Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen HD is a beautifully drawn Hidden Object Adventure that takes place in the picturesque little town of Portonero, Spain. As you make your way through the areas of town, backgrounds may feature icy cascading water, grunting livestock, buzzing insects, or even menacing plant and animal life. Areas are well developed, whether you are in the quaint village square, deep in the bowels of the church, visiting the homes of various villagers, or discovering secrets deep in the woods.
Sound effects and background music also go a long way towards immersing you into the storyline. The music stays in the background where it needs to be, but intensifies depending on the situation and works well with the story, as do the sound effects. There's even a mini-game requiring you to defend yourself and the clunk of the sword on your shield is quite satisfying.
I also rather enjoyed the voiceovers. They are a bit over the top, but they work well for the story. After all, with characters like an evil Inquisitor, a kindly monk, a lovely maiden in distress, an odd old woman living in the woods, and a bothersome guard, you have to expect voices to match and they don't disappoint.
Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen HD is a Hidden Object Adventure that focuses pretty heavily on the Adventure side, while also throwing in a good number of Hidden Object Scenes, as well as puzzles to keep you busy. You once again take on the cloak of an agent of the Vatican, this time sent by the Cardinal to investigate the Inquisitor Augustine, who is on a deadly rampage in Portonero, Spain and appears to have lost his mind. When you arrive at the town, you find he has, indeed, begun wreaking havoc in the little town and a certain family is in grave danger from his actions. It will be up to you to locate him, stop his rampage, and figure out what his problem is, before it is too late.
To this end, you'll need to be on the lookout for items you can pick up along the way to aid in your travels. These can often be combined with other items to accomplish a task, but more on that in Game Mechanics. If you see an area sparkling, it is a Hidden Object Scene and upon clicking it, you'll be presented with several different variants of H.O. Scenes, whether it is the standard list of items, silhouettes of items, or simply one picture of an item at a time. Plus, you always have your Hint button if you get stuck. Upon completion, you'll almost always get a needed object, but you may have to solve a riddle or two to get it.
There are also some 20 puzzles/mini-games you'll encounter and I enjoyed almost every one. There's nothing here you haven't seen before, but they were fun. There are a bounty of puzzle variants including matching objects to sizes and colors; reconstructing pictures; memory pair matching; arranging geometric blocks into patterns; reordering and matching figures; slide puzzles; light beam puzzles where you can't cross the streams; checkers/peg game variants; the wolf/sheep puzzle; connect the dots variants; a Simon Says piano variant; a block rotation puzzle; an archery competition; a dangerous boat ride where you must avoid dangerous trees; and even a sword battle! There's plenty to love here, and if you don't, you can always skip the puzzle. Just be warned that doing so will mean you won't get an Achievement for not skipping, but for a few of them, it's worth it.
Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen HD has three levels of difficulty, along with a Custom setting. On Novice, you can breeze through the game pretty quickly and easily, as you'll have a fast Hint and Skip recharge. It will also show Combiner Hints (see below in Game Mechanics), and your current Objectives on the Map, as well as sparkling Hidden Object Scenes when you encounter them. You'll also have a Tutorial available at the start and your Task List on the H.U.D. will be enabled. If you choose Adventure, it's pretty similar, except that you'll have a slower Hint/Skip recharge, no Tutorial, and your H.O. Scenes won't sparkle. Challenge is just that - A slow Hint/Skip recharge is what you'll look forward to, along with no Combiner Hints, no Objectives on your Map, no sparkles, of course, and no Tutorial or Task List. Talk about hardcore!
The last option is a Custom setting where you can tweak specifics in Difficulty. Say you want the sparkles and the Tutorial, but not the Combiner Hints, or you want to show your Objectives on the Map, but not the Task List. You can even specify the recharge speed on your Hint/Skip button. All of these things are able to be turned on or off and you can actually modify the Difficulty at any point during the game. This is pretty sweet, since you can start off tough and change it if the going gets too rough.
Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen HD will have you tapping to pick up objects on your quest, and also to select them in Hidden Object Scenes. But you'll also be tapping to complete puzzles by rotating puzzle pieces, moving figures around, mimicking notes on a keyboard, coaxing a horse to pull down a statue, and even fighting for your very life by timing things so you block deadly sword attacks! This is quite an adventure game and you'll have a good time unfolding the story of Portenero.
To help you with this is a Raven that will appear from time to time. When he does, you can click on the diary and then click on the Raven to be treated to a video that will explain another piece of the story. Don't skip these, as they are worth watching and pretty interesting. You also might notice white doves scattered about the levels and tapping and collecting these will earn you another Achievement.
You'll encounter places where you'll need to do some action and the Combiner will appear, which will show you the items you need to complete the task in silhouette in a radial dial, so you can be on the lookout for them. It's a nice game mechanic that works well and I like it.
Another handy treat is the Map which not only indicates where you are, but also which location has something you need to pick up next or to do. By simply tapping the location, you fast travel to the spot, which beats having to backtrack all over the place, since the map is pretty big. There's also the diary to keep track of what's happened so far and any notes you may need, plus there's a button you can turn on and off which shows you possible paths to take with a little footprint icon.
One more new thing Cateia Games has introduced in Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen HD is the ability for you to become injured, thereby needing to gather bandages, herbs, etc. to patch yourself up. I only encountered it once and it was unavoidable, but perhaps if I hadn't done as well in the sword fight, it may have popped up again. Either way, the bleeding hand in the upper right corner was a new twist.
Once again, Cateia Games and G5 bring us a fun Hidden Object Adventure and I couldn't be happier. It's not the best H.O. Adventure I've played, but as they are becoming more rare with the introduction of Freemium games, Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen HD is a welcome sight and well worth the purchase price, if you enjoy these types of games.