Friday, June 19, 2015

Case Study No. 2037: Paige Harper

Paige Harper and the Tome of Mystery - Official Game Trailer
1:09 - Late one night, young librarian Paige Harper stumbles upon a hidden room filled with of ancient books. Opening one, there is a flash of light she suddenly finds herself inside the story -- only nothing is as it should be! To get back to the real world, she must put seven stories back on their rightful paths, helping everyone from Sherlock Holmes to Romeo and Juliet as she tries to unlock the secrets of the Tome of Mystery!
Tags: Paige Harper Mystery Hidden Object Literary Classic
Added: 5 years ago
From: gamehouse
Views: 8,285

["Classic tales come to life!" appears on screen, then cut to footage from the game, as a book with "Per aspera ad astra" on the cover opens and glows brightly before revealing a scene with pop-up images]
[cut to a closeup of the scene in the book, as a picture of a man dressed in Renaissance garb appears]
ROMEO: Good evening. My name is Romeo Montague ... could you please help a young man in love?
[cut to more footage from the the game, as a picture of the young female librarian (curly brown hair, grey sweater, red blouse) appears]
PAIGE: It's the castle of Baron Front-de-Boeuf! Ivanhoe and Robin Hood will be here soon to save Lady Rowena.
["Explore the stories like never before!" appears on screen, then cut to more footage from the game]
["Solve mini-games and puzzles" appears on screen, then cut to more footage from the game]
["Paige Harper and the Tome of Mystery" appears on screen]



Watch classic tales come to life in Paige Harper and the Tome of Mystery, an immersive 3D experience where you twist, turn, and zoom in to locate hidden objects!

Late one night, Paige Harper stumbles upon a secret library and becomes trapped within a magic book. Her only way out is to travel through the seven timeless stories contained in the tome, but they are all out of place. Help Paige sort out these classics and put them back on their rightful paths by searching for hidden objects in unique 3D scenes.

Get Romeo and Juliet to fall in love, beat Long John Silver to the treasure in Treasure Island, join Robin Hood's band of merry men, and more. Each tale features interactive environments to search through and contextual mini-games including jigsaw puzzles, Match-3 boards, and word games. Use inventory items to solve problems, unlock bonus play modes and live the stories-within-a-story. Can you reveal the secrets of this mysterious tome and save Paige?



The next time you think you're having a bad day at work, remember poor Paige Harper, who was just doing her job when she was went to collect a rare book and ended up trapped by a mysterious tome. A spirit who had been similarly caught for many years told her they'd all be free if Paige could just defeat the book's many challenges. So begins Paige Harper and the Tome of Mystery, a hidden object game with an unusual perspective on the genre – literally.

To crack open the seals of the book keeping her prisoner, Paige must visit some of the most famous literary works of all time – Hamlet, Treasure Island, Romeo & Juliet, and so forth – and help the characters solve their problems. The books open to reveal paper dioramas depicting scenes from specific chapters, and these are where your searches will take place. You'll have to jump from chapter to chapter to get all of the necessary items you'll need to help the characters with their quandaries. The olive oil you get from the pharmacist in Chapter 2 of Romeo & Juliet will help you move Juliet's bed in Chapter 4 so you can get at that last love note from Romeo. Such game-padding backtracking usually annoys me, but it works well in Paige Harper and never feels too forced.

For the item searches, you'll be provided with pictures of items you'll have to find, as opposed to a written list. The things you have to find make sense within the setting of the book you're reading at the time – provisions for the trip in Treasure Island, tools to fix Captain Nemo's sub in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, and so on. You'll have to do more than one search for each chapter, and usually need an inventory item found somewhere else to finish. Your cursor will change to gears to indicate when part of the scene is interactive, such as cabinets that swing open or chairs that move out of the way. Some areas will require a bit of puzzle solving, too, such as pipes that need to be connected or a torn map that must be reassembled.

Right about now, you're perhaps remembering that line in the opening paragraph about how Paige Harper has an "unusual perspective" and thinking to yourself that so far the game sounds like business as usual as far as hidden object games go. What sets Paige Harper apart from other HOGs is how it takes advantage of the two-dimensional nature of its scenery. Each location you're searching is a pop-up section of a book – move the book a bit, and what looks like a fat barrel is now nothing more than a thin slip of paper. Six buttons along the bottom of the screen allow you to look at the book from different angles, revealing areas that can't be seen from other perspectives. It's a simple mechanic that's used brilliantly and to maximum effect – just don't forget to look on the backs of bits of scenery!

The paper nature of Paige Harper does have a bit of a downside, though, as it can be tough to tell one tiny object from another. The game does thoughtfully include a magnifying option that zooms in quite well on the scene, though searching an entire location that way can be a recipe for a headache. The hints recharge quickly, though, if you're really stuck.

Even if Paige Harper and the Tome of Mystery wasn't wonderfully inventive, clever, and cheeky, I'd tell you to play it simply because it is so incredibly beautiful. Each chapter is simply gorgeous and immediately recognizable to anyone familiar with that particular story, but everything in the game is lovely, even the main menu. If you're looking for a beautifully polished HOG experience, Paige Harper is the way to go.



The most danger my job has ever put me in involved paper cuts. Okay, there was that time we had the lockdown and the SWAT showed up, but that hardly counts. Poor Paige Harper is a librarian (some of my favorite people, btw) and she goes into a back room of the library to get a book. Taking the book off the shelf opens a secret passage that she explores without giving anyone else a heads up. While exploring secret passageways and swimming, always take a buddy. As anyone in their right mind would expect, the door closes, locking her inside with the ghost of the last person to get trapped. Yikes!

The odds of escape don't look good and you begin to wonder where this game is going to go. As it turns out, it's about to take a hard turn into weird and wonderful. Remember your old pop-up books from when you were little? I always wanted to say "Ta Da!" when I turned the page and the diorama appeared, I always felt such a sense of surprise with one, like the book itself was trying to say "Ta Da!"

Our hero/librarian must open a magic book which transports her to pop-up versions of classic books and plays like Treasure Island and Romeo and Juliet. Once she gets there, she has to find objects and solve puzzles. The game supplies many different camera angles so you can see the page from almost every angle. It took a couple of minutes for me to get used to it, but I found it a fascinating process. Something I found odd and mildly disturbing is that moving between chapters in the book involves a burning page transition. I'm not sure if it's a nod to banned/burned books, but it sets me back just a bit when it happens.

The game has both a hint button and a magnifying glass, for which my old eyes are very grateful, because of the unique nature of the graphics it can be hard for me to make out the objects sometime. It's also helpful that you have to find objects that you actually use in the story, I get bored of games where you have to find random objects like feathers. Almost every hidden object game requires you to find feathers, but I can't remember every using one in a game. With Paige Harper, no feathers and you use many of the objects to solve puzzles.

I like this game a lot, it's fun and stays true to the classic stories it highlights. Its graphics are unique and challenging and the hero is a librarian with amazing eyebrows. I love it when designers do something different and do a good job, it makes me come back and play again and again.

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