by BLUE TEA GAMES; BIGFISH GAMES
Story: The legendary Sky Kingdom suddenly appears and a destructive barrage is unleashed upon an unsuspecting town. Play as the Fairytale Detective and embark on an investigation to rescue the townspeople. In this quest, you will meet Jack – an infamous treasure hunter who shares a secret past with the Kingdom – and discover the tragic history behind the chaos. (Big Fish Sales Blurb)
Options: Great, plenty of choices. You can adjust the Gamma setting during the game from a Button on the Bottom Bar.
Play Modes: Casual; Normal; Hard.
HOGs: Wonderful! You collect ornate fragments, which then assemble into Items that you need, rather than searching through detritus of often unrelated HOs to find the required Item. This is a bonus with the Parable games – that these fragments are usually jewelled, exotic, ornamented, so cleverly hidden within the ornate, encrusted image. Plus within each HOG at least the last one is interactive – requiring actions by one to find another. It’s pleasure to be flummoxed – and there are no over-clicking punishments – thank goodness for that!
Puzzles: Clever on the whole, with a huge variety, and the usual few annoying ones that fortunately you can Skip – which I did.
Collections: Cursed Objects aka Morphing Objects; Parable Fragments.
Map: Mini-Maps that are not interactive; shows Objectives and occasionally HOG sites, but not current Active Sites. Frustrating.
Game-play: Requires continual Point & Clicking, and Back & Forth traversing through the locations. This is tiring and a little frustrating. But story is great and well-embedded within the game-play, which is always satisfying – it keeps the game flowing with a purpose, giving it direction, and keeping you totally engrossed.
Navigation: Is smooth with no apparent glitches. However, as just mentioned, it can become physically tiring due to the excessive pointing and clicking needed in order to explore all the terrain.
Graphics: They are gorgeous, colourful, imaginative, exotic, lush, plush, fantastically authentic – a credit to the Fantasy genre – well designed to facilitate easy movement from one area to another. The visual feast of vibrant colour is a delight, and far outweighs the frustration of so much Back & Forth mouse-clicking game-play.
Player Participation: Obviously full-on, due to the amount of physical mouse-action required. You get to place most of the objects, turn the keys to open things, etc – not a lot of it is done for you.
Satisfaction Factor: Huge – very satisfactory ending to the well thought out story.
Frustration Factors: The main one is the aforementioned lack of Interactive Map system. Also the fact that you are not told which of the sites is currently active on the Maps is also a pain – you are often left wondering which site you are meant to go to next. I realise that that is how it used to be in the bad old days before Interactive Maps appeared, but hey we’v become an impatient society and need the shortcuts! 😀 There is also the minor frustration of the slightly blurry HOGs but it’s not enough to interfere with the game-play flow.
Fair Play: Pretty good really, other than the slightly blurry HOG graphics and the non-interactive map.
Tedium Factor: Only that of physical fatigue due to continually clicking, and sitting hunched in front of the computer for hours because the game is so Addictive!
Bonus Game: RUMPELSTILTSKIN AND THE QUEEN – obviously with all the same parameters of the Main Game, including the well embedded story of good length with its satisfying conclusion.
As with all DARK PARABLE games, I highly recommend this game. And quite obviously bought it.
Jud House 18/03/2014
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