Adera is a hidden object puzzle game. I’ve reviewed one like this before by another company (here) quite awhile ago. This one is from Microsoft Studios so thought I’d see what it offered.
It has a presentation very much like Mahjong and Solitaire where it is connected with Xbox LIVE and you can get achievements, etc. Keep in mind that for now this is a very limited game. You can only get so far, more Episodes will be released later, as of now it is Free ( see below).
When you begin it starts with a very nice cinematic that sets the tone for the game. There are other times where a cinematic will appear as well but mostly you deal with solving what happened to your grandfather, is he still alive.
It is a lot of 1 step forward, 2 steps back, 2 steps forward trying to put together the pieces so you can advance in the game. The main game screen shows a still scene (but objects can be moving in it) and you have to find the right way to complete the scene and move the story along. One such scene is below.
The story will sometimes play out with voices and captioning to help the story along. The circles at the bottom of the window are your inventory. Some items you find you can keep to use in a later scene. If stuck, use the hint. Your current mission is below the circles. Simply click on things to figure out what to do. Some open additional, close-up areas as shown below.
In the above close-up you have a little puzzle icon to indicate something needs to be done here. You can usually grab and keep items you see as well. Solving the scenes is only part of it. The other part is a hidden object mini-game. You can see one such game below.
This side game will challenge you to find the hidden objects but also rewards you with items to help you finish your quest. The game is all too short for the portion that is available now. I was just getting going and had to stop. Other reviews have said the same thing. It certainly speaks to the fact that it is an enjoyable game.
I didn’t even mention the help section. It really does help, although it is geared more towards touch, it does mention the mouse in one section. It is easy enough to figure out how to use the mouse with the game, but once again clearly showing that the “Modern” interface is for touch primarily. One really nice feature though since it is on Windows 8 is the ability to auto-save games with an Xbox LIVE account and pick up where you left on another device. I hope to have a tablet at some point with Windows 8 so this feature will come in handy.
Settings – this is the only charm used and just has volume for music, voices and sound effects, plus whether you want to see subtitles or not. It shows a check box to not show the tutorial but you can’t change it now. I suppose that will change once you get the next episode.
The game does not work in snapped mode – most games do not work this way either, best enjoyed in full screen anyhow.
The live tile shows your progress and is shown below after I completed the first episode. I do not know if it will indicate when a new episode but that would be nice. It just says to keep an eye on the hub in Adera for the next episode.
I really enjoyed the short episode and hope many more come soon. I like the achievements and I hope many more games incorporate it. There are many things available in the game, forums, trailers, and strategy guide to name a few but all locked for now. Good game though it is a bit of a heftier download, its worth it. Get it but be forewarned you’ll be asking for more real quick. More is available (10/24/12).
Update 11/5/12: Free for first Episode, $4.99 for each following episode. It is a beautiful game and has its challenges, but seems just a bit high.
|Category: Games > Puzzle Download size: 218 MB Age rating: 10+ Publisher: Microsoft Studios|