by PUZZLE LAB; BIG FISH GAMES
Story: Save the world from an alien substance in Phenomenon: Outcome! When a medallion you’ve had your whole life suddenly starts acting strange, you follow its trail to a mysterious island. There, you discover a deadly Cyan Plasma that threatens not only the island, but the entire world! You must seek out a missing research team to uncover the secrets of the plasma before it spreads across the globe. But time is running out… Can you find their base before it’s too late? The power is in your hands in this thrilling Hidden Object Adventure game! (BigFish Sales Blurb)
Desktop: Across the bottom of screen – Tasks, Notes (Magic Scroll), Strategy Guide left; Inventory centre; Map, Hint (Golden Homunculus) Right.
Options: Good; Basic; with automatic widescreen adjustment.
Tutorial: Clear and concise, and not too intrusive.
Play Modes: Casual; Expert; Hard.
HOPs: Like the 2 Prequels, these are twofold – there is the Main Site with a Cyan Portal that takes you to the same site, different dimension, but same Items. Upon completion of this secondary site, you transfer back to the Main Site to find the last Item now revealed. I recommend that you go through the Portal after finding some or most of the Main Site Items, so that you don’t sit there frustrated because you can’t find one of them – it’s bound to be the elusive Final Item. I do wish that the clarity of the HOP Graphics was better, as by the end I was tired of peering at the screen. And the colour change to duller hues is also a shame.
Puzzles: There are many of these, and I particularly like the swapping of crescent-shaped picture fragments until the picture is revealed – it doesn’t work quite how you think it is going to so is quite delightful and testing for your logic. There is also one they call MINI GAME, which is an Interactive Puzzle. This is one in which the first action leads to the next and so on until all the elements have been solved leaving you with a Final Item. The first one you encounter appears truly confusing, but has a Clue Text Line to follow, and keeps tally of the number of moves needed. Great fun, once you relax and take your time – difficult to do when you are aware of your trial hour ticking away.
Collections: 35 Plasma Containers one per scene.
Graphics: Gorgeous, colourful, imaginative, believable ancient sites with an alien twist, which is evident in the technology including the way the Homunculus works. Well devised, and designed, with attention to details. I know it sounds like an anomaly – a confusion of fantasy elements juxtaposed and manipulated to work together, which in a way it is. But it does work. the settings are ancient, castle, grotto, tower, Medieval costumes and characters – yet all aware of the alien nature of the Cyan Plasma. You find yourself going along with it quite easily.
Map: Interactive – teleports you to whichever active area you want. This appears as green, covering several sites, but you can isolate the specific site by using Mouse-Over, then clicking.
Game-play: This is fun, involving the usual Seek & Find, Point & Click, Back & Forth activity, interspersed with the usual unlocking, repairing, accessing activity that your Inventory Items provide for you. You need to recharge your Homunculus frequently to defeat the Cyan Plasma clouds and then open the next HOP. This Golden Homunculus is a complex Alien device called a Neutralizer – it neutralizes the aggressive element in the Cyan Plasma thus rendering them harmless to the world of mankind.
Player Participation: Plenty for you to do, and not too many of the actions are automatic – for example, you place keys in locks yourself and click them so they turn.
Satisfaction Factor: So good that I bought it as soon as the trial hour concluded. The ending was good and felt as though it were completed – until you open the Bonus Game that is.
Frustration Factors: I haven’t really noticed much of that – other than my own careless use of the Mouse at times, and the slight blurriness of some of the HOP Graphics.
Extras: Bonus Game; Bonus Content – Concept Art, Wallpapers, Music, Achievements.
Bonus Game: This is more of the same game-play necessary because the evacuation from the island’s castle laboratory to the world was not completed – your need a few more steps to do so. The Portal between the two dimensions of the HOP is now yellow instead of Cyan blue, but the game-play is still the same. You no longer have your Golden Homunculus so have to rely on your wits and the Items you find to help you progress.
As I did with the Prequels, I highly recommend this game. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
Jud House 9/05/2014
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