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Reviews by Shadow Fox

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Ziege's Mansion, by Mario Cavalcanti

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
High on art, light on game, August 7, 2013
by Shadow Fox (Texas)
Ziegeís Mansion earned three stars from me largely due to its very clean, very pretty packaging. The visual aspect of the game was neat and glossy, and added significantly to the experience. The framework of the story was interesting, and the text was solidly written and well translated. The background information on the characters provided on the website gave an added a degree of depth to the story, and offered some interesting potential. Unfortunately, the game itself was a little light on substance.
It is a light game in every aspect, easy on the eyes, easy on the mind, and (almost) completely lacking in challenge. The dangers in the game can be easily avoided by paying attention to the text and using common sense, and even if you take the wrong turn itís easy to replay. I played through the whole game a few times in the space of half an hour, following all of the options and hunting for ways to die. (Spoiler - click to show)There were two.
I do think it was worth a playthrough for the artistry alone, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in the storybook quality. Just donít expect too much from the content.

Not Just An Ordinary Ballerina, by Jim Aikin

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:
Fun game, very challenging, January 17, 2013
by Shadow Fox (Texas)

Not Just An Ordinary Ballerina has a lot of the elements I enjoy in an IF game. It is well-written and atmospheric, and I found myself still thinking about it when I was done playing. The comprehensive hint system and walkthrough built into the game were extremely useful and, for my part, needed.

The puzzles in the game range from fairly simple logic and common-sense - finding and applying appropriate objects to one another, for example - to very challenging. More than once I needed to tap the depths of the hint feature to get through a tight spot, and there was one particular puzzle that I would never have solved without help. Still, gameplay is easy, the descriptions are well done and there is a lot to explore and discover.

There was only one real downside to an otherwise great game. When I finally did resort to the full walkthrough (due to a computer error that kept me from restoring saved games, I had to restart after any mistake that couldn't be fixed by typing UNDO. I gave up after a couple of hours) I discovered that I had already messed up in three different ways over the course of the game. I had been wandering around in ignorant bliss, solving other puzzles, and having no idea that I had already lost. That was probably the most frustrating moment.

Over all, I do recommend the game to anyone who likes a compelling atmosphere, tricky puzzles, and a fair amount of freedom to do as you please. But I would also recommend saving frequently, because you never know when you'll find yourself suddenly stuck because of a common action without any warning.

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