Deadtime Stories


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Deadtime Stories

DoraSomewhere there's a graveyard tended by a certain man who is very picky about who he lets inside. Perhaps because, as he'll tell you, everything from the headstones to the flowers is put there to be just right. Or maybe it's because the dead don't always lie quietly in the new point-and-click hidden-object series Deadtime Stories. This first installment tells the story of Miss Jesse Bodeen, a voodoo priestess in New Orleans decades ago. Her talents are frequently called upon to heal the sick and protect the weak... that is, until haughty socialite Delphine LaLaurie sends for her. Follow Jessie's tale from the dark Cajun swamp to the rich French Quarter, concocting spells to remove obstacles, but be warned; the spirits of the Loa don't take requests lightly. Nor do they appreciate being used for ill.

Deadtime StoriesThe hidden-object/point-and-click hybrid is becoming more and more popular these days, and developers are getting better and better and combining the two. Deadtime Stories is played mostly like a standard point-and-click adventure, with you searching your environment for items to solve puzzles and occasionally playing hidden-object scenes to find what you need. Most of your time is spent tracking down components for spells that you'll have to create in Jessie's home to advance; early on you'll gain access to her spellbook, which will help you appease the spirits and find out more about what happened so long ago. Of course, not every spirit wants to see you succeed. If you get stuck, the hint timer in the bottom right corner will either show you the location of an object, or offer you several options so you can pick what you need help with.

Be warned that Jessie Bodeen's tale takes place back in Louisiana at a time when servants were sold. While it's not a focal point of the story, it is mentioned several times. If you find this grim chapter of history too upsetting, this may not be the game for you.

Analysis: By far one of my favourite shows remains the old Tales From the Crypt series. This is because not only is the Cryptkeeper the raddest undead demonic dude ever, but because it had a gleeful cheek to its stories, which were frequently as much cautionary tales as they were creeping you out. Deadtime Stories, therefore, with its rich, ghoulish presentation and grim story about revenge and greed, was right up my alley. Granted, series host Edward Blackgate looks like Willy Wonka by way of Tim Burton and a Hot Topic outlet, but I forgave him the minute he told me we were headed to "Naw'leens". Which was awesome, because I was totally out of chicken's feet after dinner last night. The game had me hooked from beginning to end to the point that I was genuinely dismayed both to see the demo run out, and then the credits roll hours later.

Deadtime StoriesSo is Deadtime Stories scary? Not really, nor is it trying to be. While its steeped in creepy atmosphere from its appropriate soundtrack to its haunted locales, you can take the pillow away from your face; nothing is going to leap out at you here. You'll solve a wide variety of puzzles ranging from figuring out how to trap a dove to using a series of skulls that only talk in short syllables to figure out passwords. Not all of the puzzles are winners; some, like the well seal in the French Quarter simply take too long, and a few, like the boat sail in the swamp, are mildly annoying. Of course, you can simply skip them if you wait for the bar at the top of the screen to refill, but you shouldn't have to.

Hidden-object scenes can be fairly challenging, using plays on words to trick you in your search. "Jack" for example could refer to a playing card... or to a carved pumpkin. The downside is that Deadtime Stories also suffers from occasional nebulous item names (such as "ornament"), or making you hunt down small objects like pills or pearls in a large scene. The hint timer takes a long while to refill compared to most other hidden-object titles, so if you're stuck on several items, you can spend a frustrating amount of time staring at the screen waiting for it to refill. Just make sure you're ready when you click for a hint, because the glimmer can be there and gone in a flash if you aren't paying attention.

Most players will probably spend between three and four hours finishing the game, and wind up having enjoyed themselves thoroughly but hungry for more. It really does feel like the story was meant to be longer, with greater development perhaps given to the villain. Deadtime Stories combines an interesting story with creepy-cool production values to make an engrossing experience that should leave you eagerly awaiting the next chapter. We can expect even greater things in the future from this series, and I, for one, am dying to play it.

... no?... how about... "This is one adventure no boil or ghoul should miss"?

... forget you guys, I'm funny darn it!

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Not available.
Try Boot Camp or Parallels or CrossOver Games.

29 Comments

Dora, your writing and descriptions are such a kick! I've always loved reading your game reviews!

Until now.

Big Fish these days tends to be dry of good HOGs till week 4 of every month, then they finally roll out the good ones. This game is one of those good ones.

@EyeOpener:
Wow. That was cold. :|

That was supposed to be a silly comment on the bad puns at the end of your review, but maybe my own lame humor didn't come through. Sorry, Dora, I really do love your writing! When are you going to link to a website or blog?

Just finished playing it. What a refreshing change from other HOGs. The story was interesting, the dialogue was great and not cheesy. The thing I really liked was the variety of puzzles. Feels like most HOG focus on a few puzzles while only increasing their complexity later on.

I do agree with you that the hidden object scenes were unnecessarily vague sometimes. I'll admit I would stare at the hint timer a couple times.

Great game. Got through it without any hints but there were a few moments when I was tempted. The hidden objects sections did have an occasional small item, but everything was pretty easy to see. A number of fresh mini-games. Also, this was one of the few HOG's in which I was actually interested in the story. Definitely worth checking out.

Love the game. And as for the scare factor - the true history of the LaLaurie mansion is scary enough on its own. I'd love to see another, especially if it too is "based on a true story".

Loved the game! When I was bogged down with the hint timer refilling, I'd just get up and do a little housework. Can't wait for the next installment.

Just finished playing it.
Love this game! The plot is compact,and the puzzles are logical. My favourite is the "skull-wheel".

