It’s the first Saturday of the month, and in order to make the four weeks to come that 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 Where Angels Cry from Cateia Games and Rightous Kill from Starz Media.
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 on 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 title of the game to load iTunes up on the relevant page and purchase the title
Most of the time, the G5 Entertainment series of adventure games are pretty much the same. They task you with clicking around the screen, trying a plethora of different options until something works and you’re allowed to progress a little bit further. As such, the most important aspect of these games, and any adventure game in general, is the story. If the story can’t hold a player’s attention, then the gameplay – for what little there is – isn’t going to help things along much. Where Angels Cry is another G5 game in this vein but, as seems to be the case with the more recent games from the company, it’s taken a step away from the “find everything the scene” mechanic and more towards traditional adventure gameplay where you’ll be asked to solve larger puzzles, combine various elements into new ones, and more. But does all that still mean it’s a decent game? An adventure game lives and dies on its story, right?
The story in Where Angels Cry takes place at the start of the dark ages. The main character is sent on a mission to a remote monastery where one of the monks has met with a not-so-nice end to his existence. You’re sent to figure out what happened, and why the statue of the angel in the courtyard is said to be crying, all while under the guise of the monastery’s latest brother. The story is relatively interesting – although it won’t have the same kind of draw as some of the more popular PC games – but as far as G5 Entertainment games go, you can tell that the developers they hire are getting better at their jobs. Where Angels Cry isn’t the best example of this, but it’s definitely up there.
The gameplay in Where Angels Cry sticks with the more traditional style of point and click adventure games. You’re tasked with performing a selection of operations, or solving a selection of puzzles, in order to progress to the next section of the game where you’ll get a little bit more of the story and be asked to do more or less the same things over and over again. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing; it’s how most of these games work and it’s the story’s job to push you through the content, making you want more, not the gameplay’s. Still, with that being said, I never got bored of the content at hand, I never wished I was doing something different, and I always felt content with how the game was asking me to progress through it; as I mentioned earlier, the “search for every item on this list’ games seem to be disappearing from G5 Entertainment’s repertoire. Which is a good thing.
If you tend to struggle with what you’re supposed to do next when it comes to a point and click adventure, there’s a handy ‘Hint’ button at the bottom right of the screen. There’s a cooldown involved, which means that you can’t just keep hitting it and expect it to give you all of the answers all of the time, and you’re going to have to wait 30 seconds or so between each click – usually just enough time to think of the answer to the puzzle you’re trying to solve anyway.
At the end of the day, while Where Angels Cry isn’t the best example of a G5 Entertainment point and click title, it’s an interesting one indeed – especially for fans of the genre. The story could have done with a little improvement, as could the voice-acting, but the package is interesting enough to warrant a play from genre fans.
DECENT. A 6/10 indicates that, while this game could be much better, it still has a fair amount to offer the player. It might be an interesting title sabotaged by its own ambition, or a game denied greater praise by some questionable design choices. Don’t avoid it outright, but approach it with caution.
As much as Where Angels Cry moves away from the search games in an attempt to concentrate fully on the game’s narrative, Righteous Kill – inspired by the movie of the same name starring Robert De Niro and Al Pacino – moves so close to the style that there’s almost literally no other style of gameplay involved. This could have the negative effect of boring you with endless repetition, so the narrative has to be top-notch in order to keep you invested in the title.
The story in Righteous Kill sees you assigned to a new police task force put together to track down and apprehend vigilantes that have been known to operate in the city. From the moment the game starts you begin to question the morals involved in the narrative; after all, we wouldn’t want someone to arrest Batman. Unfortunately there’s no choice in the matter, and in order to progress through the game you’ve got to do as you’re told and hunt down the vigilantes through a series of search puzzles and mini-games. The story does the bare minimum that’s needed in order to push you through it, creating a sense of tension while you’re playing but never giving you much reason to come back to the game once you’ve turned it off.
The main gameplay element sees you searching for clues in various crime scenes. You’ll usually get two at a time and will be tasked with finding the items that are listed on the notepad towards the left-hand side of the screen. This section of the game is the first tripping point, as attempting to find objects that appear to have no relevance to the case jeopardises the immersion. I have no idea why I was asked to find three irons in one scene, for example, other than the fact that I found myself in a laundromat. There’s no denying the fact that after only a couple of these crime scenes, you’ll be bored. Thankfully, if you’re tired of trying to find that last, elusive object, there’s a UV torch that can be used to literally shine a light on it – but this doesn’t do too much to improve the overall experience besides making it slightly less tedious.
Breaking up the monotony of the search puzzles are the mini-games. These task you with completing puzzles that directly influence the game’s story and, as such, keep your attention far more than any other aspect of the game does. These mini-games usually consist of performing simplified versions of police techniques such as dusting for fingerprints and piecing together bits of documents in order to read the complete thing. The fact that these are actual police techniques, albeit extremely simplified, helps you feel a part of the story and as if you’re actually influencing the outcome, even though it’s ultimately as scripted as it comes.
Righteous Kill is perhaps worth a look if you truly enjoy the search games that were more prevalent in early G5 Entertainment releases (or if you’re a die-hard fan of the genre) but there are so many other games out there with a much tighter balance between story and gameplay that you’re not going to be missing much if you avoid this one.
POOR. Games tagged 4/10 will be playable, perhaps even enjoyable, but will be let down by a slew of negative elements that undermine their quality and value. Best avoided by any but hardcore genre fans.