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Dying for Daylight

Score: 75%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: I-play
Developer: Nikitova Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure/ Puzzle (Hidden Object)

Graphics & Sound:

Dying for Daylight is a new hidden object/adventure game blend that is noteworthy mostly because it has Charlaine Harris' name attached to it. For those who don't immediately recognize the name, she is the writer of the Sookie Stackhouse novels, whose books inspired the True Blood series on HBO.

The game takes on an interesting stylized look that, while dark, never feels too brooding. The primary location of New Orleans and Vampire Quarter within that city has an interesting feel to it as you will visit locations like a cemetery, an old theater and an apparently war-torn street.

Not only are the different locations nice to look at, but the game's hidden object screens are nicely detailed as well. What I like most about them is the fact that the objects you are searching for more-or-less feel at place in the collection of junk you are sifting through.

Dying for Daylight has a few high points when it comes to the audio side of things as well. For one, the game has some pretty good voicework behind the dialogue. Characters like Dahlia, whom you play, and the creepy child-vampire Tinderbell, are the ones that stand out the most in my mind. There is also some good background music that keeps out of the way and, of course, the normal flare of sound effects when you find objects and solve puzzles.


Like I said above, Dying for Daylight is another one of the many hidden object/adventure games coming out these days. Like most games of this cross-genre uprising, you will go through several locations and dig through hidden object screens. Often times, you will pick up an inventory item from that screen that you need to solve some other puzzle along the way.

One thing I have to say about Dying for Daylight is the fact that it seems to lean a bit heavier on the adventure side of things. More often than not, these games have you going through a ton of hidden object screens and while you will get inventory items from them, they typically lead to some of the most basic puzzles around. Here, on the other hand, there are a lot of puzzles that don't rely on the hidden object games and that are a bit of a challenge, but more on the game's difficulty later.

As you might have guessed, Harris spins another tale of vampires. As in the Sookie Stackhouse series, vampires have come out of the coffin. They live (...err.. un-live?) among us and they go about their normal lives right alongside humans. This story starts off when Dahlia, a vampire born around 0 AD, is awakened and told to go to New Orleans and track down a vampire who has been seen in daylight. Your master believes he has uncovered the fabled "Sun Potion" and wants it badly. Since the vamps have come out, they have pretty much taken over New Orleans, not in any kind of hostile way, there are just a lot that have moved there.

This includes the vampire you are looking for who started up a show called the Cirque Terrible. When you arrive at the VQ (Vampire Quarter), you find the place is in shambles and you quickly learn that some force has invaded the area and run everyone away, including many of the vampires. Now your mission is two-fold. Not only must you get a sample of the mysterious potion, but you also need to figure out exactly who and what is causing all the problems in New Orleans.


Dying for Daylight was a nice challenge all the way around. While I was able to make pretty steady progress throughout, I did have to resort to using the Hint system a few times. I will say though, that the clues that led to the solutions for these occasions weren't as obvious or leading as I would have liked. One example involves trying to unlock a door that is controlled by a music box. You have to know exactly where and how to place certain pieces on this music box in order to open the door. On a note found a few screens away is a diagram depicting where these items should be placed, and in another room in the same building is a note that mentions the name of a song. This same name is written on top of the first note. My problem was, I didn't realize the reference referred to a song and I didn't make the connection to the music box.

That particular instance was a personal shortcoming, but I believe it could be a problem other players will have. The game will also let you skip puzzles if you are too frustrated to get past them. The only time I did this was when you had to click on musical pigs, each one representing a note. The task is to play three different songs with these pigs. I am not very musically inclined, and quite frankly, have really bad timing. After half-a-dozen attempts, I simply clicked the Skip button.

In general, the game poses a nice challenge, but not so much as to leave you totally stuck. If you feel like you are getting to that point, there is always the Hint and Skip buttons to let you progress. The game doesn't penalize you for using these features.

Game Mechanics:

Dying for Daylight doesn't really offer anything new in the way of mechanics. The hidden object screens display the full list of items for you to search for (as opposed to a partial list like some recent games have used), and it uses the words of the objects instead of pictures (again, like other games I've recently reviewed). This can lead to the, fairly inevitable, event of the game calling an object one thing, and the player another. As a result, there might be the occasional item in the list that you can't find simply because of miscommunications. Like I said in the previous section, there is no penalty for clicking on the Hint button and letting the game show you the remaining item or two. If you are missing more than one, you will have to wait a bit for the Hint button to re-enable, but that's really it.

Like I said before, Dying for Daylight has a good bit of hidden object screens in it, but it weighs in much more on the adventure side of things. While I personally prefer more adventure to hidden object, there are plenty of gamers out there who typically don't like the problem-solving aspects of adventure titles. Because of that, those players might want to steer clear of this game, even if you are a big-time Harris fan.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP, Vista or Windows 7, Pentium III, 1000 MHz Processor, 512MB RAM, Graphics Card that support shaders 2.0 with 128MB Video Memory

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

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