As I said before I have already played this one through, but end of year assignments and exams got in the way of me writing about it, so I decided to play it through again, I have now just finished it again, even the extras, just so I can tell you in full detail HOW BLOODY AMAZING this HOG is!!
This is one of THE most detailed, well thought out and playable HOGs it has been my pleasure to spend quite a few hours playing. There are not one, not two, but THREE novellas to play, each novella is a decently sized HOG on its own, and together along with the bonus content they create an exceedingly well put together story arc that you want to see through to the end.
It also has one of the best in-game strategy guides that I have seen, so kudos to the developers for that, I needed a couple of hints in the last novella, where my brain failed me.
You are driving along a road, it is a rainy night, you have a car crash and when you wake up you are trapped inside a spooky cemetery with only a raven hopping around near you, the raven turns up throughout the three novellas, and usually has an object or clue that you need, so keep an eye out for him.
You go wandering through the cemetery to see how to get yourself out of there, and you come across two graves, a father and daughter who perished in a house fire, the father begs you to go back in time and save his daughter.
Rescuing the little girl from the fire, this first HOG is pretty decent HOG in its own right, there is just enough back and forth to make it interesting, but not too much to make it boring and tedious. The puzzles in this one are at a medium skill level and can be nutted out if you think laterally in a few places, there is nothing overly complicated or difficult to figure out and the actual HOG bits of this novella are excellently done, nicely detailed and only in some cases fiendishly hard to find, due to the sheer number of items within the scene.
Finishing this one and rescuing the little girl from the fire actually gives you a sense of accomplishment that is sometimes lacking in HOGs, there is more to this HOG than just looking for HOGs.
When you rescue the little girl the father rewards you by giving you the next graveyard plate, so it’s off through the graveyard looking for grave number two.
With this one you are confronted by the ghost of a woman who was murdered, she wants to know who the murderer was and if her young disabled son is being taken care of, you go through the portal and end up at the woman’s house, the puzzles in this are definitely a little harder than in the first novella, which is a logical progression, the actual HOGs in this one are of the same high quality as in the first, working your way through this one is somewhat more linear than the first, though there is still some back and forth, but not as much.
Solving this one involved for me some usage of the strategy guide, but only because it has one of the puzzles that I am not very good at and couldn’t finish without some help.
When you solve the puzzle of who murdered the woman you are transported back to the cemetery where the woman rewards you with the third grave plate, cue wandering through graveyard looking for third grave.
Third story is of a female Dr who was attacked and murdered on her way to bring life saving vaccine to her village, your job is to find out who murdered the Dr and retrieve the vaccine so that the villagers will live. This third part of the story arc is the most complicated, there are lots of little steps and lots of back and forth and some very complicated puzzles to solve, however that being said like the other two none of the puzzles are impossible and if you get stuck there is always the strategy guide which you can use to give you a push in the right direction.
This one is a very satisfying one to complete, since it is harder than the first two, there is a real sense of accomplishment about solving the mystery of who attacked the Dr and what happened to the vaccine.
When you solve this one you are taken to the opening screen and given the chance to complete the bonus HOG, I strongly suggest that you do.
In this one after the cemetery gates are opened you get to go into the village, and from a newspaper on the ground you find that a young woman from the village is going to be burned at the stake for the murder of her fiancée and for witchcraft.
I wont spoil the ending for you, but suffice to say it is VERY worthwhile and definitely worth playing through, it ties the whole game together nicely.
This is one of the best HOGs I have ever played, even better than Return to Ravenhearst and Puppetville: Souls of the Innocent, the puzzles are intriguing without being too complicated, they are not insanely difficult, nor are they tedious.
Ease of the mini-games/puzzles:
As mentioned before the puzzles in this game get progressively harder as you progress through the novellas, but they are not impossible, nor are they boring.
There is nothing overtly scary about this game, even though it has ghosts and other things in it, it’s not very visceral, there’s a couple of scenes that have some mildly disturbing content, but even that is muted, so there is nothing to offend anyone’s delicate sensibilities.
The graphics are well done, the HOG content nicely detailed and the background story is well thought out and put together.
This is not a game for a beginner, I’d put this one at solidly seasoned player, or someone who wants to test themselves within the genre, overall this is an excellent game, well worth paying the extra for the Collectors edition, this game will be replayed many many time.
An amazing 48/50 for this game for me, I would have given it 50/50 but I am sure that in the future there will be HOGs that will surpass even this one.
There is nothing in this game that will disappoint, the game play, the puzzles, the HO component, it is all excellent.