MAYAN PROPHECIES: 1 & 2


by  ELEFUN GAMES; BIGFISH GAMES

Jud’s Game Rating:

Graphics                                           ****         🙂
Player participation (PP)          *****        😀
Satisfaction Factor (SF)            *****        😀
Frustration Factor (FF)             *                :I
Fair Play (FP)                                 ****           🙂
Tedium Factor (TF)                     
Nil             😀

SHIP OF SPIRITS Collector’s Edition

WOW COOL ENDING!

Climb aboard an ancient Spanish galleon lost in time as a Coast Guard officer tracking an elusive criminal in Mayan Prophecies: Ship of Spirits. As you explore the vastness of a ship lost in time, what mysteries will you uncover amidst its Mayan idols, menacing sea creatures, and exotic treasures? Find out in this exciting new Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game on the open seas! (BigFish Sales Blurb)

What a spectacular game.  The Graphics are so good – the only negative being that they are slightly blurry at times in the Hidden Object Games, and rather atmospheric generally which decreases visibility – imaginative, authentic for the various locations, detailed, with brilliant though dark artwork, colourful, well-designed, and engrossing.  The story is all of those things also – spooky, creepy, a bit violent in places, with Mayan treasure on a pirate ship, a Kracken, a criminal, a trapped boy and an injured partner to deal with – a real narrative mixture!

Now to Game-play – there is a really good Options; Casual/Normal/Hard/Custom difficulty modes (I like Custom as it lets you remove the Overclick Penalty); ominous Music that isn’t repetitive; an Interactive Map which speeds up the game-play for the impatient like me; and easy Navigation and Controls though the Cursor is a little floaty at times.  You collect Beyond Objects, that morph back and forth between two unrelated shapes, in each scene; and you also locate and catch Hummingbirds, which are hidden within a Mayan statue marked in Runes, in each HOG.  And you must collect all Mayan Calendar tiles, essential for the Story’s ending.

The HOGs are interactive, though are mainly Lists with Interactive Items in them, and as I mentioned rather dark blurry Graphics.  But – if you are fed up with peering at the screen to see the HOs, you can switch from HOG to play Mahjong with Mayan tiles instead.  You can choose to play the game all Mahjong, or site at a time, or best of all you can switch between the two Modes during play – in other words play the HOG and after you have found all you can without strain, or after you’ve found the Interactive Items, (your choice  – it’s up to you) switch to Mahjong to gain the last Items four Tiles at a time.  This takes all the pressure off the HOG search and makes the game so much more enjoyable – there is nothing more detrimental to game and story flow than getting bogged down and frustrated.

The Puzzles are short, and quite clever, and of course can be Skipped if they are too annoying – most are cool though.  In the EXTRAS on the Main Menu, you get all the Mahjong Games to play independently from the Main Game. I found that the Bonus Chapter in the Collector’s Edition, accessed through PLAY, was fantastic, but crucial to the overall story.  It fills the gap between this game and its Sequel, and completes the Mayan Artifact that is incomplete at the end of the Main Game.

I highly recommend this game.

* * *

CURSED ISLAND

TERRIFIC VOLCANO FOOTAGE!

After narrowly escaping the ship of spirits, Coast Guard Officer Alexis and her friends find themselves lost at sea in a life raft. A sudden storm shipwrecks them on an island, and the Mayans living there demand retribution for the artifact stolen from them centuries earlier. Alexis must return the artifact to its rightful place in the ancient temple before the Spirit of the Volcano causes the entire island to break apart. A young girl may be their best hope to appease it, but a shadow from their past could bring about their doom – and can they stop the evil poacher from escaping his fate? Join the crew and save the island from destruction in Mayan Prophecies: Cursed Island, a thrilling Hidden-Object Puzzle Adventure game! (BigFish Sales Blurb)

This game is a continuation of the Prequel (obviously), in Game-play as well as story.  You have the same Modes of play choices, and Options settings; similar moody Music; more authentic Graphics using colourful dark atmospheric artwork; good Navigation and Controls with just the occasional floaty Cursor, clever Puzzles that can be Skipped; a very useful Interactive Map; and HOGs that can be switched to Mahjong Games as previously described.  

The Story takes you on to the island with your injured partner, rescued cabin-boy, to link up with a Mayan girl who assists you as you try to return the Artifact.  Of course there are forces acting against you – no self-respecting Fantasy story would be without those.  this story is embedded in the game-play driving it forward, compelling you not to stop till you are all safe.  Addictive.

The really spectacular thing about this game is the exploding volcano footage of the Cut-scenes that intersperses your play, increasing the urgency to finish before the sand in the Hourglass runs out (you know that it will wait for you as it’s a game, but it all adds to the tension).  After the main explosion all game-play, including HOGs, is then done through the falling ash, which gets thicker the closer you get to the deadline and the Temple.  It’s terrific!

My only wish is that instead of the Standard Game I had bought the Collector’s Edition, as I am sure that the Bonus Chapter would be as necessary to what come next as it was in the Prequel.  S i g h . . .

I even more highly recommend this game to all those who appreciate a good story-driven, visually gorgeous game.

Jud House 10/11/2013

* * * * *

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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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