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A Bright Game: An In-Depth Review

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  • A Bright Game: An In-Depth Review

    disneygirl12 Presents...
    A Bright Game
    A Layered Cake Review
    Featuring in-depth thoughts in a spoiler free review.
    My Introduction
    Hi everybody! I'm disneygirl12 and welcome to my in-depth review on Alibi in Ashes. I'll categorize each concept of the game, and use a grading scale to give my opinion:

    = Miserable!
    = Okay.
    = Good
    = Great!
    = Excellent!

    Well, let's get started on my first in-depth review, on Alibi in Ashes!

    Nancy is in her hometown of River Heights, where her and her friends are working on The Clues Challenge. She receives a note, telling her to come to the Old Town Hall in order to find a clue for this challenge. But when she arrives, she's trapped inside, and the building is up in flames! Now, Nancy is framed for starting the fire herself! Can Nancy and her friends prove her innocence? And more importantly, who is the real arsonist?

    I'm not sure about you, but I absolutely LOVE this plot! Finally, we have Nancy thrown into real danger for once. This is the first arson mystery in the entire series, and whatsmore, you are really eager to find out who is behind the fire from minute one. I also like how this game finally takes place in Nancy's hometown.

    Let's take a moment to meet the suspects!

    Dierdre Shannon: You could call her Nancy's rival. Diedre is fashionable and she knows everything that's going on in town. She doesn't seem to have much interest in Nancy or her friends.
    Antonia "Toni" Scallari: Toni runs the local ice cream parlor called "Scoop," and she also holds a place in city council. She doesn't agree with Nancy's investigation work.
    Alexie Markovic: He may seem unkind and bitter, but he's actually a really cool character! When he was younger, he used to be an amatuer detective like Nancy. Now, Alexie runs a small antique business and hides his story of once being a detective.
    Brenda Carlton: A stereotypical reporter who is willing to do anything for a good story. She has never been a fan of Nancy's work because Nancy always gets in the way of Brenda's great stories.

    The characters do show some promise, but throughout the game, I find most of them to be a bit bland (except for Alexie. ;) Fortunately, we get to interact with the characters a lot and pry up useful information. Plus, everyone seems to have a good motive!

    Is it just me, or are the graphics losing quality since the last games? The backgrounds look pretty good, but I cannot fully say the same thing for the characters, though. They seem to have gotten a bit more cartoony since The Captive Curse. What happened? I'm not sure. But the graphics shouldn't bug you too much in this game.

    Setting & Locations:
    As mentioned above, Alibi in Ashes takes place in Nancy's hometown, River Heights. We have yet to experience a mystery in Nancy's hometown, which is why this game was really exciting for us fans. Even more so to those who have read the books.

    I'm not so sure if I would want another ND game in River Heights, because there is still so much for Nancy to do out there in the world.

    Puzzles, Games, and Tasks:
    This was the main weakness of this game. First off, there aren't that many puzzles to begin with. See, mostly throughout the game you are gathering information from the suspects through Nancy's friends, and that itself is like one huge puzzle. As for puzzle-puzzles, there are maybe 5 in the whole game. They were all pretty easy.

    I would have liked to see more puzzle action throughout this mystery. Maybe something that related to the Clues Challenge, because honestly, the Clues Challenge has almost nothing to do with the game at all.

    Scare, Spook, and Creep:
    This game was nearly the opposite of scary! Since the game is located in sunny River Heights, it would make sense for you to feel positive, not frightened. The beginning was a little heart-pounding, but other than that, the game is relatively safe. Take a look at the scare meter below.
    Red = Slightly Creepy Yellow = Spooky Vibes Green = On the Edge of My Seat Blue = Bone Chilling Purple = Straight-Up Scary!

    Only 1/5 of the meter is filled up, so there's nothing to worry about. ;D

    The Ending:
    I did say that the puzzles was the main weakness of the game, because puzzles are an important part of the game. Sadly, the ending was even worse. The thing with the ending is just a mess. You find out who the culprit is before the ending actually comes, if that makes sense. And the whole capture-the-bad-person was tedious. It made NO sense at ALL. I'm sad to say I needed a spoiler to solve this one. Yeah, shame on me. Hehe.

    And the culprit choice was not clever. He/she had a weak motive, and you could actually guess who it was when you started the game. It's not very surprising. Sorry to sound so negative on this topic, but it wasn't well done.

    Overall Ranking:
    This game may not be the one for you if you like hard-core mysteries. This one is just a fun little addition to the series because it's unique in its own way. Having Nancy in trouble, and a mystery located in River Heights is very new to the series. This game has some features that may be a little tricky to learn for newcomers to these games, so maybe build up your Nancy Drew experience before collecting this game.

    Well, that wraps it up! Thank you so much for reading! See you next time!

    Read my next Layered Cake Review, on Legend of the Crystal Skull.
    Read my simple review of this game.
    Last edited by disneygirl12; August 1, 2012, 08:25 AM. Reason: Changed the format. :D
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    Hope everyone's having a great summer!