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Recent reviews by [Lestrades.com] Nao 尚

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4 people found this review helpful
12.0 hrs on record
Another one of those games that fall right between 'recommend' and 'not recommend'. While $2.5 is still very cheap for such a long game (221 levels?!), it's also excrutiatingly slow, painful and unfunny after a while. Halfway through the game, you'll realize you gathered all of the achievements but 2, the stupid ones (number of matches made). The only way I was able to finish the game, was not because it presented a serious challenge (it did, but it still got really dull), but because after those first 100 levels I started using CE to give myself infinite bombs, wild tokens and, more importantly, a speed-up feature that makes the game several times faster. At this point it would have been a 'recommend' for me, but I can't expect everyone to be using CE to account for the game's limitations, so there we are.

The graphics are cute, the music is alright, there are some very good 'puzzle' levels, but overall you rely too much on luck and retries to enjoy this in the long run. Maybe if you're planning to play it for years, I don't know... That'd explain why the hardest achievement (100.000 matches?!) is something like 5 to 10 times higher than the accumulated amount of allowed moves in the game. So it implies completing it many times, lol... What a silly achievement.

If you're curious about how the story ends, I'm not even going to bother with spoiler tags: there's no 'end' to it. Master wizard gets abducted, kids save him in the following level, bad guy gets away with it, master wizard promotes them and sends them after bad guy... Nothing is explained about who the bad guy is, not that we care, I know. But 221 levels for a cliffhanger ending, followed by no game at all..? (This was originally released 6 years ago, so I'm pretty sure if the team was still together, Rescue Gold 2 would be on Steam by now...)

Perhaps if you're willing to wait for a follow-up that's been 6 years in the making (hint: really, it's not coming), then I'm sure you can wait until the first one is in a bundle.
Posted July 13.
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5 people found this review helpful
5.6 hrs on record
My first contact with the game was quite not the love story I was hoping for: fullscreen-only with no windowed mode alternatives, slightly confusing tutorial, and the interface & text were directly ported from a mobile game (which apparently disappeared from mobile stores before the Steam version was released). I also got an achievement popping up just for launching the game, which screwed up my average achievement percentage stat, which okay who cares.

Still, it managed to become enjoyable over time. Definitely one of the better Puzzle Bobble clones out there, which super-cute monsters and nice graphics/audio that somehow reminded me of the Braveland series (not by the same authors). There are also other amusing side activities, such as looking for extra money on the world map, and trying to find hidden levels (apparently only two though-- I tried hard to find one on the third map but it seems like the game was trolling me.)

When it comes to the gameplay, I'd like to congratulate the game for being lenient with positioning -- it's very much possible to send a 'bubble' in the position you want it to be, even if there's a rather large obstacle in front of it, so I'd say the hitbox is cooperative. And it's a good thing. Just like those Tetris clones that allow you to reposition your blocks after they reached the bottom, see what I mean..? However, on the other hand, I'm taking issue with the annoying delay between shooting a 'bubble' and waiting for the next one to show up on your 'compass'. I've had too many 'duh' moments where I was expecting something but shot something else because of the compass's color. Ah, well.

And finally, there's an alternative ending if you manage to get 3 stars on all levels... Okay, I don't think I'm gonna replay them. Even with the help of bubblegum items, some levels just won't give me their three stars, while others happily give them even without bubblegums. Does anyone know where I can find a video with the alternative ending then..? (Which I'd rather simply call 'the ending', because the basic ending really is just a couple lines of text.)
Posted July 6.
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2 people found this review helpful
8.7 hrs on record
Oh, this game sucked!

Well, it sucked time out of my life at least. I read a review saying it was too easy-- dunno if they got great RNG but I've played and reviewed dozens of match-3 games on Steam, and this was by far the most challenging! I had to redo the final level over 10 times before I got lucky (also, hint: it works best with the final active powerup, the compass generator. You also need to be comfortable with matching multiple gem types with compasses in between.)

I really got angry at some of the levels, if only because of the uneven difficulty, but that's the thing with randomly-filled boards. Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don't. Also, the tutorial didn't do a great job at telling us that some powerups are more suited towards some types of levels (e.g. the horizontal wind powerup is great for bug levels.)

What else can I say..?

- One of the most 'original' (AFAIK) hidden object concepts, where they show you a rotated piece of the background and you have to click it. That alone was nearly worth the price of admission, although I fail to see what failing one of these mini-games would have done.
- Honest soundtrack. I've heard much better though.
- Excellent graphics. The backgrounds are for the most part exquisite.
- Very diverse gameplay-- many different powerups, several different types of levels, some involving strategy, others luck or skill.
- Overall the game is satisfying and I didn't have too many ragequit moments.

