Jud’s Game Rating:

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

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

WOW!  What a cool game! Seriously, this is a really intriguing game, leaning towards the Adventure side of Hidden Object games – there are still HOs to find of course, but there is a lot more strategy involved.  You have to use your ingenuity to work out what is required of you, scanning the screen with your cursor very carefully so as not to miss any Hotspots, and using patience, or the Skip button, at the unusual and sometimes quite taxing puzzles between locations.  As the Hints given are very general, forcing you to use your brain and your eyes carefully, they are not much help if you want a quick fix.

The Graphics are great!  They are quite Escherlike in places which is delightful, whimsical without being twee (yukko), colourful, imaginative, interesting, pleasing, and make you notice them before you plunge on with the game.  Except they are a little fuzzy in some of the HO search sites, influenced by the nature of the site – gloomy dungeon, underwater, or dim cavern , etc.  But mostly they are clear, delineated, the kind I like the best for these games.

Still that doesn’t mean that the game designers play completely fair with the player.  The hazy graphics, and almost out-of-sight items in the clear locations cause a degree of FF, as does the almost in vain scanning of the screen and feeling of being stuck that assails you every now and then.  Then you get a break and race ahead confidently for a while.  There is however, a link direct to the Walkthrough in Help in Options.  I used this only once, then realised what a dill I was that I had missed a Hotspot, and carried on to the end unaided.

Don’t be put off by the fact that the protagonist is a child.  This has left the Designers with somewhere to take the Game for future Episodes.  The ending of THE INNER JOURNEY is unexpected.  There are odd little touches in this Game – I particularly like the fact that the Cursor Hand that picks up items for you is a skeleton hand – it’s movement makes me chuckle.  But I shouldn’t be surprised – SANDLOT GAMES are usually good.

Highest PP and SF ratings.  I highly recommend this Game to all ages.  Let me know what you think of it.

(C) Copyright  Jud House  8/10/2011

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