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Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers Giveaway
$9.99
EXPIRED

Game Giveaway of the day — Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers

Find out what sins Clair was paying for!
$9.99 EXPIRED
User rating: 21 (84%) 4 (16%) 13 comments

Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers was available as a giveaway on August 21, 2022!

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Guide Ethan Black as he attempts to rescue his bride-to-be from a terrifying menace known as the Faceless Ones in Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers! When Evil comes for the people you love, what will you do? That moment of reckoning has arrived for Ethan Black and he needs your help! Guide Ethan in this Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game as he explores a decimated city, searches for clues, and peels back the layers of a chilling supernatural mystery in Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers!

System Requirements:

Windows XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10; CPU: 1.8 GHz; RAM: 512 MB; DirectX: 9.0; Hard Drive: 577 MB

Publisher:

ToomkyGames

Homepage:

http://www.bigfishgames.com/games/7066/dark-strokes-sins-of-the-father/

File Size:

539 MB

Price:

$9.99

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Comments on Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers

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#1

I'll add some images later; the large gaps between paragraphs denote where the images will go :)
Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers:
In Brief:
A dark hidden object adventure.

Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers was originally given away on the 15th October 2017 where it received a positive 86% from 35 votes, with 12 comments, which you can see HERE.

You can see a few videos of game play (Spoilers) HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE; as well as some Big Fish Community members feedback HERE (bottom of the page), as well as a written walkthrough HERE (Gamezebo).
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The Game:
Review 1:
A young man brings his fiancé to meet his father and ends up having to rescue them both from a group of faceless assailants
In the hidden object genre, a sure-fire recipe for success goes something like this: start with a 19th century setting, mix in a train, an abandoned village or a dusty manor, toss in a madman bent on revenge and voila! OK, maybe I’m exaggerating (a little). The truth is, it takes deft handling of these oft-used ingredients to make a good game, and Alawar Friday’s Games, the makers of Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers, know just how to do it.
The game starts with young Ethan Black taking Clair, his lovely bride-to-be, to a remote village to meet his father. The young lovers hop a steam train and are settled in for a comfortable ride when their carriage is attacked by a sinister masked figure. After the ensuing crash, Ethan and Clair find themselves outside the very village they were attempting to reach. Unfortunately, the village is hardly their redemption; it’s mostly empty and its few remaining inhabitants are under siege by a group of masked kidnappers called “the Faceless Ones”. Before Ethan can get his bearings, Clair is captured by the Faceless Ones as part of a madman’s decades-old bid for revenge and the chase is on.
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Most hidden object games have elaborate graphics, but Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers takes elaborate to the next level. Each location contains a huge amount of detail, and hidden object scenes in particular really demonstrate the effort put in by the art team. Character art, too, is extremely well done, and the team has found a method of making 2D painted faces move convincingly, which makes for some really nice dialog sequences. Best of all, the graphics go a long way to enhance the storytelling in repeated flashbacks cleverly illustrated by oil paintings that come to life.

In addition to nice graphics, the game has some cool interactivity in the form of the aforementioned super-packed hidden object scenes that require you to manipulate some items to find others. It also has some interesting puzzle ideas (something hidden object games in general desperately need), my favourite being one that involves gaining access to a ticket booth using an ornate carnival ride. Lastly, in keeping with a recent trend, Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers also tells you explicitly what your goals are and what you need to achieve them, thus minimizing hint button usage.

On the downside, the game’s voice acting is a bit uneven; some character voices are definitely better than others. Also, the game’s bonus chapter—which details things from the villain’s point of view—feels a bit padded and repetitive since it asks you to revisit the same hidden object scenes you’ve played through a few times before in the main story. Along with the bonus chapter, there’s the usual bundle of extras: concept art, wallpapers, music and cutscenes, none of which adds all that much. Personally, I look forward to the day developers come up with more creative ideas for bonus content.


Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers is a good hidden object game that’ll reward anyone who plays it with three hours or so of suitably spooky entertainment. While a more unusual storyline might have made the game more memorable and the bonus content is iffy, the Alawar team does an expert job of weaving some familiar genre mechanisms into a fun and intriguing adventure.
Reference accessed HERE; originally posted by Nellie Johnson on February 20th, 2012. Reposted by Whiterabbit-uk 15th October 2017 and again 17th August 2022.
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Review 2:
I feel a weight of the pointlessness of trying to convince a hardcore gaming audience to give their money and time to a casual game. Clearly, there’s a lot of prejudice, a lot of it earned by the crappy nature of so much of the casual market, the rest I’d argue pure snobbishness on the part of gamers. Obvious breakthrough exceptions, invariably published by PopCap, can crossover, but otherwise words like “hidden object” tend to have people click straight past. I think it’s a shame because I just had a lot of fun playing Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers.

As a critic, it puts me in an odd place. I know that the genre inherently falls short of decades of PC gaming. Hidden Object, for all the advancements being made from the straight magazine-page puzzle popularised by SpinTop’s Mystery PI series, is still a peculiarly vapid progenitor of the adventure game. It’s as if the adventure genre is evolving for a second time, this time growing on a completely different branch, and we’re seeing its somewhat ugly forefathers. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t being clever within it all. And if not clever, pretty.
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Dark Strokes takes the genre the furthest I’ve seen from hidden object, while still containing the puzzles within. It’s also the first I’ve seen that convincingly has the plot be something in which the puzzles are involved, rather than some hastily scripted nonsense that takes place between finding umbrellas, frogs and chess pieces in a cluttered garage. In fact, it has all manner of other puzzles in the mix, and they’re not simply rearranging torn scraps of paper.

Rather gorgeously presented, the story features you as a rather dashing chap, on a trip with his fiancé to visit his father, after hearing the word of there being trouble. And trouble there is! Masked men, known as the Faceless Ones, are kidnapping villagers, and you need to explore the town to find out what’s going on, and rescue just about everyone else. Unfortunately, these rather strange people have locked absolutely every door, box and dollhouse in their town with elaborate puzzles, and then hide all the necessary components all over the place, including inside each other’s locked items. So no, it makes not half of a bit of sense, but my goodness, it’s compulsive.

What also helps here is the really lovely depth of detail throughout. It would not be unfair to suggest that much of the HO genre cuts every imaginable corner, repeating static scenes dozens of times, crudely told through poor static cartoons and speech bubbles. Not so here, where every location is bursting with detail, even the object hunting sequences enlivened by living scenes, gentle breezes and inquisitive cats. Characters, while not fully animated, are really beautifully painted, and cleverly used.
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And talking of beautifully painted, the game’s finest visual moments come as you learn the backstory to the game’s antagonist, portrayed through vividly depicted paintings, swishing into existence in front of you, with some really smart direction having the camera suddenly pull out from the painted image to reveal it as just a small part of a larger whole, again and again.

In fact, smart direction appears throughout, the camera used far more interestingly than in many un-casual games, a handheld style allowing some really impressive sudden zooms and pulls as the spooky Faceless Ones vanish into smoky swirls.

And yet, yes, you’re collecting the star-shaped tool to open the box with the star-shaped hole in it, that will reveal the key for the diary that has the clue to the puzzle in the cellar that will offer a lantern used to light the hole that contains the… you get the idea. It’s dumb. But it completely does it for me. It’s a constant sense of progress, of completing puzzles, and that’s rewarding, no matter how trivial it may be.
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There’s also the rather useful fact that I still just love playing hidden object scenes. I know it’s ridiculous, but it’s a visual puzzle that can be played with minimal amounts of effort, lulling me into a relaxed state. And best of all, if my game-hating wife comes in, she can’t help but play too, becoming frighteningly competitive about spotting a lizard or hockey stick before I do.

The range of other puzzles in here was pretty decent too, some even offering a degree of challenge. As is the way of the casual world, there is of course a “SKIP” button to take you past anything that might stump you, because – and here’s a lesson the wider world of gaming could learn – these games want to make sure you see the ending no matter your skill.

