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Natural Threat: Ominous Shores Giveaway

Game Giveaway of the day — Natural Threat: Ominous Shores

Become a professor's assistant and carry out genetic experiments!
User rating: 35 (95%) 2 (5%) 8 comments

Natural Threat: Ominous Shores was available as a giveaway on September 19, 2021!

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Use your powers of observation to save your friends from the genetic aberrations that populate a forgotten island in Natural Threat: Ominous Shores! Brave the escalating threat that unfolds before you and save your companions! Each scene will bring new challenges, horrifying discoveries, and clues to what brought the monsters that populate the island to life. Be smart, and you might survive long enough to make the most shocking discovery of all in Natural Threat: ominous Shores!

System Requirements:

Windows XP/ Vista/ Win7/ 8; CPU: 1.6 GHz; RAM: 512 MB; DirectX: 9.0; Hard Drive: 649 MB





File Size:

611 MB



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Natural Threat: Ominous Shores:

In Brief:
A Botanical/entomologically oriented hidden object game that was originally given away on November 3rd 2018, where it received a positive 80% from 35 votes, with 10 comments that you can see HERE. This is quite an old game, so if you have a reasonably up to date monitor, you may find a large black border around the game. If you enter the options menu and uncheck the 'Keep original screen size' (which is checked by default), the game will show as full screen with no black border.

You can see several videos of game play HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, as well as a written walkthrough HERE.

If you are not so sure about downloading the game after watching a few of the videos or having read some of the comments left by the community the last time this was given away, then check out some of the excellent reviews and comments (some short, some full blown reviews) about the game from several communities and individuals HERE (see part way down the Big Fish page for comments), HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Game Features

32 Locations
9 Hidden Object Scenes
30 Mini-Games
Casual and Expert Modes
Unlimited Hints

Use your powers of observation to save your friends from the genetic aberrations that populate a forgotten island in Natural Threat: Ominous Shores! Brave the escalating threat that unfolds before you and save your companions! Each scene will bring new challenges, horrifying discoveries, and clues to what brought the monsters that populate the island to life. Be smart, and you might survive long enough to make the most shocking discovery of all in Natural Threat: ominous Shores!.

Reference accessed HERE on the 3rd Nov 2018 and reposted again on the 17th September 2021.

The Game:
I've reposted two reviews written by Nellie Johnson on Feb 29th 2012 and Daniel Weissenberger on October 22nd 2012. Both reviews are well written, the former giving it a mainly positive review, whereas the latter review by Daniel Weissenberger has some negativity towards the game

Review 1:
Natural Threat: Ominous Shores is an unusual title, thanks mostly to its unusual “mad scientist” theme. I know what you’re thinking; we’ve seen mad scientists in hidden object games before. Well sure we have—but not generally intending to do humanity good, and not in a botanical setting. The unique approach employed by Ominous Shores not only works the way good sci-fi and horror fiction does, (by tapping into some of our basest fears), it also makes for some good entertainment.

The strangest thing about Ominous Shores is its weird hero swapping. I started the game as a young lab assistant working for a brilliant botanist/genetic scientist. I really enjoyed the role, having never gotten to play it before. Just as I was getting into it, however, the context abruptly shifted and I was swept through time and space and stuffed into the consciousness of a different protagonist, a young day-tripper out sailing with a group of friends. While other games have swapped heroes on me before, they’ve never done it in quite this way, and I found the process disorienting and slightly off-putting.

Shortly after becoming the carefree day-tripper, I was shipwrecked on the very same tropical island on which I’d worked (as my other self) as a lab assistant. Dragging myself onto the beach, I realized my friends were gone. Every last one of them, the useless jerks. I began exploring the island on my own and found the overgrown remains of my old botanical lab. No wait—that wasn’t me! I’m not a lab assistant, I’m a shipwreck survivor! OK, so I um, found the remains of a lab I’d never, ever seen before, and was in the middle of cursing my shiftless buddies when I saw one of them being dragged off by a gigantic plant and realized something was amiss. Yeah, I’m quick that way.
I began digging through the ruins in earnest then, collecting journal entries from a Dr Steiner, a crackpot who believed the future of mankind depended on splicing human genes with those of plants and animals. The good doctor was nowhere to be found, but the more work of his I discovered, the more I realized the danger I—we—were in. From that point on, I was determined to find my friends and get the heck off that island.

