Hello Big Fish Fans! My review is finally done and I apologize for it being so late in the sale weekend.
There were a lot of really good games released this summer and it’s been awhile since I did a Big Fish roundup, so the list is long and put in order by release date from newest to oldest. For some older games, check out Top 5 Best Big Fish Games.
As a note, make sure you buy the collector’s editions and not the full version of games. Collector’s editions give you bonus features and extra game play that the full games do not have. That means you need to download the free versions of the game and buy them in-app, but they are still on sale there. When not on sale, collector’s editions cost about $2 more than the full versions usually. But, they are well worth it for the extra game play and story that you get.
For the sake of brevity, I am only including links to the FREE collector’s editions, when they are available. For full versions of the game, you can easily find them in the App Store by searching by name or just searching for Big Fish Games, Inc. So, every game in this list is FREE to try before you buy.
These Are a Few of My Favorite Games
And, here’s why …
There are some common themes to these games. Most are more adventure than just pure hidden object. The hidden object scenes usually involve having to combine items or interact with them in some way to create the item you must find. And, there are lots of things to collect in an inventory to use throughout the game.
Some new trends I’ve noticed in these games are the collector’s editions with bonus chapters, scary themes, large download sizes (300 MB is small these days) due to the Retina screen on the new iPad, more voice acting, special hidden objects to find, more puzzles in addition to hidden object scenes, and more adventure-style inventory collecting. The games just keep getting better and better!
Let’s get on with this ridiculously long review.
This is the newest hidden object game by Big Fish and it’s an awesome one. Big Fish has always been big on the mysteries, but the newer games are getting more and more scary, in my opinion (but, I’m kind of a chicken).
Theatre of the Absurd is the story of a Scarlet Frost, a specialist in the dark arts, who arrives at a theatre in the Alps to authenticate a cube with a demon in it (it has a fancier name). The cube breaks and all hell breaks loose. The demon inhabits the souls of the man who summoned Scarlet and his young daughter, and you have to save them, becoming possessed herself in the process.
This game has an integrated strategy guide and an extra chapter to play after the game is over. Plus, it has a unique way of displaying the concept art behind the game. I read a few reviews in the App Store. Overall, good reviews, but there were a few people disappointed and I thought “Did we play the same game”? Because, this game is well-made, interesting, full of suspense, and just really good. The puzzles are just difficult enough without being insanely hard, hidden object scenes include special items, and the voice acting is superb.
This is a pretty big game (almost half a gig) because of the voice acting and excellent graphics.
Mystery of the Ancients scared the crap out of me. In the game, you are trying to save your best friend who went looking for her boyfriend at a scary house called Lockwood Manor (not very smart). You must uncover the truth behind the secrets in the house, which includes another demon, in order to save both of you. This time, the demon is hunting you down throughout the entire game.
This is a big game (half a gig) with some amazing graphics and excellent game play. There are just layers upon layers in this game that you must peel back to discover the truth, and it is parsed out incrementally at just the right pace. There are a lot of achievements that you can get in this game (I got all but 2). An integrated strategy guide and extra long bonus chapter really round out this offering.
There is no collector’s edition for Small Town Terrors, but don’t let that stop you from buying this really quite amazing game. There are so many details of this game that make it so great. I think my favorite detail is the integrated map. Instead of looking like a typical map, it is a close-up aerial view of your location and the surrounding areas. And, it’s spectacular looking.
In Small Town Terrors, you play a woman who wakes up in a hospital bed from a coma not knowing what is going on because there are no people around. The hospital is even chained up from the outside, so you have to find your way out to begin with so that you can find your family. I’m just going to say it. This is a zombie game. Everyone in Livingston was exposed to something that turned them into zombies. So, you have to find your way through the town while avoiding zombies. The Z word is never used, but let’s call it what it is.
Very good, although a little short.
Sorry that you can’t play this game iPhone users, but there is no iPhone version. Other than that, this game is basically flawless. I actually played it twice straight through it is so good. I never noticed before, but if you play a game again, the hidden objects you have to find will change. They must be randomized.
The plot of Nightfall Mysteries involves the Vansig family. You play a stagehand who is called upon to help rescue a friend from his evil family. The ending is surprising and the bonus chapter is very involved. The estate that you are roaming is expansive (probably why this game is also about half a gig big). In addition to the typical hidden object scenes, you must find opera masks that are hidden throughout the game to unlock bonus content and cassette tapes (there’s a tape player in your journal) that tell some background story.
The voice acting can be a little dramatic, but the story itself is suspenseful and interesting and the hidden object scenes are so much fun. There is a lot of having to combine things to make something before you can find it. An integrated strategy guide can help you out of a jam. In short, this game is nearly perfect in every way.
There is no collector’s edition and no iPhone version of Tiger Eye and a lot of people are going to disagree with me on the fact that I really like this game. To be sure, this is not your typical Big Fish Game. Tiger Eye has a cheesy, romance novelesque storyline and no true hidden object scenes. The emphasis is definitely on puzzles in this game. But, oh, what puzzles they are. This game will really get your brain working while you figure out each piece of each puzzle.
So, in the story, you play a psychic named Dela Reese (already cheesy) and you have to escape China with this man that you just met that you have fallen deeply in love with. Of course, he’s a 7-foot-tall warrior who has been imprisoned in a box for 2,000 years (why wouldn’t he be?). But, in the end, this story is a little enchanting and a little fun and definitely worth it to play these puzzles.
