Adera (Win 8) Reviews

139,937 (74,942)
TA Score for this game: 264
Posted on 25 December 12 at 22:09, Edited on 25 December 12 at 22:10
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Adera is basically a Myst-a-like point-and-click adventure title, with the first episode released for free and a further four paid-for episodes planned for release in the future (Note: the second has been released). It’s a growing business model in gaming, used most famously by The Walking Dead, and it will be interesting to see how it does on the Windows 8 platform.

Graphically it’s probably the most advanced free Xbox LIVE game released on Windows 8 thus far and given the genre it’s not really surprising. As each scene doesn’t involve any action in the same way a First-Person Shooter would, it allows the developers, HitPoint, to up the ante graphically without becoming too taxing on your computer.

The game comes with full audio, and plenty of cut-scenes to provide some narrative as you explore the desert in search of your grandfather, who was presumed dead but now appears to be behind a mysterious message given to you by your father.

The voice acting doesn’t quite hold up to the quality of the graphics, and comes across very much like early attempts at video game voice acting used to, where some lines were delivered perfectly and others were stilted, often not helped by a stiff and unrealistic script.

Likewise the storyline is a bit of a clunker, as the heroine encounters repeated supernatural phenomena all the while musing on how concussed she must be, which starts to feel like something of a self-parody. In all honesty it’s fine and does the job, but given that the developers have stated how they wanted to shake up the genre it’s surprising how much of the game feels a tad by-the-numbers, albeit thoroughly enjoyable.

The puzzles themselves aren’t particularly taxing, though the odd one might stump you for a while. Nonetheless they’re good fun to play through and the game has been littered with hidden collectables in an attempt to provide some variety and re-playability.

While few of the puzzles will cause you much concern, it’s worth bearing in mind that you do get an achievement for completing Episode One without using the ‘Hint’ option at all. So if you don’t spot this and casually click ‘Hint’ to see what it does (not because you need help, obviously, ahem) then you’ll have to replay through the whole episode again just to unlock that achievement.

The rest of the achievements revolve around progressing through the main storyline and finding all the collectables, with the odd speed achievement thrown in that unlocks if you complete a puzzle under a set time.

Thankfully if your internet signal cuts out it doesn’t crash you out of the game, and the Live Tile tells you how many collectibles you have found so far, which is a nice touch if not a little basic.

Overall there is little to dislike in Adera, it’s not too challenging but it’s solid and enjoyable. It also provides a change of pace to the other free Xbox LIVE games available on Windows 8. Whether it’s of a sufficient quality to encourage you to buy the planned future episodes is another thing.

The developers believe the use of a tablet to act as a sort of ‘window’ that you can move around utilising the tablet’s accelerometer and gyroscope to explore the world around you will shake up the genre somewhat, but to be honest it feels more like window dressing to the main game, which doesn’t push many boundaries but does tweak things nicely.

By the looks of it the game is aiming toward the adult female market and it certainly has a better chance of doing so than most of the other Xbox LIVE games out there. That said, there’s no reason this game can’t be enjoyed by anyone who likes puzzles and point-and-click games.

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