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Azurael's Circle: Chapter 2

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NOTE: This is a free demo of the full game. You'll find about half the game here and the full game can be bought on Steam.

Nobody seems to care about five teenagers that went missing in Chicago. The police have done nothing and the parents haven't been able to turn up much. Don Edison, a private investigator, has been hired by a mysterious benefactor to locate the teenagers. Don has managed to track their last known location to a run down apartment complex that seems to be basically abandoned. What lies in wait for Don inside?

Azurael's Circle: Chapter 2 is a horror-mystery adventure game. Navigate the apartment complex to track down the missing teenagers. Piece together items you find to enter all of the rooms in the building and solve the puzzles found inside.
__________

Controls:
- Z is Interact
- X is Open Menu/Back
- Arrow Keys is Movement

There is a mouse control option, however, due to the engine the interactive objects will be located on the closest wall boundary.

The game should run completely fine on Chrome and Firefox. You may experience audio issues with Edge and from my own testing, Internet Explorer and Brave aren't compatible. An executable version of the game can be found on Steam or Itch.io which shouldn't have the same issues.

Azurael's Circle: Chapter 1, 2 and 3 on Steam!
https://store.steampowered.com/app/872970/Azuraels_Circle_Chapter_1/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/893620/Azuraels_Circle_Chapter_2/
https://store.steampowered.com/app/980520/Azuraels_Circle_Chapter_3/

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This review is for the full version of the game, which can be purchased from https://enkiangames.itch.io/azuraels-circle-chapter-2 if you're steam-averse like myself.

This game is much like the first chapter in the series. It's solidly put together, with a progression that makes sense and is easy to follow. Unlike the first chapter, it's immediately obvious there is something very wrong in the building; it's not so much a matter of suspense building as finding out exactly what's going on and how bad things have gotten. The puzzles are not at all difficult and in fact feel somewhat easier than the first installment; I was more reminded of a Resident Evil game than the Chzo series. The story, on the whole, unfolds as one would expect and has few surprises; however, there is one interesting new element added to the arc in the form of the shadow children. It's not a bad game, and I believe it to be worth the asking price.

I can't help but compare it to the first game, however, and I can't help but feel it somewhat less imaginative and well-constructed. The overall structure of the game seems to be completely the same (enter the building, find keys to explore, read journals to find out what's happening). While the building in this game is bigger, it didn't really feel so due to the cookie-cutter layout. This is to be expected in an apartment building, but the cookie-cutter scenery descriptions were somewhat more disappointing compared to the attention and care lavished on every item in the first title. The hauntings (again, I won't call them jump scares) seemed somehow less eerie and frightening than in the original, though the shadow children more than made up for this when they appeared; everything to do with them is unsettling, and leaves interesting questions to be resolved in future installments.

I was slightly disappointed by the secrets; they're exactly the same as in the first game, with nearly identical hidden items, a hidden ending that's accessed the same way and has the same variation, and a hidden room with essentially the same condition to enter, with the only difference being how that entrance is accomplished. It does make more sense where the entrance is, this time; and I found the hidden ending itself to be more interesting, if darker in tone.
(I should point out that neither the hidden room nor the hidden ending can be found in the demo, though some of the hidden items can.)

On the whole, it was a good game and I'm glad I played it. However, I thought the first one was better.

TheEnkian responds:

Now that's an in depth review! Thanks for taking the time to provide so much constructive criticism. I'd only had one person previously purchase on itch.io so I hadn't put the third chapter up yet, but I'll do so today.

The third chapter is already fonished so hopefully some of the critique had been adequately addressed. Puzzle difficulty definitely has increased for it. It involves a lot more reading and thinking. Not easy to stumble your way to answers. I hope the setting for Chapter 3 feels more unique too. As far as scares/creepiness goes, I personally feel that Chapter 3 improved upon Chapter 2 in a few specific areas that I won't spoil. I also took a bit more of. psychological approach to 3 in the hopes of making the player feel like they're not playing on stable ground.

I didn't change much in the way of secrets if I'm perfectly honest, but for Chapter 4 I'll definitely add some new stuff to it as far as secrets go. Maybe a few sillier things or a few creepier things hidden in places you can't typically get to.

Thanks for the feedback and I hope you enjoy Chapter 3!

Still one my favorite series

TheEnkian responds:

Nice! The full version of Chapter 2 is on sale for Black Friday on Steam right now :)

should have expected that it was a demo........... but all that work WASTED. it would have been nice if in the title it said something about it being a demo, though. oh well, i guess people still need to get money out of what they do

An improvement on the first chapter. It was longer with more complex puzzles which is a good sign. I also found the bug room to be a very nice easter egg, mainly due to how it can be accessed.

Got stumped after I did the thing with 3 out of (?) of the gems. Overall, the story is great! its understandable, pixel artstyle adds to the atmosphere, puzzles are just right, not too easy to breeze through, and not too hard to discourage playing. I will definitely buy the full game on Steam!

TheEnkian responds:

Thanks very much! Very glad you enjoyed it. There are four gems to find in total. There's a ruby, emerald, sapphire and amethyst littered throughout the building. If you haven't done so I'd recommend taking a look at the first chapter too. It's entirely free.

Credits & Info

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119
Score
3.16 / 5.00

Uploaded
Nov 13, 2018
3:35 PM EST
Genre
Adventure - Other
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