Natural Threat: Ominous Shores does a lot of things well. As you might have guessed, the story did a good job of sucking me in. A big part of that was the amount of attention paid to sprinkling the environments with interesting descriptive text and cool things to look at. The game’s flora-filled graphics were truly impressive; in fact, I’d say developer Butterfly iSoft did the creepy plant thing so thoroughly and so well, that they wanted nothing less than to create their very own Little Shop of Horrors.

Of course a beautiful façade means nothing if the gameplay stinks, but Ominous Shores scores highly in that regard as well. The game was one of the more complex hidden object games I’ve played, with scenes and puzzles interwoven from beginning to end. Puzzles, for the most part, were of a middling difficulty and were more about finding things and putting things in their place than solving anything – but they were still fun to do. I particularly enjoyed an interesting mini-game take on mahjong and the end puzzle, which while a little click-heavy, was somewhat unexpected.

The one thing Ominous Shores could improve is its sound. While I really enjoyed the melancholy musical score (for some reason, it kept calling to mind themes from Showtime’s Dexter), it came and went in a strange way. There seemed little rhyme or reason to when the music would kick in or when it would stop, and that often marred the mood for me. Fortunately, the game’s surprising number of storytelling cutscenes made up for it. Now if only there’d been a little voiceover…
Natural Threat: Ominous Shores does what I never thought possible; puts plants at the centre of a mystery and makes it interesting. (Stop grinding your teeth, plant lovers. It’s not good for your enamel.) Although the idea of changing heroes mid-stream is a little odd, and the music cues could use some work, Ominous Shores is still without question, a fun, beautiful and immersive hidden object adventure.

Reference accessed HERE Originally posted by Nellie Johnson Feb 29th 2012, reposted by Whiterabbit-uk 3rd Nov 2018 and again 17th Sept 2021.

Review 2:
For the first half-hour, Natural Threat: Ominous Shores feels like it might be building towards something special. The game opens with the player taking on the role of a recently-hired assistant to a mad scientist determined to crossbreed animals with plants. As the player carefully removes insects from experimental plant beds and searches out the ingredients for a mutagenic cocktail, gamers will be hunting for objects in believably cluttered locations, giving the whole thing a natural feel. Then the scientist's experiments prove successful to a tragic degree, and the plot jumps forwards a few decades, where a more generic story and less impressive gameplay are waiting

As I wrote above, the game's opening is impressive in this respect, with a single object-hunt screen managing to look like storage area of a man with more important things to worry about than the orderly arrangement of his tchotkes. Once the time-jump is complete, and the player is now controlling a generic youth whose party-boat sank near the island, the screens get needlessly messy. If the mere appearance of incongruous items like suits of armour and cuckoo clocks on this isolated Caribbean research outpost wasn't bad enough, the game commits the cardinal sin of HOGs—arbitrarily changing the scale of items to better hide them in stages. It's all well and good to tell me I'm looking for a "dog" and then trick me but putting a small drawing off in the corner, but making a hex nut the size of a human head in order to conceal it is just unfair.

It's pretty much a fifty-fifty split in this game. While there are plenty of screens that ask the player to collect over a dozen random objects, there are also a few progressive item hunt areas, where every item in the list has a specific purpose and relevance to the puzzle being solved. These puzzles are well-enough designed that it winds up throwing the standard screens into sharp relief, making them seem more perfunctory than anything else.

It's in this area that the game really falls apart. While HOG fans have come to accept the "find a key to open the chest—and fourteen other nonsense items for no reason!" puzzle framework as a necessary evil of the genre, Natural Threat feels perfunctory even by those lax expectations. It isn't just how many times players will be asked to go back and hunt for objects on the same screen—although that does get tiresome—it's how little effort the developers put into integrating the searches into the story. There are many occasions in the game where I came across a glowing field letting me know that a HOG screen is available—but the plot hadn't presented me with an impassable obstacle or a mystery to be solved. Not only was I faced with the prospect of picking twelve objects out of a pile of refuse, I didn't even know which of the dozen was the plot-related item that I was supposed to be looking for. That's just sloppy design.

Natural Threat's visuals are attractive enough, and nearly half of the puzzles are well-designed for the genre, but it never gives the player a good reason to keep playing. The central mystery of the island is kind of a dud, and the main character and their friends are such ciphers that it's not really possible to care if they get off the island, except in an objective, "getting-eaten-by-carnivorous-plants-is-a-bad-outcome" sort of way. Without technical accomplishment or a compelling narrative, Natural Threat never rises above the crowd to distinguish itself in any meaningful way. There are better ways to spend time hunting pixels.

Edited reference accessed HERE Originally posted by Daniel Weissenberger on October 22, 2012 Reposted by Whiterabbit-uk 3rd Nov 2018, and again 17th Sept 2021.



