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 Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings from Fenomen Games and Super Crossfire from Radiangames.
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!
LOST SOULS: ENCHANTED PAINTINGS:
We’ve reviewed quite a few adventure games from G5 Entertainment over the series of both Mobile Monday and Mac Medley articles, and if there’s one thing that has become apparent – to me at least – it’s that they play much better on the high definition screen of my iMac than they ever will do on my iPod Touch. The fact that I have a mouse in my hand instead of vainly tapping on the iOS device’s screen in an attempt to find something that’s clickable is also a reason to love the fact that a lot of G5’s games find their way onto the Mac App Store from the iOS App Store (or vice-versa). Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings is another game in a long line of titles that I’ve had the opportunity to play on the iMac, but does it stand up with all those other games in being the superior version? Short answer: yes.
The gameplay in Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings is very similar to what you will have experienced if you’ve played any other adventure game from G5 Entertainment. There are quite a few puzzles involved in solving the mystery of why your son disappeared and ended up seemingly trapped inside a painting, with a lot of these puzzles moving from the simple “click-on-this-when-we-tell-you-to-win” to those you’ll have to put a little bit of thought into in order to get to the solution. The first major problem with Enchanted Paintings is that there doesn’t really seem to be anything that anyone would call a learning curve. Some of the puzzles right at the start of the game are more difficult than some of the ones later on. This is fine if you’re a veteran adventure game player, and those first couple of minutes with any new game is just an exercise in going through the same motions you always do, but for new players who may not fully understand what’s expected of them yet, it can get quite frustrating.
You’ll eventually come across the seemingly obligatory search puzzles too, where you’re asked to search for all of the items on a list and have to find each of them in order to proceed with the story. These provide quite a challenge in Enchanted Paintings – more so than they normally do – as the developers have managed to hide the items particularly well in the scene. This could be a good thing or a bad thing depending on your personal preference with this type of puzzle, but for those that perhaps don’t enjoy them so much, there’s a “Hint” button in the bottom right hand corner of the screen that will be a great deal of use.
Unfortunately, the lacklustre story, as well as the repetition of a lot of the puzzle elements, is keeping Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings from being something much better than it is. The basics are there, and if you’re a fan of the other G5 Entertainment adventure games you’re probably going to get a kick out of it, but there are better games in the genre out there – some of them even by G5 Entertainment themselves – that you shouldn’t have to settle for something that’s only just mediocre.
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.
There’s something special about a game that simply consists of a series of waves with an ever-increasing difficulty. Something tangible that you almost feel like you can grab a hold of, a special feeling when you reach a wave that’s just one more than you’ve ever gotten to before. The world drops away, your senses heighten and, at that moment, it’s just you and the game. Nothing else matters. Super Crossfire – the Mac version of the popular iOS game – gets this feeling down to a tee. It looks gorgeous, plays well and can keep your attention for hours at a time – what more do you want?
Similar to Space Invaders, the gameplay in Super Crossfire consists of a wave of enemies arranged in a grid. In order to reach the end of the wave and move on to the next level, you have to defeat all of the enemies on the screen (and not die, of course). This is often easier said than done as some of the enemies have some pretty nasty tricks up their sleeves, such as emitting a huge blast of laser fire as they explode, or forcing you to destroy another object before they themselves can be attacked. In this sense it’s as much a game of strategy as it is quick reflexes and sharp thinking, and that’s something that will keep you in the game for even longer.
The main difference between Super Crossfire and classic games such as Space Invaders is that, in Super Crossfire, you can fly over to the other edge of the screen and blast away at your enemies from behind. At the start of the game, this is an easy way to get a few points in the bank without worrying about enemy fire, but it’s not long before the enemies have their own tactics in play which will make you think about when and where you’re going to flip to the other edge of the screen. It’s very easy to lose lives in Super Crossfire, and a lot of that will come down to simply switching sides at the wrong moment. This is the main skill that you need to improve at in order to get further into the game – switching at the right time – and once you get it down to an art, you’ll be unstoppable.
The controls in Super Crossfire are situated mainly on the mouse, although there are some instances where using the keyboard comes into play. For the most part, you will be moving your ship around by moving the mouse left and right, firing using the left mouse button and zooming over to the other side of the screen using the right. There are also some areas where special weapons come into play, and these are fired using the middle mouse button. This is something that’s easy if you’re using your iMac with a traditional PC-style mouse; however, if you happen to be using the Magic Mouse that no doubt came with your iMac, then you may have trouble clicking a middle mouse button that isn’t there. Fear not though, this is where the keyboard comes in as a quick smash of the spacebar will perform the same action.
Fans of this style of game, as well as fans of classic games, will get a big kick out of playing Super Crossfire. The similarities to those classics will get people into the game – as well as getting them playing the title effectively – within only a matter of minutes, and the differences will keep them playing longer than they would have normally done. Radiangames have managed to achieve a balance with Super Crossfire, one that not many developers manage to achieve. Super Crossfire is an easy game to pick up and play for either short periods of time or extended sessions. It’s a game that’s worthy of anyone’s collection, without a doubt.
VERY GOOD. An 8/10 is only awarded to a game we consider truly worthy of your hard-earned cash. This game is only held back by a smattering of minor or middling issues and comes highly recommended.