It’s also pretty big, and it does this without lazily repeating scenes a thousand times each. Rather it constantly expands, with more areas to explore. Although I did notice that the game starts to wane the further you get. While the ending is utter nonsense, it’s actually the hidden object sequences that suffer, losing the extra detail they had in the first half of the game, the interactive elements that let you use items or reveal secrets all vanishing. Complete it, and there’s even a whole new hour or so of story as a bonus chapter (although here the repetition finally appears).

Edited reference accessed HERE,. Originally posted by John Walker on February 27th, 2012. Reposted by Whiterabbit-uk 15th October 2017. (If you follow the link, you'll need to accept the sites cookies before you can read the review on the site).
Conclusion:
Although over a decade old, this was made at the height of the Hidden Object revival and has excellent graphics and good hidden object scenes. As mentioned in the reviews above, the voice acting isn't the best and the story line has been done to death over the years, but overall Dark Strokes: Sins of the Fathers is a decent game and if you love Hidden Object games definitely worth getting, even if you're not into HOG games I'd definitely give this one a try. There's another in the series called Dark Strokes: The Legend of the Snow Kingdom which has been given away three times between Nov 2018 to Dec 2021 :)
Notes on Security

I scanned a zipped copy of the installed game using Virus Total and it found two hits (VBA32 & BitDefenderTheta) from 59 antimalware engines.

You can see the results via the following link:

https://www.virustotal.com/gui/file/177d29f8bea30f50f24622dbad463c51a195cfb5d8c7c18c669c266e4e307c85?nocache=1

These two are amongst only several antimalware suites that often tag TooMKY Games compared to most better known and more reliable antimalware engines, so it's very likely to be a false positive.
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Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+27)
#10

Sorry, but not for me, though will keep it, and try and muddle through. Have arrived at the Cedar Falls station and am stuck. I know, walkthroughs, but, I haven't been able to reconcile myself to a game were this is needed, especially so early. The problem with this type is that you occasionally have to make an intuitive leap. Mostly, I find myself led around by the nose by the hint system. But, occasionally, a game is regimented enough that this fails you. Right now, I'm being told to open a locked gate, but I don't have the item necessary to do so. I can also get something out of the statue of a gryphon by putting something in it's hand, but I don't have that either. I know how to unlock the gate, I need to get a key stuck in a wooden bench seat, but I don't have that item EITHER! But, instead of telling me how to acquire that item, or any other, it just tells me to open the gate. Also, one of the BigFish commentators mentioned the regimentation in another sense. That of needing an exact item, when another would have done just fine, like a pair of scissors to cut a ribbon when you just had a knife you used to slice an apple, or a pair of wire cutters used to get something else, - I forget, a piece of glass? - to cut a rope net, when, I can assure you, wire cutters will cut rope about as well. That part isn't bad, only midly annoying, but when the help system insists on something I can't do, without thrashing around looking for a magnifying glass on some part of the scene and then making that proverbial intuitive leap, though I'm not finding any of those scenes, well, kind of raises the aggravation quotient a little too high. A game should avoid making you want to quit. But, I realize that a lot of people here have already made that intuitive leap and are long past that point, and that the walkthrough will solve my problem right away. So, I don't say it's a bad game. I just say it's not for me. Thanks anyway, GGOTD and ToomKy.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)

watcher13,

Thank you for your in depth feedback and the previous comment giving a synopsis of the comments by the BFG community. appreciated.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)
#9

While downloading, thought I'd mention: overwhelmingly positive reviews on BigFish. 129 five star out of 171. I read the others, the 4 star down to the 1 star. Usually don't read 5 stars. The "Amazon syndrome": everything is the best ever. But seems clear a lot to like here. The complaints were that this, as said in the review above, is a casual, not a hard core game. Some commented that there was a lot of handholding prompting. Also, that some of the game length was a fair amount of traveling back and forth. And a few hard core gamers had "seen it all before" and the ending was predictable to them. But, to most others, the story was a major plus. Also mentioned, as said, the interactive nature of the HO scenes stops after the demo part is over. And some were impressed, but some were thrown off by the different graphics used from one type of cutscene/gamepart to another, but mostly that was greatly appreciated. Also, all the comments I read said there is a map, but it only tells you were you are, and not where things to be done are. Though the journal probably helps with that, and, as I mentioned, a lot of prompting to tell you what you should be focused on. And that the emphasize was on HO scenes rather than solving adventure problems. For some many of the scenes were too dark. This might be a "turn up the monitor brightness" type of game. Overall though, this was highly recommended for casual HOG players. Will try and play a little and give impressions soon.

