by ERS GAME STUDIOS; BIGFISH GAMES
Story: Your house is warm and ready for Christmas Eve when an unexpected visitor magically appears at your window. Your ancestor, the Owl Spirit, begs your help. You must stop the jealous and vindictive Wenonah, the Spirit of Cold, from destroying your ancestors. If she succeeds in her terrible plan, she’ll make sure you’ll never be born! A photo album is the key to stopping her, but can a mere mortal handle this ghostly task? Travel through time to save your grandparents from her bitter, icy grasp! (BigFish Sales Blurb)
Options: Basic; good quick Tutorial.
Play Modes: Casual; Advanced; Hard; Custom.
HOGs: Has a rather quirky Match 3 alternative; Interactive Lists, and Shapes. Graphics a little blurry at times in HOGs.
Puzzles: Mostly interesting and unusual, but with a few duds.
Graphics: Wonderful Xmas snowscenes – one of my faves! Gorgeous, fantastic, brilliantly colourful. Shame about the slight blurriness at times.
Map: Interactive, though could be a little more user friendly.
Game-play: I found this confusing, with obscure objectives especially initially. Although the story is good, and integral to the game-play, rather than driving it forward, it seems to meander around in a muddled way. The next Task info is lacking, which I think is the main problem. The ‘Magic Feather’ makes Items larger in the Inventory; and you can combine Items in the Inventory also.
Player Participation: This is average – allows you to take quite a lot of the actions yourself, but also assists. There is the usual Point & Click and Back & Forth, which can be sped up by using the Map frequently.
Satisfaction Factor: This was modified by the lack of direction, lack of Task info, blurring of gorgeous Graphics. And the Standard Game leaves you with the definite knowledge of things to come that you are missing out on if you haven’t got the Collector’s Edition – which I didn’t have. This I consider Unfair, as the Extra story shouldn’t be a necessary part of the Main story. It should be as it’s name implies – Extra.
Frustration Factors: Obviously this was caused by the blurry HOGs Graphics; and the lack of Info and Direction.
This may be one of those games where you need to buy the Collector’s Edition – I’m not sure. I only bought the Standard Game, and although it was imaginative as far as story and graphic design, I was definitely disappointed overall. I suggest you give the trial a test-run first and decide from there. The things that bothered me, may not bother you at all.
Jud House 9/04/2014
* * * * *