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Shadowgrounds - Rather mediocre, and dull in some places. It lacks the raw carnage and silliness of the Alien Shooter games, and goes for a story driven approach. Unfortunately, it is rather unimaginative except for the ending where it's revealed that your character just killed the last of an alien species.

Bioshock - Approaching this game after hearing the praises said about it led me to expect more. While I found the idea of Rapture interesting, I felt like the story leaned a bit too heavily on the audio logs scattered throughout to tell the story, basically relying on exposition dumps.
From a gameplay perspective, the combat was extremely underwhelming. Enemies were bullet sponges by the end of the game, and every encounter basically reduced my health down significantly.
Overall, some interesting story ideas going on, but I feel that a game isn't the best way to convey those ideas. System Shock 2 did a much better job of attempting this style of game.

So far:
Carmageddon 2: Carpocalypse Now
S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat
Alien Shooter + Expansions
Judge Dredd: Dredd vs Death
Waking Mars
Far Cry 2: Fortune's Edition
Splinter Cell
Mirror's Edge
Sid Meier's Ace Patrol
Deadly Premonition: Director's Cut
Metro: Last Light
Sid Meier's Ace Patrol: Pacific Skies
Sniper Elite V2
Sleeping Dogs
Another World
Serious Sam: The First Encounter
Alien Shooter 2: Reloaded
MANOS: The Hands of Fate
Red Faction
Defender's Quest: Valley of the Forgotten
Anomaly: Warzone Earth
Painkiller: Black Edition
Dark Eye: Chains of Satinav


As you can see from the screenshots, the background paintings are absolutely breathtaking and full of detail. The character art is great and detailed, animations on the other hand are a bit stiff and look like the flat movements of puppets in Asian shadow theatre – especially during close-up views and most noticeably when you talk to someone . During conversations the lip sync is way off in both the English and German version.


The music is top notch and perfectly supports the right kind of mood in each scene.
As for the voice acting, the English version is OK so don’t worry about the fact that this game is only available in English here on GOG. I just checked Youtube to compare my English GOG version with the original German version and the voice acting is of equal quality. Geron sounds a bit more wimpy and irritating in English but other than that I have no complaints, it’s not world class voice acting in either language and a bit lackluster at times but at least there isn’t a big difference like in A New Beginning where the English voice acting is distinctly subpar to the point of breaking immersion.

Story & Setting:

Chains of Satinav is set in Aventuria from the Dark Eye fantasy world so it can conveniently benefit from a preset land & lore but the story itself is strong enough to stand on its own regardless of the setting. No prior knowledge of the Dark Eye world is necessary to play and enjoy this game.
In terms of the general tone, Chains of Satinav is slightly dark fantasy but more whimsical than grimdark. Aside from a man being burnt at the stake in the intro, a bit of violence involving zombielike creatures, an impaled corpse of a knight (frozen and not detailed) and a rotting dead horse there is nothing disturbing in this game that could scare children or give them nightmares, I’d say it’s for ages 10 and older but that highly depends on the individual.
This feels similar to The Longest Journey or the movies like Willow, Dark Crystal and The Hobbit so the mood is never overly dark and there are humorous moments to balance out some of the darker elements.


