DREAM CHRONICLES 4 & 5

BOOK OF AIR;  BOOK OF WATER

by PLAYFIRST; KAT GAMES; BIGFISH; SPINTOP; GAMEHOUSE

Jud’s Game Rating:

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

Frustration Factor (FF)  *    Fair Play (FP) *****

These two Games are great!  They have more of the same wonderful imaginative DREAM CHRONICLES Graphics, that include more of the town of Wish, and some of the existing characters plus new ones.  The architecture is curvaceous, organic, and the landscapes magnificent, especially in detailing.  The rock details at the Obelisk site are so realistic, water movement at Barge City and the ‘lamp’ in the Fish Hut there show immense creativity.  The Graphics alone make these games a joy.  The clever details of the airship used in both Games as the means of transport omit nothing – down to a board to mount the Map on.

  The Instructions are available in Help, but the Tutorial is offered to you as you proceed – you can opt out of this.  There are Hints and Instructions via Tangle’s letters to Lyra – these are handy for reference, and are updated as you proceed.  They save you from having to make notes of numbers or codes or patterns that you will need to use to solve the puzzles along the way.  An example is the mixing of the Magic Paint to use to reveal words on the page in the Book of Water.

In these Collector’s Editions, in the Main Menu there is Extras, which allows you to access a  Strategy Guide which you can exit to check if you really get stuck.  There are also Wallpapers, ScreenSavers, MP3 Audio, and a Walkthrough available.  For those who buy the Standard Game, I am fairly sure that the UHS Hints site below this blog will have Hints you can use.

Both Collector’s Editions have Bonus Games – for THE BOOK OF AIR it transports you to a BOOK OF WATER area on the Map (I have yet to play this as I had a faulty copy of the Game and have only just replaced it), but you must complete the Main Game in order to unlock this.  In the B of W the Bonus Game is Faye’s journey, which runs parallel but a little ahead of Lyra’s journey, but both it and the Main Game leave the player in suspense, ready for the 6th DREAM CHRONICLES Game to follow.

Both Games locate a Locate Magnify Glass near the bottom left of screen, and Help top right, while down the left side are Crystal Balls to hold the Dream Pieces as you collect them in Dream Jewels of Power.  In B of A these powers are – Decipher (glyphs), Reveal, Transmute (gold into wood), Brilliance, and Thunder.  In B of W they are Illumination, Weld (reconstruct), Reveal, and Vision (ESP views of Faye’s locations).  These powers are required to help solve puzzles, to reveal words and decipher runes, to illuminate dark places, or provide filling rain for dry pools.

The Map is brilliant – it has locations for the Air-ship to move between, with their co-ordinates so that you can set the compass before take-off.  In B of A you need to collect and load fuel stones into the shute to the fire, then play a puzzle game to stoke the fire prior to take-off.  In B of W, not only is this step missed out, but you also no longer have to set the co-ordinates.  You just select the site on the Map and pull the Start lever.  In one way this is great and makes the Game flow a little quicker, but in an other way it means less hands on.  There is less PP.

A surprise in the Bonus Game in B of W is that you no longer have to collect Dream Pieces as Faye is mortal and cannot use magic.  So that journey is undertaken in a more difficult way, using human ingenuity to solve problems encountered.  I cannot yet say if there are any surprises in the B of A Bonus Game, but will update this blog when I get to it again.  I have to replay the entire Game again before I can reach the unplayed Game.

These are both well-thought-out Games, great to play, with high PP, total FP, gorgeous Graphics and little FF.  Result – massive SF!!  I recommend it to all new-comers – unnecessary to do so for return-players as they already know this, and like me grabbed the latest Game as soon as it came out!

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

(C) Copyright  Jud House  27/09/2011

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