2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Artwork is 6 stars! Gameplay is 4 stars - a FUN game for all levels,
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This review is from: Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers - Collector's Edition (CD-ROM)It's the 1800's, and Ethan and Clair are at the train station. They should be preparing for their wedding, but Ethan has received a mysterious note from his father. Come to Cedar Falls, he writes, with no further explanation. Train tickets enclosed.
Gameplay starts on the train, and you get your first glimpse of a mysterious man in a disconcerting white mask, able to appear and disappear in a swirl of dark smoke. You follow Ethan as he desperately tries to find his kidnapped father and Clair. This is a combination game with non-stop hidden object, puzzle and inventory action. I love games with a little or a lot frisson of shivers, and two scenes stick in my mind: A creepy amusement park ride (an octopus ride in the 1800's?!!) and a restaurant with a hanging scarecrow.
The artwork of the cut-scenes in Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers - Collector's Edition is a good cut above the ordinary compared to similar combination games. There is an evolving watercolor story told by a magic box that is simply beautiful. And creepy scenes with the smoke-man and his tower shown in edgy graphic designs that I loved.
The storyline is interesting with fantastical elements. The bonus chapter is a prequel, and it really makes the story.
Gameplay is varied. Puzzles and inventory-based objectives are low to medium difficulty. An extensive hint system is integral to the game, making this a good game for all ability levels. In addition, from the main menu, you can access a full walkthrough and if you want, you can skip puzzles. I normally would rate this a 4-star game, but the extra artwork so impressed me that I have to upgrade to 5-stars.
The main game for Dark Strokes has 17 hidden object scenes, 9 pure puzzles, and a whole lot of inventory based objectives. The bonus chapter has 13 HO screens and 6 puzzles. Together, this makes 30 HO screens and 15 puzzles. Another game I just finished, House of 1,000 Doors: Family Secrets - Collector's Edition had 29 HO screens and 14 puzzles in just the main game. In other words, "Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers" would be a very short game without the bonus chapter.
I played on a PC XP with no problem. Once the game is installed from the disc, you do not have to insert the disc to play. I ran into a few glitches where actions were out of sequence. For example, a downed tree blocks the path. I clicked on the tree and it split into two nicely hewn pieces. THEN I found the ax and put it in my inventory. These glitches were odd, but did not interfere with my game play or the proceedings of the game. The voice acting was average at best. I usually played with the game's sound off and music in the background (all dialogue, audible and internal, has full captions).
Recommended game for all skill levels.