I enjoyed the simplicity of this game and its original time traveling theme. When is the next episode schedule to be deployed?
Time Played: 1-2 hours
Rating by LenP posted on Aug 12, 2014
One of the best comedy adventure games
If you like your adventure games with a lot of comedy, this is the game for you!
If you love sci-fi as well, then it'll be very, very enjoyable.
There are tricky parts to the game and yes, some of it is a bit unforgiving and a little clunky, but really there is nothing else like it...
I put it up there with Monkey Island in terms of classic comedy games, and it's in my top 5 of all time adventure games. One of the best concepts as well, with the time travel idea.
Time Played: Over 20 hours
Great and challenging
- Great puzzles, some of them challenging.
- Decent voice acting
- Interesting locations
- Seems like every act is made by different people which i loved!
- You actually have to think about not leaving any evidence behind or tampering with it, if you do you get a lower score (hehe).
- Terrible audio production : some lines were switched, different voice actress/actor for some unfinished lines
- Story was interesting in the beginning, but near the end it was just another cliché with a terrible open ending (in this case i'd rather have closure)
Conclusion: I recommend this game to the people that love fun challenging puzzles and international locations. The story was bad but the puzzles more than make up for it
Time Played: Over 20 hours
Only half of the story is interesting, and even that is too puzzle-centric.
Hollywood in the '60s. You get selected to participate in a popular TV show called "The Puzzle Masters". Unfortunately, during your run on the show, a serial killer starts targeting past winners. The FBI agent that's assigned to the case is an old friend of yours, and he enlists your help to take down the killer (who keeps leaving clues in the form of puzzles). Can you stop the killer before you become his next target?
A pretty sound premise for a puzzle-heavy adventure game, and the game really does start good. For instance, as part of your audition for the TV show, the game takes your actual picture, and that gets used in newspaper clippings and other moments throughout the game. This kind of involvement gets enhanced when the 3DS camera films you whenever you're in front of a mirror in-game. Small touches that add to the game and your immersion in it.
Unfortunately, James Noir (a person who never once gets mentioned in the game nor in the manual) his "Hollywood Crimes" drop the ball at several opportunities. First of all, the graphics are lacklustre and mediocre (the background during the TV show is bland and generic, and the crowd is static). The puzzles also get repetitive fast, especially during the TV show sequences. And this is where the game falters most, the serial killer chase is pretty interesting, but the TV show is little more than a barrage of increasingly repetitive (not to mention easy) puzzles.
At least the investigation into the killer manages to mix things up more. It even surprises by making you, the player character, into a believable suspect as the serial killer. Sadly, this part takes up only less than half of the game, and even then it goes a bit too fast and is focused too much on puzzles and too little on plot.
All in all it's not a bad game, but it had more potential than it finally ended up showing. It's far too puzzle-centric for its own good (and the puzzles are not diverse enough), and its promise of "over 150 puzzles" only holds true for completionist players like myself. You'll do less than half that number if you just play through the story once, without redoing any of the TV-show sections or solving the puzzles you get in the in-game fan mail.
Coupled with the weak production values, I feel this game is simply a missed opportunity that could have been a lot better with a bit more attention to detail, a bit more fleshing out of the story and a bit more use of the 3DS functionality. As it is, it looks more like a DS game than a 3DS game...
Time Played: 10-20 hours
A mixed experience
This game took me 9 hours to complete. The puzzles were just right for me. I was mistaken in thinking this was one of those game with logical puzzles, so I was glad to see a classic point 'n click adventure game with inventory puzzles.
The only thing that bothered me were the dialogue options, where you never really could tell what your character would actually say, and I often had to go through all three options before finding the correct one.
I liked the revolving technique with examining objects, which I thought was a bit underused; they could have done more with this.
The music was okay, the voices however left something to be desired. I didn't connect with the characters. Also, their weird gestures and walking paces made them obviously animations instead of believable real people.
As far as the story goes, I'm a bit let down. I just had a hard time accepting what was really going on and thought it all a bit too much to be plausible, even for a game.
Still it gets a good score because of the easy and intuitive playability. Even some of the harder puzzles never took me long enough to figure out so I would have turned to a walkthrough. They never broke the pace of the story.
Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Just Right
Rating by Antrax posted on Jul 30, 2014
The Samaritan Paradox starts on a relative high note. However, a terrible interface, poor scripting and some very contrived puzzles chip away at this misleading first impression until you reach the rushed, ridiculous ending.
From the demo, I expected a lot of code cracking. That was optimistic. Besides applying a simple substitution code, there aren't really any more "code cracking" moments. There are some nice riddles to solve, but some ridiculous ones as well.
The game has frequent timed sections, rewinding upon failure. Often, they're of the trial-and-error variety, i.e. you need to fail several times to even learn what obstacles you should anticipate after rewinding. Those sections are really bad, and feel a lot like padding. They're poorly clued (you don't always know what your ultimate goal is) and one of them features a double interface screw (an area of the screen is interactive despite not being shown as a hotspot, and you can control Ord during an animation, despite the cursor disappearing). In short, it feels like those sections were added because just featuring the good riddles would've made for an even shorter game.
The interface is atrocious. Every action requires multiple mouse clicks. This is actually used as some twisted puzzle mechanic at some point.
A good illustration of this issue is the dialogue mechanic. You have to scroll the list of topics (by clicking on arrows, not using the keyboard), then click on the topic of interest, then move the cursor over to the "ask" button. It's not unplayable, but it's just unwieldy, and after a while those small issues really get to you.
There is no hotspot highlighting, and there's some pixel hunting. Ord is also a hotspot so after clicking on anything, he obscures the object and you have to click to make him move before you can interact with anything in the vicinity again.
The plot starts out strong but becomes silly in the end. All plot threads are abruptly tied together with a ridiculous twist and some off-screen narration promising us all has ended well. It's difficult to describe just how jarring this is, it's one of the worst pacing failures I've had the misfortune to encounter, and it really feels as though they just ran out of money and had to ship.
To summarize, a couple of good riddles can't make up for the multitude of flaws. My advice would be to play this with a walkthrough for all but the riddle parts - then it's worth the price of admission (about $2 currently).
Time Played: 2-5 hours
3 hours of fun
I played Sam Peters right after Secret Files 3.I really love these games. They are classic adventures, where the main character allows you to pick up and use items immediately as you find them, even though you don't know yet why, how or where you would use them. It's often trying everything with everything in order to progress, but most things are very intuitive. I love the voice actress of Nina Kalenkov, and Sam Peters as well. I love "playing" with these women. I read that other reviewers had a problem with the swearing, but that's what I actually liked about Sam! She would be an interesting person to meet in real life. And the music is awesome too, worthy of movie soundtracks. Sure, Sam Peters is a short game, but to be honest I had more fun playing this than Secret Files 3!
Time Played: 2-5 hours