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Howlville The Dark Past Giveaway
$9.99
EXPIRED

Game Giveaway of the day — Howlville The Dark Past

Reveal the mystery of the secret experiment and find Rachel’s father!
$9.99 EXPIRED
User rating: 36 (90%) 4 (10%) 14 comments

Howlville The Dark Past was available as a giveaway on December 28, 2019!

Today Giveaway of the Day
$0.99
free today
Run against time to reach your goal, pay attention to your surroundings and It avoids the dangers.

Exclusive offer from Giveaway of the Day and MyPlayCity! No third-party advertising and browser add-ons!

Discover the secret of Rachel's past in Howlville: The Dark Past! Many years ago an artifact was found in a mine near the small town of Howlville. The government asked Dr. Joseph and a group of scientists to examine it. Something went wrong and the experiments were halted and classified. The town closed off. Since then nobody knows what happened to Dr. Joseph. Fifteen years later his daughter Rachel is on the verge of solving the mystery, but somebody is doing everything possible to keep her from succeeding. Help find Rachel's father and save the world from the looming catastrophe!

System Requirements:

Windows XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10; CPU: 2.0 GHz; RAM: 1024 MB; DirectX: 9.0; Hard Drive: 1285 MB

Publisher:

MyPlayCity

Homepage:

https://www.bigfishgames.com/games/7265/howlville-the-dark-past/?pc

File Size:

359 MB

Price:

