1 TREASURE OF THE AGES; 2 CLIFFHANGER CASTLE;
3 PHARAOH’S QUEST; 4 THE LOST WORLD
by ANARCHY ENTERPRISES; BIG FISH; SPINTOP
Jud’s Game Rating:
Graphics: ***** Player participation (PP) ***** Satisfaction Factor (SF) *****
Frustration Factor (FF) *
What I want to say about the last Game, THE LOST WORLD, in this series is WOW!!!! And the second last, PHARAOH’S QUEST, was great as well! This is a case of Game development taking a good Game – the first HIDE & SECRET was pretty good for its time – forward in great strides to BRILLIANT. The above Ratings are for the most recent Game – THE LOST WORLD.
The second Game, CLIFFHANGER CASTLE, I didn’t like – I downloaded it from different sources twice, with quite some time between, and played the free hour before rejecting it and deleting it – twice! It wasn’t as good as the first Game – the storyline looked okay but the Graphics were fuzzy making the Gameplay tiresome to the point of annoying. I will not buy it, and don’t recommend it.
The reason I downloaded it for a second try was that I had meanwhile tried the third Game, PHARAOH’S QUEST, loved it, and bought it. So I thought maybe I had been mistaken about Game 2. When I changed my online Game retailer, it gave me the chance to try it again for free. But I shouldn’t have doubted myself. The second Game, CLIFFHANGER CASTLE, is barely worth a look. BUT the last two Games are terrific.
PHARAOH’S QUEST has a similar attention to detail as THE LOST WORLD as far as Graphics, PP, puzzles and location negotiations go – so high SF – though the graphics can be a little hazy in places – but only a little. In THE LOST WORLD all these factors are extended, heightened, developed to the very latest point available, at the time of release.
When I saw that number 4 had come out I grabbed it straight away. I played the free hour – just in case – then bought it immediately. I didn’t even put it on the ‘To Buy’ corner of the Desktop. And more surprises were to come. Not only is it one of the best examples of what to do when creating PC Games – no timed mode or over-clicking penalties, clear easy to see and negotiate graphics and SFX with continual PP – but the extravagant length of Play so that it seems to go on indefinitely (though of course it does finally end) is wonderful. This creates a Game that the Player does NOT want to leave, turn off and go to bed when it’s way past midnight and commonsense tries to prevail!
In THE LOST WORLD, the Options are basic, but allow you to adjust the Speed if you so desire, plus the usual FullScreen, Cursor, Music, SFX settings. there is an Auto-Tutorial at the Start, and a rechargeable Hints – which if you click, when at a non-collecting location, will tell you what your latest task is and where you can find the items for it if you choose to read it all. A bit like a Strategy Guide but only for that particular fragment of the Game, for those few tasks, and only if asked for. Still, it’s handy.
The Graphics of THE LOST WORLD are simply gorgeous, incredible, detailed, luscious – tropical jungle, cascading waterfalls, magic water effects, with cartoon-like CG characters set into it in a fairly credible way. The negotiation of this landscape is so well done – there are many blocked ways that must be opened by puzzle-solving. These often entail the use of particular items that you have to locate in Hidden Object sites – and you can only gain one item at a time from each Seek and Find visit – thus the FF point. There are traps to fall into and get out of, colleagues to rescue from various predicaments, flames to quench, prisoners to release, and an ingenious array of puzzles – a few old faves but so many clever new ones.
The MAP is also brilliant – it depicts all the main features of each location, and how they link up. It sparkles blue to show where you are, and you can click on another site – anywhere that a pair of feet show up indicating ‘open’ sites – to go straight there. This saves a lot of time, and tedious to and fro-ing, though it is important that you negotiate back and forth also in order not to miss sparkling areas that indicate the Hidden Object sites.
I’d like to add that there are so many Games out there of this genre – it is hard to know which ones to choose. They often look too dark on the promotional pics provided, so that it is difficult to decide which ones to try. Luckily, this time I knew about the third Game, so could readily try the fourth despite its pic.
I highly recommend the last two Games of this HIDE & SECRET series – PHARAOH’S QUEST, and especially THE LOST WORLD!
For Walkthroughs of this Game try UHS Hints at: www.uhs-hints.com/
(C) Copyright Jud House 20/08/2011
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