After a long night of playing pretty princess castle and endless readings of Goodnight Moon, I was ready for more grown-up entertainment. Not the 18 and over kind, just something that requires reading above a kindergarten level. I saw the new release for Fear for Sale: Nightmare Cinema, and thought I would give it a try. The storyline is intriguing and I always enjoy hidden object games.
The game starts as you meet up with your co-worker, Lily Thompson, who is desperately searching for her fiancée Adam. Apparently, Adam received an invitation to attend a movie premiere at an abandoned theater and disappeared – along with the rest of the audience – sometime that night. Lily received a similar invitation but refused to go to the creepy theater and asks you to take her ticket and investigate the disappearance.
After some short cut scenes and voice-overs, Fear for Sale: Nightmare Cinema dives right in with HOS and mini-games. There are also tons of morphing objects and collectibles to be found and plenty of achievements to earn.
The graphics seem a little retro or outdated to me, and not as crisp and clear as I expected, though they were still well done. The sound and voice-overs are appropriate for the dark, nightmarish theme, but, I admit, the ominous music got to me after a while.
I liked the ability to configure the level of difficulty in the game. There was the traditional three play modes with an option custom mode so you could tailor your experience to your particular tastes.
There was also an interactive map, which I definitely appreciated, since I’m way too impatient to travel back and forth across multiple scenes over and over again... who has that kind of time? Just get me there already.
The Fear for Sale: Nightmare Cinema HOS are not overly cluttered and the objects are easy to find, even the ones that require further interaction to uncover. In casual mode, on-screen prompts easily guide you to any additional objects. As an alternative to completing the HOS, you can chose to solve a jigsaw puzzle instead, which I found a fun option if you tire of the HOS.
Morphing and collectibles seem to be in nearly every scene, but I wasn’t excited about collecting them. Without a guide for how many or what types of things you are looking for, I found it amounted to random clicking to find the collectibles.
The mini-games in Fear for Sale: Nightmare Cinema are fun and varied though not complicated or frustrating. Though little instruction is provided, there are on-screen prompts to help accomplish the objective.
Hints are not available, but you can skip the game if you get frustrated or impatient to get on with the story, like I often do!
Fear for Sale: Nightmare Cinema was interesting and well done, but not among my favorite games. Something about the tone of the game brought me back to the 80s, like reading a bad Stephen King novel – creepy yes, but almost more cheesy than truly scary. I was always too scared to watch the movies back then, but when I finally did, I remember being disappointed and not scared in the least... which is the same feeling Fear for Sale: Nightmare Cinema has left me with.