$9.99

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#1

Howlville: The Dark Past
In Brief
Howlville: The Dark Past is an adventure hidden object puzzle game with some excellent mini games spread liberally throughout the game. Most puzzles link with the hidden object scenes as opposed to being completely separate from them. This was originally given away last year 14th October 2018, where it received a positive 88% from 45 votes with 10 comments which you can see accessed HERE.
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Introduction:
Discover the secret of Rachel's past in Howlville: The Dark Past! Many years ago an artifact was found in a mine near the small town of Howlville. The government asked Dr. Joseph and a group of scientists to examine it. Something went wrong, and the experiments were halted and classified. The town closed off. Since then nobody knows what happened to Dr. Joseph. Fifteen years later his daughter Rachel is on the verge of solving the mystery, but somebody is doing everything possible to keep her from succeeding. Help find Rachel's father and save the world from the looming catastrophe!
Reference accessed HERE 14th October 2018
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The Game:
Review 1:
Released in 2012, on first glance, Howlville: The Dark Secret is perfectly packaged to imitate its long line of ancestors who’ve thrilled audiences with their haunted houses, car crashes, and mysterious towns—or at least bombarded them into a numb acceptance of commercial standards. But from the title screen forward, Howlville distinguishes itself from the gloomy flock with a unique twist on the tried-and-true game-play of hidden-object games. Instead of puzzles and hidden objects existing as separate entities; they’ve nested puzzles and tons of interaction into each hidden-object scenes, creating a very different pace and strategy for familiar mechanics.
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The game opens predictably for the genre—you’ve escaped a mental institution and you’re driving a stolen vehicle down some forbidden highway in search of an even more forbidden town. Rachel, the protagonist, reveals in an intimate tone that she is looking for her father, one of two scientists who disappeared in Howlville years ago while investigating an artifact. Eventually, the other scientist is established as the antagonist, but the how’s and why’s in Howlville are never quite fleshed out enough to matter. It reminded me of older adventure games where the programmers would hire a writer after the fact to “add some story” to the game-play. And although the cut-scenes were written with care, but the journal and in-game text could’ve benefited from some judicious editing.
Where N-Tri Studios’ first game really shines is in the game-play—a major achievement just out of the chute. There are five chapters, each consisting of limited locations, so you’re only moving between three scenes at most, making it impossible to get lost. This approach works here because most of the needed items are garnered from intense hidden-object scenes that are puzzles in and of themselves.
Most scenes featured tiered levels of interaction: the first was moving objects to find other objects, the second was using an object in the scene to open/unlock another object to find other objects, and the third level was solving actual puzzles within the scene, such as a jigsaw or Rubik’s cube, to find an object. Each scene was a real challenge and I found myself scratching my head more than I would with some “real” adventure games.
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Also impressive was the game’s use of monitor real estate. The HUD was clean and simple, and the in-game text was restricted to small text boxes that appeared when your pointer paused on a hotspot, allowing the eyes to give their full attention to the hand-drawn scenes. The music was about as aesthetically pleasing as a looped audio track can be, the sound effects appropriate, and the voice over, although scant, was well done.
But sometimes a player can have too much of a good thing. With all the layers of interaction, the hidden-object scenes become major undertakings that could last ten minutes or longer—especially if they contain two or more puzzles. (Be forewarned: the Skip button takes two minutes to charge.) Although most of the interactions were logical, some required leaps and bounds of faith that two such objects should go together. At times the length of time in a hidden-object scene detracted from the overall adventure and would’ve detracted from the story if there had been one. And just as I’d breathe a sigh of relief that I’d completed all that puzzling, I’d find another active hidden-object scene in the same location!
As a standard edition, Howlville: The Dark Secret knocks it out of the park and deserves to be played on novelty factor alone. Whether you consider yourself a puzzle gamer or a hidden-object gamer, you’ll find plenty to love in N-Tri Studios’ game-play mash up. And if you’re looking for a hardcore challenge, play the game on Expert mode—you’ll carry out thousands of interactions without a single glint!
Reference accessed HERE original review by Keely Alexander on Jul 11, 2012; Edited and reposted by Whiterabbit-uk 14th Oct 2018.
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Review 2:
Howlville: The Dark Past is a lightly-flavored science fiction-themed hidden object adventure game from N-Tri Studio. Featuring a balanced mix of puzzle solving, item hunting, and adventuring, Howlville manages to be a hidden object game without feeling like a rehash of the games that came before it, touching on common elements found in the genre but focusing intently on smart puzzles that really challenge the player. The result is something light and casual, recognizable but still different enough to offer mounds of enjoyment.
The protagonist Rachel lost her father when she was a child, and she's been searching for him her entire life. Gaining access to some "secret archives", she learned he was one of two scientists investigating a strange artifact in the town of Howlville. Something went wrong, though, and the town has since been declared off-limits, its location hidden from the public. Rachel eventually found the classified city only to be thrown in a mental institution shortly afterwards. Now she has escaped, and as the game begins, she's on her way to Howlville. As you probably guessed, things only get weirder from this point on, what with all the mad scientistry and whatnot…...
The game is laid out in a series of small sections blocked by puzzles that require multiple steps to complete. As you explore each area, you'll pick up several items to keep in your inventory, most of which have logical uses later in the game. You'll also complete a number of mini-games to gain access to new areas, such as completing fuses to light up rooms, or gathering certain numbers of unusual items so you can open locked boxes, cabinets, and the like.
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The game sticks with the established hidden object formula, but it does so without sinking too deeply into it. The story features a smattering of elements we've all seen before, such as mysteriously vanishing grandparents, a protagonist from a mental institution, and a dark, semi-haunted town to explore. But Howlville is almost paradoxical in nature, lightly skimming the surface of the hidden object genre just as an excuse to deliver a series of wonderfully-constructed puzzles.
The story and setting are simple but interesting, but the visuals do manage to stand out as being crisp and easy to see. The game doesn't support widescreen, however, which is a bit of a shame seeing as how it looks so good. Most of the time you'll be so focused on the unique mini-games and strange puzzles you won't be thinking about things like aspect ratios or black bars on the side of your screen.
Reference accessed HERE original review by JohnB, July 8, 2012; Edited and re-posted by Whiterabbit-uk 14th Oct 2018.
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Other Reviews, Walk-throughs and Videos of Howlville: The Dark Past:
You can see community reviews of Howlville: The Dark Past HERE (go to bottom of the page) & HERE (mainly positive), plus forum comments, suggestions and help HERE. You can also see game play videos of Howlville: The Dark Past HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE & HERE and some walkthroughs HERE & HERE
Conclusion:
Simply enjoyable is a good way to describe Howlville: The Dark Past. The game doesn't veer too far in any genre-defined direction, allowing it to maintain its HOG likeability without alienating any type of player. It's got game play where it counts, and both the in-game puzzles and mini-games and are some of the most satisfying puzzles around! The downside is the poor storyline.
An 8 out of 10 thumbs up from me and a game well worth downloading.
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If you miss today's game giveaway you can always get the game free via MyPlayCity 24/7 HERE; or If you prefer to purchase the game you can get it directly from Big Fish Games HERE or Steam HERE. You can also get it as a bundle via Steam with three other HOG’s (Crossroad Mysteries: The Broken Deal, Ashley Clark: Secret of the Ruby & Ashley Clark: The Secrets of the Ancient Temple) and with 30% off at the moment HERE
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank MyPlayCity for giving away Howlville: The Dark Past with the toolbars removed and to the game giveaway team, as always, for securing other ways to get free games.
Having problems installing today's game?
If you have a problem installing or activating or getting Howlville: The Dark Past to work please visit the problems section, which you can find in the FAQ's thread HERE. Also read through the community’s comments because sometimes fixes have already been posted. The main issue we have is with the giveaway wrapper, which uses a Themida based code to protect the games executable. Unfortunately, Themida is also used to hide malware; so, as a precaution, some security software may block the installation and sometimes even delete the executable file. Blocking or deletion is usually determined partly by the way your computer is set up. Usually you'll get a message saying ''the file is corrupted'', but, the files are okay. There are a couple of things you can do to overcome this issue. The first is to reboot in safe mode with networking, install the game then reboot, or secondly you can (at your own risk) temporarily turn off your security, install the game, then turn your security back on. A note of reassurance to those that choose the latter and quicker method. The game giveaway team have been giving away games for over a decade (Dec 2006 & prior to that, via the main site 2 or 3 times weekly from Oct 2006 to Dec 2006) and have 'NEVER' given away a game infected with malware; they always test every giveaway with several of the top anti-malware suites to ensure all games are free from malware.
If for any reason you want to contact the giveaway team, for example, if you have a problem getting the latest game or other issues that the FAQ's thread or these comments don't cover or solve or if you have a game to offer the community you can do so HERE
Useful Information not related to today's game giveaway:
Don't forget to check out the Epic Game store. Until the 30th December they are giving a new (old) game away every day. Today until late afternoon it's Shadow Tactics: Blade of the Shogun (a hardcore tactical stealth game set in Japan around the Edo period. A new Shogun seizes power over Japan and enforces nationwide peace. He recruits five specialists with extraordinary skills for assassination, sabotage and espionage - worth £34.99/$ 39.99 /€ 39.99 when not on sale. It's 75% off via Steam at the moment HERE). Previous giveaways over the Christmas period have been Into the Breach, Towerfall Ascension, Superhot, Little Inferno, Ape Out, Celeste (repeat from August/Sept), Totally Accurate Battle Simulator, Faster than Light and Hyper Light Drifter. The Steam Christmas sale is on at the moment with some games as much as 90% off HERE
Also The Indie Gala Dev showcase has added a few more decent games i.e. Dino Dini's Kick Off Revival 279MB - (Dino Dini is back and so is Kick Off! The advertising for the original game in 1989 declared: "Playing it is easy, mastering it will take time - A lot of time" and this is also true of Dino Dini's Kick Off™ Revival), Ubersoldier II 2.6GB - (A WWII first person shooter with single player and multiplayer options - where a tightly knit group of SS generals and officers, involved in the most heinous and dark deeds, is seeking a way to save the remnants of the Third Empire. They have conspired to move the leaders of the Reich, together with precious resources and classified equipment, to a remote hideout in the Tibetan mountains) and Theatre of War 2: Africa 1943 1.6GB - (WWII RTS sim covering the events of 1943 in Tunisia, North Africa. Recovering from their losses after the crushing defeat and subsequent retreat after the Second Battle of El-Alamein, the German Afrika Korps - reinforced and now supported by the Italian Army - prepare once more to put steel against steel with the Allies).
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Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last month  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+19)

