ETERNAL JOURNEY – NEW ATLANTIS Collector’s Edition


by ALAWAR GAMES; Five.bn ALAWAR; BIG FISH GAMES

Jud’s Game Rating:

Graphics: *****  Player participation (PP) *****  Satisfaction Factor (SF) *****

Frustration Factor (FF) Nil   Fair Play (FP) *****   Tedium Factor (TF) Nil

WOW!!!

Travel from the deepest trenches of the Atlantic Ocean to the awe-inspiring wonders of Mars as you solve the greatest archeological puzzle known to man: the origin of Atlantis. Through stunning production values and cunningly designed puzzles, Eternal Journey: New Atlantis will draw you into an experience unlike any other hidden object adventure.  (Big Fish Sales Blurb.)

OMG!!!  What can I say?  Where do I start?!  This SCIFI/FANTASY game is fantastic in every sense of the word. I bought  it immediately following my trial free hour.  I have completed the Main Game, and thought I should review it before I go on to the Extra Game.  The story is really long and convoluted – rivetting!  After the first 10 minutes of play, you think “Why have I found the medallion already?”  Then you are swept away in time and space . . . . There are a few really scary moments when you actually jump with fright – I won’t spoil it by saying when or where this happens.  It’s as good as a movie in places!

Alawar Games now provide a user-friendly Options Menu, which includes Screen Resolution settings so you can make the game sharper if your computer has higher abilities.  And of course Casual and Expert Modes of Play, which provide those who don’t like to be rushed by Time constraints to opt out and play for enjoyment at their own speed, while speed fiends can indulge their desires as well.

The opening Space Graphics are fabulous, and appear several times in variations, and provide the background for the Main Menu.  Although the game graphics are not quite as crisply clear as the opening ones, there are moments in the game which provide this clarity, while the rest are not far off it.  The graphics are all gorgeously colourful, well-imagined, authentic for the locations and times, and extremely satisfying.  You want to remain playing to remain under their influence.  Even the Hidden Object sites have good clarity – not 100%, but close – which seems to be unusual these days.  I am really impressed that the designers are finally listening to player requirements.

In the HO sites about half of the HOs require you to use other items from within the same site to activate them – eg finding a brush, dipping it in paint, then painting a mask – before collection.  We are used to seeing this requirement for one or two, but not so many, though this varies from HO site to site.  And there are a lot of other actions and puzzles to undertake as well as other items to find outside of the HO sites.  Most of the Puzzles are unusual and cool with just a couple of old ‘unfavourites’ that I skipped. And because the story is long, so is the amount of gameplay.  Yippee!

When you are on Mars, you find a Map which you can then use to jump from site to site once they are unlocked – this saves a lot of tedious b & f (back and forth) and thus diminishes the Point & Click factor which can also become tiresome.  Especially as there are a huge number of sites involved – you think you must have seen them all, then another whole region opens up.  Amazing!  By this time you are so engrossed in the game that you just want to get on with it quickly – not just because you have to or you will run out of time – to solve the next problems and return to unfinished ones with little delay.

All this having been said, I can only recommend – extremely highly recommend – that you trial it, then buy it, then delve into it.  If you can only afford to get the Standard Game then do so – you won’t be sorry as the story resolves completely.  I have no doubts that the Extra Play will be as good – I just hope it is at least half as long!

Jud House  31/07/2012

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Update

The Extra Play lives up to expectations, covering the journey of the main character’s partner, that brings him to the location and situation in which she finds him at the end of the Main Game.  This is very clever on the part of ALAWAR, as it is not necessary to the Main story, yet fills the gap and answers the question of why and how he got there.  It completes the narrative.

The Game Play is the same, the Graphics are the same, and the locations are the same but an earlier time from when she explores them – you actually see why some of the places were in such conditions.  Although shorter than the Main Game – as usual – there is quite a lot of substance to this Extra Play, which is gratifying, makes it enjoyable, and feels like good value.

I highly recommend that you buy the Collector’s Edition if you can, but know that you will still really enjoy the Standard Game version.

Jud House  9/08 2012

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About judsartwork

I write reviews of Adventure and Hidden Object games that are Crime, Fantasy, SciFi, Renovation, Travel, Quest and/or Mystery by genre. I have a Masters in Writing (2006) and have been writing novels, both crime and fantasy for many years; plus Haiku, verse, and prose both fictional and literary. I am also an artist of modern, Acrylic, textural and hard edge work, underwater, fantasy, expressionist, and Cosmos paintings. I use mixed media (Acrylic, Watercolour, Pastels) in textural Monoprints, finding surprises to expose within each work. Having both an analytical and creative mind has meant that I have strong powers of observation, and the persistence required to follow computer problems through till I solve them. Of course I am not always successful, but am willing to ask for a little help in order to then unlock the main problem myself. My Troubleshooting Blog, 'Problems and Solutions', was the result of my tenacity.
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