ESCAPE THE EMERALD STAR; ESCAPE WHISPER VALLEY;
ESCAPE ROSECLIFF ISLAND
by POPCAP; SPINTOP GAMES
Jud’s Game Rating:
Graphics: * * * Player participation (PP) * * * * Satisfaction Factor (SF) * * * *
Frustration Factor (FF) *
These belong to the same group of Games, having Unlimited Seek and Find play and Bonus Games, after unlocking them by finding 50 Anchors/ Keys and Locks/ and Locks – 2 per scene. This unlocking occurs about halfway through the Adventure Game play – you can stop and go back to the Main Menu and launch into the clearing of every scene if you want to – I usually can’t wait for this play, and return to the Adventure later on when I’ve satisfied that addiction.
Consistently good, it is easy to play. You can choose the Relaxed Mode – well unclick it if you prefer Timed Mode (yujjo!!) from Options. You have to find the Hidden Objects within each scene, perform a task by using one object on another in each scene, then play a Puzzle / Mini Game between the levels to move on – such as Mah Jong, Match 3, Tile Swap, Blocks Slide to Move Key, and Word Search to name some of them. At the end there is a Final Puzzle to play using the Items ( map fragments, escape tools) you have collected at each completed level to get off the ship, out of the valley, or off the island.
However, the graphics, while of good size which is applaudible, are fuzzy with dull colours. This is a real shame, as there is no need for them to be like that. Okay they are depicting an abandoned Ocean Liner, a spooky valley, and mysterious remote private island, but that is no excuse for making the graphics drab. They can be grotty if necessary, or shabby, or untidy, or not, as the case may be – but graphics can portray that just as successfully in full colour and clean sharp images!
For my views on the Fuzzy problem, caused to a certain extent by the larger screen sizes, see my article requesting help with this problem from the Game Venders and Producers – PC GAME PROVIDERS, PROGRAMMERS and TECHNICIANS. But when I reset the Games using Microsoft 7 (see Problems and Solutions), back to Microsoft XP Service Pack 2, there was little change in the clarity. Much of the fuzziness is due to hazy atmospherics, dark gloomy scenes with little light or colour.
This is supposed to be a game of Seek and Find – but when objects are not displayed with detail or clean edges then the GamePlay is unfair, and the players get fed up really quickly. The reason for great graphics is to provide the player with a stimulating and enjoyable experience. Not one where they leave the game feeling a bit depressed by the dullness of it all!
Don’t forget that I really like this format of game – I own all of them that are available. I was so hoping that the newest addition, ESCAPE THE EMERALD STAR, would be more like UNDISCOVERED WORLD – THE INCAN SUN, and VACATION QUEST – THE HAWAIIAN ISLANDS, which are colourful with clear graphics, similar format as the Escape Games, and similar search difficulties that aren’t marred by unfair atmospherics!
I will still probably buy this Game, despite the fact that I AM REALLY DISAPPOINTED WITH THESE LESS THAN GREAT GRAPHICS!!
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