BRUNHILDA AND THE DARK CRYSTAL


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by TWIN BOTTLES; CALEMINION; GAME CLUB CAFE; BIGFISH GAMES

FUN, MAGICAL QUEST!

Story:  Embark upon an epic quest to save the Magic Realm in this delightful Hidden Object Adventure game. Help Brunhilda explore a mystical world blooming with magic and humor. Visit the flying university, talk to the dragons , and crash a flying broom in Brunhilda and the Dark Crystal! Join forces with a friendly demon companion and master minigames as you journey deeper into the Magic Realm and save the day! (Big Fish Sales Blurb)

Options & :  Basic Options – you need to untick the Panoramic Screen choice in order to get Widescreen!  Seems to be back-to front.  You can turn down the very loud, metallic SFX volume to a comfortable, non-irritating level; and if you get sick of the Demon’s constant interruptions you can turn him down, or off, too.  But try him on for a while and see how you go.  I just found myself telling him to ‘Shut up’ or ‘yeah, yeah, I got it’ type of comments.  Interactive vocalization.  😀

Main Menu:  As well as having the usual Start, and Options, across the bottom are ALCHEMY, WIZARDRY, TELEPATHY and TELEKINESIS.  The first three of these actually provide Mini-Games to be unlocked during Game-Play, while the last one unlocks all the Chapters you play so that you can go back and restart in any of them, either as you progress or upon game completion – as a game Extra.

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Music:  This is really good and suits the various locations and Game-Play circumstances. I tuned it down a little so it wasn’t intrusive.

Voice-Overs:  These are quite humorous, and really suitable for the characters they play.  The only ones I felt were too stereo-typed were the Pirates.  But you can double-click on the dialogue if it gets too much, or quickly scan the text of it so you can click on to the next before you have to listen to too much voice.  All the characters were really good, by the way.  It certainly made the game enjoyable.

Desktop:  (Left) Hero Plant with new flowers lit for each chapter, Wand of Telekinesis. (Centre) Magic Quest Cards which display how many and what items are needed for each particular task, overlapping each other as they take priority then are exposed again as tasks above are completed and items used. (Right) Demon who is your helper and provider of Hints, and the Magnifying Glass which you can access by Right Clicking if you prefer.  You also carry a Portable Potion Kit with you, which is not on the Desktop, but which opens automatically for the ALCHEMY Mini-Game.

Tutorial:  This was actually very good.  It shows you exactly what the Desktop is about, and how it all works, quickly, efficiently, and enjoyably.  If it’s annoying for you bear with it – I can’t remember now if it was Skip-able.  It is certainly good for novices to get their bearings, and it is set up a little different from the norm so is worth doing.  An example of this is that you can press ESC during the game to get more Help.

Graphics:  These are so cool.  They are one of my favourite types – an interactive cartoon/comic/visual novel type – brilliant hand-drawn characters and backgrounds, massively colourful, really well filled-out with details, humorous, clever, and fun to immerse yourself in.

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Play Modes:  Casual and Adventure which opens in START.

Map:  There is no Map, so this game entails lots of going back and forth from site to site within each location.  But as there are not too many sites,  this is rarely annoying.  In fact you get used to the fact that you will have to visit all the sites in order to find all the items in each Card search.

HOPs:   There are none of these in the current way.  The Magic Quest Cards stand in their stead.  When you enter a new location and its sites you automatically register that it’s filled with items, and know that you’re going to need to find and collect most of them before it is complete.  But it is done a few at a time – this is initially frustrating, as you just want to clear the decks of all the items in one sweep.  But after a while you settle into the rhythm of the game, and it’s not a problem.  Of course by the time you’re on the final sweep of the sites you know where all the items are, except the tiny ones.  You need to use the magnifying glass to find these.  It’s very handy and there to be used.  You gain nothing from straining your eyes and gaining forehead wrinkles by trying to do it without the magnifying glass.  😀

Mini-Games:   The ALCHEMY game is Potion creation, which entails catching good (blue) potion drops while avoiding the red (bad) potion drops.  As the bottle is connected to your wand by a sparkling spell current, it is not directly stable and swoops and swings about as you wield it.  The WIZARDRY game is Rune matching/collection to a conveyor or random Runes beneath Rune charts.  The TELEPATHY game entails finding the differences between two hazy Crystal balls in order to clear it for use.  All these games increase in difficulty as you move through the Chapters.

Game-play:   This is fully story-driven, set up in Chapters of good length, fun and flows well, with lots of humorous dialogue, and lots of character types.  There is a twist, which you will quickly see, where the ugly Demon and goblin and troll and good characters, while the Fairies and actually bad characters – foul are fair and fair are foul!  There is also a fantastic, magnificent Dragon lying on his bed of gold in his cave, with a Voice-Over almost matching Smaug from THE LORD OF THE RINGS – echoing J R R Tolkien’s artwork of his creation, but greatly enhanced.  Gorgeous.  Any fan will love the familiarity of this character.

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Player Participation:   Is obviously high – you are completely involved, even in the flow of the dialogues, and the already mentioned continual back and forth action.  The final confrontation is really good as it involves all your skills – collection, some mini-games, without the concern of a time-constraint even though things are apparently urgent.  The game ends well, leaving us with the promise of a Sequel – which I have never seen, but would like to know about if anyone else has seen it – so please Comment to me if you have any knowledge of one.

Frustration Factors:  There are very few niggles with this game.  Other than the odd Voice-Over which can be turned to comedy if you choose, and the slight tedium of popping back n forth, there is nothing to complain about.  Not  even the lack of a Map – you just don’t need one.

Satisfaction Factor:  This is high.  I know there are way more sophisticated games out now – but this is an oldie and a goodie!!  It plays fine on Windows 7, without having to reset it.  There are no unintended floating cursors, or glitches.  And there is a WALK-THROUGH available on the Big Fish Games BRUNHILDA AND THE DARK CRYSTAL sales site.

I highly recommend this game to all – it’s a good family game (despite the Pirate’s occasional cursing), yet great fun for expert players also.  I hope you enjoy it – trial it and see.

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Jud House 3/09/2017

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About judsartwork

I write reviews of Adventure and Hidden Object games that are Crime, Fantasy, SciFi, Renovation, Travel, Quest and/or Mystery by genre. I have a Masters in Writing (2006) and have been writing novels, both crime and fantasy for many years; plus Haiku, verse, and prose both fictional and literary. I am also an artist of modern, Acrylic, textural and hard edge work, underwater, fantasy, expressionist, and Cosmos paintings. I use mixed media (Acrylic, Watercolour, Pastels) in textural Monoprints, finding surprises to expose within each work. Having both an analytical and creative mind has meant that I have strong powers of observation, and the persistence required to follow computer problems through till I solve them. Of course I am not always successful, but am willing to ask for a little help in order to then unlock the main problem myself. My Troubleshooting Blog, 'Problems and Solutions', was the result of my tenacity.
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