I thoroughly enjoyed the iPad release of Twin Moons from Cateia Games and G5 Entertainment, so when they announced a Mac version of the replayable hidden-object adventure game I knew I had to check it out. Now after playing I enjoy the game even more and highly recommend getting it for either Mac or iOS!
Type of app: Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure (HOPA) game
Platform/where to buy: iPad; available in the Mac App Store (Also available for iPad & iPhone)
Developer: Cateia Games / G5 Entertainment
Twin Moons has loads of content, including:
– 31 creepy and enigmatic locations
– 20 challenging mini-games to master
– 18 achievements to earn along the way
– Two alternative endings – you choose!
– Intriguing storyline and vivid characters
Since Twin Moons is a game that was released for the iPad recently, the Mac version is a port – and there are only a few areas where there could be problems. Those includes adaptation of touch controls to mouse, graphics, and performance. So most of the review will step through the same areas as the iPad review, and in the ‘Performance’ section I will address Mac version specifics.
In Twin Moons you play as Jack, who has been suffering with amnesia since … well, he can’t recall that either. But he has visions and sees things that compel him in a direction, and then he crashes his car in front of the Twin Moons research facility. From there you need to help Jack unravel the mystery of his amnesia and why he was compelled to come to this place.
From the very beginning you are tasked with all of the challenges of the HOPA (Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure) genre: finding items, solving puzzles, combining, multi-part tasks, clue-seeking, and so on. One thing I loved was that not all items are disposable. For example, you will find a ladder that you use to accomplish one task, but can then put it back in inventory to use over and again. That alone is a breath of fresh air compared to most genre games.
But the single most compelling element of the game is that there are two endings. You get a sense of a dichotomy early on, with information being hidden from you and things not always as they seemed. But most games would simply shape the experience to lead to a single ‘correct’ action at the end. Not with Twin Moons – you actually make the choice, and the outcome of the entire game completely changes based on that choice.
Along the way you are treated to many cool puzzles and limited hidden-object scenes. Everything you do serves a purpose, from snatching items from birds to digging up graves. I enjoy that there are no superfluous elements. There are three preset difficulties, and you can create a custom difficulty based on your choices. Depending on difficulty, the hint timer recharges fairly quickly, and key items in a scene have a ‘sparkly’ effect to help visibility.
Another fun little thing the game does is when you choose to ‘Skip’ a puzzle, Jack is shown breaking through the puzzle. The reality is when you skip it is out of frustration or lack of patience, so instead of magically having the puzzle solved, it is great to see that lack of patience play out on-screen.
Ease of use/Overall performance: If you have played any of the other Cateia games, you will settle into this one immediately – it is a fairly standard genre game in terms of mechanics and gameplay.
The mouse controls are fluid and naturally adapted from the touch-controls of the iPad version, making it simple to play the game and never feeling like a port. Similarly, the Mac version doesn’t make the iPad version feel weak – so it is a matter of platform preference.
The game looks and plays every bit as great on the Mac as it did on the iPad, with detailed textures and graphics that make finding items easy and fun. There is full voice acting with an emphasis on delivering critical plot points with text and voice combined. It demonstrates a level of polish we have come to expect but that really is amazing for mobile games at this price point.
Finally, the performance is stellar – area loads are quick, nothing hesitates or drags, and there were no crashes or other bugs.
Would use again/recommend?: Definitely! As I said, adding choice to an already excellent game simply tips the scales just that much further. An already excellent experience becomes a must-have for fans of the genre – this joins the short list of my favorite games of the genre, and is one of the best casual games I have played this year!
Suggested changes/wish list for updates: Nothing
Source: Publisher provided review code
Price: Free download – (in-app purchase for full game is $6.99)
Here is the trailer: