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I followed the trail, but this twister was just okay: A Trail of the Twister Review

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  • I followed the trail, but this twister was just okay: A Trail of the Twister Review

    Hey and welcome to my second review, Trail of the Twister! I literally just finished playing this game today so I thought I’d pop up a review while my thoughts on the game were still fresh in my mind. :)

    To give you an idea of my personal taste, my favourite game so far is Curse of Blackmoor Manor. I am enjoy definitely having puzzles in the game, but the more snooping the better :) My favourite settings are usually somewhere in Europe or Asia (East or South), especially older buildings being involved like castles and mansions and the like, forests, lodges, wintry locations (and boarding schools!)… those are some of my absolute favourites, although tropical beaches are up there in second place. I am not really much of a horror fan, but a spooky Nancy Drew game is good with me, and some scary is fine too (although I’m usually on edge for most of the game if it is :p). So I think I can provide decent warning to more easily freaked-out players.

    Please Note: There are no actual spoilers in this review (such as revealing the culprit’s gender/identity, the actual solutions to puzzles, etc.) but there are things mentioned in my review that readers may not want to have spoiled for them. If you are worried about encountering something that will spoil things for you, my overall rating is 34/60, or 56%, with an average score of 6/10. This game really isn’t one of my favourites at all, but it at least didn’t leave me too frustrated so it wasn’t the worst I’ve ever played. I just really didn’t care for it as much as others. If you’re worried about scares, I didn’t find this game scary at all.

    Trail of the Twister
    a review by indigofire1230

    You are sent by P.G. Krolmeister (yes, THAT Krolmeister) to investigate the incidents plaguing a college storm tracking team in Oklahoma that he provided equipment for. With their equipment failing, accidents happening, and $100,000,000 at stake, are these events coincidence or sabotage?

    The plot idea was alright. It’s not that sabotage is completely unheard of as part of a Nancy Drew plot at all. It’s a bit more of a realistic plot, which is great if that’s more up your alley. Having a little more to the plot than that would’ve been nice. I didn’t like entirely how it was carried out. It felt to me like most of the actual trying to lead you one way or another as to who the culprit was didn’t start happening until much too late in the game. There was some character interaction but it seemed to be there to allow you to do a task or to react to something that just happened rather than to really use it to investigate potential culprits, which was disappointing. It sometimes felt like the game was mostly like, “Okay, go do this chore, and this one, and this one, oh! Something not as relevant to the actual mystery happened. Now can you do this for me?” with most of the actual developments towards solving the mystery happened quite late. Also, the game was WAY too short for me. I don’t think I have ever beat a Nancy Drew game faster than this one. Alibi in Ashes took longer for me to beat than this one. However, I can definitely see why for some players parts of the game took a long time to beat. Some of the puzzles were initially confusing to me, and I lucked out on a few of them. I’m sure if I hadn’t lucked out in some of the puzzles I would have felt a lot more frustrated and found the game a lot harder. Overall, it felt like it focused on too much outside of the actual mystery.

    Setting and Atmosphere:
    The setting is the Oklahoma countryside. While I do like countryside settings to some degree, it’s just not usually my personal favourite. However, it looks BEAUTIFUL. I love how everything looked, and the changing weather was a nice touch. The general store was very charming, I liked it, and everything on the farm looked good too. The music was decent, it was fitting but I didn’t take that much notice of it as I played the game. I thought the driving would annoy me much more from what I’d heard from some other players of this game, but although I crashed several times (needing a second chance a couple of times) and I got lost several times, it was only about average annoyance rather than severely annoying. I would’ve preferred a much more direct transportation method. However, I still really enjoyed how nice the setting looked.

    The amount of characters to interact with in person – 5 – is a good number, in my opinion. I didn’t have trouble keeping apart who’s who. However, the characters felt rather underdeveloped. Scott’s the grumpy team leader, Debbie’s the project manager that assigns your chores and is his second in command, Chase is the mechanic/country boy, Frosty’s the cool video guy, and Pa is the general store owner. But I felt like you don’t find out a whole lot more than that, really. With some exceptions, of course, but that’s how I felt. I really wanted to like and feel engaged by the characters, but I didn’t much. I felt like in general I knew the least about Debbie, of all the characters. Pa had a little bit of extra information and quirks put into his background and behaviour. It’s not that I didn’t like them at all, I just didn’t feel as drawn in to them as I have in past games, and didn’t feel like I cared as much as I should about who the culprit was. I will say that phoning Krolmeister was kind of hilarious, at times. :) Also having the Hardy Boys being on their own mission from their DS game was a nice touch.

    Scare Factor:
    (Scare Factor includes evaluating creepy atmosphere as well as actual “scares” as part of its score. Please note that rating is intended for those anticipating a scare factor in this game. Games without an anticipated scare factor will not have any points counted against them, and this would be noted in this section.)
    I didn’t expect this game to be scary, and it wasn’t. Other than some mild suspense, it wasn’t scary at all. Occasionally the music would try to add a bit of a suspenseful atmosphere, but that was it.

