Marvellous Fantasy Puzzle Adventure*****BASED ON DEMO
This is a truly gorgeous game to look at from the first moments. But that is hardly surprising, if you know the Awakening series, made by the same developer. The location scenes are “realistic” fantasy in style, while the close ups have a more ‘painterly’ look about them. Both are beautiful.
The cut-scenes are wonderful, cinematic and engrossing. And I didn’t even mind that there were a lot of them early up, giving us a lot of back story via interaction with other characters. All of whom spoke well. For those of you who’d rather skip these interactions, there is a brief summary of the conversation that flashes up instead. Fabulous idea! Another subtle touch I liked was having the centre of the cursor change colour, rather than a complete change of cursor, to indicate something of interest.
From the beginning sound is an integral part of the atmosphere. It is so sweet in the opening sequences, and the ambient noises are lovely. Then it is exciting and dramatic in the next series of cut-scenes, somehow turning the same music ominous.WHAT’S HAPPENING?
Our son has always been fascinated by stories of dragons, but until now, they’ve never shown any interest in him, and stayed safely in their story books *grin*. Now one has stolen the boy and is taking heaven knows where, and you are desperate to follow. That is immediately fraught with difficulty. From the fire he started in your home, to the long drop down from the balcony, there are obstacles both magical and mundane in your way.
You meet an uncertain ally, the Dark Elf Eridan, who is also hunting the dragon, and you take up his offer of help. Together, you must find out what the dragon wants with your son, rescue him and defeat the dragon, who is a threat to the whole Dark Elvin kingdom and other kind who live in the Dark Forest.GAMEPLAY
There are very few HOPs in this game – at least in the demo. There is one mini-game where you must find a multiple number of a single item, spread across a half a dozen different paintings on the wall. Plus one interactive word list at the start. So far, that’s it.
This is, I therefore conclude, is almost a Puzzle Adventure, so HOP players, this may not be for you. The puzzles so far have been interesting and different, and not so difficult I couldn’t figure them out with enough time. Some are quite charming. There is a diorama I enjoyed in part because it is so quirky. In adventure terms, it had its tricky moments, but overall, I did not find it overly difficult.
Getting around and finding the tools you need is helped by an excellent map that gives you your current objective as well as where tasks are immediately available, at least, on the lowest of the three levels of difficulty. There is no journal. The hint is directional.
And there is no animal companion or special gadget to use. Of course, there is Eridan. He might be... entertaining. I finished the demo in about 45 minutes, and it is 2 chapters of an 8 chapter main game.CE BLING!
The gallery items include wallpapers (14) of the kind where some effort has been made to make these interesting. I feel I represent a minority of one here. I like wallpapers, and will be swayed by good ones, like these, into going with a CE, if I am kinda leaning that way. Concept art (29), cut scenes, and music (12) – good sign for variety in the sound!
The achievements include collectibles – 50 gold medallions. Both performance and story based awards.
There is also an achievement for spotting the company logo.
I am impressed. This is shaping up to be a really nice story, a bit different from the rest. And likewise, while this is another gorgeous fantasy game, it is again a bit different from all the others, being a bit darker and being basically a puzzle game.
Even though, as I said, I love my HOPs, I will be giving this one a go.I recommend this game!