Whiterabbit-uk, thank you for your regular reviews and a happy new year to you and all your dear ones!

Reply   |   Comment by Threshold  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)
#7

This file downloads and starts to install just fine, but then I get "An error occurred while trying to rename a file in the destination directory: MoveFile failed: code 23
Data error (cyclic redundancy check) With the options to "retry", "abort" or "ignore". I've tried all three with the same repeated results. This doesn't seem to have anything to do with Thermida wrapper. Any suggestions? (And yes, my anitvirus is off.)

Reply   |   Comment by Lonnie James  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)
#6

I received a "failed to launch program" error 2 times trying to install the program. This has been happening more regularly with GOTD games for me.

Reply   |   Comment by Tom Kelly  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Tom Kelly, whenever I received that error message, I turned off my antivirus program and then again launched the game's setup program -- it installed. Try that. And yes, it's been happening more often with me also.

Reply   |   Comment by daug  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)

Tom Kelly,

Hi Tom, This issue is due to the giveaway wrapper which contains Themida code. Because that particular code can also be used to wrap malware, some security software's will tag it as suspect and prevent installation. Various messages including the one you mentioned are often the ones thrown up in this situation. The giveaway team have been giving games away since 2006 and have never given away a game infected with malware. When they receive the files from developers and distributors they test them to make sure they are safe to download.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)
#5

Installed on Win XP. Works without a problem.

The gameplay is a bit uncomfortable. For active objects, there is no hint of what needs to be done for them (to find a handle or something else), which is usually given in such games.

In my opinion, the game is pretty boring.

Reply   |   Comment by Vladimir  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)

Vladimir,

Thank you for your feedback Vladimir

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)
#4

my pc said it was a corrupt and to run would put pc at risk. So no go for me. Ga,me is not worth the effort

Reply   |   Comment by myrn Dick  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

myrn Dick,

Hi, This issue is due to the giveaway wrapper which contains Themida code. Because that particular code can also be used to wrap malware, some security software's will tag it as suspect and prevent installation. Various messages including the one you mentioned are often the ones thrown up in this situation. The giveaway team have been giving games away since 2006 (almost 2000 games) and have never given away a game infected with malware. When they receive the files from developers and distributors they test them to make sure they are safe to download.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)
#3

I installed and played this game, last time it was offered. LOTS of scenes, no simple "direct" clues, easy to see Objects (as opposed to other games, where the Objects are barely discernible). All makes for a long journey/adventure, which means FUN and a "keeper" of a game. :)

Reply   |   Comment by DianaAspenHill  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+11)

DianaAspenHill,

Thank you for your feedback Diane, appreciaited

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)
#2

At first (Windows 10) I couldn't move (or do anything else with) the magnet on the car seat. I switched to Windows 7 compatibility and it worked fine. Maybe it is a coincidence, but if works, that's good enough for me :-))
Enjoy your weekend and greetings from The Netherlands!

Reply   |   Comment by tiscrea ©  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+16)

tiscrea ©,

Thank you for your feedback tiscrea ©, hopefully if others come across the same issue your fix will work for them also. :)
Have a fantastic new year.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  23 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+7)
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