In Insomniac, you play the girlfriend of the character from the first game. You are in a mental hospital awaiting a lobotomy by an evil doctor and must escape. But, you keep slipping in and out of a dream world. You don’t even totally remember why you are there or how you got there. The whole story is very ethereal and suspenseful.
There are a wide variety of places to explore, puzzles to solve, and hidden objects to find. An integrated strategy guide and bonus chapter are the highlights of this collector’s edition.
In Haunted Hills, you play a woman searching for her missing boyfriend. The boyfriend had been investigating Green Hills Sanitarium, so that’s where you must go to investigate, as well. As you investigate you keep finding patients who you must help. And, all the while, there is something seriously creepy and slimy roaming the place.
Haunted Hills is well executed. The puzzles are clever, the hidden object scenes interesting, and the story is intriguing. There are even logic puzzles to solve to get inventory items, which you must then figure out how to use or combine in very interesting ways.
At nearly half a gig, Poltergeist is quite a hefty bit of awesome graphics wrapped up in a scary, suspenseful story package. There is no voice acting, so that size is all graphics and length of the game.
In Poltergeist, you play a man who has just inherited an estate in England after finding out that he was the last in a line of a very rich family. He quickly realizes why everyone else is dead as the manor’s poltergeist begins trying to kill him. You have to save yourself and in the meantime, solve the mystery behind why all of this is happening.
The bonus chapter is like an extra game in itself. And, there is an integrated strategy guide.
Shiver: Vanishing Hitchhiker Collector’s Edition (iPhone version) was excellent, as well. You don’t need to have played the first game to step into Poltergeist. They are a series, but are unrelated storywise.
The Shiver series is dark, suspenseful, and chilling, and a must play.
There is no collector’s edition or iPhone version for Age of Enigma. But, iPad users, you are going to love this very unique story with unusual game play. The whole game has a different feel to it than your normal Big Fish game. It is more puzzle oriented and, I don’t know, just feels different.
The plot surounds a haunted house that you have been summoned to. One that you dreamed about the night before. Once there, you are locked in and must help 6 ghosts in order to leave, while being “helped” by a rather untrustworthy man named Nathan.
At more than half a gig, this is a huge game! The story is mesmerizing and the game play is so interesting. There are really no true hidden object scenes. Instead, you must find things around the house to use as you solve each larger puzzle linked to helping each ghost. Within the larger puzzles are smaller ones and mini-games to keep you well entertained.
I’m on my second round of playing this game. This time with my boyfriend. Betrayal is far more action-adventure oriented than your usual Big Fish Game, and so it has intrigued him as well.
In Betrayal, you play a scientist who has been asked by a friend and colleague for help. As you travel to see him, you encounter a mechanical monster that destroys the train you are to take. In trying to get to your friend, you unravel more and more of the plot until you discover the true secrets hiding in the depths of the story. The setting is mythical and kind of steampunk. A mix of futuristic and old-timey, making it truly magical and almost a fairy tale.
This is a LONG game. It is over half a gig, which is in part due to the extensive voice acting, but also the beautiful and expansive graphics. There are no traditional hidden object scenes. Instead, when you find an object you want and click on it, you must find a few things to use that object and drag them to it. Some of the objects are in the room and some you must find elsewhere or put together. There is an integrated strategy guide to help you and a wonderful bonus chapter that continues the story. And, I love that when you click on almost anything in this game, your character has something to say about it. Click a few times though, because sometimes he has a lot to say.
There is no iPhone version of Grim Tales, which is unfortunate, because it is pretty much my favorite game. At 844 MB, Grim Tales is the largest game on this list. And, it feels expansive as you explore scene within scene within scene.
The story involves your trip to the Christening of your nephew. When you arrive at their estate, you find it deserted and cannot enter easily. There is an eery fog surrounding the estate and wolves prowl close. As you solve puzzles and hidden object scenes, you will find pictures that you enter giving you entirely new worlds to explore and new puzzles to solve, all in an attempt to find your sister and nephew and save them.
This is a truly beautiful game. Amazing graphics just doesn’t cover it. And, the puzzles and mini-games will really give your brain a workout. Although, an integrated strategy guide can help you out. A bonus chapter wraps up the story and gives you some closure. All in all, this is an absolutely perfect game in every way.
I didn’t play Enigmatis for the longest time because I started it and thought it was too scary for me. But, I am running out of Big Fish Games to play on the iPad, so I decided to try it again and face my fear. I’m so glad that I did, because Enigmatis is a beautifully executed and wonderfully rich game.
The game opens upon a town destroyed by a storm, but you can’t remember what happened or why you are there. You play as a detective though and soon sleuth out the answers to your basic questions so that you can start the search you were sent there for. A teenage girl has been kidnapped and you were sent to find her. What you find is a mystery so extensive that it will take forever to unravel. And, the twists and turns as your discover the truths will take you on quite a ride.
This game also comes in at over half a gig, includes an integrated strategy guide, and a bonus chapter. There are also replayable scenes, once you finish the game and a movie gallery.
Big Fish Unlimited
My very favorite Big Fish Game ever should be on this list. It was released about a week or so ago. It’s called Time Mysteries 2, a sequel to Time Mysteries. It is just the best game, but it seems to be no longer in the App Store. Keep an eye out for it and grab it up, if you see it.
I know it’s not connected to iOS, but I’m planning a review of Big Fish’s NEW Unlimited Streaming Online Games that just started this week. For $7.99 a month, you can play as much as you want. Sign up now and get a week free.
That’s it for me today. I’m wiped out! Until later, …