What A Neat Little Game!
BASED ON DEMO
This is a nicely put together hybrid game, part HOPs and part Match 3. The unique factor here is that it is the first game of this type that I think actually works! The two genres mesh tightly in an action-based adventure that is really cleverly done and smoothly paced.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The looks are very ‘fairy tale’ of the big bold and beautiful sort. Heavy brush strokes, strong colour saturation, and HOPs that are filled with big easy to see objects. The effect is perhaps a little too cartoony for some, but I think it just squeaks in on the positive side.
The sound track is both the best and the worst of the game! There are no voiceovers, which is probably a good thing, because there is a lot of chit chat. The music is, seriously, uplifting. Some of the best music I’ve ever heard. The problem is it’s so loud! And changing the volume in options doesn’t work. Open up options again, and you’ll see it is back to full volume. (Might be worth fixing that, Dev)
The story is both familiar and a bit tired, but this is not a game you’ll buy for the story. It’s just the wrapping paper on the gift. You return from who knows where to discover your kingdom has been overtaken by none other than our old friend Morgana (if you haven’t met her yet, you’ve been playing the wrong games *cheeky wink*. The royal scribing pigeon escapes and will be keeping a journal of your odyssey as you travel ‘the far kingdoms’ in a bid to defeat her. The King of Frogs decides he might come along for the ride, and even give you a few pointers along the way. Congratulations, you have met your (directional) hint button.
This game is one of those where you get very little choice about what order things are done, where to go next, etc. Mostly it is carrying out the quest set you by each new character you meet. The focus is on both the Match 3 mini-games and the HOPs fairly evenly distributed. There is only a handful of puzzles. There are some mini-games of the arcade-type (burn all the marauding spiders before they reach you).
I like the Match 3 because each scene you play generates a Match 3 with tiles are appropriate to the spot you are in. E.g. In a mushroom grove, there are different kinds of mushrooms for you to match. That is fun. The HOPs are straight lists, I didn’t notice any interaction. The few puzzles are easy and very familiar, but it doesn’t detract from the game as much as you’d think. No map, as you’ll be travelling through portals and casting spells in order to get around. You do have a magic potions bottle, which will combine your ingredients for making spells from recipes you will find in your quests.
MY FINAL WORD
Nice game. Probably a little bit too child-like for me, but wouldn’t be at all surprised to find many adults loving it. It’s a fairy tale, yes, but it is different and entertaining too.
The game gets an extra star for doing such a good job combining match 3 and HOP gameplay, and is certainly worth a demo.I Recommend This Game!