Pandora's Box

 

Genre:   Puzzle

Developer & Publisher:     Microsoft

Released:   1999

PC Requirements:   Multimedia PC with a Pentium 100 or higher processor, Windows95, Windows98 or later, or Windows NT4.0 operating system with SP3,16Mb of RAM, 32 Mb RAM for Windows NT, 120 Mb of available hard-disk space, 50 Mb of available hard-disk space for swap file, 4x CD ROM drive, Super VGA video display (with 1MB/VRAM)

 

 

 

by LShaw3457

PANDORA'S BOX
By
Microsoft

350 Puzzles from the creator of Tetris, Alexey Pajitnow

REVIEW ~ Written by LINDA SHAW
09/21/99 & 07/26/03

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:

* Multimedia PC with a Pentium 100 or higher processor
* Windows95, Windows98 or later, or Windows NT4.0 operating system with SP3
* 16Mb of RAM (32 recommended)
* 32 Mb RAM for Windows NT (64 recommended)
* 120 Mb of available hard-disk space
* 50 Mb of available hard-disk space for swap file
* 4x CD ROM drive
* Super VGA video display (with 1MB/VRAM)
* Microsoft Mouse or compatible pointing device
* Audio board and speakers recommended

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With beautifully rendered graphics and 3D puzzles, Pandora's Box is opened!

BACKGROUND - STORY LINE:
Seven tricksters have escaped from Pandora's Box. They have hidden pieces of Pandora's Box all over the earth. The Pandora's Box is the ONLY thing that can contain these tricksters. It is your mission to solve the puzzles, in order to gain or recapture the pieces hidden by the tricksters.

There are many cities to which you will travel. In each city or location, there is a set of puzzles that are to be solved, a piece from Pandora's Box taken and hidden by a trickster, and hidden "bonuses" for you if you solve certain puzzles within a certain amount of time.


Upon solving the puzzles from one city, or finding a piece of Pandora's Box in a city, you have the option of returning to the "Map", selecting another location and beginning your quest all over again for finding yet another piece to Pandora's Box and coming closer to attaining your ultimate goal, which is to regain possession of all the hidden pieces to Pandora's Box and recapturing the Seven Ancient Tricksters within the box forever!


When you have completely restored and replaced all of the missing pieces from ONE side of Pandora's Box, you are ready to capture a trickster. FFind and place all of the pieces from all of the sides of Pandora's Box to truly master the game, and recapture all of the Ancient Tricksters into Pandora's Box.


GAMES & PUZZLES:

There are basically 10 different 'types' of puzzles in Pandora's Box and among the various cities you visit in your quest to find the missing pieces to the Box. The puzzles include:

1. Slices:
These are 3 dimensional pieces to one object. This object may be a statue, monument, artifact, famous person, etc. You manipulate one piece at a time, flipping it over, changing the angle that you view and moving the piece to fit another part of the whole. You stack the pieces on top of each other to form the object you are trying to rebuild. Paying close attention to the direction the piece is facing is key to solving these puzzles.

2. Jesse's Strips:
These puzzles involve looking at five (5) different pictures of the same scene, or article. Each is a different color with the same design. This is a 5-layered puzzle.

3. Image Hole:
Floating pieces of the puzzle are translucent so that underneath you can see the picture, or painting or tapestry. The goal is to highlight one of the translucent pieces and match it's location on the picture below. The entire screen is black, except what you see underneath the floating images. There are approximately 5-8 translucent pieces that fit each puzzle. You are allowed 3 strikes (meaning 3 wrongly placed translucent pieces) before the puzzle will "reset" itself. All of the translucent pieces must be placed correctly on the underlying picture or scene before you can successfully complete each puzzle.

4. Outer Layer:
A 3D image of a famous artifact stands on a pedestal. Most of the pieces for the article are missing and are on the side of the screen. On the left side of the screen are the pieces that need to be correctly placed onto the artifact. You rotate the 3D article East, West, North, and South and rotate/flip the pieces (about 20-25 pieces for each puzzle) in order to find their proper location on the 3D object.

