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Title: Parallels Cross
Genre: Adventure, Casual, Indie
DQ Team, Insomniacs
Release Date: 30 Mar, 2016
I'm a fan of this company's Hidden Object\/Adventure Games. I often found myself wondering what it would be like if they just buckled down and made a straight Adventure Game, unburdened by the need to shoe-horn in seemingly-pointless HOP elements. Now I know. I wish I didn't.
This game is a mess. Poorly translated, plodding & often nonsensical, with a wet thud of a finale, "Parallels Cross" feels like a HOP\/Adventure game that was half-finished and rushed out the door to meet an artificial deadline...only to have Dave the intern forget to unlock all the HOP elelments. It's dull, the pacing makes no sense ("My son is missing! I know where he is! So let me just spend potentially HOURS solving this out-of-the-blue number sequence puzzle I have no reason to believe is in any way related to his mysterious disappearance rather than smashing in the window and chasing after my missing son!"), the puzzles are EXTREMELY tedious, and for the first time EVER in any of their games I found myself skipping puzzles just to get through the dang thing. Don't bother with this one. It's a dud, plain and simple. Clearly they have no clue how to make a straight adventure game. Let's hope they stick with the hybrid games from here on out.. Way too short, but interesting.. Honestly, I cannot recommend this game.
The puzzle mechanics are clunky, you don't even use one of the "rooms" to beat the game (it's like they forgot to finish adding in a puzzle), some of the grammar of the dialogue is off, and overall was not a particularly satisfying game. Not a particularly logic heavy puzzler.
One of the puzzles at the end of the game is straight up guess work. As far as I can tell, there isn't any real logic to it, you just have to guess. (Also, the pitch order of the xylophones is completely reversed, and kinda bothered the crud out of me.)
On top of it all, the game is short for the price. I took a dinner break while playing, so my actual play time is closer to 1.5 hours.
The graphics ARE really pretty, and they included a mechanic where the map will have a check mark for when you have completed that portion of the map (keeps you from needlessly revisiting locations). Nice features that I wish were in all puzzle games, but nothing that saves the game.
This game feels like the makers didn't polish or fine tune the game. If it is on a good sale and you have a craving for point and click that you need satisfied, sure, get this game. Otherwise, I say pass this one.. This game is squeaking by with a tentative positive rating; it's one of many that make me wish there was an in-between "meh" option.
Graphically it's pretty, puzzles aren't terribly hard, and I enjoy the map system that tells me where I've completed so I'm not wandering in circles. If anything, the puzzles are a little too easy if you're a veteran at minigames.
There is nothing that stands out about the sound quality, but there is no voice work which is a little bit of a turn-off with so many games nowadays having voice acting.
Plot is formulaic but not terribly so.
The major thing I'd want people to know about this is that despite the screenshots looking like your basic HO genre game, there's a reason why it's not tagged that way. There is not a HO aspect to this game at all. Essentially it's a point-and-click game with puzzles, wearing the user interface of a hidden-object game.
My biggest complaint would be the playtime; I finished the entire game in about 90 minutes and there is no bonus content or achievements (or any other extras or frills) that would induce me to play it again. It is definitely NOT worth the full price due to the short playtime and lack of complexity.
However, if you can grab it on sale, it's not a terrible purchase if you take into account the things mentioned above, You're not going to get a really top-of-the-line game, but there are certainly worse options, especially if you (like myself) have practically exhausted your supply of similar games.. Not a hidden object game for starters. This is a point and click with puzzles. And it's sadly not that great. Nothing majorly wrong with it, just minor things that end up being fustrating. Like when you click on something it opens a description box. Not a problem. Only way to clost it really is to click on the little x. Not imagine clicking around a screen for 1 thing while it keeps opening up a box describing something else. Gets old quick. I'm going to reccomend this game with the cavat that you get it on sale. It takes about 2 hours.. This is a short but enjoyable game.
It's definitely in the 'casual mystery - waste an afternoon' category.
The puzzles aren't difficult, but it's got a good background story to it.
Not worth full price tho. Definitely get it on sale.
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