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Zabugorie: The Fairy Planet (Windows)

Zabugorie: The Fairy Planet Windows Main Menu

MISSING COVER

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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Written by  :  Jeanne (75634)
Written on  :  May 04, 2005
Rating  :  1.67 Stars1.67 Stars1.67 Stars1.67 Stars1.67 Stars
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Summary

Way too short for the price

The Good

Zabugorie is what I would call an "independent" game. "Indy" games tend to be somewhat simplistic and unpolished, so my expectations weren't too high when I began playing. A good thing, too, because this game has little going for it.

The game world is colorful, bright and cheerful. There is usually only one thing to accomplish in each screen, but those "puzzles" may put you in a quandary for a bit.

The game menus are clean and crisp and function well. The inventory is small (there are very few objects to pick up in the game), and items within it are labeled. I was pleased that there were no crashes or other problems running the game in Windows XP.

The Bad

Even though "The Fairy Planet" is part of the title, there are no fairies in the game at all. Also, the official website pictures a dragon - and there are no dragons.

The game screen appears on top of your Windows wallpaper in an unusual size. No real introduction begins your adventure and the start scenes aren't much help. The "readme" file provides a short background and game control synopsis and the rest is guesswork.

Zabugorie is advertised as ideal for children, but I doubt any child (other than Russian) could understand it enough to play it. As an American adult, I found the English translation difficult to follow because of the thick Russian accent used. Only by concentrating on the speech transcript at the bottom of the screen are you able to discern what the character is trying to say. Even then, the text blips by very quickly and doesn't make much sense.

The actual interface works in a somewhat quirky manner. Select icons from the right side of the screen to perform the various actions for walking, talking, picking up objects, and save/load. You'll be switching back and forth between those icons, sometimes without reason, just to see what might work. A picture of a door shows you the available exits, but that door doesn't always appear.

The puzzles themselves are fairly simple, but you are given no clues whatsoever. The most information I was able to get in the game was the statement "Use your imagination." Not enough to go on.

The ending is abrupt and sudden with no "end game" screens to give you satisfaction for completing it.

The Bottom Line

Since this game was originally released in 2001, don't expect it to conform to today's standards. And because it is an independent, Russian-made game, Zabugorie can't compare to commercial adventures. It's cute and a bit entertaining, but very short - easily completed in a day's time.

I would recommend downloading all of the chapters and registering them all at once for the discounted price. Otherwise you'll spend too much (almost $24 U.S.) for a game that is just not worth it.