Reviews by RRS Artist

Mayan Prophecies: Ship of Spirits Collector's Edition Icon
Prpare for a spirited Adventure!
by RRS Artist, USA - Apr 20th 2013

Holy cow! There's a lot going on in this game!

The story - you and your partner captured a poacher of endangered marine life. Transporting him back to land you encounter a strange fog, your boat crashes, you wake up alone, no poacher, no partner, a strange ship is near where you are floating, you manage to get aboard. I don't want to ruin the story - let's just say the ship is very old and filled with quite unusual artifacts…

Okay, the stuff (in no particular order - it's almost all good):
• Wide screen
• Voice overs
• graphics fit the atmosphere - they are pretty good
• Achievements - #8 is different in the SG than in the game.
• Lockable inventory bar
• Collect 44 "beyond" objects - morphing
• Collect hummingbirds (I forget how many)
• Collect 5 artifact parts to get the ship's story - find the artifact base during play
• Calendar keeps track of "pieces" - find the calendar during play
• Interactive HOS OR mahjong
• Puzzles are theme based, seemed to outnumber the HO scenes.
• HOPA with 4 modes of play including Custom - very nice feature; unfortunately black info bars are hint laden.
• Map - shows where you are; and indicates active objectives except in hardest mode. In Custom settings you must select Hints-OFF. Find the map during play.
• Journal - keeps your notes and pertinent finds
• 6 chapters plus Bonus chapter

CE extras:
• Strategy Guide
• Wallpapers
• concept art
• screen saver
• music - can be saved
• mahjong - games are available once you complete each in game HO / mahjong

That's it folks. In the hours and hours of game play you will spend entertained by this game, you will encounter practically every feature possible in a Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure wrapped in a rather odd, intriguing story.

Please demo this and discover all the fun to be had!

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The Chronicles of Emerland Solitaire Icon
Absolutely wonderful
by RRS Artist, USA - Apr 7th 2013

This has got to be the longest game known to man. The hands are not easy. There are 2 modes - relaxed and "if you think you are a solitaire wizard". I tried the relaxed mode. Frankly, the hands didn't seem any easier, the awards no greater, and there was still a timer (in either mode it awards points, you do not run out of time),

Along the way you meet people from other kingdoms who join you or your quest and have certain skills - remove a card, give you a random extra card, turn over cards. You can use your money to buy wild cards amulets (more undos, see the next card in the dec, etc.) and companion skill upgrades.

There are 24 levels, 10 rounds to a level. You must get 5 perfect rounds in each level to achieve the highest rank. You must leave fewer than 5 cards in a round or risk a penalty. You get some rewards within the game play for reaching achievement levels. They are icons that appear on cards to turn over face down cards, get coins, add cards to the deck. Trust me, you need all the help you can get, plus in hard mode, those icons don't stay on the cards very long (this perhaps is the difference from relaxed). Later round will require amulets - they are very pricey compared to the money any round awards you.

I enjoyed the challenge. You get a break every few levels to find morphing objects, "find 12", and "put things back" scenes. They look like child's play at first, but later not so much.

The game is wide screen and the artwork, animations and characters are delightful.

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Royal Detective: The Lord of Statues Icon
Truly a most pleasureable experience…
by RRS Artist, USA - Jan 23rd 2013

Well, as much as I am about to rave about this game, I must say the bonus chapter was fairly short and ended rather weakly. It did have different locations and a few pretty good puzzles. The main game has a conclusive enough ending; the bonus play does nothing to enhance it. The SE would be quite satisfying, IMHO.

Now for the raves…
This is a beautifully presented, well structured game with some very unique use of inventory items. It was truly enjoyable to play.

Play in Hardcore, and this will be very much an adventure. Take notes, there are a lot of locations and tasks. There is a map that will transport you from place to place, but in Hardcore the map does not indicate where there are achievable objectives. Play in Casual or Advanced using the map, this game will be much more about the puzzles and the HOs, than the tasks, more an activity than a memory game.

Either way, there is no denying how stunning this game is, visually, and in content. Except for one transition I thought was obscure, the game flowed comfortably along, aided by a captivating story.

This was one of the more satisfying games I have played in recent weeks. I highly recommend it.

