Friday, 11 April 2014

The quest for all of Cing's story games

Though I am rather late to say so, considering they are now defunct, Cing is one of my favourite game development studios. I didn't even know they existed until 2008, and unfortunately they were bankrupt by 2010. Since they can no longer make them, I have made it a personal mission to play and review all of their story games in a set of posts on this blog.

So, why Cing? It all started with Hotel Dusk: Room 215. I first noticed it for sale at a local department store in the summer of 2008. The artwork on the front cover was enough to make me curious. I didn't quite know what to expect from the game, but what I received, I was thrilled with. I love mystery novels, and this was essentially a playable one. I found myself enamoured with the main character, Kyle Hyde, and all the supporting characters as well. The world felt alive, and the story was intriguing, with many intertwining plot threads. Despite Hotel Dusk being a story game (and therefore not having much intrinsic "replay value"), I've played it to completion three separate times.

Fast-forward to 2011, before Paul and I were married. I came to visit him for the month of May to make sure that we'd be compatible living together. We visited a game store, and as I perused the DS games, I noticed the cover of one adorned with a character not unlike the protagonist from Hotel Dusk. Lo and behold, it was Last Window: The Secret of Cape West, and the character depicted was indeed Kyle Hyde! (And lucky for me that I happened to see it there--the English localization of this game was only released in Europe. Being an American, I hadn't even known there was a sequel!) I immediately purchased it, and finished within the week. The new cast was as richly designed as the first, and the plot revealed more to us about Kyle's life before the games. I was fascinated, wondering if a third game could be in the works... which is when I discovered, sadly, Cing would never make games again.

I'll start in the next post with a review of the next Cing game I managed to find, Glass Rose. It seems to be a fitting start to this series, as it was their first game. I will then replay and post reviews of Hotel Dusk and Last Window. To finish my quest, I will need to obtain Another Code: Two Memories (a.k.a. Trace Memory in the USA), Another Code: R - A Journey into Lost Memories, and Again.

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