Hiya - firstly a bit about myself.. I am a 26 year old gamer that grew up on the magical Lucasarts graphical adventures.. Monkey island, Day of the Tentacle.. Sam & Max etc. When Lucasarts cancelled Sam & max 2, I was one of the many that vowed to never buy a Lucasarts game again because they had pretty much lost all the innovation and imagination that had made them what they are.
Then i found out about Telltale games and the fact this dev house wanted to bring back that magic.. I was really excited about the prospects! So here is my impressions from finish Bone... literally 5 mins ago.
Firstly I must tell you - whoever told you that the amount of game time for the cost was reasonable really should be given a stern seeing to - do you honestly feel that less than three hours of gaming for twenty dollars (plus tax no less) and that includes no CD or package is reasonable? Less than three hours for 20 dollars?
I finished the game in 2 hours 20 minutes without rushing.. enjoying all the dialogue options and telling many different stories to the possums. I did all I could do and still i didnt get near 3 hours. If this is your model in terms of gametime per 20 dollars, honestly this will not work an the biggest criticism it seems from reviews coming in to from gaming sites is that game length. Honestly you must have double this for the 20 dollars 5 to 6 hours gaming!
Now let me talk about the game:
1/ Right from the starting music you know you have the old magic back.. just the feel, the style... it is just right. You guys know your stuff alright.. great work on the presentation. Visuals are great although sometimes very bland.. why is there not more detail in the artwork? For example walking around the forest the backgrounds are so simplistic!
2/ Superb voice acting.. boy did they make me laugh,, the little insect (argh I forget his name) and the possums were my favourite.. highest quality! Also the script was very good as well.. top quality comedy dialogue.
3/ Characters and story - while you are clearly following the comic very closely it was a great choice. The characters are all very endearing and interesting and the story is magical and draws you in! Perfect there.
4/ Inventory puzzles - guys this was very poor. What happened to the classic style puzzles from Sam & Max and Money Island? Do you not remember Guybrush apologising for the money wrench puzzle in Monkey Island 2? The point being..simply more and harder! Make us think.. if we are here, we have likely played some mind benders.. the puzzles here were truly for children.
5/ Dialogue puzzles - these were nice.. different but honestly should be used less and the inventory puzzles more.. because you can't really make dialogue puzzles very difficult. They are very quickly solved (although the chipmunk story telling game was very amusing).
6/ Mini games - I love the variety but firstly.. using running games twice made me feel like you were robbing me. This sort of scrolling jumping game sounds like something from over ten years back.. anyone remember Sam 7 max on the highway and Max jumping signposts? Come on and THAT was criticised in game! The others had a nice variety but once more were very easy and far too simple!
7/ Interaction - very limited.. why could we not look at more things? In adventure games, the best part is that even though we cant pick up everything, the more things we can examine, the more fun we have. Why couldn't the bones look at more things and make funny remarks? It would have added so much to the game as well as increasing the game time!
At the end of the day i felt as if I was robbed.. simply because you had a concept and had the ability to give me more, but instead you skimped on the interactivity at looking at more items, gave me very few inventory puzzles, repeated an oudated running sequence twice and still gave me only 2 hours 20 mins playing time for 20 dollars.
I have NO problem paying a little more to support this sort of episodic gaming and telltale games for continuing a genre I love.. comedy graphical adventures. But 'this' is ridiculous.
Now lets say an average PC game in the ships is $40 dollars. If its a graphical adventure perhaps one gets around 15 hours gaming out of it (see Longest Journey, Syberia etc - see gamezone review for examine on google to validate Syberia's length)
15 hours gaming for $40 dollars with a box and manual
But with Bone for 4 episodes are current length (2.5 hours)
= 10 hours gaming for $80 dollars software only.
So whats the deal? Pay twice as much and get less gaming?
I know there are some few here that seem to be fine with this plan but most clearly are more than a little shocked. My suggestion to you is to definitely offer discounts for repeat buyers perhaps by increasing the length of each episode to a complete 4 hours and then:
First purchase: $20
Second purchase: 25% off = $15
Third Purchase: 50% off = $10
Fourth purchase: 50% off = $10
= $55 dollars
Then we would have:
Shops: Approx 15 hours gaming for $40 dollar with box/manual
Telltale: Approx 15 hours gaming for $55 dollars TAX with NO box/manual
$15 dollars total we pay extra and for software only.
And we pay that extra price to support you and your new system. Honestly though asking for more will not work and you will see this when you start releasing Sam & Max episodes and get a lot of attention. If the pricing plan and game length is as it is NOW then you will lose a lot of customers.
Anyway you have all the basic concepts and clear talent there but honestly more detail, more interactivity, more inventory puzzles, increased difficulty, increased length and decreased price.
And this is from a fan that wants you to flourish. I LOVE Sam & Max and would love the world from you on them but only if they get what the deserve and at a price that is reasonable. The same applies for future Bone episodes which I already love.. same price same length same difficulty and Im afraid I won't be able to buy anymore!
Max: Hey I'd give Telltale games $20 dollars for our game Sam *whips out a 20 dollar bill*
Sam: Hey Max, where were you keeping those 20 dollars?
Max: Never you mind Sam.