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Trace Memory
  opened by paleface at 03:45:44 10/17/05  
  last modified by paleface at 03:48:16 10/17/05  
  paleface [sys=DS; cat=Adventure; loc=NA]
A text-and-slide type point-and-click adventure, reminded me of Myst, really, except that you're playing the role of a hot thirteen-year-old girl (are those sirens I hear?) who goes around talking to people a lot.
The pointing and clicking is via stylus, of course, and it seems a little overboard. Conversations are a little boring--the writing, I mean; people just seem to repeat stuff they just said, only in a different way. Maybe that's standard in the genre, I don't know.
The 2D character portraits for conversations are well drawn. I'm less fond of the extreme overhead view when tooling around, in which your character is really tiny and looks more like a bird or rat or something.
The big annoyance I saw in my brief play period was stylus-based" puzzles. For instance, you find a crank that you have to turn to do something, and it's not too hard to guess that clicking and dragging on the crank handle when zoomed in on it will crank the thing and get you where you want to go. But for some reason, the crank doesn't "hold" to the stylus pointer very well, and you have to keep re-clicking and dragging on it. Even worse was a bit where I had to "move" a big rock blockade out of my way--"fortunately, I've been working out," says my perky thirteen-year-old girl--by clicking and dragging on it. But a single click and drag might move it a couple pixels at best, so you just have to keep clicking and dragging until you feel like stabbing your stylus straight through the damn screen.
Hm. The big problem for me, then, is probably just that this game takes a lot of patience, and it was hard to get much out of it in ten minutes. Still, the writing could have been much punchier, the conversation interface a little more brisk, the navigation view more intuitive (as you wander your mini person around from high above, scenes of interest appear in 2D drawings in the top screen--I'm not good at looking back and forth on the fly, so a lot of them got ignored), and the stylus interaction much more dependable.
Then again, this being very much a story-based game, it real make-or-break will be how interesting the story is. In ten minutes, I couldn't really get a handle on that; something about searching for lost parents. Slow start, then.
  paleface 03:48:16 10/17/05
Sorry, it seems that my already questionable punctuation skills degenerate quickly at night.

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