"series host Edward Blackgate looks like Willy Wonka by way of Tim Burton and a Hot Topic outlet"
Agree! He was the major reason that I started this game, lol, (though I thought he was a "she" then XD).

Can't wait for more from this series.

I'm from New Orleans and I am stuck already.
SWAMP: I can't get the last "scrawny" gator to go away. Fish from the bird? How? Thanks for your help. Let's hear it for the voodoo that helped the Saints win SB 44....Payton who?

Alright, so I love this game! But I am at the grave circle part, and even tho I have done the required things and was allowed to use the chalk and put the items for the spell down, it went back to telling me to clear the circle. Is this a glitch, or is it my fault? Now I can't pick the items back up, and there are no items left to clear! Also, I have no idea how to put spoilers in!

I can't take the dirt!!!! please help me!

I loved this game. It's probably the best HOG game I've played in a while, and I play a lot. The puzzles WERE really interesting and rather challenging at parts, which was nice for me because the same old puzzles get really boring after a while. I had a few problems with the actual hidden object parts but that's mostly because I can't see things very well when it's dark... I have no problems with using hints though so I got through pretty okay.

I love dark games so this one was right up my alley. I didn't know it was based on a true story though... I will have to look into that.

Also, I can't wait for more games in the series. I want to see more of Edward Blackgate, and I also want to know what his story is.

I've hit a bad spot in this game (which I love). I'm at the Cemetery and when I try to reopen the game I get a "deadtime.exe stopped working" message. I've rebooted with no success. Anyone have any suggestions?

[Please contact Big Fish technical support about your issue http://bit.ly/big-fish-support -Jay]

Got stuck at the house La..something.

i've painted allmost all the ghosts just exept for the one in the backyard. I did one, but didn;t know there were two so I did the rest. Now I found out I wanted to try to find/paint the ghost in the backyard my brush won't dip in the paint mixture.. does anyone know what to do?
Is it correct that there are 4 ghosts at the pond, one in the middle location (where the chest is) and 2 at the backyard?

Hope anyone can help me.. Thanks!

I posted the one above.. I did it.. I just quit the game, came back and then it all worked again.

Hopefully this will work for something else too

making the voodoo doll. Everything is in place (in the shed). The sticks ly in the middle, the twain needs to go first but I can't pick it up. With all the other items the mouse cursor changes into a differend shape exept for the twain. Maybe a bug in the game.. Will try to quit and restart again.. Has anyone else had these problems?

Need help with the LaLaurie backyard.

Cannot get the paintbrush to dip into the mixture at all. It's placed where it needs to be and works fine in the other areas, just not there.

I read the other post pertaining to this and the solution didn't work for me. Have even tried uninstalling and reinstalling the game. Any ideas? Thanks!
BTW...am loving this game! It's definitely putting me in the mood for my upcoming trip to NOLA!

HELP!!!! I know there are 4 ghosts by the pond, but I just can't find the last one of the 8. I have one by the fishing line, one hanging from the noose and one leaning against the tree by the noose dude. Where's the last one? It looks like there might be one in that purple haze, but no matter how much I click, swirl, twirl, whatever, I keep ending up with nada.
Any screenshot of all 4 of the dead would be appreciated! thx

when I typed in a walkthrough for this game Your site came up. I usually go with you because you are one of a few who show what a completed puzzle looks like. I was sorely disappointed.....sigh. I always thought a WALKTHROUGH (as noted in the banner) was just that, when do you give what you advertise? thank you for your time. Zee

[The walkthrough for this game is taking longer than expected. Please check back later, hopefully we'll have one. If you wish to write one for us, please do. We will reward you with a free game coupon. -Jay]

Please help...what is an ornament?
Really i have clicked on everything and still am stuck. Thanks!!!!!!!

absolutely beautiful graphics. every-time i look at this game my chest hurts from the gorgeousness of it all. down to the cursor and the message boxes all the way through to the plants and buildings. i don't know if it is legal, but i have laminated screen shots to put on my wall. i am trying to create frames which would suit, but everything pales into insignificance next to the art work. it is like me standing in a room full of models, supermodels and Victoria's secret models.

Need help finding answers to question already asked. About dipping paintbrush in paint after finding 6 out of eight ghosts. Found one in celler, one by chest and four by pond. then unable to dip brush in paint.

need help with getting needle out of hot tea cup and boarded up window. Also how to light candles.

I am having trouble in the swamp. I'm at the boat and ready to make the sail, but when I click on the post, I'm NOT getting to the sail-making mini-game. I'm not sure why. I have all five pieces of fabric and the thread. Do I have to have the needle first in order to get the mini-game to start? Thanks!!!

I love this game, I installed last night and completed today... I would love to download more, I tried to see if there's more but learned that this is indeed new series of game,.. I think Edward Blackgate is cute!! Teehee,.. I like their drawing, their graphic. I think it's awesome but I have some difficulty with my eyes sight, so small things are easily amiss for me, I had to use hint little often,.. but I had little difficulty with music area, due to deafness. I couldnt hear tones, so I had to rely on eyes, I hope they dont include more of music, unless it also come with eyes coordinate which is fine with me, I have to speak up for myself and my deaf friends, I love this game so keep it up.. am looking forward to next series of it...

Bonjour à tous

Je n'arrive pas à monter la voile grrrrr , y aurait'il une personne aimable pour m'expliquer svp
Par avance Merci

[Using an online translator: "Hello everyone, I cannot manage to assemble the sail grrrrr. If a kind person would please explain that to me, thank you in advance."]

This is one of the best games I have played!! I can't wait to see what will come in the next one. I'm glad I found this site, I was able to get out of a jam just by reading some of the other posts. Thanks everyone!

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