Notes on Security
I scanned a zipped copy of the installed game using Virus Total and it found 2 hits (Zillya & Zoner) from 59 antimalware engines. Zillya & Zoner are some of only several that often tag Falcoware games from all the others; most of which are better known and more reliable, but 57 other antimalware engines found the installed game safe, so it's very likely to be a false positive.

The downloaded executable may include some low level adware that only opens your browser to MyPlayCity's (MPC) home page after the game has installed and places four shortcuts onto your desktop (which can be safely deleted once the game has installed).

The installation does NOT inject any malware into your system. When your browser is opened to MPC's home page following the games installation, it earns MPC games some money, part of which is given to the developer of the game for allowing the game to be given away free.

You can see the results of the scan via the following link:


Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+28)


The latest free games from Epic Games are Speed Brawl, a 2D combat-racer about moving fast and hitting hard! Maintain your momentum, build combos, and unleash powerful moves. Find your own fighting style, and assemble the best team of brawlers ever seen. Then do it all again faster. Faster. FASTER! plus Tharsis, a turn-based space strategy game. With dice. And cannibalism. It puts you in control of humanity’s first mission to Mars, just as it’s struck by a micrometeorite storm.

Fron Thursday 23rd September 4pm UK/11am EST, the next freebie will unlock called The Escapists - a unique prison sandbox experience with lots of items to craft and combine in your daring quest for freedom. Life in prison will keep you on your toes with the strict rules that you’ll have to break. The guards are out to stop any escape attempts, so you’ll have to avoid suspicious behaviour by attending roll calls, working a prison job and hiding your stolen craftables.

Indie Gala have added more games to their showcase section HERE, e.g. Crazy Space Pirate, Marvin the Hatter, Pirate Codex, DreamTime, Project Restart, A Maze In Opportunity, Mirage Online Classic, In the world unknown, Dissociation, The little witch Edwina, Hard Place and another Leisure Suit Larry adventure. All but volume 7 have now been removed from the free section, but if you grabbed them while they were still in the freebie section, you'll still find them in your Indie Gala library, where you can download DRM free copies of them.

You can usually find links to Steam and non Steam freebies via Delenn's threads over in the forums HERE (non-Steam) and HERE (Steam). (thanks for keeping these threads updated frequently Delenn, it's really appreciated by me and I'm sure other community members.

The latest Humble Choice bundle went live on the first Tuesday of the month; If you have the original subscription before it changed from the Humble Monthly to the Humble Choice bundle you get 12 games plus a DRM free arcade game called Sluggish Morss Pattern Circus and access to all the games in the Humble Trove while your subscription is live. The Humble Trove includes around 75+ titles. The DRM free titles you can download and keep forever. The other games in the Trove can be downloaded and played while your subscription is live. If you suspend a month you lose access to those games for that month. They are adding games to the Trove virtually every month. Here's just a few examples of what's included in the Trove. Race the Sun: Challenge Edition, Zodiac II, Volantia: Kingdom in the Sky, Shady Knight, 20 minute Metropolis, Keyboard Sports, When Ski Lifts Go Wrong (this is £14.99 on Steam, you get the DRM free copy, so can still play it if you suspend your subscription). Also includes Valhalla Hills (another Steam game worth £7.99, but you get the DRM free version), Broken Sword 5, Runestone Keeper, Bomber Crew, (another DRM free copy that is £14.99 on Steam), Drawkanoid (£3.99 on Steam), Actually quite a few of the games in the Trove are also on Steam, but you always get the DRM free version.

There are different subscriptions available, details of which you can find HERE.

If you subscribe, it doesn't tie you in to buy every monthly choice bundle. If you find the latest bundle isn't for you, just go to your account page and suspend that month. This has to be done for each months bundle if you don't want them before your subscription is due for that month. Apart from the amazing bargains found with these choice bundles; there is always at least one or two premium AAA games, plus several other AAA and high level indie arcade games included in each bundle.

This months bundle would set you back £211.68 (approx' $290) if you purchased all of the games and includes PGA Tour 2K21 (£49.99), Neon Abyss (£15.99), Not For Broadcast (£19.49}, RÖKI (£19.49), Narita Boy (£19.99), West of Dead (£15.49), Atomicrops (£11.39), Heaven's Vault (£19.99), Swag and Sorcery (£9.99), Fort Triumph (£15.49), Orwell: Ignorance is Strength (£7.19) and Framed Collection (£7.19). For me, just the cost of Swag & Sorcery takes care of the cost of the whole bundle (it cost me £8.72 for the bundle) so I'm very pleased with this months choice, especially as several were on my wish list. The last one I already had, so gave it to a friend.

