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Red Crow Mysteries: Legion

Score: 67%
ESRB: 9+
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Developer: Cateia Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/ Puzzle (Hidden Object)

Graphics & Sound:

Red Crow Mysteries: Legion HD has nicely drawn graphics, although you donít really visit a lot of areas. You begin the game in your home, having been visited by the ghost of your mother. From there you will travel to the home of your aunt, then on to your grandfatherís grave, with a place or two in and around those locations. Sometimes, the items you are looking for or need to pick up will be hidden pretty thoroughly and youíll really have to search to locate them. Some locations will be completely dark with only a flashlight to guide you. Since Red Crow Mysteries: Legion HD is more of an adventure with some hidden object screens, you really need to be observant for that next item that will progress the story along.

The background music is very dark and foreboding, really working to set you on edge. It does vary from scene to scene a bit, but not much. There is one particular scene where you meet your foe face to face in a dark conversation and you are in an old fashioned bar. The music playing in the background is quite creepy, but works well for the setting. As far as voicework goes, it is very good, with one exception. Your character, your mother, your grandfather and Legion, your adversary all sound just right. Each character has the perfect amount of fear, caring or menace in their voice, depending on who they are, with the only exception being a cousin you meet along the way, who sounds like a country hick. The accent is just overdone and annoying, but luckily, you donít talk to him much.


Gameplay:

I have played a lot of games developed by Cateia Games lately, and I have actually come to enjoy adventure games more as a result of this. However, Red Crow Mysteries: Legion HD left me wanting based on its abrupt ending. You begin the game being awakened by the spirit of your mother, who insists she has a message for you. You must follow the clues she leaves in an attempt to defeat a mysterious enemy known only as Legion. There is a veiled religious storyline, which is typical for Cateia Games, and I enjoyed following the mysterious clues that took me closer and closer to a showdown. In the end, however, I was let down, but more on that later.

As you progress through the areas of each location, you will need to pick up items and, depending upon which difficulty setting you selected when you started the game, you may have a list at the bottom or you may not. I chose to play the game on the lighter settings since I donít consider myself an adventure expert. Some areas will list the items you need, while others will simply not allow you to progress until you find the correct item. Some items may need to be combined with others to acquire the correct item, while others may require several combining steps. If you get stuck, there is always a Hint button that you can click to get a clue as to where to go next.

You will also come across a number of puzzles that you will have to solve to open certain doors or to access areas. Most of these are the standard variety such as putting together a broken picture; moving a stack of blocks from one side to the other without placing a larger box onto a smaller box (Towers of Hanoi for all you programming types out there); hop-scotching characters from one side of a board to another; drawing lines in a pattern such that you never cross one over the other; rotating dials to line up various colors and so on. There are lots of basic puzzles to encounter, as well as several environmental ones as well, such as retrieving an item from under a watery surface, arranging items in a certain order based on a riddle or a picture or even retrieving something from behind a locked door. While thereís a lot to do in Red Crow Mysteries: Legion HD, you can get through it pretty quickly on the easy setting.


Difficulty:

Red Crow Mysteries: Legion HD has three difficulty settings: Easy, Casual and Adventure. While playing on Easy, you are provided with faster hint recharging, sparkle hints on active areas (such as hidden object screens), faster skip recharging for puzzles and a Find Items panel at the bottom of the screen which tells you what you are looking for in a certain area. On Casual, youíll get slower hint recharging, no sparkle hints on active areas and slower skip recharging, but youíll still have the Find Items panel. Adventure is by far the toughest, with slower hint recharging, no sparkle hints on active areas and no Find Items panel. Pretty much, you have to root around on your own and be highly observant... especially when you are in areas where you need to collect a certain number of items, such as in your bedroom (your very first area); you are expected to collect a grand total of 12 flowers, but thereís no indication of how many you will need. This comes into play when you realize what they are for and then know that you need to retrieve more than you originally thought. Personally, I think the Adventure Mode is really tough and is something for hardcore adventure gamers only.

Game Mechanics:

Red Crow Mysteries: Legion HD requires the basic tapping gestures that most iPad games utilize. You can pinch to zoom and back out again, which can be helpful if you just canít find that one tiny object that is eluding you. As you progress, more and more of the story unfolds before you, but just when things get moving and you feel the game coming to a crescendo... just as abruptly it ends and the credits roll. I felt like there was no closure to the story, only a hint at why the title includes "Red Crow." In fact, I was so thrown for a loop that I thought perhaps I hit a button and somehow caused the credits to roll, thereby missing the end of the story. Alas, the ending screens only hint at something to come in the future, which is a real disappointment for what is supposed to be a complete game. If this was "Episode 1" for instance, Iíd be far more lenient. But as it stands, Red Crow Mysteries: Legion HD merely left me unfulfilled. It was so disturbing, that I replayed the game, which went rather quickly since I knew how to beat the puzzles, etc. Sure enough, I hadnít missed anything. There just wasnít much to the end.

I was really disappointed in Red Crow Mysteries: Legion HD because of this. I thought the story was cool and the gameplay was engaging, but the end was lacking and felt truncated. I canít really recommend Red Crow Mysteries: Legion HD to anyone because you will probably be left with the same feeling. If a sequel comes out, maybe then you can play them back to back. Otherwise, Iíd hold off to avoid disappointment.


-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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