Austrian Sonata – A Dana Knightstone Novel

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The 4th entry in the Dana Knightstone Saga.

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This time around the setting takes place in Austria where she investigates a mysterious ghost sighting which was seen by her cousin. The central focus is once again on love, murder and mystery. Your adventure begins in a mansion where you once again search for clues and items which can help you progress along your journey.

So what has changed this time around? Not much in terms of gameplay accept the wonderful addition of being able to manipulate objects in hidden-object scenes. There will be times where you may need to open a box in a hidden object scene with key so you now have the ability to drag and drop certain items around on-screen. Another example would be moving a piece of paper around in order to find small objects underneath. These may seem like minor additions but they do add to the immersion of the experience and once again these casual hidden-object scenes are quite secondary to the overall experience.

 

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Backgrounds are quite beautiful to look at thanks to the vibrant art of each location you visit during your adventure – expect to see quite a few exotic locations. Locations will range from mansions to snow fields and deep inside wells.

The music is also once again well-suited for each scene with wonderful compositions. Voice acted cutscenes make a welcome return as well.

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There are plenty of puzzles to progress through which each being well designed and once again you are able to skip after a certain time period. The puzzles never really feel too difficult which makes it just right in terms of balance although if you choose to skip a few puzzles you may miss out on certain achievements.

There is once again an epilogue after you complete the main chapters. This is where things may get a bit tricky on the puzzle side of things. At times it may feel like the epilogue was a bit shoe-horned in but at least it does expand a bit on the overall story.

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The verdict is once again very good for Dana Knightstone. Boomzap has done an outstanding job with this series thus far with each installment pretty much bettering the last. The heart of the series is overall formulaic, but that may be a good thing. The main aspect which sets this game apart from other casual hidden-object titles is the fact that it doesn’t feel like a hidden-object game at all. The emphasis is clearly more on the puzzles than story in this series as the story is interesting but it not truly in depth as non-casual adventure game would be.

I hope more people will be able to give this series a chance without writing it off early on as another casual adventure title.

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