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Tales From The Dragon Mountain: The Strix Giveaway
$9.99
EXPIRED

Game Giveaway of the day — Tales From The Dragon Mountain: The Strix

Defeat the evil spirit called Strix!
$9.99 EXPIRED
User rating: 27 (93%) 2 (7%) 9 comments

Tales From The Dragon Mountain: The Strix was available as a giveaway on June 28, 2020!

Today Giveaway of the Day
$9.99
free today
Every second counts in this breathtaking paranormal adventure!

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

Mina Lockheart's dreams became unbearable nightmares. She dreamt about her grandmother Kate and their old family house being eaten by flames. One day, Mina decided to travel back to their family estate to make peace with her own memories. What started as a simple trip of search for inner peace, turned out to be the greatest, unimaginable adventure of her life! Defeat the evil spirit called Strix in Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Strix, a fun Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game!

System Requirements:

Windows XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8/ 10; CPU: 1.0 GHz; RAM: 256 MB; DirectX: 9.0; Hard Drive: 232 MB

Publisher:

ToomkyGames

Homepage:

https://www.bigfishgames.com/games/6291/tales-from-the-dragon-mountain-the-strix/

File Size:

135 MB

Price:

$9.99

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#1

Tales From The Dragon Mountain: The Strix
In Brief
A hidden object puzzle adventure game.
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Introduction
Mina Lockheart's dreams became unbearable nightmares. She Dreamt/dreamed about her grandmother Kate and their old family house being eaten by flames. One day, Mina decided to travel back to their family estate to make peace with her own memories. What started as a simple trip of search for inner peace, turned out to be the greatest, unimaginable adventure of her life! Defeat the evil spirit called Strix in Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Strix, a fun Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game!
Reference accessed HERE 27th June 2020
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Videos, walkthroughs and other reviews
You can see a couple of written walkthroughs for Tales From The Dragon Mountain: The Strix HERE and HERE. A full review by Mervyn Graham HERE (Feb 2013) and 28 Steam community reviews of the game (61% -ve) HERE. You can also see several You Tube videos of game play (Spoilers included and I've not checked for any inappropriate language) HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE (no commentary), HERE and HERE
The Game
Cateia Games' is the newest lite adventure from the developers who previously brought us . Although not directly related, the new game marks the studio’s first return to the fantasy genre since then, raising expectations that it would build on the success of its predecessor. But while this game is pleasing to look at and can be mildly enjoyable at times, takes a much more casual approach, with very little story development and easy puzzles that will appeal mainly to gamers wanting a stress-free experience.
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Players step into the role of Mina Lockheart, who is haunted by nightmares of her grandmother’s house in flames long after she has passed away. Mina decides to visit the house hoping to put her nightmares to rest and find some kind of peace. What she finds instead are some incredible secrets from her grandmother’s past that lead her on a quest to save the surrounding forest and mountain from an ancient evil known as the Dark Lord Strix.
This premise certainly had potential, but unfortunately the story is shallow and predictable, serving mainly as a backdrop for the puzzles with hardly any details to flesh out the plot. Mina’s tale involves helping creatures that her grandmother kept safe from Strix when she was alive. With the death of her grandmother years ago, the creatures have fallen under the Dark Lord’s spell, and it is up to Mina to break them free. This is really as deep as it gets; the plot never offers any real background about this fantastical world and its inhabitants. They’re merely devices to slow your progress towards a final confrontation with Strix, whether it’s creating a potion to revive a tree spirit or securing a hungry beast-like treasure chest.
The game is split into six chapters, with each set in a new location. A variety of characters “help” Mina in her quest, from her green-skinned, gnome-like sidekick Malik to a jealous fairy and a frightening werewolf, but most only make a brief appearance, quickly left behind and forgotten. The characterization of Mina and Malik offers a little more depth, although not much. Mina’s incredulous reactions to talking trees and flying ships are believable and makes the character seem more realistic, although we learn nothing about her beyond that. Near the beginning, Malik seems like he’ll be just one more forgettable supporting character, but he grows on you by the end of the game. He doesn’t actually do anything to assist Mina, mind you, besides popping up occasionally to give her someone to argue with during her journey.
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has three different difficulty settings that can be changed at any time: easy, casual, and adventure. Each setting provides a hint button that needs to be recharged between uses. When activated, clicking it highlights relevant items on-screen, though it also highlights interactive spots like doors, which can be frustrating when you have not found the key yet and know you have to use the door already. If there is nothing left to do in a room, there’s no useful feedback offered at all. Each difficulty setting also has the option to skip puzzles after a certain amount of time, and a task list that keeps track of your current objectives, though only in the vaguest, most general way possible.
The easy setting has a faster hint recharge time and highlights active hot spots by default with an intermittent sparkle. The casual setting does not have this sparkle, but does include the same “find item” panel, which lists all objects to be found in the current scene. The hardest setting feels most like a traditional adventure, offering no immediate help in locating and acquiring items. Even on this setting, however, the puzzles very rarely challenge players to think for themselves, opting instead to do most of the work for you. For example, the game automatically combines certain inventory items when you have all of the pieces, often assembling them before you even know you need the new item for a puzzle. The only thing making the puzzles harder is a lack of input at times, with some hot spot clicks yielding no useful information.