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Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden Collector's Edition Icon
Wait for the standard edition
by RRS Artist, USA - Jan 6th 2013

This was quite an enjoyable game. Excellent story, compelling adventure, voiceovers, widescreen, achievements, good mix of puzzles and Hidden Object scenes, stunning graphics. But the bonus chapter was very short, a prequel that did not really give much background at all. You really won't need the strategy guide; achievements are available in the standard edition, bar the one for finishing the bonus chapter. There are even some other extras in the SE.

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Royal Detective: The Lord of Statues Collector's Edition Icon
Just plain fun!
by RRS Artist, USA - Dec 28th 2012

This game was simply a pleasure to play. Flowed seamlessly along, good adventure, excellent use of inventory items, wonderful interaction with the characters, integrated puzzle presentation, visually stunning. I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this game!

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Monopoly Icon
New look for an old favorite
by RRS Artist, USA - Sep 24th 2012

Definitely a remake of the original computer game. I have the old one, but nostalgia aside, this one does have some advantages. For one, if you want to learn some nuances of the game you can go through the tutorial and the guy in the top hat will tell you all there is to know. For another, the animations are cute - each playing piece moves on the board in its own manner - the shoe hops, the ship sails, the car drives - it's cute. And the game is laid out on a table, making the perspective more realistic.

For some reason Mediterranean and Baltic Avenues are now brown instead of purple.

Otherwise, it is Monopoly that we grew up with; Hasbro has put it's name on it. It will be more fun to play with other friends rather than against the computer, IMHO.

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The Book of Unwritten Tales Deluxe Edition Icon
Immersive
by RRS Artist, USA - Sep 12th 2012

This adventure is beautifully drawn and cleverly, meticulously executed. Entirely task driven by items you find along the way, with heartwarming characters that will make you smile, and entertaining spoken dialogue and subtle visuals that will make you laugh.

Nothing about it is superficial - you will feel accomplished for executing a task or a puzzle, you will get involved in the story, it's impossible not to care about Wilbur

Please, experience this gem of a game for yourself, it is pure joy.

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Caribbean Hideaway Icon
Yo Ho Ho! Skull Island is Mine!
by RRS Artist, USA - Aug 8th 2012

What a great game - wickedly tough, even frustrating on some levels, but entertainingly addictive at the same time. The Match 3 mechanic is unique - you always have an icon on your cursor that you have to match on the board. Strategy and quickness are essential for ultimate success through 100 levels. Earn gold as you play, buy buildings to get power ups, buy building upgrades to strengthen them. Follow a cute Pirate story.

You complete 1 of four Islands each time you finish the game. I certainly intend to finish all four of them. Yo! Off to build Scallywag Sands! Arr!

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Theatre of the Absurd Collector's Edition Icon
The Chronicles of Scarlett Frost (Part 1?????)
by RRS Artist, USA - Jul 2nd 2012

I must say I quite enjoyed this game. I even enjoyed the H0G scenes - amazing myself, given I am rather tired of the concept at this point. The presentation, taken as a whole, just felt different. It was fun.

theater of the absurd (n.)

A form of drama that emphasizes the absurdity of human existence by employing disjointed, repetitious, and meaningless dialogue, purposeless and confusing situations, and plots that lack realistic or logical development.

Well - as a game it wasn't all of that. The setting was certainly surreal and horrific, but within the context, it had a story you could follow - in a broad sense, anyway. I remember reading Ionesco's [i]Rhinoceros[/i] for a college course and having to analyze it ad nauseam. I don't think this game requires quite so much introspection, but it will leave you thinking

As for the game mechanics - the hint system does double duty. It will indicate H0 items, but it also serves as a helping hand (literally) to perform certain tasks.

I'm glad I got the CE. The bonus chapter filled in some gaps; the final puzzle was excellent. Visually, this game had some outstanding artwork, and it continued in the bonus content. In total, for the extra $$$, I suspect many will say it was not worth it. I enjoyed the game quite enough not to bemoan the additional cost.

This review is beginning to sound as absurd as the definition given above. Well - it was an unusual experience. Nothing about the game play was particularly challenging. It was quite linear in scope. The puzzles were not difficult. The length was modest (even for pokey me) and the bonus chapter even shorter. Certainly you will not need the Strategy Guide. The other bonus content is Concept Art - well presented but of little other value. And, when all is said and done - well, you will be left "Waiting for Godot", so to speak. The game finishes with some "handy" information, but is it true? hmmmm.

