Latest User Reviews

Review of Moebius: Empire Rising


Rating by Iznogood posted on Apr 19, 2014


Enjoyable but with issues


Let me start by saying that this is not the best game Jane Jensen has made but it is also not a terrible game. If we start with the positive, then I found it had an overall intriguing story with some good but not excellent writing, the background art ranged from being beautiful to adequate, it had an interesting protagonist and some good voice acting and soundtrack. And perhaps most important for me, it had some new and interesting puzzles with both the Sherlock Holmes type character deductions and the "match historical person" deductions, which I at least in the beginning found worked very well. These positive things however began to be overshadowed by the more negative aspects the longer I progressed in the game, and the more time I had to think about them. No - I'm not talking about the character models or the animation, which never really bothered me despite being subpar, nor am I talking about the maze at the end which I found was okay but nothing special. First of all it is a very linear game with little to nothing you can do in parallel, and it mainly consists of very small locations with only a single or two screens at most locations, and only a few larger locations. Both are very common in modern adventure games, but has never been my cup of tea, I prefer larger locations that I can freely explore and many different objectives that I can work on in parallel. I simply prefer more freedom in how I want to play the game, than following some narrow path that the designers have prepared for me. The game is also a fairly easy game and a relative short game at about 10 hours, neither which is really to my liking. I cant really complain about the length given the budget, but I do wish it would have been just a little bit more challenging. Then there is the Sherlock Holmes type character deductions, in the beginning I quite enjoyed those, but you are really basing your deduction on too few datapoints, based on these there would in reality be many more different conclusions you could make that were equally valid. I also found that instead of making these deductions to determine what kind of character I was dealing with, like Sherlock Holmes would do, then I was instead reverse-engineering them, I would first figure out what the character was like, based on the setting and more important the narrative rules of the game (what kind of character would story-wise work best in this situation), and then I would simply click the options that best fitted this. Similar with the "match historical person" deductions, in the beginning I quite enjoyed these, but after a while it began to become apparent that the narrative of the game demanded that it was a match for a specific type of historic person, and I would know who after only having collected a very few clues. It always detracts from a story or game when the narrative rules shines through in this way. Then there is the whole Moebius theory that the game is based upon, this is of course all a load of supernatural mumbo jumbo and in fact too much mumbo jumbo for my personal taste. But stories about or containing supernatural elements has always been Jane Jensen's trademark, and normally it doesn't bother me simply because it is so well made, but it did bothered me this time. Let me explain why: First we have the whole concept of the Moebius theory, and two character who are suppose to be some sort of reincarnation of some important historical persons or some sort of reoccurring archetype of great leaders. Fair enough, it sound a bit silly but it still has the potential of a great story. Then we have a villain whose purpose seems to be to interfere with or change these reoccurring patterns. Okay... I wish s(he) had been fleshed out more and given a stronger motive for his/her actions, than the somewhat foolish motive given in the game, but I can accept that, after all the game is not about the villain. Where my eyes started to glaze over a bit, is when it comes to FITA's role in this game. Not only are we now moving from the realm of the supernatural into the realm of the outright far fetched, a government agency that is based around the Moebius theory - Seriously?!? And worse then that, it is not only far fetched but also a cheap plot device in my opinion! Jane needed someway to get Malachi involved in the story, and more important, she needed someway for Malachi to gain access to all these high society people and ensure police cooperation etc., and the easiest way to do that was to have someone pave the way for him. I would much have preferred if Malachi had gotten involved in this story in a more natural way, and that he would have had to investigate the story on his own, but this would also have required a lot of extra scenes and puzzles, so I guess we can write this down to the budget constrains. Where Jane however completely lost me story-wise was when we have identified two characters as being similar to historical persons. Everybody just assumes that because they fit the pattern, then it will also mean that they are destined to do something great, and not even Malchi who supposedly has an IQ of 175 and otherwise plays the role of the sceptic that gets convinced, questions this. But even if we take the Moebius theory of reoccurring patterns and archetypes seriously, then this doesn't automatically follow, instead we are now talking about predetermined and unchangeable destinies. But if the Moebius theory means this is predestined to happen, then it also leaves us with a bit of a paradox and a rather large plot hole. It is like Jane is trying to both have her cake and eat it at the same time, and that she both wants a story where predestination plays an important part, but at the same time also doesn't, as there then wouldn't be a story to tell. Personally I would much have preferred if she had completely removed the predestination part and instead just focused on the reoccurring archetypes, but the story could also have worked with predestination, it just requires a few modifications, but instead of this she chose to completely ignore this paradox, and as far as I'm concerned that greatly detracts from the story. Now I know that all the above can sound like I really hated the game, but that is not the case, despite the many issues I had with the game, the simple truth is that I still enjoyed playing it. It is just not what it potentially could have been, and it is far from the best game Jane Jensen has made.
Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Review of Moebius: Empire Rising