The extra game is a weird graphic oriented game on the lines of those Amanita Design games such as Samorost 1 (free on Steam) and Samorost 2, Machinarium and Rocket man, but is much more psychedelic and wacky. (If you get the bundle make sure you turn down the volume when playing Sluggish Morss Pattern Circus as it's rather jarring in places, but fits the game.

If you come across any games that are worth downloading, please do post details and links in Delenn's threads HERE (non-Steam) and HERE (Steam). Thank you in advance.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+22)

Seems like an O.K. game, so far.

Reply   |   Comment by Lawrence Carter  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

[star ratings on scale of 1-5:]
fun 5
visual/sound 5
challenge 5
storyline 5
user experience 4
overall 5

I have played up to shortly after the main game play begins. The point where it's charging ahead in one direction, but then the bottom drops out and the real mystery starts to unfold.

It's fun so far and looks as if it will continue to be. The progression is linear -- not too much back-tracking. The puzzles seem logical and easy. And when I've gotten stumped searching for objects, it has helped to step away for a bit -- or at least lean back to shift perspective. It's been a while since I played a hidden object puzzle adventure, and I'm a tad rusty.

The game came out in early 2012, but the visuals don't look dated. The colors are bright, the scenes are beautiful, and the artwork is clear. The game does show its age in the lack of voiceover and the fact that the scenes have just a few interactive areas.

I think the interactive areas are too big, making it hard to know what you're clicking on. Since there aren't a lot of them in a scene, I soon realized that after I'd clicked on a few things, that's all there was going to be even if the magnifying glass kept showing up.

At times those large interactive areas made it hard to return to the previous room. I had to hold the mouse over the inventory area to get the "go back" icon because there wasn't a clear space to hover over.

The journal is very detailed, to the point of having what could be considered spoilers. I appreciate it, though, because it'll make it easier to get back up to speed when I return to the game.

The symphonic music is reflective and melodic. I find it peaceful and unintrusive, which helps me concentrate.

Even though it's just beginning, I'm imagining how the storyline will unfold and why there's a sequel.

Based on what I've played so far, I recommend the game.

Thanks, Whiterabbit, GGOTD, and MyPlayCity!

(System info: Win7 Pro 64-bit, 32GB RAM, i7-6700HQ, GTX 970M, 1920 x 1080 resolution)

Reply   |   Comment by tinyearl  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+10)


Thank you for your excellent review tinyearl; as I mentioned yesterday, it's always a pleasure to see decent feedback from the community.

When the giveaway site was at it's best, back in the noughties, when we were given arcade games every day directly from the developers, I'd tried to persuade the community to post decent feedback and suggestions because I always believed this place could become a nexus for developers to share their products for free, being paid with decent suggestions and positive comments or at least constructive comments. Sadly that was never to be despite at the time having thousands of community members visiting every day. At its height the site had upwards of fifty thousand daily downloads.

Unfortunately, the financial crisis of 2008 put paid to that period, when many of the smaller development houses went out of business or were swallowed up by bigger companies; for example, one of my favourite development houses Reflexive Arcade (the creators of one of the best breakout/arkanoid clones ever made IMO, called Ricochet Infinity) were bought out by Amazon. You can see why many of these development houses no longer exist; because the cost of an arcade game before the financial crisis was $19.99; literally within months of the crisis, the cost of arcade games generally dropped from that price to less than $6. Investment into game engines back then was costly as was paying the staff to create the games.

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

Thanks, Whiterabbit. It is disturbing how games have been devalued. I think developers are brilliant -- I don't know how they create the worlds that they do and then manage to teach players how to navigate in them. Every different type of game feels as if it expands my mind in a new dimension.

Reply   |   Comment by tinyearl  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)


Yes it is disturbing. It makes me mad and sad when I read many of the negative reviews of games that have obviously had a lot of work put into them.

I feel exactly the same about the games I play.

Because I'm virtually housebound playing open world games like The Hunter, Generation Zero, Fallout 3 & 5, ArmA 2 & 3 and Just Cause 2, 3 & 4 plus most of the Elder Scrolls games as well as survival games like 7 Days to Die help to lessen the ache I have with respect to not being able to go walking over the moors and national parks here in the UK. We have a National park on our doorstep, but I can only go if I have someone to push my wheelchair.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

I played this in 2018. It's a great game! And a long one! :^)

Reply   |   Comment by Sarge  –  Last year  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+12)
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