Twisted Lands Shadow Town Collector’s Edition

7.5 Overall Score

Written by on October 1, 2010 in

What causes your skin to crawl?  Is it a dark room?  Is it finding those you trust most slowly go insane?  There is a world of shadows where the unknown can shake one to the core of their being.  Alawar Games has created just such a place with Twisted Lands Shadow Town.  Just off the coast of this mysterious location a couple is searching for a little treasure when tragedy finds them.  The main character is thrown overboard and wakes up to realize he is stranded in this dark land.  His wife, Angel, is nowhere to be found.  The man desperately tries to piece together clues that will lead him to his wife and get him off this mysterious island.

Along the way the man is confronted with many strange apparitions and many more stashes of items that he must search for useful and not-so useful items to help him on his quest.  This is a point and click hidden object game with a very dark side.  The main character finds journals and papers along the way that tell the tale of a community tormented with a darkness that seems to slowly drive each resident crazy and turns them into creatures capable of horrible acts.  As the character learns more about the tragic fate of the islands people he grows more and more desperate to find his wife and escape the same fate.

I was impressed by the amount of background story that was developed for the game.  Hidden object games are not typically developed with such depth.  I just wish they had decided to make better use of the animations of the apparitions to tell more of the story.  As it is, the player must read fairly long and often rambling journals to learn more about the island’s history.  I appreciate the effort to flush out the tale in such detail but would have preferred more concise journal entries.

The hidden object searches where well done.  Items are easy to search and click on.  Quite a few of the items were later used to help the character find his wife and get them off the island.  I felt the character’s sense of urgency helped the story move forward.  There were, unfortunately, many items that were absolutely random and had nothing to do with the story.  If I were desperately running for my life I really don’t think I would be searching a pile of junk for things such as a radish or a hairbrush.  I truly believe that weapons, ammo, rope, first aid items, and the makings of a fire would rank a bit higher on my to-do list.  I would have liked to see a full list of relevant items that could have been added to the search lists to keep the story’s integrity intact.  There is also a hint system that respawns at a fairly rapid rate to help the player if they get stuck.  This hint system helps find objects or help guide the player to the next important area of the very large island.  If the player is hopelessly lost as to where they need to go the hint system will highlight the way to go and respawn instantly.  This is a great benefit since there are 100 unique locations the player can travel through. The game takes the player into amazingly detailed environments that range from the coastline complete with a creepy cave, to a landlocked shipwreck, to the abandoned town filled with shadowy locations like a cursed shipwreck, a spooky church complete with graveyard, a ransacked police station, and a lighthouse.  If the hint is used to find an item then the respawn will take a bit longer.  The hidden object searches are only part of the game.  There are several mini-games that are very interesting and provided enough of a challenge without being ridiculously hard.  These challenges come in a variety of types and are very relevant in helping the character find important clues and progress through the story.

As the player progresses through the story important locations and items are added to a journal.  These entries serve to alert the player to return to certain areas and items.  It is a very good reference.

The collector’s edition of this game adds features that compliment the main game mechanics and add a lot of value.  One feature I found truly wonderful was the walkthrough.  To be honest I did not look at this until I finished the game but if the player is hopelessly stuck this walkthrough is very helpful.  They  even include short videos to show the answers to all of the puzzles.  This walkthrough is very thorough and easy to use.  The game starts out with only the first 5 chapters unlocked and adds chapters as the player progresses through the game.  Another feature in the collector’s edition is a bonus chapter that unlock once the player has completed the main story.  This picks up, roughly, where the main story ends as the main character must escape the clutches of the evil that has overrun the island and find a way to finally get off the island.

This game sucked me in and threatened to pull me into the darkness.  The story is intriguing and the flow of the game is well done.  The only thing that interrupted the flow was the odd random items that were thrown in to lengthen the item list.  This is a minor frustration though.  I appreciate the features included that allow the gamer to escape the frustration of wandering around aimlessly for hours.  It is a very large world and has a story that is very dark and intriguing.  This is a casual game with an edgy side.  Take this journey into a world where the shadows can consume you when you least expect it.  It is a land where evil takes on many forms and those you trust may be the death of you.

A download code of Twisted Lands Shadow Town Collector’s Edition was given to The Married Gamers for review and evaluation.

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Author: Melisa Snyder View all posts by

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