by FENOMEN GAMES; BIGFISH GAMES
PORTAL STORYBOOK GAME!
Story: After Bella’s brother Stan mysteriously disappeared, she’s been haunted by a single dream. Every night she sees her brother vanishing into a glaring portal opened by a strange, ancient book, and every night she wakes up in a cold shiver. She feels certain that it’s not a mere coincidence or a trick of the mind, but something to do with a recent find Stan made – an ancient artifact. Set out in search of Stan through the pages of well-known novels and true stories on an exciting adventure – meet spectacular characters, visit eye-catching locations and engage in a twisted plot! (BigFish Sales Blurb)
Desktop: Map Globe, Menu (Left);Inventory (Centre); Hint, Notebook (Right).
Options: Basic Settings but adequate.
Tutorial: Good info, quick, efficient, not intrusive. Always worth doing no matter what level of game-playing experience you have. The Tute alerts you to Collectibles that you may sail through the game missing, only to find you have failed to unlock an Extra by doing so. Besides not all game-play is the same.
Play Modes: Easy; Expert.
Map: Interactive; tells you how many Items still to find and things to do in sites, and when site is complete – always useful. You have to open the Map to access new sites as they arise – the Tute will direct you to do this which is good as you can forget that it’s needed if you’ve been off playing something else for a while.
Graphics: These are gorgeous as usual – colourful, imaginative, delineated, mostly clear, and authentic for each new Fable. Initially, for the prologue part they are rather dark and atmospheric, but change once you have entered the Books.
Books: CALL OF CTHULHU; ROBINSON CRUSOE; THE THREE MUSKETEERS; JACK THE RIPPER.
HOPs: Interactive – Lists and pictures of Items. You find and collect an extra Item after the main HOP is complete. Atmospherics spoil the clarity of the HOP Graphics a little.
Puzzles: Plenty of variety, and good Info for the Puzzles which is pleasing.
Collections: None specifically, but various during the game to acquire the requisite 4 Amulet pieces.
Game-play: FAULTY in PC; PLAYS PERFECTLY in MAC! The screen blocks out black and white at the Beach scene in Robinson Crusoe – I believe a Patch is being worked on that will be made available soon, I hope. But in MAC versions this does not occur. The Story splits into 4 Books which you need to dust off before you can enter them. The HotSpots in a scene Highlight when you Mouse-Over them. It is quite a fun game to play, and while the Tasks set you by interested parties within the story may not be very altrusitic at times, they of course add to the game-play so you get good value.
Player Participation: Plenty of hands-on game-play.
Satisfaction Factor: Made me wonder what I’d missed in the Collector’s Edition, but did complete satisfactorily. There was not a feeling of anything missing in the narrative. I enjoyed the Graphics and the Playing experience enough to download the Mac version, when the faults occurred on the PC version, to see if it was also faulty. Thrilled to find it wasn’t and bought it as soon as the Trial hour was over.
Frustration Factors: Nothing that really bothered me – I just wish the game had been longer in each book and overall.
I highly recommend this game – if you have access to a Mac definitely play the free Trial – if you only have access to a PC then try the free Trial up to the Faulty screen to see if you like it. If you check the Forum for the game on BigFish (and any other Provider that may have Forums) you should get info on the coming Patch for the game. As I had the Mac, I didn’t need to wait for that. Phew!!
Jud House 5/07/2014
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