- Timed levels can be very frustrating. Essentially the bug levels (and the final classic level in the game) will require you to be very quick. No ability to remove the timer at all.
- Uneven difficulty.
- Pretty short (main story can be finished in under 5 hours). Haven't played through the challenges yet.
- Story is completely silly (and terribly acted). Girl gets in a shipwreck, wakes up in a cave filled with beautiful remnants of an old forgotten civilization, but all she cares about is breaking everything apart to come back home. Also, kill a giant octopus which I'm sure most biologists would be very crossed to hear about. In the end she comes back home and all you get is a single screen with a 'congratulations' message. Worst ending I've been through since, uh... Monkey Island 3? And that was in the 90's... And it at least had a short video.
- I don't remember the game ever telling me I was able to choose my powerups before a level started. I only realized that halfway through the game. Maybe that's why it was so hard for me, I don't know. Generally speaking, the latest powerup is always the better one, but as I said, some powerups are better for some levels.
- Seriously, this isn't Heroes of Hellas. Hellas 2, 3 or 4 are all better than Azkend 2.

In conclusion: buy all of the Hellas games. If you have them already, and you're looking for more hex-grid match-3 games, then you can definitely try Azkend.
Posted June 30.
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59 people found this review helpful
27 people found this review funny
6.7 hrs on record
Best writing in a video game, ever.

I played this around 2010, knowing fully its engine was outdated and that I didn't really 'get' Baldur's Gate back in the day. I was fully immersed in Planescape's universe immediately, reading every single word like it was from Shakespeare, laughing and crying along the way.

This isn't my favorite game (The Witcher 3 beats it in terms of gameplay and overall universe size), but damn it, it's by far the best of its kind.
I'd love to see a FPS F2P remake with loot boxes and big boobs.
Just kidding.
Posted June 4.
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3 people found this review helpful
6.4 hrs on record
These guys obviously played 'Letter Quest' before (and probably BookWorm as well). This is basically the same, except comparatively with an inferior soundtrack, even less story, and pay-to-win mechanics derived from its obvious mobile phone port origins. Since you can't actually pay here, you'll have to grind quite a bit (or use a word solver to go through most of the floors unharmed, which I don't usually condone but here it simply turns the game into a typing game, which isn't bad either per se.)

I'd have appreciated if the game didn't have a timer because, let's be honest, there are enough mechanics here to enjoy the game without it. For instance, how about being able to postpone a monster attack when you use a 5+ letter word or something? The latter levels (especially levels 90 and 100 for some reason) all require you to use a word solver to go through the heaps of hitpoints in there. Meh.

Honestly, I'd only recommend playing the first third of the game normally because it's at least is doable without grinding for HP and attack points. After that-- word solver and typing game approach is the way to enjoy it. I know I did.

Apart from that, being a big Letter Quest fan (I, ahem, finished it 4 times...), I can only applaud games that attempt to remake it (even though it was itself a remake), so I wouldn't consider this a failure. Actually, best part of the game: the description for the hobgoblin, sorry, snob goblins: "he likes dungeons because they're so underground".
Posted May 28.
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7 people found this review helpful
6.9 hrs on record
TL;DR: this is an acceptable game, worth a neutral rating, with some interesting match-3 mechanics but terrible execution, a bad story and a worthless Solitaire mini-game.

This is like the 857th casual game I've been playing in a row on Steam and I'm starting to know all of their mechanics by heart. I played and reviewed positively two of rokaplay's previous Solitaire games, but this one is terrible. First fo all, they advertise 'solitaire mini-games' but don't explicitly say what they are. We're talking about the usual Fairway Solitaire clone, but without any power-ups (unless you consider 'undo' to be a power-up, but I consider that to be a basic feature), and only 6 layouts, not even sorted by difficulty -- heck, not a single one of them could be considered difficult. You heard me well -- 6 layouts, that is, 6 'rounds', that's barely even half of a 'stage' that other Solitaire games offer in spades. The execution is acceptable but if you're buying this for playing your usual card game-- do NOT do it, it's just not worth it.

Now about the match 3 game... It's got 4 power-ups, pretty much as many 'dangerous' tile types, and some amusing mechanics. I'd give the game a straight thumb up if it wasn't for the rest:

- The soundtrack is horrible. Turn off the music, listen to your soundchip playlist instead.

- Uneven difficulty. Some levels are super easy while others are hard to complete without using power-ups. Heck, the tutorial level itself is harder to complete than its follow-ups.

- There's a 'relaxed' mode, with which I'm now playing the game (because after doing a couple of long levels where you have to start over because you ran out of moves, you simply want to get it over with), but it also kills 99% of the challenge. I don't know what is best, at this point...

