10 July 2010

Review: Vision in White computer game

You may wonder why I am (very unscientifically) reviewing a computer game on a book blog, but since the game ties in with a book, Vision in White by Nora Roberts, I decided to go ahead.

I downloaded the demo for the game, which gives you 60 minutes of playing time, and got through about 3 chapters and several scenes in that time. I chose to play an untimed game, but it's also possible to play against the clock.

This is a hidden object game - you get a list and have to find all the objects and bonus items hidden - sometimes in such plain sight thay you simply don't see them - in the gorgeous and complex scenes on the screen. The boards or scenes you play through are very intricate and lovely, and the items you have to find are often very cleverly hidden. There are all sorts of other hidden items in the scenes that are clearly meant to confuse you, so you need to pay attention to the list.

Taking on the persona of wedding photographer Mackensie Eliot, you visit different rooms in the mansion where she and her three friends run their wedding business, Vows. In between playing the game, you witness some conversations and scenes from the book. From reviews I found on Amazon I discovered that the game follows the book pretty closely, and it would probably make a nice compliment to the book, especially in helping the reader visualise the house and its surroundings.

Occasionally you get mini games that you get no points for but can earn hints for the hidden object scenes. I got to two of them, a cake decorating game and a photography game. During the photography game the movements of my mouse pointer became wobbly and it was very difficult to control the pointer with any precision in the mini-game and all the scenes that followed, making it difficult to pinpoint the smaller hidden items. This alone was enough to make me decide not to buy the game. I don't know if it was that my computer doesn't have enough memory to run the game smoothly, or if it was the software itself, but this was very annoying.

Another annoyance was the background music, which I am certain must fall under one of the Geneva Convention's provisions on torture - it was that brain-numbingly annoying and horrible. It didn't occur to me to check if it could be turned off, but I dearly hope so. The voices of the characters were also annoying in the extreme and hopefully they can be turned off as well.

I would, provided that the sounds could be turned off and the mouse pointer problem fixed, like to play this game to the end.

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