5. Overlap:
A famous painting, or drawing is displayed with strips or square shapes on the left side of the screen. The object of these puzzles is to place the correct pieces on the painting, or scene. Many of the pieces must be rotated, flipped or moved before placing them on the canvas. The Image is revealed when the pieces are overlapped correctly onto the puzzle area. Very challenging!

6. Focus Point:
A rectangular shaped puzzles with various smaller rectangles inside the frame. Each rectangle contains a snapshot that will focus when placed in the correct spot on the frame. When all inner snapshots are placed correctly and in focus, there appears a photograph linking each of the smaller photos together.

7. Rotascope:
AA 3 level concentric circle contains slices of one overall picture. By rotating the wheels of the circle, you place the pieces to the puzzle so that when it is completed the rings or wheels form an overall picture or snapshot or painting.

8. Interlock:
Seven pieces are shown. The object of these puzzles are relatively easy. Move the pieces by filling in the spaces so that none of the 7 pieces overlap each other.

9. Find and Fill:
There is a graphic picture on the left of the screen, different for each of the many Find and Fill puzzles. The objective is to use the different colored "paints" to properly and correctly fill in the silhouettes that appear on the puzzle screen overlapping one another. Silhouettes are rightside up, upside down, and sideways. Completion of one silhouette at a time causes the completed piece of the puzzle to disappear, leaving fewer lines and spaces to fill in order to complete the next silhouette.

10. Lens Bender:
Varying lens and magnifications are used to decipher where pieces fit in the overall puzzle.


SOUND/MUSIC:

Puzzle sounds when rotating, placing, moving, and putting pieces of various puzzles into place are good. The music that accompanies your journey from one location to the next and during gameplay, or puzzleplay while at a particular location are ethnically and geologically appropriate for the locations. If you shut your eyes while playing this game and right after having traveled to another location, you would know almost immediately the general location on the map you had traveled to when you listened to the music. Selections for locations such as Philadelphia, Rio de Janiero, Spain, etc., sound very good.


GRAPHICS:

One of the most attractive aspects of adventure games for me are the graphics. When I first downloaded, setup and played the Pandora's Box demo trial version (Pandora's Box Trial Demo) I was immediately captured visually by the wonderful accuracy and colors in the graphics and puzzles. True photos, paintings, artifacts, etc., throughout the game attracted me to the purchase of 'the real thing!' I found that I was eager to solve one puzzle in order to advance to the next puzzle or location just to see the beauty in what I knew would be there! The graphics would receive an 8 if I were rating ONLY the graphics on a scale of 1-10, 10 being the highest and best of all.


CONCLUSION:

If you enjoy puzzles, have played and enjoyed games such as Jewels of the Oracle, Jewels II: Gems of Darkness and the like, then I HIGHLY recommend The Pandora's Box. You will be astonished by the beauty of the graphics, the complexity of the puzzles, and the soothing music playing as loudly or softly as you would like. Although some of the puzzles were difficult (in particular the Find and Fill puzzles), I enjoyed the game. I took pleasure in 'taking my time' despite the fact that each puzzle is timed. This meant nothing to me as I fulfilled my own goal: to solve all 350 puzzles! Not an easy task, I might add! :-)


GAME SCORE: (from 1-10)

On a scale from 1-10, I would rate this game at a 7. This game is not for everyone. It IS, however, a game that you should definitely add to your collection if you enjoy puzzle-solving games, with no chance of "dying" in the game, and no time limit in which to complete the puzzles, or the game itself. This is also a game that you might want to reinstall, or reload whenever the 'urge' strikes you; sit back, relax and enjoy bending your mind with puzzles!!! :-)

The Pandora's Box is available at Electronics Boutique: EB WORLD

design copyright 2003 GameBoomers Group

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