GRIM TALES – THE STONE QUEEN Collector’s Edition

by ELEPHANT GAMES; BIGFISH GAMES

Jud’s Game Rating:

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

Frustration Factor (FF) * Fair Play (FP) **** Tedium Factor (TF) Nil

BRILLIANT!

The family saga continues when your nephew Brandon encounters the mysterious Stone Queen in a lonely mountain town. She used to protect the miners here, but now she’s out for revenge! You must discover the truth behind the queen’s anger and save both worlds before a greedy heart brings about their destruction. You’ll meet new friends, but you’ll also face new foes in Grim Tales: The Stone Queen, an intriguing Hidden-Object Puzzle Adventure game. (BigFish Games Sales Blurb)

This long, complex game is excellent!  I love the Graphics which are so interesting, imaginative, colourful, delightful, scary.  The odd thing is that all the colour is in the Stone World not the real world.  So it starts out dull and you think “Oh Noooo!”  Then into the Stone World you go and WOW.  The opening sequence is the usual running out of petrol/car crash/ plane crash/ boat crash scenario, but you get over that pretty quickly as a girl runs out of a gateway and turns to stone in front of you.

I love the massive Map – it’s one of the best I’ve seen – really comprehensive, giving heaps of info about the sites including the one you are currently on, showing the Tasks at each one, and allowing you to jump from site to site.  Really interactive.  It’s as comprehensive as the game-play which is very hands on – you have to go through every action needed to re-fuel your car – not just collecting the items to use, but unscrewing caps, placing funnel, pouring fuel, screwing cap etc.  It is not done for you automatically, which makes a refreshing change.  Too many games are doing too much for you in games automatically.  So this game get top PP!

The Options are excellent – includes a Gamma slide control for brightness of display.  This improves the clarity somewhat which is a bonus for the poor-sighted.  The Playing Modes are Casual, Advanced, and Hardcore – I highly advise that your first session is done in Casual Mode.  That is hard enough, especially when you strike the odd unsolveable Puzzle (like the Secret Door Puzzle which is impossible) – it’s crucial that you can Skip those, as they negatively impact on your gaming experience.

You really relate to the characters in this game – they are integral to the story and the game play.  I love the Nobby (Harry Potter) type character who helps you as you struggle to find the Flowers that release the various petrified (into stone) characters each of whom provide important items for your progression.  Your main goal is the resurrect the Flower of Life deep in the mines, which gives life to the Stone World, to restore their Queen, and the balance to both worlds.

The BONUS STORY involves the substantial quest to restore the incarcerated son of the Queen to his rightful senses, and ultimately to his family.  This involves more of the same mayhem at every turn with the need for tools and tasks to complete to sort it out.  It has a great ending!  SF to the max!

I love it, love it, love it.  In other words, I bought it and highly recommend it.

Jud House  14.01.2013

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