Jud’s Game Rating:

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

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

What a fantastic Game!!  I had to buy it immediately, as soon as my free hour was up.  It didn’t even make it to the To Buy corner of the screen.  It epitomises everything good about Hidden Object Point and Click Adventure Games!  If I could give it higher ratings I would, but then I’d have to go and change all my others.

The Graphics are simply stunning.  Magic Fantasy Realism!  Brilliantly coloured; cleverly atmospheric – without interfering with the Game-play; with clarity of hidden items, some of which are indeed so sneakily hidden, yet visible; and gorgeous locations for each new and vastly different World that you enter.  I particularly like the authenticating details of the landscapes, structures, and people for each World – they make me smile, and feel an eagerness to continue; anticipation for my expectations to be met.

After a Cool Beginning of a 3D CG movie, in order to Start your Quest, you need to clean an Enchanted Painting of dust and cobwebs, in order to enter it.  The use of paintings gives the Game Creators a means of having you move from one complete World to a totally different one, from the same Home/Hall location.  Much the same as passing through Portals – another fave of the Creators – and I must say of the Players as well – myself included.

There are Easy and Expert Modes from which to choose.  There is a Map for each World that you enter, which has amazing clarity and beaut animation, and is stamped with the number of items still to find/tasks to complete upon each location within that World.  Using this Map you can move from location to location within the World at ease, without the tedious backing out of and going forward through room after room.  It reminded me of KUROS, and I guess MORTIMER BECKETT Games which I will review shortly.

If you take too long to move from a location it tells you that there is nothing more to do at the moment so please return to the Map – this saves much tedious checking of items and areas that we often do before feeling sure that it’s safe to look somewhere else.  It also tells you Location Complete – which is also great – for the same reasons.

You have to collect Coins in each location to unlock the bonus Final Painting/World.  There is a Stategy Guide accessed through a button at the bottom of the screen – you can go to the respective Chapter easily, find what you need to move on again, then close it and continue where you left off.  It is extremely User-Friendly.

There are the usual ‘1 item at a time’ to be gained from each Hidden Object search – the area sparkles when there are things to find.  And this is where the one FF point comes from – you can see what Objects you need for the tasks you’ve been set, but frustratingly can’t take them until the Game allows you to.  The parameters and order in which Items are made available, and thus the order in which the Game-Play takes place, is set within the Game structure and nothing you do will change this.  Once you settle down, and just make a mental note that you will have to come back for the Items later, the Game-Play becomes enjoyable.

The Puzzles are quite novel – slightly different versions of existing puzzles:  mosaics, codes, jigsaws, swap pics/tiles, match 3 or more but by connecting them, tricky locks etc.  Of course where they are Puzzles you dislike, you can Skip them as soons as the Skip button is charged.  I think I only did that twice in the whole Game.

My one disappointment was that when I had completed the Game, I still thought that there would be more.  There were still more not yet activated paintings on the walls of the Hall, and I had naively thought that we would enter all of them.  Then, when I went to look at the Bonus section of the Collector’s Edition, I discovered the usual Wallpapers, Soundtracks, Artwork etc, plus an Unlimited Play section.

When I clicked on this I was taken to the Hall, where I chose the first painting Frozen World.  Upon entering it, the Game just seemed to start again, and carried on as if I were doing just that.  I suppose that if I had entered a different painting it would have picked up the Game Play from that point in the Game onwards.  Not quite what I was expecting from Unlimited Play.

However, as far as FP goes it was among the best – the player was kept in mind all the time.  The storyline was interesting, coherent, logical, and well-layered.  I was really impressed.  Full Marks for a Game well-Produced!!  I highly recommend it to all.

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

(C) Copyright  Jud House  3/09/2011

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