Great news: No times puzzles, no pixel hunting, no dying and all logical puzzles that are neither too hard nor too easy. You sometimes have to think within the fantasy world logic because many puzzles involve magic but there are clues for every single puzzle and you’re a lot less likely to get stuck in this game than in most other point & click adventures. And yet this is not a casual and insultingly easy game, you still have to pay attention and some puzzles are quite creative but never overly convoluted. Make sure to speak to characters repeatedly to see if there are new dialogue options, that will help you out of a bind on many occasions.
You’ll not feel like a genius when you solve the puzzles but on the bright side they won’t make you tear your hair out, either. The difficulty feels just right. One of the rare adventure games where I never got stuck, and given that I have a special talent for getting stupidly and heavily stuck in these games that clearly speaks in favor of this game.
There is hotspot highlighting which purists (aka stubborn masochists who have too much time) can turn off but I recommend keeping it activated. I always tried searching a scene with my own eyes and only resorted to the hotspot highlighting feature once I thought I had found everything. That way I got the joy of voluntary object finding without the torture of involuntary pixel hunting. In most cases, the interactable objects are easy enough to spot but in several cases they blend into the detailed backgrounds in such subtle ways that I was really thankful for having the hotspot highlighting option, saves a lot of non-productive time and I did miss quite a few objects. It’s fun to visually scan a scene for stuff if you have an idea as to what you’re looking for but in some cases you will only get the idea -after- having the object already so to avoid a “chicken & egg” situation, do yourself a favor and use the highlighting feature, there is no shame in it.
This is a full length adventure, definitely 10+ hours unless you’re rushing through which would be a shame considering the beautiful scenery – some of the nicest I’ve seen in any game to date. The price is rather high as with all Daedalic adventures but when it’s 50% off or less, there is no reason not to pick it up if you like fantasy and point & click adventures and want to play one that isn’t aggravating.

Final thoughts and rating:

Don’t be discouraged by the two star “top” reviews aka negative rants on the store page. There is no way you can objectively give only two stars to this game, that’s simply unfair and unreasonable. My only complaints about the game are the at times lackluster voice acting, the absence of lip sync (in all languages) and the less than perfect animations , everything else is solid enough to warrant 5 stars. I don’t subtract points for shoddy reasons such as “ I didn’t like the characters” etc and since this game has a cohesive story, excellent scenery and music and sensible puzzles then that makes up for the minor shortcomings.

Full list
Post edited August 15, 2015 by awalterj
In September:

Hyrule Warriors: I enjoyed this one far, FAR more than I expected, those little Zelda tweaks to the formula really made a difference.

X-Men Origins: Wolverine: Bought like, 4 years ago, but only played now, and it was easily one of the best licensed games I've played. Very satisfyingly visceral (albeit shallow) combat and far more entertaining overall than the movie it's semi-based on.
Post edited November 02, 2014 by ReynardFox
Finished Final Exam today. I played the demo a while ago, so during the Steam Halloween sales I decided to grab it. It's a fun beat'em all with a twist on skills you can unlock by doing a bit of exploration and finding hidden objects and new weapons.
I played a the brute (aka the football player) and I have had a blast! A bit short, but the genre wants it, not too hard not too easy, wacky and funny at times, I didn't expect to have so much fun. At the price I got it, it was a steal! Oh, certainly not a GOTY, but still, a fun little piece of game. And the coop play might even be funnier, I think!

So far in 2014:
Aquaria (WinXP)

I was pleasantly surprised by this game.
Of course I heard, that it has a big world to explore, but I didn't imagine it to be this big and beautifully made for such an indie game. The visuals greatly appealed to me (sprites + HD = perfect match) and the game actually needed some skill.
It was a bit too hard at some points and the final boss shouldn't have so many stages between which you couldn't save and were screwed if you didn't got to know fast enough how you could harm him in the current stage.
Seeing the complete ending took me about 15hours of gameplay, I didn't find all the recipes though.

I recommend this game.

Full list:
And I finished the first 3 episodes of Grimm. They're quite easy and not complicated but are nice to play. Don't play too many episodes though as they come quickly repetitive.

Full list here.
Post edited November 03, 2014 by sebarnolds
I just finished what is perhaps the hardest Castlevania game ever made.

Is it Simon's Quest? Or Castlevania 3?

No, it's an obscure Japanese only game called Rusty.
Finished Baldur's Gate earlier this morning, a fact that surprises me considering I hated it when I first played when it was new. This time around I can upgrade that to tolerable.