Still, I'm willing to say it was great - how absurd is that?

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Film Fatale: Lights, Camera, Madness! Icon
Disappointingly short
by RRS Artist, USA - Jun 29th 2012

because I was having fun and wanted more!

It probably will only take you around 3 hours in expert mode. You could ignore the map, which points out where you can accomplish objectives, but it's interactive and very tempting to be transported exactly where you need to be.

From the villain's voice acting, to the eccentric setting, this is just campy fun. Kudos for the story - up to the end, I did not anticipate the villain's final confrontation.

Thematically presented but fairly familiar puzzles, static H0G scenes, some clever tasks - no great level of challenge, but no matter. This is just an entertaining activity that will take about as much time as going to a movie. Just that movies aren't made with M. W. Vernon's approach.

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Jewel Legends - Tree of Life Icon
Rebuild the world of the Hods and restore the Tree of Life
by RRS Artist, USA - Jun 11th 2012

I did. The Hods are happy. Me - not so much. I wanted to like this game but after only a few levels it just felt boring, tedious, wearisome, and repetitive.

I completed the game, buying a lot of power ups - especially the extra time. I usually like the challenge in Match 3 of beating the clock - it is simply an annoyance in this game. Besides, there is really no challenge since it is impossible to run out of money to buy power ups, and they are always available.

I got really tired of having to collect more pieces to finish the levels after the board was cleared - a feature that seemed so innovative during the demo.

Jewel Legends Tree of Life might be best as a go to game (unless you feel compelled to earn the "played for 2 hours straight" achievement) .

What I was most impressed with, and what probably inspired me to buy the game, was that it was in true HD wide screen - not just stretched. But lovely graphics were not enough to make this game fun.

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4 Elements II Collector's Edition Icon
More content than in the original
by RRS Artist, USA - Jun 1st 2012

For anyone who remembers how tough the last 2 levels of 4 Elements 1 were (they took me months to beat!), this game was basically equally as easy. A few restarts, but no big deal.

This is a chaining M3. Wide screen. LION friendly. Timer is not optional.

Achievements - I missed some - like play a level where all moves chain 5 or more - uh huh, sure.

Bonus challenges - The game boards appear to be new with the same game play style as in the core game, but there is less time. I replayed and lost the very first one 3 times in a row and gave up - for today, maybe forever.

All in all, it is a sequel - how different was it going to be. The artwork and animations are quite charming and colorful. The addition of pipe and slider puzzles within the match 3 levels adds variety from the first game. More variety of puzzles in the chapter pages as well, but they are very, very simple. The FROG portions, simple as well.

I would say the core game is almost relaxing except for the fact that I really did not want to play boards over again, so I was stressed to finish them. The first game was addictive; if you had to replay a board it was with an "I'll get you this time" attitude. For me in 4 E 2, it was "please let me get through it this time."

I would still say, if you never played the first one, you might want to pick this one up. You will have fun with it. And, unlike the first one, it won't beat you up. I am quite confident you will finish it.

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Jewel Quest The Sapphire Dragon Icon
Finally
by RRS Artist, USA - May 23rd 2012

I never got past the demos of other Jewel Quest games because of the Match 3 mechanic. I hated having to wait for cascading matches to complete before making the next move. Finally, that has changed.

And since I have not played this series, I am not tired of the story line or the board tasks, which I can imagine might be familiar for others. The story is quite contemporary, however. Rupert and Emma are nowhere in sight.

So, I quite like this game. The match 3 boards present a lot of challenge as you progress through 193 levels. And even though you can now make continuous moves, there is strategy involved to finish the boards. It's also a nice change to have a story breaking up the play without having to build a city, keep citizens happy, water plants and the like.

I like the idea of having to choose from 5 characters depending on their skills to best accomplish the board task at hand as an alternative to traditional power up awards.

There are three modes of play; you can switch between normal, advanced, and relaxed (no timer).

This game will occupy hours and hours and hours of time if you follow the story, each characters journal, strive for every achievement, and earn 5 stars for each board.

