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Redrum: Dead Diary HD

Score: 89%
ESRB: 12+
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Developer: Anarchy Enterprises
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle (Hidden Object)

Graphics & Sound:

The graphics in Redrum: Dead Diary HD are very interesting and unique. The items youíll have to locate in hidden object scenes are proportionately correct and easy enough to spot, especially if you are familiar with the hidden object genre. Thereís a creepy ambience throughout the game and lots of little details such as a ghostly spectre hiding in the hidden object scene or a face twisted with evil. Youíll see numerous images of Rose, the little girl at the center of the game, in various stages of distress and itís more than a little disturbing. However, the game doesnít take itself super seriously and contains a lot of puns, especially when it comes to the charactersí names. Roseís diary takes center stage in the game and when you come across her diary pages, they will be written in a childlike penmanship, sometimes with eerie drawings included. Since the subject matter Rose is discussing almost always focuses on the ghosts of murdered people, it can be very dark, but presented from a childís perspective.

The music is dark, dreary and foreboding Ė in other words, perfect for the game. There are also lots of sounds effects going on in the background to make the player uneasy and it all works together beautifully. You wonít find any voicework here because everything is conveyed through text in the various documents youíll be presented with. Nonetheless, itís a very effective medium for the game.


Gameplay:

Redrum: Dead Diary HD centers on Rose, a young girl with a gift for communicating to the dearly departed. Her mother and father disagree vastly on whether this is a good thing and since they are separated and dad has the money, he has taken Rose and placed her under the care of Dr. Sigmund Fraud (see what I was talking about with the puns?). Now, while Dad has no idea, Dr. Fraud only wants to drug poor Rose up until she loses her mind so that he can lobotomize her and milk money from her father for her care for the rest of her life. Lucky for Rose, she has a few ghostly friends and an uncle who is a cop searching for answers, both for Rose and the crimes he is trying to solve.

When a murder occurs, the victimís ghost visits Rose and gives her hints as to who killed them and she has to try to communicate this info to her uncle in whatever means she can. At first, her uncle is able to visit at the institution, but eventually, she must find others ways of getting her messages to him. So as the cop, youíll be visiting the scenes of the crimes to ferret out objects and hopefully solve the crimes, with tips from Roseís subconscious that communicates with his. Itís weird, but just roll with it, because itís a fun ride.

In addition to your standard hidden object scenes, where items are well defined and easy enough to spot, youíll also see entries from Roseís diary, as well as emails between her separated parents, journal notes from her uncle, the police officer, and newspaper articles on local murders. Youíll also have scenes where you may have to spot certain items such as a certain number of hidden fingerprints or some other object. Finally, youíll also have scenes where youíll see a complete picture, then at the bottom of the screen will be hexagonally shaped snippets of the same picture that you will have to place in their proper spots. They are variants of the hidden object genre, but well done and fun variants.


Difficulty:

I didnít find Redrum: Dead Diary HD to be too difficult at all, but instead I found it to be great fun. There is a Hint system in case you canít find an object, but they donít use trickery in the placement of the items. I really enjoyed the different types of levels such as searching for multiples of one certain item such as a germ or a fingerprint, however the scenes where you had to find a tile within a picture could be tough at times. It was nothing insurmountable, but when you have a scene where there is a predominant color, and the tiles you are trying to locate are all that color, it can take a little bit longer. Since thereís no ticking clock, though, you can just search at your leisure.

Game Mechanics:

Redrum: Dead Diary HD uses the standard tapping gestures youíll find in most every iPad game out there. Where it breaks out from the norm is in the scenes that are not from the standard hidden object genre. I also really enjoyed the fact that the story played out through the emails between the parents, the police officerís documentation, the evil doctorís medical notes and the local paper reporting on the crimes. Itís a novel way to tell the story and works really effectively. I found myself compelled to go through the scenes to solve the crimes. For those who are into Achievements, youíll find those here as well, in addition to the ability to post your successes on Facebook, should you desire.

Although Redrum: Dead Diary HD is not a particularly long game, itís lots of fun the whole way through. Itís different from the norm and doesnít take itself seriously, despite the dark subject matter. If you like hidden object games, definitely check out Redrum: Dead Diary HD for a taste of something different.


-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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