This was the second go around for me to play Surface: Mystery of Another World Collector’s Edition, and I was able to much further into depth with it this time, and I saw some flaws in it this time that I never really noticed before. Many of the games that come to casual sites, especially the hidden object mysteries, are imports from Europe, and this one came from Russia. The first go around, I was far too busy rushing around, attempting to gain access to unlock areas, and sort of under the gun with my time, since I had to go to work. This time, having the weekend off, I decided to play it all the way through in casual mode.
If you really want to be spooked good then this is going to be the game for you as it deals with both mystery and trips to other mystical and strange worlds. If you are sleepy or it is late in the night then this is not going to be the game to play unless you like having your wits frayed and your brain jumping at every shadow. This is one creepy game that could very well put you in the Nightmare Realm instead of you just playing it.
A fun match three game that is also full of puzzles and even some city building elements. The game starts out with the story of Romulus and Remus, twins that we suckled by a wolf when they washed ashore. The story then shows how the twins were found by a shepherd and then raised as his own and trained how to fight and given an education. When they were older, 20 years later, they decide that they are going to build a grand city on the 7 hills that Rome sites on today. They don’t have anything to work with so it is up to you to make sure that they have the materials to start their grand city with.
Shamanville: Earth Heart is a story about a tribe that has had the Heart of the Earth stolen by some barbarian horde, and your little explorers are sent out to retrieve it. The graphics are really basic, downright primitive, in fact, featuring a sort of Inuit look. You use the mouse to guide the explorers by using different kinds of mouse-drawn lines. An arc makes a bridge over a gap, a side-ways “S” makes a portal that leads to another portal on the board. You can block their path, or the path of the monsters that are out to get them with a slanted slash, but all these drawn guides are temporary, and if one of your little explorers goes astray or gets left behind by the others, someone will die. Whether it be on those huge spiky fishbones or by one of those monsters that escaped from Monty Python’s Flying Circus, you will find that keeping these little tribal explorers on the right path is a frustrating test of will and skill. The music is also primitive and repetitive, so if you don’t get tired of having to redo the same puzzles over and over again, the music might make you feel a little batty. This is not time management, or hidden objects. It seems like a simply lay the path game, but the paths are hardly simple. If you can get past some of quirky timing, Shamanville : Earth Heart might be your kind of game.
Cave Quest takes us into a part of the world where…. well, I don’t exactly know where Isabella’s brother was spelunking, or where her parents ended up when looking for him. This could be in the Himalayas, or it could be in the Rockies. I see mountain spirits that look like little yetis, shamans that look very native to the Americas, and monks that could be Tibetan Buddhists. Very confusing. Isabella and her boyfriend, Mike, get guidance from various people in the area along the way as they search for Isabella’s family members. There are puzzles throughout the various stops, many different kinds. Match 3 to get you through new areas of the mountain caves, Puzzle Quest -style battles as she takes on hostile mountain spirits. Hidden objects in the outposts. The irritating thing about Cave Quest was that if you missed something on one part of the mountain, the game map would keep pulsing that area until you went in to that area to find out what it was. In my case, it was a stick, 1 of 20, that was needed to build a fire in a cavern further up the mountain. Sheesh! Ever hear of Colman lanterns? Cave Quest was a mediocre quest for a storyline, and it was pretty much lacking. Sorry, but you missed this time.