Iwin Games makes some pretty nice casual games, but I was a bit disappointed when I booted up Jewel Quest Mysteries: The Oracle of Ur. I was expecting a match 3 game, but I was given a HOM from the beginning. Now, I love an adventure game, and the setting was pretty unique, since looking for artifacts in Mesopotamia does not get as much media attention as Egypt or Central America.
In recent Hollywood treasure-hunting movies, we rarely see anything dealing with Sumer or Babylon. I was up for a nice change of pace, but then out comes the journal, and not one match 3 puzzle… yet. It seems that this game is part of a series that deals with three treasure-hunters living in the 1930s. Two Americans, one Brit, Rupert, Emma, and Sebastian. There are hints at a love triangle, but the focus on finding the “Oracle of Ur” is based in finding jewel boards, and putting them together. Then we get into the sparkling match 3 puzzles we promised. Read more...(291 words, 31 images, estimated 1:10 mins reading time)
I did a review for Jewel Quest: The Sleepless Star close to a year ago, and we have been treated with a new adventure quest this season with Jewel Quest: The Sapphire Dragon. It is a similar set up, with different kinds of match 3 puzzles that are used to take us further along in a story of adventurers risking life and finding peril. This time we are in the Himalayas with a group of modern day explorers in search of a fabled Shangri-la type city. As the group is settling in at an outpost, the team leaders, Raj and Ali, twin brother and sister anthropologists are getting the team set for the trek. We have a tech support dude, a Russian security expert, and an old-school tracker, and an ex-hippie language expert. Raj is kidnapped by thugs, but manages to escape by stealing their plan, and finds the City of The Sapphire Dragon. Read more...(296 words, 31 images, estimated 1:11 mins reading time)
It’s time for another classic steampunk adventure with Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Captain Nemo. This is an HdO brand game, a hidden object mystery that is made by a company that is famous for taking classic stories and turning them into fun games. The graphics are right on par with the book, and the characters are popping right out of the pages. It seems like we are watching the movie again as we help Professor Pierre Aronnax, his assistant Conseil, and the harpoonist Ned Land escape from the brilliant, but fanatical, idealist, Captain Nemo. Read more...(268 words, 31 images, estimated 1:04 mins reading time)
In this Match 3 game, Dreams of a Geisha, Ichisumi really enjoys her job as a geisha. These companions may seem to be merely courtesans through the views of Western eyes, but they are so much more than that. They are a link between tradition and the modern world, trained in many arts for years before they ever take the title. It is Ichisumi’s dream to bring back some of the old temples, and we help her by matching up different traditional items commonly found in a geisha’s daily life. There are different kinds of match 3 puzzles going on here. There is the standard swap, but there is also the pop out, and a carry over, in which you carry one item from anywhere on the board to make your match. Once the puzzle is solves, then you go on to the bonus round, in which you must rotate the puzzle in order to get a key to a treasure chest for extra points. With the completion of each puzzle, you receive a picture puzzle piece that can be used to build a pictorial of Ichisumi’s role in her society. This is a good learning experience, and can show us more about geisha than we see on the surface, and such a fun way to do it!
Antique Road Trip 2 : Homecoming is fun slice of Americana type of game that was clearly created by the developers that gave us the Amazing Adventures hidden object games. Unlike those, this hidden object game has a fun backstory, and is upbeat and cheery. James and Grace Anderson and the kids have come on vacation to Montana to visit with
Grace’s parents. Just when they thought they could take a break from running the antique shop back home, the folks bring up a another antique business opportunity, and Grace, with your help, goes from Montana, to Wisconsin, to Louisiana to pick items for the new store. She even takes along a new puppy, which you get to choose the breed of, to help her sniff out great deals. Along with the regular hidden objects, there are other mini-games, like Match 3 puzzles, and other kinds of puzzles to keep your mind active. Though not one of the best or brightest of casual games I have come across, it has its charm, and is worth the time you would put into the game play for the rewards. Antique Road Trip 2 : Homecoming is bright and fun, and great for casual gaming and antique enthusiasts. I look forward to trying out Antique Road Trip USA very soon.