’re looking for something a little bit more in-depth and involving.
The biggest problem with the strategy element in Totem Tribe Gold is with the fighters. In normal RTS games, once you’ve created the relevant fighter units, you can set them to task destroying specific targets on the battlefield; not here though. With the fighter units here you have to place a flag on the battlefield and just allow them to attack anything within the vicinity. This often leads to chaos as some fighters are attacking buildings, some are attacking enemies and others just simply aren’t close enough to anything to trigger the attack A.I. It’s absolute pandemonium and hugely frustrating when all you want to do is destroy a single enemy-spawning building but all your units are somewhere else, doing something that you haven’t told them to do.
Aside from the gameplay problems which lead on to a basic lack of control of the units on the playing field, there’s nothing wrong with the controls themselves. The keyboard and mouse perform as you would expect, with precision and finesse, but it all feels for naught when you can’t use that precision to tell units exactly where you want them to go. Still, this is a gameplay problem and nothing to do with the controls themselves. As a casual RTS game, Totem Tribe Gold is an easy title to get into and learn the basics, which is probably a good thing as most people who have an understanding of standard strategy games will easily become frustrated with the differences and omissions here.
Totem Tribe Gold has its moments of enjoyment, and the visual style of the game on the whole is rather nice, but the general lack of control exhibited by a lot of the units that you’re put in control of will be a cause for frustration. Every time you find something about the game you like and enjoy, there will be two things that simply don’t work well. If you’ve never played a strategy game before and you’re looking for something slow-paced and steady to ease you into the genre, Totem Tribe Gold could be the game you’re looking for; however, if you’ve played even one RTS game in your life, you’re going to be constantly looking for gameplay elements that simply aren’t there. A decent strategy game for absolute beginners, but everyone else should steer clear.