I always thought that D&D games looked like they would probably be really good if not for the fact that they are D&D games. I hate that system, but there's really good stuff hidden underneath it. The first 2-3 levels are hell - everything in the game is very likely to kill you and it takes ludicrous amounts of XP to level up. Especially if you multiclass, which I did as a Fighter/Mage/Cleric. From levels 3-5 I started finding the game enjoyable - challenging but not maddening, and I was getting reasonable amounts of XP relative to what I needed. Then I hit level 6 and the end of the game and it went back downhill. Difficulty took a sharp turn up (expected from the last chapter, but really unnecessary here), and it started taking a very long time to level again.

I used some mods to make the game easier and I'm glad I did. I removed the XP cap (otherwise I would've been stuck at level 6), forced max HP rolls on level up, I think one or two more minor mods that I can't recall atm. Without these I'm confident I wouldn't have finished.

Basically all my complaints come down to the D&D ruleset and the difficulty that comes with them. The plot is good, interface is fine, graphics are fine. Oh, one other thing I didn't like is that the game lets you be good or evil within the confines of the greater plot, but evil is a strictly inferior way to go about things.


Forgot to mention, yesterday I also finally finished up Clannad. The front half makes it one of my favorite VNs ever, but just like the anime the After Story in the second half is simply awful. Awful defined as completely devoid of interest for me so I had to force myself through it - it is a good story and people will like it, it just doesn't appeal to me.
Post edited November 03, 2014 by Nobake
awalterj: Aside from a man being burnt at the stake in the intro, a bit of violence involving zombielike creatures, an impaled corpse of a knight (frozen and not detailed) and a rotting dead horse there is nothing disturbing in this game that could scare children or give them nightmares, I’d say it’s for ages 10 and older but that highly depends on the individual.
I personally found the final gameplay scene more disturbing than any of the above.

awalterj: This is a full length adventure, definitely 10+ hours unless you’re rushing through
How exactly would one rush through an adventure game, without using a walkthrough anyway? :)

Anyway, I agree that the game, for the most part, is quite good. Be sure to play the sequel, Memoria, next!
kalirion: How exactly would one rush through an adventure game, without using a walkthrough anyway? :)
I often wonder about that. Either people are smarter and I am more dumb, or they are cheating? Now I don't see gaming as a contest thing and take things as slowly as I like but after finishing a game I often check on to see how long other people took, out of sheer curiosity and wanting to know how my brain performs comparatively - even though adventure games say very little about a person's intelligence. Most of the time I don't even know how many hours I spent as I usually don't record the times (unless it's a Steam game where you can see your total time but only 10% of my games are from Steam and the rest is from GOG).
The only adventure games I've beaten in the average time or less than howlongtobeat lists are the Blackwell series, with every other adventure game I estimate my playthrough time to be longer and in some cases massively so.

kalirion: Anyway, I agree that the game, for the most part, is quite good. Be sure to play the sequel, Memoria, next!
I am playing it currently, liking it a lot so far. Chains of Satinav starts kinda slow, Memoria is superb right off the bat.
awalterj: Now I don't see gaming as a contest thing and take things as slowly as I like but after finishing a game I often check on to see how long other people took, out of sheer curiosity [snip]
I do that too, and the results are hilarious. My basic play in almost any game is usually at least twice as long as that site lists for a completionist's playthrough.

I'm playing Borderlands (the first) right now, and I am at 49 hours and about two-thirds of the way through my first playthrough. I've only done about two-thirds of the side missions (and am still way over level for where I am), and my time is already nudging their number for a completionist run of the base game: 53.5 hours. Admittedly, a few of those hours were clocked while I napped nearby, but most of them are from active play.