Have fun on your Quest!!

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7 Gates: The Path To Zamolxes Icon
Reach Zamolxes - Go for the Gold!
by RRS Artist, USA - May 1st 2012

An interesting twist on Match 3 play. Addictive. Along the way, complete a gate and face a FROG (Fragmented Object search) and task puzzle. Those are fine, visually interesting enough, but hardly the meat of this game. It's all about the game boards.

Timed in regards to earning medals, but otherwise the boards are more exercises in thinking than clicking. There is definitely a "best way" to play each board. Take as much time as you need to perfect your strategy. You will earn power ups as you progress through the 7 Gates.

There are 84 levels. After you have completed a board once, you can repeat it at any time. I was compelled to play through them all until I turned every level gold. I think you will be too!

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Botanicula Icon
You will be charmed
by RRS Artist, USA - Apr 27th 2012

Botanicula is visually captivating and more. Challenging enough to feel quite accomplished when you figure something out, but mostly, and perhaps the better feeling - it is heartwarming to the core. Lose yourself in this game and find a delightful place to be.

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Azkend 2: The World Beneath Icon
Azkend 2 takes you off the mountain into the sea
by RRS Artist, USA - Apr 17th 2012

This is one tough game - a lot more challenging than Azkend 1. It is also a lot more varied in game play with several new game board challenges. Be prepared to restart levels, but stay determined! The background artwork, which was stunning in the first Azkend, is even more beautiful and also animated. This makes the seek sections that come at the end of each chapter more difficult as well.

Wide screen, voice overs, catchy music scores, and a curious story all make for a very well orchestrated presentation. The secondary modes of play, time challenge and medals challenge, plus a myriad of achievements you must play all three modes to earn, make for many, many hours of satisfying play time.

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Nemo's Secret: Vulcania Icon
More fun than I thought it would be
by RRS Artist, USA - Apr 14th 2012

I was pleasantly surprised. This game is a major improvement in every way over the first one. Excellent length for a standard edition game, some good adventuring, decent story, some good puzzles and puzzling moments.

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Jewel Quest The Sapphire Dragon Collector's Edition Icon
Finally!
by RRS Artist, USA - Feb 2nd 2012

I never got past the demos of other Jewel Quest games becuae of the Match 3 mechanic. I hated having to wait for cascading matches to complete before making the next move. Finally, that has changed.

And since I have not played this series, I am not tired of the story line or the board tasks, which I ca imagine might be old for others.

So, I quite like this game. I can see the match 3 boards presenting a lot of challenge as I progress theough 200 levels. It's also a nice change to have a story breaking up the play without having to build a city, keep citizens happy, water plants and the like.

I like the idea of having to choose from 5 characters depending on their skills to best accomplish the board task at hand as an alternative to traditional power up awards.

This game will occupy hours and hours and hours of time if you follow the story, each characters journal, and strive for every achievement and 5 stars for each board.

A strategy guide for a Mach 3, you ask? Well, it's full of tips and tricks - you might just want a little help on those trickiest of boards.

The Collectors Ediition also includes bonus boards of each type that become available as you play. Good for practicing the in game boards.

All around, a good investment for the price.

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Mystery Legends: Beauty and the Beast Collector's Edition Icon
Outstanding!
by RRS Artist, USA - Dec 5th 2011

From the opening screen to the end of the bonus chapter this was an exceptional game. The artwork, the story, the game play, the animations - top notch. No - not the most challenging game, but a pleasurable several hours just the same. It was fun, the puzzles were original, it just flowed along. I must say, IMHO, the bonus chapter lived up to the core game and in some ways even surpassed it. Yes - only another hour, but in no way fluff filler. Rather it was a stunning presentation with a lot of thought behind it. Other than the strategy guide and the extra chapter, the CE's only additional content is the text of the original Beauty and the Beast story. Some may say that's not enough to pay more for, but in this case I was quite satisfied.

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The Treasures of Montezuma 3 Icon
Addicting!
by RRS Artist, USA - Aug 21st 2011

This third Montezuma game is quite different from Treasures of M 2. I never could quite get the hang of that one. This game has 2 modes - casual and expert. Both are timed, and I fear it will take me forever to actually beat all the casual mode levels. But I'm having fun trying!

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