by EIPIX ENTERTAINMENT; BIGFISH GAMES
STRIKINGLY BEAUTIFUL CONCEPTION!
Story: Long ago, Anther was a realm of beauty and magic, but the appearance of a being named Torment drained their magic and forced the survivors to flee to a world called Earth. Years later, one of their artifacts has been uncovered, reopening the way between both worlds. You must enter the portal and stop Torment before it turns its sights toward Earth. An ancient prophecy declares that you will be the one to save both worlds, but will it come true? Find out in this breathtaking Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game! (Big Fish Sales Blurb)
Desktop: Menu, Guide, Magic Device/Nether Vision (Left); Inventory/Lists (Centre); Achievements, Hints (Right). No Notebook!!
Options: Good, with Automatic Widescreen.
Tutorial: Optional, quick, efficient, not too intrusive.
Play Modes: Casual; Expert; Insane; Custom – I always choose Custon as it allows for the most relaxed game-play possible. You also are able to see if there are Overclicking penalties – a big NO-No in my books – which this game does have, to minimise its affect.
Map: Interactive – The Tutorial encourages you to use this to travel quickly between locations.
Graphics: These are Gorgeous as expected from EIPIX games – fantasy colours, which are brilliant and evocative, making unreal the real-world flora and fauna, architecture and characters/creatures. Brilliant and sparkling in most aspects – though too much use of hazy atmospherics in the HOPs – the settings are brilliantly and cleverly designed and devised with careful attention to the smallest details.
HOPs: Bubble Popper alternative. As already mentioned this game has too much atmospheric haze in the HOPs. However the variety provided is excellent – a whole new level of play which is exciting and fun. There are Shapes, Interactive Lists, Multiple sites within each HOP, and variations on all of these.
Puzzles: Similar variations apply here from Simple to Difficult, with enough Information on some, to not enough on others. The Mozaic Puzzle is cool. You need to persever with some of them – Tip: Place the Mermaid (Hook) in the space between the chain and chandelier precisely. Persist. But you can Skip if any of them drive you crazy, or your game-playing time is limited.
Collections: Flowers of Remembrance (41); Morphing Objects in HOPs; Souvenirs – all these can be accessed after the end of the game to collect those missed during play. This will then unlock other Extras. The Morphing Objects are particularly difficult to spot as you have to be looking at the right part of the screen when they Morph – quite difficult with a large screen. If you just miss the change back, then hover over it as it will Morph again fairly quickly.
Game-play: This entails the usual Point & Click, Back & Forth actions – make great use of the Map which changes as you change locations.The Mouse is fairly spot-sensitive, but more general sometimes which is nice as you tire physically playing this extremely long game.
Player Participation: Obviously heaps of this – I hardly need to say so these days.
Satisfaction Factor: Extremely satisfying – the game ends well, resolving issues, and leaving somewhere to go next.
Frustration Factors: Apart from the odd moments of not enough information- where I resorted to the use of Hints, and on only two occasions to the Guide when the Puzzle seemed unsolvable – and the usual fatigue-related Controls slips, this was fine. Certainly the positives of this game far out-weighed the negatives.
Extras: Play Bonus Game; Flower Collection; Lore Book; Souvenir Room; Pictures; Achievements; Making of; Play Puzzle; Music; Movies; Bubble Popper; Find Objects; HOP Chinese Healer; HOP Living Mountain; HOP Sea of Lies: Mutiny of the heart.
Bonus Game: This is more of the same Game-Play, with a Map and most of the Desk Top Tools – the Magic Device is changed for a Nether Vision Detector. You play as Victoria with the Shadow as your helper which is a cool twist. This game is also quite long.
I highly recommend this game – I bought it immediately!
Jud House 7/09/2014
* * * * *