BASED ON DEMO
Was never much keen on the first two of this series, the graphics in particular were just not me. But this one, wow! It’s got it all – and actually makes it work! Present day sci-fi, time travel, dark and eerie, ominous atmosphere, with a cute companion and fantasy creatures. Yes, honestly, it does work! All together in an exciting adventure with challenging game play and excellent production qualities.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
The artwork is wonderful. After the last two games in the series, I really didn’t expect to like this at all, but from the dramatic and engaging opening scenes, I was hooked. The graphics are beautiful (close ups have delightful artistic feel reminiscent of Boom Zap), the cut-scenes awesome in their quality, the music ominous and exciting by turns, with that chanting that so creeps me out. A bit repetitious though. The voiceovers are excellent and lip synched well, or you can mute them separately. And the special effects are... special!
The intro makes it clear there is a dense back story behind this one, and it certainly makes it appealing to check the others out, but I don’t think it is really necessary to have played them in order to enjoy this game.
After saving the world twice in previous games, you deserve a rest. Not much chance of that though. Your Dad calls with the bad news that the ‘artifacts’ are behaving wrongly and something is definitely up, which is never good for the rest of the world. As members of The Secret Order Of Griffins, your oath to protect the powers of good demands you again travel back in time to right the past and save the present – and your trapped father along with it!
There is a challenging range of puzzles and mini-games in this game. They are twists on known ones, with additional difficulty built in, and some ingenious new ones. The HOPs are interactive lists, with some slightly skewed ideas at times, and occasional FROGs (fragmented objects). As an alternative, you can play a harder-than-most mahjong game.
It is not always obvious what you need to be doing next, and the directional hint and interactive jump map help. The map is a bit awkward to use, as the symbols are not precisely on the location they indicate. The journal keeps your notes and task list.
It is fun to need to find and activate the flower that is the directional hint. There is also a ‘golem heart’ to acquire, which can animate stone. And of course, where would a game be these days without a companion? In this case, we adopt a baby griffin, who doesn’t look nearly as gorgeous as I would have liked him to, but is helpful indeed.
There are the usual gallery items, wallpapers, concept art, movies, music. Plus SG and bonus chapter. As well, there are mini-games and HOPs which can be replayed.
As well, there are 3 types of achievement, separately displayed. There are performance-based trophies and story-based medals. And statues for 3 types of collectible – gold dragons (12), amethyst griffins (12), and turquoise unicorns (12). Once you see one, it seems you would naturally have seen it easily, but in fact, many are quite easy to miss.
Finally, there are 6 runes to find, and 5 achievements to unlock after you have played the main game.
I really was taken aback by how impressed I was with this game. I will definitely be rethinking the earlier ones. Hey, maybe I’ll even be able to take advantage of the bundle sale, for the very first time!
I recommend this game!