When a standalone puzzle is started, the instructions tell you what you need to do at the bottom of the screen, at times a bit too descriptively. It would have been nice to make this optional, allowing players to figure the objective out for themselves if so desired. For example, Mina finds a stick with different symbols on it, and you’re told what word you need to spell out in a different language, even though you could work this out on your own from the clues lying around. There are other overly-helpful features as well, like specifically labeling the objects you pick up. These subtitles can clue you into an item’s use, like a regular jug named a “petroleum jug” to indicate its intended purpose. Such tips can be useful for newer players, but seasoned gamers not only won’t need to use many hints, but will be frustrated with the lack of brain power needed.
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There are several types of activities in , most of which make sense, although one puzzle involving placing colored crystals in the correct spots didn’t seem to have any reason behind the order. The inventory puzzles are very simple, solved just by clicking items onto the appropriate hot spot. You’ll carry a moderate amount of inventory at any one time, and it is usually common sense which item to use for what purpose. Some of the puzzles have been needlessly streamlined, like one involving collecting small clay planets to use on a door lock. Strangely, instead of requiring you to insert the planets in sequence yourself, the game automatically places them for you.
There are some ring rotation puzzles to solve as well, plus several items to assemble once you’ve collected the necessary parts, like pieces of paper or statue parts. It’s not always clear where to construct them, however, so be sure to click the close-up option of each inventory item when available. These are a little more difficult than the standard inventory puzzles, but are still easily doable since the outlines of the objects are clearly visible and there are so few pieces. There are unique, identifiable tears at the edges of paper scraps, and when put into the proper place, the game locks them there.
Another type of challenge is a match-3 mini-game, though it only shows up twice. As its name suggests, a screen of different colored tiles is displayed, and you have to align three of the same type in a row by swapping adjacent tiles. This task comes up when Mina meets an enemy, and it’s how she fights them. Every time you match three tiles, the “power” of the enemy decreases, so the more tiles you match, the more the enemy weakens. You can die from these mini-games, either by inadvertently matching skull tiles that hurt you or by running out of time. However, there is plenty of time to finish, and these encounters really aren’t stressful. Death is never final anyway. If you do die, you’ll just restart the mini-game immediately with no penalty.
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Control is done through a traditional first-person slideshow format, with arrows pointing to puzzles you can approach up close or any direction you can move when you mouse over the screen edges. This includes a downward arrow for moving backwards, except for one room where it leads to a brand new location, which isn’t at all intuitive. The hot spots for picking up regular items are large and easy to see, so collecting some objects is very easy. However, when multiples of the same type can be picked up, like gears or pottery shards, the task becomes more like a scattered hidden object hunt. The game doesn’t tell you how many pieces you need to pick up, and the hot spots for these aren’t indicated at all, either with sparkles or even a cursor change when sweeping over them. Such items are often well camouflaged in the background in different colors, so you’ll have to scour each screen to find them hidden among the scenery as you explore.
The graphics are one of the high points of the game, as they’re bright, colorful, and relaxing to look at. They aren’t particularly detailed, but the backgrounds are crisp and clean, and locations range from a realistic garden filled with flowers and a fountain to a fantastical university in the clouds, with large Venus Flytraps keeping guard. Most screens are static, but the game does sprinkle in some ambient movement here and there, like butterflies hovering in one screen and a flying ship in another. Cut-scenes and conversations are the only times you can see Mina, though dialogues just show still portraits of each character speaking.
The game is not only subtitled (complete with the odd localization error) but fully voice acted as well. That isn’t always a great thing, however, as some of the acting is corny and over-the-top (like Malik), while others sound stilted (like Mina). It doesn’t detract much from the enjoyment of the game, but it doesn’t do much to make the characters more endearing either. Though suitably dramatic pieces play when needed, the music is often surprisingly gentle for such an urgent quest, as violins and piano primarily set the mood for cheerful, leisurely exploration. It doesn’t feel repetitive, since after a few minutes of playing the soundtrack just becomes part of the background.
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Overall, took me just a few hours to finish and far less time to forget. The lack of story and thought-provoking puzzles won’t turn seasoned gamers’ heads, but the vast array of helpful hints and soothing graphics may appeal to casual gamers and adventurers looking for a lite time-filler on a lazy afternoon. Take your time and enjoy the scenery, however, because really it’s all downhill from there.
The Good
Pretty graphics
Pleasant soundtrack
Lots of user-friendly help options
The Bad
Not much of a story
Secondary characters are shallow plot devices
Easy puzzles that don’t require much thought
Reference accessed HERE. Originally posted by Katie Smith — August 10, 2011 and re-posted by Whiterabbit 27th June 2020