Reply   |   Comment by watcher13  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)
#8

Just to say: comment #8 from Laura in the 2017 version of today's GGotD says 'there is no navigable map.'

Certainly, the diary/journal contains a tab named MAP: clicking that during the early stages of the game gives a reply along the lines of 'you don't have a map yet!' So, I'm presuming that later on, yes I will acquire a map which I can view; perhaps what Laura meant is that it's not clickable (i.e. you can't click it to 'go direct' to a location)?

I haven't got far enough into the game to have the map yet (!), but if you're further along and DO have the map, perhaps you'd be kind enough to post a comment in here to let us all know for sure whether the map is 'clickable'?

Reply   |   Comment by Cad Delworth  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)
#7

No problems installing and running in Win10HomeX64. Very good graphics and game-play. The hidden objects are well hidden but not impossible to find. The tasks and challenges and puzzles are engaging. The mystery and story have been done before but it is still fun. I am noticing many of the scenes starting to look familiarly similar to those of some of their other games, just tweaked for this particular story. No biggie. I do like HOGs and am very much enjoying this. If it interests you, give it a go.

Thanks to all involved for offering this game.

Stephen, I was sorry to hear about your loss. My sympathy to you and your family.

Reply   |   Comment by J  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+9)
#6

Gee, Whiterabbit. What a great, detailed review. I hope you know how much you are appreciated. I really do.

And yes, downloading this beautiful game.

Reply   |   Comment by kalmly  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+8)
#5

I have had this one for a while. Very much replayable.

Reply   |   Comment by pb_guy  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+8)
#4

Hey Wabbit,

This is a great HOG even though it's old. It will scratch that Hog itch.

Just a heads up. You will probably want these..
The dev has died and his wishes were to make his 2 games free..
https://www.pcgamer.com/indie-developer-rob-hale-has-died-posthumously-making-their-games-free-to-enjoy/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/107600/Waves/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/217120/Waves_2_Notorious/

Enjoy and huggles.

Reply   |   Comment by delenn13  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)

delenn13,

Hi Delenn, thanks for the heads up; though I'd already purchased both games ages ago. Sad to hear about the developer.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+6)
#3

I like this type of game. As was said above," it’s a visual puzzle that can be played with minimal amounts of effort, lulling me into a relaxed state". Thank you for your efforts.

Reply   |   Comment by jdmoon49  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+5)
#2

I am going to the Festival of India today by train further in the East Bay Area so I won't have time to play much until later this evening providing I can figure out the directions to walk there once I exit the train and remember the way to get back :)

Of what I've played, the game has a great sound track and uses pre-recorded clips to showcase a story. At the beginning of the game, the woman is on a train and I have to find her suitcase.

But in the same scene the game uses FMV to provide the depth and perception that we're actually on a train :)

Beginning cutscenes, there is spoken dialog but feelings and expressions are expressed by smiles and frowns, etc but no lips moving when someone speaks. Still the game manages to tell a compelling story.

If you have a wide screen monitor, be sure to check the Wide Screen option before playing the game as it makes the game appear center in the screen in a 4x3 manner but it's not true HD.

Should you find your cursor laggy, check the option of System Cursor in the options menu.

If I get back home in time today, I will play a little more and update the review with more detail and depth.

Reply   |   Comment by sailorbear510 aka Jason  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+8)

sailorbear510 aka Jason, if anyone misses today's game you can usually find them on Steam for cheap. Unfortunately this entry in the Dark Strokes Chapter is not on Steam but another one is. Also, try Legacy Games for Hidden Object , Solitaire, Mahjong, Puzzle packs for the cheap. Some have already been given away through Prime Gaming earlier this year. Also remember that Steam sales usually are for one week at a time and end on Monday at 10am PST which a new set of games goes on sale then.

Reply   |   Comment by sailorbear510 aka Jason  –  3 months ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+8)
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