    I was conflicted on how to rate this section. There are a LOT of chore puzzles. Like really. I mean, being undercover as an intern with storm chasers of course I expected a few, but I didn’t expect this many. Some of them were relevant to storm chasing to a degree, but felt more like they had a storm chasing flavour rather than being actually related. Like you’d be fixing a piece of storm chasing equipment, but almost none of the puzzles I can remember really involved you having to use much knowledge of weather or storm chasing that you learn about, it was just an unrelated puzzle on something happening to relate to storm chasing. There were also a lot of puzzles relating to just regular home repairs, like fixing the TV. Those puzzles felt more like puzzles for the sake of having another puzzle in the game. Some of the puzzles really needed a tad more explanation of how to do them. I don’t mind figuring out a little bit of the rest of how to do a puzzle on one or two of them, but several of them felt too unexplained. It’s just that to me, there’s times to let puzzles be entirely up to the player to figure out, and there’s times that some explanation needs to be given, and I felt like whenever explanation was appropriate, it wasn’t there or it was made very confusing. It occasionally got frustrating. The puzzles themselves weren’t too difficult for me, but the lack of sufficient explanation is really what made some of them feel a lot more difficult than they were. I found myself saying a few times, “Oh! If I understood your explanation of what to do that you gave me earlier, I would’ve finished this a long time ago!” So if the puzzle is already a difficult puzzle, the lack of explanation makes the puzzle even harder.

    Sleuthing and Snooping:
    There was honestly very little of either. When given the opportunity to snoop, I was very disappointed at the small amount of snooping through other characters’ things I got to do. I thought I’d get to look at at least most of the characters’ things, but I hardly looked through anyone’s things. I also felt like I wasn’t really trying to solve much of a mystery until near the end of the game.

    (No Spoilers of course, but feel free to skip to the next section if you do not want to see any spoiler-free opinions on the ending):
    I wasn’t a big fan of the ending. If the lead up to the ending was better, I might have liked it better. That was most of the reason it disappointed me. I felt like you didn’t even get to really start getting leads on who it could be much until near the end, and the identity of the culprit was revealed very quickly. There was a short period where I felt unsure of the actual identity of the culprit, but they ended up being my first guess from earlier on playing the game. I wish they’d really tried to lead me into other culprit possibilities more often, that and making the culprit a bit of a tougher guess would’ve made me much more okay which their choice of culprit, although I can think of other characters that I would’ve liked better as the culprit. I also felt that the way the actual ending played out felt a little bit too easy. Making the ending impossibly difficult isn’t the way to go, I think, but having some kind of challenge at the end makes it more satisfying for me. It makes me feel like I’ve really earned the victory. However, I completed the whole ending sequence without any second chances, any trying to solve what to do or how to catch them. I also found that at least one of the sabotaging events, to me, didn’t really make much sense initially, so I was thinking they’d explain why the culprit did that by the time I reached the end of the game, but they didn’t (I don’t want to risk spoilers by saying what the particular sabotage event was). Overall, I didn’t really feel satisfied.

    Overall Score: 34/60, 56%

    Average Score: 6/10

    Miscellaneous Comments:
    Chores: If you don’t like chores, this game is full of them. And not much of the fun sort, mostly the either tedious or frustrating type of puzzle sort, depending I think on whether you understood the explanation of what to do or figured out quickly what you were supposed to do.

    Phone Characters: The Hardy Boys and P.G. Krolmeister. That’s it, you don’t call anyone else in the whole game, and I hardly made any phone calls. The Hardy Boys weren’t super helpful either. However, talking to Krolmeister was amusing.

    I by no means think this is a bad game, I can see why some people would really like this game. It just doesn’t appeal to me that much personally in comparison to other titles in the series. I think I would recommend this game to players who don’t mind an otherwise quick game, lots of chores, and really love the look of a small Oklahoma countryside area. I also recommend this to a degree to big fans of weather and storms, although players are educated on weather a lot less than I expected. If all of those things really don’t appeal to you, I might wait to play this one if there’s another game you were considering getting. This game is not one of my favourites, but it at least didn’t happen to overly frustrate me to no end, and the setting looked really nice. I just didn’t care for it as much as other games. It certainly wasn’t a bad experience. It’s worth giving a shot, although I wouldn’t recommend trying out another title in the series for your first game if you want a good sense of what most of the games are like.

    I hope this review was helpful :)
    I found out more than once that Secrets Can Kill.
    I read the Message in a Haunted Mansion.
    I searched for the Treasure in the Royal Tower.
    I watched The Final Scene.
    I heard the howls of the Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake.
    I rode the Haunted Carousel.
    I fell into Danger on Deception Island.
    I uncovered the Secret of Shadow Ranch.
    I broke the Curse of Blackmoor Manor.
    I discovered the Secret of the Old Clock.
    I boarded the Last Train to Blue Moon Canyon.
    I befriended The White Wolf of Icicle Creek.
    I paid the Ransom of the Seven Ships.
    I received the Warnings at Waverly Academy.
    I followed the Trail of the Twister.
    I saw the Shadow at the Water’s Edge.
    I was freed from the Captive Curse.
    I left my Alibi in Ashes.
    I excavated the Tomb of the Lost Queen.
    I used The Deadly Device.
    I was haunted by the Ghost of Thornton Hall.
    I tracked The Silent Spy.
    I pieced together The Shattered Medallion.

    I am currently navigating through the Labyrinth of Lies.

    My Reviews:

  • #2

    Well done.
    ~~ LadyLinda ~~ -----
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