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Useful Information not related to today's game giveaway:
Don't forget to check out the giveaway forums. Delenn has posted the latest freebies. This weeks Epic Game giveaways are AER: Memories of Old and Stranger Things 3: The Game. Next week we get Conan Exiles (just the base game an excellent open world based on Robert E. Howard's novels and hue a puzzle adventure. Just pop over to the game discussion threads HERE and HERE for links to most of the free games.
There's also a couple of new additions to the Indie Gala developers freebies HERE and HERE (Snow White Solitaire Charmed Kingdom, Adam Wolfe (Complete Edition) and Spirit of Xanadu).
Finally, the legendary Steam Summer Sale started on the 25th June and runs until the 9th July. .
Please Stay Safe everyone

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  15 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+22)
#5

For some reason this one I can't get to download. I' just keep getting a message stating that the file can't be found!

Is there a problem on the GGOTD Site At The Moment... as that seems to be the case.

Any chance of fixing the problem before the time runs out? PLEASE?

Reply   |   Comment by Drew  –  13 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (-1)

Phew! I finally had it successfuuly download to the folder I'd assigned for it on the 6th attempt.

Maybe it was just a temporary glitch on the Giveaway Of The Day Site!

Never had the problem before though.

Reply   |   Comment by Drew  –  13 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)
#4

For those of you like me who still have Windows XP (and before anyone starts berating me for still using XP, I DO have Windows 10 on my laptop, but I've kept XP as my desktop mainly for older games; and anyway, I prefer it!), once again we have a game that comes up as "not a valid Win32 application". But the fix is simple - change the game shortcut to point to the "Game.exe" file and it will run. I've only run it briefly so far but it looks like a pleasant enough way to spend some time.

Reply   |   Comment by Min  –  13 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+2)
#3

Hard to understand how to play this game.

Reply   |   Comment by Lawrence Carter  –  13 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (0)
#2

Does anyone know if the HOG scenes in The Strix are mainly "shapes/silhouettes" or mainly "text lists?" Regular readers will know I much prefer the latter; but I'm not sure whether the screenshots are all just showing Inventory items, if you see what I mean?

I'll probably grab this one anyway, but if anyone from ToomkyGames is reading, please make lists of objects text lists in a minimum of 75% of HOG areas! And no "find all eight parts of this object, which will then magically re-form itself so you can use it" HOG scenes at all: those annoy me even more than silhouette HOG scenes. But I do love your games, and thanks for all the games you give us here on GGOTD.

Let's hope this one doesn't "melt" my elderly laptop … some HOGs do, some leave its CPU temperature more or less normal. Why does that happen? Magic Ocean is fine, so is yesterday's GGOTD, Legacy Tales: Mercy of the Gallows, but Secret Case: Paranormal Activity is not.

Anyway as I said, thanks again for another HOG!

Reply   |   Comment by Cad Delworth  –  14 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+3)

Cad Delworth,

Hi CD, The game is almost a decade old, so will probably be okay. Back when it was released, I'm sure it was cutting edge graphics, but now, it 'hopefully' won't put too much strain on your laptop.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  14 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+7)

Cad Delworth,
I have a 1 year old laptop and there are games who heat it up and others don't - no idea why espcially cause I am no computer wiz either.

Reply   |   Comment by Anu  –  14 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+1)

Anu,

Hi Anu, there are various reasons why a new laptop may overheat, the higher the resolution of the game, the more graphic power is drawn on, so the cpu will heat up more, or the fans may be clogged with dust.

It's amazing how much dust is pulled through a computer over a short period; for example, my computer is in a room with marble floors., and the adjacent rooms a kitchen diner and a bathroom both have marble floors as well. I do have a large furry rug in the study. The only rooms with carpeting are two of the bedrooms, the rest of the rooms we have are either oak flooring or marble, yet I have to clean the front filters on my gaming PC every few weeks and the graphic card fans every month because they become totally blocked with a thick layer of dust. I lost two graphic cards several years ago when al the fans became so clogged they stopped spinning and my cards were badly damaged.

Reply   |   Comment by Whiterabbit-uk  –  14 days ago  –  Did you find this comment useful? yes | no (+4)
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