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Publisher: PlayFirst    Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Min OS X: 10.4    CPU: G4 @ 800 MHz    Hard Disk: 50 MB    Graphics: 800x600

The Nightshift Code
August 13, 2008 | Andrew Wasilow

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Sounds within the game are appropriate and unobtrusive, aiding to the gameplay rather than hindering. As mentioned above, when you find and object, and click on it, it is surrounded by a halo of light and a wondrous sounding chime is played to assure you that yes, you have indeed found an object. The mini-games also have their own sounds depending on what is happening at the time.

The music sounds nice and mysterious, keeping you in the cryptic mood of the main story line. Unlike other games, the music was not apparently repetitive; you only noticed it repeating if you were paying attention to it, all in all sounding well done and put together, not cheesy.

Other than that there are very little sound effects in the game, which may not be a bad thing. Too many and you risk overdoing it and having it come off as forced.

For the money, The Nightshift Code is a wonderful value. If you are looking for a present for your seven year old nephew who had recently beaten, in a matter of hours, the latest and greatest game from the company who spent the most amount of money on development, you may find him walking away after a few rounds of searching. However, it is just challenging enough to be intriguing to most people of any age, regardless of their gaming prowess. On the downside, the game is rather short, and can be finished with a few hours of playing, again, regardless of who is actually playing and their skill level. In fact, if you were to look on PlayFirst’s website, your notice that they refer to themselves as a maker of games for the casual gamer. So no hyper-accurate mouse is necessary for playing, unless you take the casual game to the extreme and want that extra sharp pointing edge.

Unfortunately the other gripe of mine also falls under this category. As I said at the beginning, this is one that is of no major fault to PlayFirst, Inc. or The Nightshift Code in particular: replay value. Once you have searched each level once or twice, you eventually learn were everything is, and every time you replay the game, it only gets easier and easier to find everything. The upside to this is that PlayFirst keeps track of the scores on their website, and you may end up with your name on the high score board if you play enough to memorize the game. Other than that small consolation, the replay value is practically nil, again, simply a draw back of the genre.

Overall, The Nightshift Code is a very entertaining, at times frustrating, and fun game for all ages and level of gaming. The story is interesting enough to snag you early on and make you want to finish, simply to find out what happens at the end, then keeps you saying to yourself “one more level, just one more” until you have finished the game in only a few sittings.

• Different mini-games (association games?) at the end of each chapter
• Searching gets addicting
• New twists on hidden objects games

• Low replay value
• Lower than necessary resolution
• Short gameplay

The Nightshift Code
Publisher: PlayFirst
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