Rating by giom posted on Apr 18, 2014


Nice game, with some flaws


I’ve now finished the game. Globally I enjoyed it and it was a nice experience… In term of graphics, the background art ranges from good enough to great. I was running under the best settings at my computer’s native resolution fo 2880x1800. With those settings, I didn’t see any issue with pixelization of backgrounds. When I first played it on my Mac using the mac build, it was a bit slow but then switched to Parallels and it ran smoothly. So there might be optimization issues with the mac build. The character models and animation are strange and I think it might bother some. A lot of the character's proportion's don't really look human and together with the poor animation, it sometimes feels creepy and alien. I think the biggest issue was during the first three chapters (with the meeting between Walker and Gretchen being the most unintentionally creepy). I don’t mind cheaper and simpler animations but in this case it’s the combination of weird shoulder position, teeth that are strange and weird animation that makes it feel a bit creepy and in the uncanny valley. There’s an improvement as the game progress and I was not bothered by this in the later chapters One other criticism I had in term of art assets, is the lack of attention to linguistic details. The letter in French that is shown in paris is wrong (it looks like it was machine translation). MoP mentioned a similar issue with the Arabic script and some of the history snippets in the mini games are not completely accurate (for example Cleopatra marrying Julius Caesar). I feel that one of the strength of the kickstarter model is the community and maybe it would be a good idea to try and take advantage of that. They could give part of the text of those assets to the fans and have them look for and correct inaccuracies like this. It would make fans happy to contribute and result in a better game. The music, as expected, ranged from good to great. I’ve noticed the music much more than in BS5 or Broken Age, and I really enjoyed it. The story was gripping but did need a bit of suspension of disbelief, at least more so than Gabriel Knight. A lot of the original premises (the moebius theory) is a bit silly, but, once you go along with it, it’s a nice ride and I wanted to know how it would end. I do wish that there would have been more development on the theory explaining it with examples and how it manifests itself in more details. I would have also liked the villain to be a bit more defined, but, at least compared to a lot of stories, he’s got rational reasons to do what he’s doing. The puzzles were mostly on the easy side, I didn’t mind having to go back to pick up items, since I feel that it’s reasonable not to start carrying an empty bottle of oil without a reason to do so. The fact that there was a map and that double clicking teleports malachi to a location made this not too frustrating. I also liked the deduction mini games but feel that something could have been done to make them more interactive… Maybe with the probabilities that are shown when Malachi make deductions during the cut scenes. The game was a bit buggy, it crashed every time I saved a game (but the save game went through) and I had the bug with Dominique Overall, I’d give it a 3.5, I might actually have given it more if it were not for my original expectations coming into the game. I was expecting a lot from Jane Jensen and was a little disappointed. I will anyway back a second kickstarter from Pinkerton Road and I hope it sells well so that she can get back into the game. Moebius is not the masterpiece I expected but it’s a step along the path.
Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Review of Moebius: Empire Rising


Rating by millenia posted on Apr 15, 2014


Not a perfect but entertaining story about an epic friendship


I am quite a die hard fan of Jane Jensen and I definitely enjoyed her newest game, but I have to admit it has some flaws which clearly makes it inferior to the Gabriel Knight series for example. Jensen excels making flawed but likable characters and handling their relationships in very interesting and engaging ways. I think in this story the friendship between the two main characters was actually the main focus, and the trademark paranormal plot played only the secondary part. The plot itself was pretty good too though, but not worth 5/5 score like the relationship is. What made me substract from the overall score was mainly the puzzles. While Malachi's deduction puzzles were usually fun enough, the game had some inventory puzzles varying from quite bad to good. Personally I dislike (immensely) all kinds of fetching tasks - luckily there weren't that many, and most of the time the game flowed forward quite nicely. The graphics of the game have received a lot of criticism but they work well enough, backgrounds actually being quite beautiful here and there. And while the animation is rather awkward, especially in the beginning of the game, it's not horrible by any means. Voice acting in this game I quite loved, especially Malachi. I would definitely recommend this game to any adventure fan with slight warnings, mainly: don't expect it to be Gabriel Knight.
Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Review of Dream Chronicles: The Book of Air


Rating by Houie posted on Apr 10, 2014


Great 4th game in the series.


Play time ~ 4.5 hours The game is different from the first 2, so be warned. It is more puzzly and less hidden-objecty. There is also a bit of repetition in the usage of the puzzle types. Overall, the game feels a bit more mechanical (also worth noting that there is less story than the first 2). However, I still enjoy this type of puzzle gameplay, so the game was fun for me. Again, as with the other games, the graphics are stellar. Also new here is that there is voice acting! Yay! The game is still clean and family friendly!
Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Review of Dream Chronicles: The Chosen Child


Rating by Houie posted on Apr 10, 2014


Not as good as the first two.


Play time ~ 8 hours I think I liked the first 2 better (I really liked them, in fact). This one was a bit more hidden-objecty than I like. Although the game time was longer than the first 2. Also the story was not as involved as the first 2. The game still boasts amazing visuals, a vast improvement in fact from the first 2. The game is still clean and family friendly!
Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Just Right

Review of Dream Chronicles 2: The Eternal Maze


Rating by Houie posted on Apr 10, 2014


Great sequel to a great first game. Again, different from most casual games.


Play time: ~6 hours Even though it is a casual game, it has game-play that is sufficiently different that it distinguishes itself it a positive way. The graphics are wonderful and the story is still great, although not as enthralling as the first one, which seemed to have more narration. Worth mentioning, I liked the introduction of new puzzle mechanics like riddles, which also makes the game unique. Do not expect gameplay that is very challenging, but the game still does well in providing a fantastical experience. The game is also clean for all ages!
Time Played: 5-10 hours
Difficulty: Easy

Review of Dream Chronicles


Rating by Houie posted on Apr 10, 2014


Great first game in the series. It changes the term


Play time: ~3 hours
Time Played: 2-5 hours
Difficulty: Easy

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