Now Playing: Dream Catchers – The Beginning HD for iPad

We have always had a fascination for the secret world of our dreams and how the real and surreal interact in our mind’s landscape while we are sleeping. Dreams sometimes help solve real world problems, others reveal anxieties and fears, while some of us find a fantasy world to escape in.
Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD by G5 Games hints at a new series of hidden object adventure games, with the intriguing storyline of ‘dream catchers’ (although not fully explained) who get caught up in a web of deception and betrayal.
The story, however, begins with the unexplained phenomena of students of a school, including one of its teachers (your sister), falling asleep seemingly without hope of waking up. As you try to piece together what happened, you are also drawn into the dream world with strange scenery, monsters and creatures to defeat in order to wake up.

the zodiac clock

Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD is standard Hidden Object and puzzle solving fare, requiring you to search for objects bit by bit that contribute to activating puzzles in order to obtain objects and tools (inventory items).
Looking for items is a pretty straightforward and simple affair. Some HOGs like to make things more interesting and interactive by requiring you to put together some items in order to find the object on your list, while others encourage you to open a drawer or part a curtain to reveal what’s inside. Disappointingly, Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD doesn’t employ these little gimmicks.
As I have observed with many hidden object games, there isn’t a clear or logical link between objects or tools you need to say, unlock a door or get an object from a tree. In addition, since these are objects scattered across different locations, you really don’t know what you need until you press the hint. Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD is no exception. Thus, in my case, I rely on hints a lot, and more so in this game. Some useful inventory objects show up in sparkly locations, in a seemingly random and arbitrary order.
The game’s art direction evokes some mixed feelings. The earlier parts and cutscenes are a bit hazy and muddled – much like a dream sequence, I know, but some consistency in relation to the regular scenes would be nice. The game would have been more visually appealing if the scenes were less static.
The puzzles are simpler and less varied than most HOGs. Of course, the usual rotate pieces to form a picture and rotate pipes to find your way out can be found in Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD, but I find the execution of some puzzles a bit cumbersome and frustrating.
As what appears to be the first among many in a series, Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD starts off intriguing and promising. However, compared to other HOGs and even G5’s own extensive offerings, this one doesn’t quite measure up. I do hope that future installments of this game will be a lot better in many ways and for its flaws, I will give Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD a pass.
Check out the report card below:

appSIZED rating: 3 out of 5

App: Dream Catchers: The Beginning HD
Compatibility: iPad only
Price: Free (with In-App Purchase of $6.99)
Deveoper/Publisher: G5

 

 

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Now Playing: Doctor Life for iPhone and iPad

I once dreamt of becoming a doctor when I was a kid. The dream quickly dissipated when I realized I couldn’t bring myself to dissect a live frog when I was in high school. Now, the closest I get to playing doctor is by playing iPad/iPhone games revolving around a hospital theme.

Doctor Life ($2.99/Universal for iPhone and iPad) by WIGU Games came out recently, the kind of hospital-themed time management/sim game that will make you feel like a doctor. Having played a fair number of hospital/medical themed games in the past, such as Hospital Havoc 2, Are You Alright, the Amateur Surgeon series, Hollywood Hospital, Doctor Life is the first of its kind to actually focus on real medical conditions and treatments.

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Now Playing: Hidden City – Mystery of Shadows for iPad

I haven’t got much patience for hidden object games (HOGs) of late, but I do appreciate most of them for the gorgeous design and interesting storylines. Hidden CIty: Mystery of Shadows (Free) by G5 Games is their latest title to hit the App Store. While there are plenty of HOGs out there, not many have explored the free to play model. In the past, HOGs were far more expensive than your usual games, owing to the depth and richness of the content. It also takes a lot of time and patience to finish one, hence a single HOG could last you for months, depending on how busy you are and how many games you play on average.

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Supermarket Management 2 HD for iPad: Let the Time Management Madness Begin!

Supermarket Management 2 HD from G5 games is a brand new entry to the iPad casual gaming scene. I still have the original Supermarket Management HD and while I never quite got around to finishing it, it’s high on my list of time management (TM) games.

Seems like a typical day at the supermarket to me!

Seems like a typical day at the supermarket to me!

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Where Angels Cry in Review: A Hidden Object Adventure That Falls From Grace

It's been a while since I last picked up a hidden object game. The thing is, for a hidden object game to sustain my attention, it should be driven by a really interesting storyline. Minutes into Where Angels Cry HD for iPad, I was simply hooked.

Where Angels Cry HD puts you in the shoes of a young monk sent by the cardinal to investigate a mysterious occurrence – said to be a miracle, in a remote monastery. Coincidentally – or not, the miracle coincides with the unexpected death of a resident monk who is believed to have been killed by wolves.

Sounds great so far? I thought so, too.

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Royal Envoy 2 HD for iPad: Is the Sequel is Just as Good?

As with great movies, coming out with a sequel is always a tricky affair. It's either you change too much (e.g. making gameplay too complicated) or too little, resulting in a sequel that's not as good or fun as the original.

With the release of Royal Envoy 2 HD for iPad, the burning question is whether the sequel lives up to the original. Read on to find out!

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Heads Up! Penultimate for iPad is FREE for a limited time!

On appSIZED: Penultimate for iPad is FREE for a limited time
I’m happy to announce that Penultimate for iPad is FREE for a limited time!
If you don’t have it yet, go and download it now while it’s free!
Penultimate is one of my favorite note taking apps, and I’ve gone through a LOT already. (Second favorite would be Noteshelf) It has an excellent handwriting engine and wrist protection that minimizes stray marks on the iPad screen. Unlike most apps, you don’t need to select a certain area to write on, or conversely, keep stray marks out – Penultimate bases its wrist protection on the angle or position of your wrist. So far this is the best set up I’ve experienced.
What makes it hugely popular and the go to note taking app by default is its simplicity and elegance. Plenty of writing apps offer a lot more features but Penultimate is the one that really lets you focus on the writing. It has introduced a couple of new features since I first purchased it in 2010, such as the ability to add photos, select and move something you’ve written, and a store to offer free and paid kinds of paper. You may prefer a different, more feature packed writing app, but at the end of the day, it’s Penultimate that you come back to.
H(app)y shopping! 🙂
Device: iPad only
Price: FREE (was $0.99)
Publisher/Developer: Evernote

iOS App Review: My Farm Life for iPad

My Farm Life HD on appSIZED

A game that's called “My Farm Life” might arouse suspicion for those, like me, who hate pay to play, freemium games that are cute and promising but require real cash to buy this and that. To my relief, and likely yours as well, My Farm Life HD published by Alawar Entertainment is not a social farming simulation game – it is actually the title of a fictional reality show where an unsuspecting aspiring actress is cast in the lead role to well, run a farm!

If you're into frantic time management games, then My Farm Life HD deserves further examination. Read on!

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iOS App Review – Build-a-Lot 4: Power Source HD for iPad

Keep track of your power consumption, make money, reach the level goals before time runs out!

Keep track of your power consumption, make money, reach the level goals before time runs out!

As I write this review, the lights in my entire area have gone out. If you build one too many literally power hungry houses without a wind farm in place, you will find yourself unable to earn rent from the houses that your own and pretty much unable to build anything else. Shame on you for not being environmentally conscious about your real estate tycoon dreams. In Build-a-Lot 4: Power Source HD, the emphasis – as it should be, is on going green. Read the full review after the break!

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