iPad Game Review: Vampire Saga: Pandora's Box HD
Reviewed by JadeDragon
If you think Vampire Saga is just another hidden objects game, you'd be dead (pun intended) wrong. Yes, it has 11 hidden objects scenes and over 300 hidden objects to find, but the story is so enticing that you want to find the objects quickly just so you can find out what happens next in the storyline. Vampire Saga: Pandora?s Box HD has outstanding graphics and equally stylish music. As soon as you step into the game, you won?t want to put it down until the end.
Vampire Saga: Pandora's Box tells a story of a young man who snuck onto a cargo ship to escape from a war zone, but what he encounters on the ship turns out to be much more evil. The story is told mainly in flashbacks where Matthew, now a grandfather, was a young man. He passed out on a cargo ship that would take him to Boston, and when he woke up, all crewmen were gone. He searched all parts of the ship and under the water for clues. What he found were the dead captain on the seafloor, a dead crewman in a dingie, a nearly dead woman in the closet of the cargo hold, and more questions than answers. As we follow Matthew?s adventure on the ship and on the small island, then to the present day in his apartment, a chilling story slowly unveils itself and the ending comes as sudden as it?s surprising.
Vampire Saga integrates hidden objects gameplay with puzzle solving mini games and adventure game elements. You will need to figure out how to fix diving pump, lift a heavy underwater rock, revive a passed out woman, rig a dynamite bomb, and much, much more. The hidden objects games are well designed with clear graphics yet managed to make many objects disappear in plain sight. The hidden objects scenes are littered with items, and you will use them a few times throughout the course of the game yet you won?t feel like it?s just replaying old scenes. The game adds some fresh items each time you look at a scene, and you are often on a mission to find a specific item with which you can build or fix things with. Hidden objects aren?t hard to find once you?ve trained your eyes to separate the items in the scene, but there is a hint button to provide help when you need it.
The game lets you pick up key items and use them as a part of gameplay. This is where adventure gamers will enjoy the interaction between the player and the game. The nuts and bolts you find will fix a staircase, the wrench you have in your inventory will help bash things open or screw on nuts and bolts, and there is the hunt for bullets for the gun found in the safe in captain?s cabin. Vampire Saga managed to balance each element of the gameplay so well that everything you do becomes part of the story, and everything you find and build becomes essential for you to escape the evil of that beautiful woman, or so you thought. Like a good story, the ending of Vampire Saga: Pandora?s Box HD is unexpected and the most chilling bit of the entire story.
Vampire Saga has drool worthy graphics that?s fashioned perfectly to fit a mysterious, chilling and dark story. The scenes are sharp, though stuffed with items they are never out of character. Most hidden objects are large and sharply rendered, and the environment looks stunning. The cutscenes, though not in 3D cinematic form, are well drawn and dramatic. The game uses touch control that?s very responsive with no glitches.
The background music in Vampire Saga is very welled designed and composed. The tracks have gothic like style featuring organ and bells type of instruments mixed with creepy human whispers and sound from the environment that often sends chills down your spine. The music really helps grab the player?s attention and immerse them in this mysterious and sinister plot. Each scene has its own background sound bites, like car driving by outside Matthew?s apartment, seagulls crying when he?s on the top deck of the boat, and much more.
There are plenty of hidden objects games available for the iOS, but Vampire Saga: Pandora?s Box HD is a special title. It focuses on telling a story and manages to occupy your thoughts and inspires your imagination. The hidden objects, puzzle mini games and adventure gameplay integrates tightly with one another and the audio and visual presentation is outstanding. If you are a hidden objects fan with a curiosity, Vampire Saga: Pandora?s Box HD won?t disappoint. The game comes in both HD version for the iPad and non-HD version for the iPhone and iPod touch.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Gorgeous graphics and sharp hidden objects items.
Sound: - 5 - Very stylish music with carefully placed vocal and background sound.
Controls: - 5 - Touch control is smoothly and flawless.
Gameplay: - 5 - Very immersive gameplay with all elements of gameplay fit together like a puzzle.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- The journal is very useful when you don?t know what to do next. It often provides you with hint on the next step.
- If something looks suspicious, open your inventory and tap on the items you have. The game will show a gear symbol when there is something you can do with the item.
- Don?t forget there is a hint button on the bottom right corner for finding hidden objects.
Developer: Alawar Entertainment
Release Date: Aug 12, 2010
Price: $6.99 (iPad version), $2.99 (iPhone version)
Buy App: Vampire Saga: Pandora?s Box HD, Vampire Saga: Pandora?s Box
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