HODGEPODGE HOLLOWS – A Potions Primer

by JOLLY BEAR GAMES; SPINTOP;

Jud’s Game Rating:

Graphics: ****  Player participation (PP) *****  Satisfaction Factor (SF) *****

Frustration Factor (FF)  Nil

This cute, relaxing, un-Timed Game opens in Windows 7 without any problems.  Accompanied by calming harp music, your task in this Game is to locate a potions book stolen by a dragon from Gnomes.  You need to use the Enchanted Map to begin each level, to search for potion pages strewn amongst the scenes.  When activated, little Scarab-like bugs crawl on this map to the required locations.  As well as finding the usual Hidden Objects, you must collect the potion ingredients, then return to the Gnomes’ house to brew the potion.  Only when all the powerful potions have been brewed and used during your quest, can you retrieve the book from the dragon for the Gnomes.

The graphics are delightful, colourful, imaginative, gentle, and clearly created, though there is some use of minimal atmospheric mists or sun-haze at times.  The objects are well defined but skillfully hidden amongst other items in each scene – creating a challenge while still playing fair with the player.  (I did find that several times I had to use the efficient Hint button for the final item of a scene-search which was rather FF.)  Even the Map design is unusual and picturesque, and its means of use cleverly devised.

The artistic concept for the Ingredients is innovative, imaginative, interesting, often quite cheeky, and a play on its name – for example: Witch Hazel is a plant with a witch’s head; Dandelions have lion faces; Chickweed has a chicken’s head with feathers poking out the top.  Other ingredients are:  Caterpillar Fur; Bees’ Knees; Forgetmenot Tears; Dewdrops; Eye of Newt; Lightning Ash; Bees’ Wax; Mockingbird Song; Unicorn Flakes; Snake Eyes; Pixie Dust; Lollipops; Nightshade; Sprites; Cobwebs; Fairy Laughter;Wolf’s Howl; Boar Bristles; Cahmeleon’s Tail; Gremlin Teeth; Barnacle Beards; Bad Blood; Lilac Nectar; Hummingbird’s Kiss, and Grugach Hammer.

The Location names are also fun and quite clever:  Heedless the Healer; Hirsute (hairy) Spellman; Nebulous Forest; Big Man Bumble; Addlebrain’s Aviary; Boundless Dark; Wayward Sanctuary; Restless Merchant; Divine Intervention; Gullible Hovel; Dragon Dragoon; Secret Cenote; Ticklish Grove; Troll Bridge; Befuddled Inn; Wolf Den; Canine Confederacy; Murmur Gardens; Master at Arms; and The Gatekeeper.

Tip: The order in which the Ingredients are mixed is important.  Also it is important to remember the peculiar method of using Forgetmenot Tears, in order not to suffer from FF.

This safe and skillful Game is obviously geared for young people – but it is a great game to play to practise and sharpen Point and Click Game skills, and powers of observation, while providing some relaxing though still challenging play.  I highly recommend this Game.  High SF and PP.

For Walkthroughs of this Game go to UHS Hints at:   www.uhs-hints.com/

(C) Copyright Jud House   27/07/2011

* * * * *

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s