I'm pretty comfortable being a slow player. I like to look around and enjoy a well-made game.
Post edited November 03, 2014 by LinustheBold
Phantasmagoria: I think this game is treated very unfairly. Even though it has a respectable place among FMV adventures, the game is often criticized as being too cheesy which is true but that is exactly what makes this game beautiful. As a FMV horror adventure, it is better than many B-movies I have seen in terms of creepy mood. The music is top notch and the acting is not worse than many horror movies. As a fan of haunted house movies myself, I have found this game spectacular. Yes, there may be some problems. It could be considered too easy. Also, in the last chapter you need to follow some steps in order or otherwise go to the previous chapter to make things correct which is kind of annoying (I have also heard there are alternate endings though). At the end, I recommend this not to adventure fans, but more to horror movie freaks especially if you are into B-movies.

List of all games finished in the last years with best and worst games played in each year
Post edited November 04, 2014 by damien
Neighbours from Hell

Neighbours from Hell is a strange game that is the oddball out of Nordic's (mostly) serious games catalog. At first glance, it reminds me of slapstick cartoons, satirical political comics and a dose of sitcom (It even has a laugh track!). In it, you take the role of Woody, a prankster who is out for revenge against his neighbour for making his life miserable and what better way to do so than embarrassing him publicly in a reality show? Well, at least that's what the product's description reads, since the game doesn't have any story (which is surprising for a point and click adventure). Hell, it even has levels!

Your goal in each level is to troll your neighbour by messing with his homely routine, while remaining unseen. Whether it is by putting a rotten egg inside a microwave and making a mess out of it, putting a banana peel on the floor and waiting till he slips on it or putting some pins on his chair before he sits on it. You accomplish all this in a simple point and click fashion, in which you select an item from the background to automatically put it in your inventory and then using said item on a specific part of the neighbour's home, which has something to do with your neighbour's routine. Each level demands a particular viewer rating, which can be accomplished by not allowing your neighbour any time for reprieve. It can be genuinely funny leading your neighbour into a trap, watching him getting angry, only to lead him to another trap and watching him getting exasperated.

The game is flawed. The soundtrack, while nice, is pretty limited, the repetition can be a bit too much at times (how many times will I do the bloody rotten egg+microwave trick?) and it can get pretty boring having to look at the same stage over and over again (I get that it's meant to invoke a sitcom, but it could really use some change of scenery). Also, having to do redo the whole stage if you are spotted by the neighbour can be annoying (especially in the last levels that are a bit lengthy). I doubt that I would ever replay the game, but it was very good for a laugh (plus it was short). Now, on with the sequel.

List has been updated.

P.S.: The game didn't even have an ending! What the hell?!
Post edited November 05, 2014 by Grargar
Tomb Raider

Holy mess of a game. Marginal story, barely present characters, QTEs up the ass, taking control away from you all the time, ridiculous optional "tombs", "activities" you're not supposed to be doing because time is running low. It's a competent action game that looks great and is bogged down by the cinematic disease. Didn't deserve all the praise.

A survivor is born? More like a mass murdering Rambo wannabe copycat.

We hope you enjoyed playing...
Well I didn't. Maybe a little.
<span class="bold">Re-Volt</span>

Thanks to Strijkbout's priceless tip - turn v-sync off - I was able to finish this wonderful R.C. racing game and enjoy it, too! It says something about the game that I kept playing it even with impossibly twitchy controls, before turning v-sync off.

Excellent, realistic physics, more than two dozen distinctly differently handling cars, fun tracks that can be reversed, mirrored, and mirror-reversed, good A.I., tight, close races, and a ridiculously catchy menu theme song. I don't think I could ask for more... except maybe for multiplayer on GOG Galaxy. :) Speaking of playing with other players...

I feel pretty lucky I caught this game before it disappeared from the GOG catalog. Hopefully it'll be back soon.

So, championship mode is mainly what needs to be finished to finish a racing game. Re-Volt also has a Progress Table that gives you a big green checkmark when you finish a time trial - which normally I do not like. The handling and physics in Re-Volt are so damn good I just had a blast getting all those big green checkmarks. I got them all, won the championship, collected all the tricky stars, and unlocked all the cars. I beat the game! Three cheers for me!