Finished the game today. I played the CE and it was satisfyingly LONG, although even with the puzzles set on HARD, they weren't. Still, there was a lot to do ~ all the usual stuff in these games, plus the healing of people you come across and even a few new kinds of puzzles. The bad guy was over-the-top with his "evil histrionics" and boastful "MWAA-HAH-HAH-HAH!"
taunts, which totally had me in stitches. I laughed so hard once that my husband came in to see what was so funny. It felt good to put that guy in his place at the end of the Bonus Game. (Come to think of it, if you don't get to finish off the guy in the Standard game, the Standard game may be less than satisfying?)
The game was complex enough that you were wise to take some notes. It wasn't one of those hand-holding games where everything you need to do can be found in the scene where you are at the moment. Sometimes, you need to backtrack several scenes to use an item you earned later, and sometimes you carried an item through several more scenes before finding out where and how to use it. "Complex" inventory items (made up of multiple pieces) came with "hints" as to what else needed to be added to complete them, which I thought was unnecessary. There was some creative use of inventory, in that, if you needed to open a drawer (that was missing its handle, of course!
), you might not have to look for and find the handle to open it, but instead you would bend some wire to loop it into the holes in the drawer face. If you needed to pry something open, you would not be given a crowbar to do it, but maybe the broken end of a spear. I appreciated that extra bit of thought that gives the player some credit for thinking about and trying out options. There is at least one HO scene in each new location, and they all were interactive, with very little find-the-pencil
sort of simple stuff.
If a player is into collecting items, there are four genre of them to look for in this game: Coins, Notes, Medallions
and magic Eggs
. With the Coins, you can furnish your "Wizard's Room."
The rest of the Collectibles aren't good for anything as far as I could see. Of course, if you collect things, you also get the Pop-Ups, so I didn't collect them except to grab one of each, at the beginning, to see what might happen. Maybe if you are assiduous about finding them all, there is more to it?
Opinion Piece: I've played more than a few games already with this theme of an outside villain bent on taking over the kingdom, usually a disgruntled former ally or even family member, who precipitates all the trouble by cursing everything and killing half the population. It would be a more complex and compelling story if some of the people you encounter on the way were more helpful, but everyone is defeated already, and either debilitated, cursed, ill or turned to stone. Admittedly, they usually reward you with some essential clue or object after you save them, but seriously ~ isn't there a single King's Mage or Queen's Sorceress in these kingdoms that is up to the job? I would applaud a game that ever gave our hero a companion to accompany her on the rest of the quest, and I don't mean a cute little weasel or owl who will climb a tree or fly up to retrieve an object. Just a suggestion. (This is something I like about the Vermillion Watch
series. You meet companions who are capable, and who participate with you in solving the problem.)
was long enough to engage me and I have marked ite for Replay, after a year or so, when I've forgotten everything.