by JOINDOTS GAMES
Jud’s Game Rating:
Graphics: **** Player participation (PP) **** Satisfaction Factor (SF) ****
Frustration Factor (FF) *
The graphics on this game a gorgeous. The colours are magical and the music and sound effects are tinkles and chimes as befits a game about a Castle of Magic! They are clear – but when you begin to search for items you realise that there are no crisp edges, so the search becomes difficult. Some locations are also hazy or gloomy adding to the visual stress. Also this game has many objects that are so tiny that it is difficult to see them – they lack definition or detail. If your eyesight is excellent then I suppose this will not bother you, but not many people these days have 20:20 vision. This is the only negative to this game.
Like GARDENSCAPE this is another game where the player gets to renovate a location – in this case it is a Wizard’s Castle. And once again it is the outside of the building and gardens that are up-dated a section at a time, with 3 options with 3 costs for each location. At first this is done quickly, after only one or two rooms are searched, using the funds collected by you from the sale of the objects to Fitz the Leprechaun in the cellar. But as you go along the funds required are higher and take longer to accumulate. I guess that most players won’t consider this a negative as it allows more game-play.
At each location you are set tasks to complete (by various Witches and Wizards) – puzzle boxes to open (a mini game in a variety of puzzle types), and sometimes a batch of one specific type of object to find, but usually a list of miscellaneous objects to find. You also have to find as many hidden jewels/gems within each locations as these add to your funds. There are 5 star wands to use as hints – if used then you need to find the tiny star wand in the next location/s till you have replenished the supply back to 5. There is also a tiny fairy somewhere in each location – if you are stuck, you can click on her and she will locate and collect one object from the list for you. If you haven’t clicked for a little while one of the objects will glow and sparkle a little for a few seconcds to help you out.
These Renovation Games are fun to play, giving a series of bonuses to the player at each level. They usually allow you to add them to your ScreenSaver file as well so you can admire your handiwork! This game has a BONUS setting that allows you to choose from all the rooms in the castle to set as your Desktop Wallpaper. I personally much prefer this type of Renovation Game to those games where you build a city/village/island community etc, where you make people move around doing things for you, fighting battles, building forts/houses etc.
This is a good family game in the full meaning of the term.
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