Thanks to a "hot tip" from an insider, I was able to purchase and download this late yesterday straight from the index, before it was mainstreamed. So I stayed up until the wee hours playing--Woo Woo!.
Game Name: Dark Ritual
Developer: Vogat International
Bought From: BFG
CE/SE/Demo Version: SE
Widescreen Y/N: Yes, but no full screen aspect ratio
Sounds:. fx were well done - not overplayed or out of place No voiceovers
Music:. Music was very fitting - eerie, but not overwhelming
Cursor: System cursor available - Custom cursor very large
Tech Issues:. None observed
Hints: Hints recharge quickly for Casual Mode much longer for Advanced Mode
Skippable Puzzles: Yes
Length:. In advanced mode using no hints and no skip - 6 hours
Modes: Casual and Advanced
Impression:.The storyline while not completely original, does have unique elements - your sister is missing, she applied for work as a tester at a laboratory that's now under investigation by the government and the FBI, while investigating your partner runs off leaving you to fend for yourself. You start in the family mansion, wake up in a clinic, take the A-train to the water system then end up at the airport. But all along the way, the story is developed and you learn about the plot. It's fed to you in bits and pieces so you know what is going on. The mystery and the insanity slowly builds and it gets spookier and spookier along the way to the point that you don't know who you can trust. Yes, there are similar stories - but not quite as well developed as this one.
Pros/Cons:.The graphics are quite good and the technology used is splendid. The cut scenes could have been done a bit better (the "fade outs" to unconciousness were a bit too unsubtle) and I was just a tad disappointed with the frequency of reuse of hidden object scenes (all were used at least twice and some three times). The puzzles offered a solid variety. I only wish that they had a more difficult level for advanced mode.
Overall Verdict: All in all a most enjoyable game. In my opinion, the best I've seen from Vogat. So, for storyline/originality, technical merit/options, game length, puzzles/hidden object scenes, I give it 4 and a half out of 5 pints. I'm withholding the half pint (outstanding in all achievements) for excessive reuse of hidden object scenes, no full screen with aspect ratio, better fade outs needed. (Message edited by textrekkie On 04/26/2011 20:04)