by ELEPHANT GAMES; BIGFISH GAMES
CURSED XMAS RESCUE!
Story: It’s the holiday season, and you’ve been invited to a Christmas wedding! The joyous festivities are short-lived as a sorceress curses the newlyweds and their guests! It’s up to you to break the spell and save Christmas before it’s too late. (Big Fish Sales Blurb)
The Main Story is really good. It’s aimed at children as the people of the kingdom are turned to animals, but it works just as well for adults as they can accept that the story is feasible within the fantasy parameters.
Main Menu: Play; options; Quit; More Games; Bonus Content; Strategy Guide; Change Player. It has an easy layout on a cool, Winter background.
Options: Great, with Gamma setting.
Music: Delightful and suitable – not overpowering, but can be turned down so it doesn’t intrude too much.
Voice-Overs: As usual these are really well chosen. They suit their characters and the tone of the story.
Bonus Content: Music; Achievements; Mini-Games; Concept Art; Wallpapers; HOPs; Screensavers; Collectibles; Bonus Game; Secret Room. The Secret Room contains three connecting pairs HOPs like and extra game.
Desktop: (Side-Left Pop-Out) Achievements, Collections; (left) Fox (Helper), Menu, Map Compass; (Centre) Inventory, Lists; (Side-Right Pop-Out) Puzzle Info; (Right) Magic Clock Items, Hint, Strategy Guide.
Collections: Jigsaw Pieces (48); Morphing Objects/Snowmen (26); Wedding Guests (14). These unlock the Secret Room, HOPs and Mini-Games when both Games are completed. Mini-Collections of Clock Parts for Magic Clock. There are Jigsaw Pieces in the Zoom sites as well as the main sites.
Tutorial: This is the usual quick, efficient, Tute with options to opt out of all or part of it whenever you want to.
Play Modes: Casual; Detective; Super; Custom. The last is always my choice as you can opt out of Penalties and adjust the Hint and Skip recharge times etc,.
Graphics: These are gorgeously colourful as usual – nice and frosty for Winter, highly detailed, sparkling with light or dark and brooding where necessary, and generally great to delve into. It’s one of the main draw-cards that Fantasy games have over some of the more mundane genres.
Map: This shows Player, Tasks, Hotspots, Collectibles Which makes it a much better aid than the Hint. You can jump from site to site within the Map thus saving time.
HOPs: There are some really ingenious HOPs in this game. Find Items that reveal Gems beneath that you replace into a final Item; Interactive Lists; slightly skewed Story HOPs; Find Multiple Items; Find oddly or identically Paired Items; and more.
Puzzles: There are also some very clever, fun Puzzles in this game – like a Climbing Rune-match Puzzle and a Zodiac Puzzle. But there are also some really annoying, impossible, sliding, dexterity, random Puzzles to Skip – like the Colour Changing Puzzle, and the even more-gross Shadow Puzzle.
Game-play: By now you realise that this is the expected Search & Seek, Point & click Quest game. You face challenges, have to solve problems, learn a lot of skills you might be able to use in real life some time – in other words improve your logic and common sense skills – and keep pushing until you save the day!
Player Participation: This is continual as is also expected.
Satisfaction Factor: As the Story was so long and good, with plenty of twists and turns to keep me interested; and as the variety in Game-Play was excellent with many clever little elements; and as the Stories concluded well – by this I mean they resolved and we were taken past the resolution point and not left hanging with the games coming to abrupt ends – the whole game was very satisfying.
Frustration Factors: As you can expect from me, these were mostly to do with the yujjo puzzles (aka yukko, aka yukky) that irritated me and got in the way of the game-flow. That really annoys me when there are too many Puzzles, as the story stops dead while you try to solve yet another not-wanting-to-work Puzzle. Also the game was a little slow Loading between scenes.
Bonus Game: The Evil Yule Cat stole Santa Cat, so you have to go rescue him. Good long story with a few twists, and a solid resolution. It carries a moral as well for the kids.
Look for the Hip-Hop Snowman in the Credits – very funny.
Jud House 21/11/2017
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