Friday, November 14, 2014

Game Review - The Far Kingdoms

Game Review - The Far Kingdoms
Score: +2/-6
Summary: Mostly a hidden object game, but with a considerable about of match-3 and several mini-games.
+ Challenging in that it gives you less clues than other hidden object games. If you are hoping for a very casual, relaxed, and EASY game, then this isn't for you, even on the easiest setting.
- Mediocre artwork initially/during cutscenes but better in-game, though maybe not as good as other contemporary games.
- Poor scripting. For example, after you have completed your task with a particular character, their dialog doesn't change and they still say that you need to bring them various quest items.
- Sometimes when you need to apply an item to another item, the area where your click is valid is small or not intuitive. You may have the correct action but it is invalidated by the game not recognizing that you are clicking on the correct object. This occurs most often when you have a spell/potion recipe and you are trying to click on the mixing vial on the lower right corner.
- Hints are worthless because they are invariably misleading.
- Some Match-3 games are nearly impossible to complete, or take so much time that it bores you to sleep. The reason is the number of token types: Too many on a restrictive board setup can lead to no-moves-available. You may have to use the 3 free shuffles, after which you get a Skip button. There is challenging, but the difficulties here change it to tedious.
+- You will not always get a cursor context change where you need to take an action, usually when you need to use an inventory item on an object. For people who play without hints such as shimmering areas to indicate actions needed or hidden object games, this increases the difficulty and makes you think instead of being led by the nose all the time. Other people will find it frustrating.

Overall the game definitely needs more polish in the user-interface to bring it up to par with contemporary hidden object games in terms of intuitiveness and friendliness. There are many better games with more exciting storylines and pacing.

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