Monday, February 2, 2009

Time to dust off the blog-webs... Light, Camera, Curses!

I just completed the recently released Nancy Drew: Lights, Camera, Curses game. It was available on Big Fish Games as one of Her Interactive's first "casual" releases on the portal.

All in all it was a pretty fun game. Good production values, well polished visuals, interesting art direction. Moreover, there were definitely some additional affordances (like skipping ahead in dialog trees, more mouseover text, balanced for non hardcore Drew fans) than in the recent box copy releases.

That said, I have circled a few areas for improvement:
  • Minigames were a little outdated and could have used some usability polish. Some of the mini games had confusing UI elements (like which block is going to be dropped next; where will the block land). Controls did not feel that responsive. The minigames seemed dated because I've played more polished versions of them already.
  • Game shell UI needed some work. The options screen could have used some more friendly descriptive text (what's the difference between "fullscreen 1" and "fullscreen 2"). The main in-game menu (where you review progress) had a hidden tabbed menu system that I didn't figure out until I was almost finished the game.
  • Laptop support is needed. There was no "low battery" indicator and the game doesn't work well with mousepad and standard laptop RB controls.
This is really the kind of game that I would like to play on a mobile device (DS, iPhone, etc). I look forward to future versions.

As an aside, I have a bunch of gaming housekeeping to do:
  • I finished Fallout 3. The ending was kind of lame, so by "finished" I mean I finally reached level 20. I'll download the DLC and play some more. As much as I hate the fact that it took me about 10 hours to get into the game, I ended up really liking it.
  • I have a metric ton of demos that I have downloaded and I need to try and write about.
  • Liza and I also tried out the Wii Fit the other day. I need to start playing it more and probably blogging about the results. At the very least I need to describe our initial experience. 

1 comment:

Her Interactive said...

Thanks for the feedback! I'll pass it on to production to see if we can address some of those issues.