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Written by  :  piltdown_man (181377)
Written on  :  Jun 07, 2020
Platform  :  Windows
Rating  :  4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars4.6 Stars
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It may be classed as being 'Beginner' level but it is still tricky.

The Good

This is a fun, challenging, little game.

I downloaded this and three others as part of the Adventure Escape Mysteries compilation on Steam and so got four games for free. I was skeptical about getting a free game because I have had 'free' games before and the only way to progress has been to buy some sort of add-on. Not so with this compilation or with this game. The developers are completely up front about players buying unlocks and extra hints being the way the game is funded but the game can be played without such purchases - you've just got to be patient. In the case of my Steam game I got a new key every two and a half hours or so but there seemed to be a two key limit - if I came back to the game after a day or so I still had just two keys.
This was not a problem for me because, although I found the game fun and challenging, it is not a game I felt compelled to keep playing through to the end.

The game has music which is OK for a while but I eventually turned it off because it did not help me concentrate. I liked the artwork and thought it was very well done with the bright colours complimenting a fun game. However the game and it's design impressed me greatly.
I have been playing adventure games since Monkey Island was released on floppy discs and I thought I'd breeze through this 'Beginner level' game. I was wrong, I found the puzzles to be challenging but not impossible. There is a good selection of puzzles here many of which I'd class as being 'observational' in that something in the game needs to be deciphered/decoded/interpreted to get the combination of a lock. All the information the player needs is there in the game somewhere but you have to pay attention because the number of nails holding each of the planks of the ship together could be a clue to a combination lock (it isn't in this game but clues are sometimes that subtle). There are no puzzles where the player is forced to use/buy hints because without hints the puzzle is impossible to solve. The designers are sneaky but they play fair.

There is a good selection of puzzles here many of which are observational as in decipher something in the game to get the combination of a lock. There are no musical puzzles and, as far as I remember, there are no sliding block puzzles but there are plenty of colour matching puzzles, some which involve basic maths, and logic puzzles.

It did seem as though there was one puzzle in each chapter that was harder than the rest, this may have been clever design to make the player use their hint allocation faster or it may just have been me, but whenever I asked for a hint I was able to say "Ah Yes! That makes sense!"

The Bad

This is a very minor gripe but it happened a few times and it is the only thing that irritated me, well this and my inability to solve the odd puzzle or three without aid.
When playing the game I'd come across a puzzle that would be introduced by a piece of dialogue that read something like "OK so I need to arrange these tiles so that each the colour on each side matches the colour on the tile next to it". So I'd try, and try, and try, and I'd fail because there are too many tile combinations and no obvious fixed point to start from. Then I'd spend five precious stars asking for a hint and the first hint would basically repeat the instructions in the dialogue.
Now I see why this has to be done, some people would have misread it, some players will be restarting the game at this point and will need to refresh their memory and so on but I had read it properly and what I wanted was a solid clue - which I got in the second or third time of asking. Like I said, it's not really a problem it just irritated me every time.

The Bottom Line

It's free.
It is tricky in places but it is fair throughout.
It's a good, casual, pick-up-play-'n-put-down kind of game. So play a chapter, have a coffee, do some work and by the time you're ready for another break you should have a key to unlock the next chapter.
Ten chapters in this game and Steam reckons I played for eight hours in total, taking out coffee and comfort breaks plus time spent replaying bits to get screenshots and so-forth and I reckon this game takes a leisurely five to six hours to complete.