- There's a story, it looks like it's mandatory for 'modern' casual games to have a story. Here's the deal: this spoiled brat got in charge of developing a hotel resort and she's an idiot but who cares, she has all the money in the world. But she still needs to earn all of the stuff she's gonna have someone build, so... She's playing match-3..? Okay. Building the hotel costs 100 something (mountains of gold?), while maintaining a garden around it costs 40+ times that. Hmm, maybe they shouldn't have put a price on the hotel, right..? Well, after you've bought a couple items the brat starts commenting less and less. In the end, halfway through the game, she won't show up at all. You'd think she's too busy on the beach or something, I don't know. When you get to buy the final item (the garden mentioned above), she shows up to say there's nothing left to buy and maybe she'll get a sequel. Well, if the humor feels obligated to break the oh-so-original 4th wall, it pretty much goes to show how insignificant the story was in the author's mind. Unfortunately, if you have no interesting characters to put into your story, then it's a BAD point for me, I'd rather have no story at all.

Overall I'd only recommend if you can find this in a bundle, or for free. This has actually made me shy away from Zombie Solitaire 2, even though I loved the original and was considering buying it. I'll wait for bundled versions, too.
Posted May 14.
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5 people found this review helpful
1.0 hrs on record
A severely subpar solitaire game that wants you to pay a fortune to complete it and won't even bother offering you an acceptable experience for your money.

It's buggy, card graphics are terrible, backgrounds are great but I suspect they're just stock pictures, same with the soundtrack, just one nice song but it's always the same. Game difficulty is easy to sum up: first 5 levels are doable, the rest is intended to be finished only with money (or severe luck). Seriously? Also, there 'seems' to be some sort of storyline going on but once the game actually starts, it's over, you're getting nothing more. And considering the 'Coming soon!' on the map, I suspect it has no ending either.

Just use cheats to give yourself tons of 'diamonds', the ingame currency. These devs don't deserve any money for that kind of scam. Literally every single other solitaire game is better than that. Even the bad ones that were bundled to death and that you can get for a couple cents.
Posted May 2.
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5 people found this review helpful
15.5 hrs on record
Enjoyable Fairway Solitaire clone. Close in spirit to Zombie Solitaire (humour, design...), but lacking badly in execution at times-- tutorial is missing stuff like how to calculate points and skulls, translation is pretty bad at points, the Day of the Dead theme is borderline racist (which is odd coming from a game credited to Spanish-speaking people..?!), there are many small bugs here and there (including a reproduceable one where you don't get any sound effects when you fail a stage and have to restart it), an incoherent difficulty curve (seriously without getting tons of money you won't make it through the game), overall it's pretty amateurish.

Yet it's fun to play. Plus I cheated money so that I wouldn't have to grind the game for countless hours. Helps a lot making it actually fair. I got to choose my challenge level in a way.
So it's getting a Recommendation from me. But I probably won't play it again.
Posted May 1.
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4 people found this review helpful
4.8 hrs on record
This is a relatively easy & lazy implementation of a Fairway Solitaire clone.
I'd like to say 'meh' but sometimes I just like to play without luck getting too much in my way.
It's lacking power-ups like most other games have (except for undo and wild cards), and it's also lacking most of the silly obstacles you see elsewhere like frozen cards or whatever.
Just pure card playing. About 2 or 3 hours of it -- short, but I've seen worse.
I wouldn't *recommend* it. I just have no reason to vote against it. If you know what you're getting into, then go ahead.
Posted April 19.
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5 people found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Okay, so... UH?!
I enjoy Solitaire games and I appreciate that this one tried to offer both of the most common types of card solitaires found on Steam -- Pyramid Solitaire (I'd call it a Fairway clone but the present game has no power-ups, so really it's just a Pyramid) and a pair matching game.
It also had hidden objects scenes that aren't too horrible.

I'll agree with the other reviews on these points:
- The game can be completed in an hour. This is at least 5 times shorter than the minimum acceptable playtime for a $10 game.
- Zero challenge. The only time I ran out of cards was in the final stage of the boss fight ("the" boss fight-- contrary to what the game description, there's only one villain. Which you fight with just regular solitaire games. Uh.) I had to redo it another time and ran out of cards again, then it conveniently allowed me to skip the level (without telling me the button would actually make me skip it.)

Other things I feel like I add to add:
- I like that it's set in a modern setting. Most casual games add a fantasy element to their game. Well, there's a fantasy element here, I just don't know where it's going.
- Pair matching is pretty boring.
- Unlimited undos, I suppose..? Haven't tried. Boring, anyway!
- The soundtrack is absolutely fantastic. But it's entirely made of assets purchased from a third-party company without any regard for their integration into the game. So you actually have an Asian track in the game that would make more sense in a Mahjongg Solitaire game. Lazy!
- Hidden object scenes also have no challenge-- unlimited hints, unlimited clicks, no real difficulty in finding objects.
- What the hell is it with that story..? It doesn't have a proper ending. It feels like chapter 1 of a longer game...
- And frankly, the most annoying thing of all: the cards are terribly made. For a game that mostly relies on playing cards, having card values shown in an unreadable gothic font is a fatal sin.

Thus my final opinion is, get this through a cheap trade (the game was bundled earlier), do NOT spend $10 on it, it's not even worth a buck IMO...
Posted April 18.
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Showing 1-10 of 138 entries