The game's "whodunnit" caper isn't the only mystery that needs solving in Calvino Noir. Some other design choices will leave folks scratching their heads. The greatest complaint I have here is movement -- characters move dreadfully, painfully slow. They're trying to be sneaky, and that's all very well and good, as it's a genuine way to stick to the stealth theme. However, when you die as much as you do in this game, playing through an area for the 3rd or 4th time at a slothlike pace becomes a bore, and a player will likely begin to question why they're putting themselves through this. When trying to move characters into hiding, they will sometimes move past the spot and shuffle around a bit before moving into place. Such side steps can be deadly. The game's "collectibles" present another puzzle. From time to time you will happen across money or other abandoned treasures while sneaking through gloomy hallways. This is fun at first, until you realize that said findings bear no discernible use. It's a strange loose end that makes the game feel a bit half-baked.
Age of Decadence is a game about the fragility of memory, the separation of reality and fable, political scheming and the possible futility of ordered existence. It masterfully weaves these themes into the writing and the gameplay to create an imaginative world with the power to captivate for hours on end. Age of Decadence has been a long time in the making (a whole decade), but it's shaped out to be one of the most distinct RPGs of the year, and one that will certainly captivate the imagination.
Mordheim is par for the course as far as tabletop-inspired tactical RPGs are concerned. The game foregoes accessibility for the sake of being "hardcore." This leaves many players to resort to trial and error before hitting their stride. If you're not well versed in the genre, this can be a bit of a time sink, which is especially unappealing when there are many, many other games to play that you'll find more enjoyable.
With that said, though, Heaven's Hope is a sufficient little game, with an intriguing, unique story. Add to that the lovingly created scenery and enjoyable dialogue, and these smaller accomplishments almost overcome the game's foibles. Heaven's Hope does absolutely nothing new, but maybe that's all we need from a point and click game. Despite its occasionally frustrating puzzle design, Heaven's Hope is a pleasant time waster for a rainy weekend.