A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. She receives creative input from the Real Cats and clerical assistance from She of Little Talent (old SoLT, a.k.a. Roby Sweet). Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to old SoLt (Ms. Sweet). Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, March 21, 2016

App Review: Ghost Towns: The Cats of Ulthar Collector’s Edition

We have spent the past two weeks or so completely obsessed with this app, Ghost Towns: The Cats of Ulthar. If you enjoy puzzles and hidden-object games, if you like a game that also gives you a story, and if you don’t mind spending some money (about seven dollars to play on iPad), this one is worth looking at.

The story

At the start of the game, you find yourself in a strange town (Ulthar) where a boy is about to be executed for murder. Your mission: prove the boy’s innocence before he’s burned at the stake. No pressure though.

The boy, Menes, stands accused of murdering an old couple. In this town where cats are revered, Menes supposedly set a bunch of cats on the couple to rip them (the couple, not the cats) to pieces. Sounds grisly, but the game itself is not scary or gory.

The game

You then proceed to solve the mystery by exploring the town and solving a series of puzzles and hidden-object scenarios to “find” useful objects that will help you open the next puzzle or find the next object. The puzzles are located in several locations throughout the town, and at first it’s fun to just look around, solve a puzzle or two, get a couple of objects that you don’t know what to do with…

I say “at first it’s fun” because pretty soon you’ll be trying to keep track of half a dozen objects that may or may not be useful in this or that lock or drawer located in this or that room in this or that building on this or that end of town. In other words, there is a lot to keep track of, and unless you’re smarter than She of Little Talent (which is entirely possible), it may take you a little while to get the hang of it, and it may be frustrating at times.

I think they call this “brain training.”

The paywall, and the verdict

At least for us, we hit the paywall (Get the full app for $6.99!) at the exact moment we were starting to get the hang of things and really have fun again. So naturally we paid up to keep playing because, you know, Menes was counting on us. We did not regret that decision, as we enjoyed getting engrossed in the game for a short while every evening.

We played in “casual” mode so we could get lots of hints along the way, but you can play in a harder mode if you need more of a challenge. (She of Little Talent found casual mode plenty challenging though.)  There is also a guide if you want step-by-step instructions, though old SoLT preferred to randomly peck at the screen hoping to stumble across a new clue (just like real life!).

The graphics are really nicely done—very detailed and hauntingly atmospheric.  There is also a bonus game at the end, which we haven’t started playing yet, but we are looking forward to it. That sudden paywall thing was kind of annoying, but we are glad we hit “purchase” instead of “delete.”

Ghost Towns: The Cats of Ulthar Collector’s Edition is from Big Fish Games and is available for iOS, PC, and Mac.


A note on the "Paws Up" system: Miss C gives either one or two paws up. One paw is for a good app; two paws is for a great app. She never gives three or four paws because that would require her to lie on her back...and Miss C does not do that!

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