The Cambridge Geek


I recently played Dragon's Lair, and wasn't overly impressed. The animation style was excellent (Don Bluth, of course it was), but you didn't get sufficient time to appreciate it, due to the frenetic pace and need for twitch reflexes.

This, on the other hand, is more relaxed, and gives you the opportunity to enjoy the hand-animated art. Which I'm very pleased about, because it's lovely.

Tsioque is a princess. One day her mother, the Queen, has to leave the castle in order to fight a dragon, taking with her an army, and leaving Tsioque behind with the King. Unfortunately the King is attacked by an Evil Wizard, who invades with a goblin army, takes over the castle, and locks Tsioque away. Of course, since this is an adventure-y sort of point and click, Tsioque has to escape and stop the Wizard.

Luckily, the Wizard has one weakness. He's not fond of loud noises. If Tsioque can generate enough volume, say by activating a spell mirror, setting off some hideous crash or making his minions get a bit too rowdy, maybe she can distract him enough that his evil plans will fail.

Baddie is a bit of a hothead.

As Tsioque, you therefore have to clamber through the castle, solving various puzzles that will allow you to explore, fight goblins, and acquire the golden armour you need to get into the evil Wizard's tower. But since there has to be a bit of tension, you need to do this without getting caught. Taking the wrong action will find you captured or killed, with an amusing animation usually involved.

"Kebab, anyone?"

That's your basic point and click action. Finding the right thing in your inventory to use for a given scenario, such that you can slowly progress. However, there's also a few different puzzle types thrown in somewhat unexpectedly. Some of these are quick time events of a sort, where you need to click on the screen at just the right moment to dodge a blow or avoid a flying minion. These are significantly more forgiving than Dragon's Lair, such that a couple of attempts were all that was needed, compared to DL's occasional 15.

Thank god for checkpoints.

The game is also very friendly in its placement of auto save points, so making a mistake only loses you ten seconds of play time, which I am always pleased about. Challenge is important in games, but I've never seen any value in needing to redo significant amounts of pointing and clicking. The game has a nice amount of frustration proofing, with the few tasks that require higher than normal levels of dexterity being skippable.

Surprisingly tricky.

Admittedly, that doesn't extend to all of the puzzles. There were a few in this that I really struggled with, and eventually had to resort to the "click everything" approach a couple of times. The logic always made sense after it was solved, but it did mean that for some of the puzzles where you have to take an action quickly, I failed a bit more than I would have liked to in a trial and error style.

The animation style and what you get up to is funny enough to overpower that though. Tsioque is a grumpy devil, and spends the entire game with an angry look on her face. She also takes no prisoners, letting a fair few goblins slip to their death as she rampages through the castle. While the majority of the time she has to avoid them, the few occasions when you can take revenge are very satisfying.

The headlight eyes are a premium upgrade to the goblins.

You'll be here mostly for the animation of the story. It is absolutely wonderful, perhaps the best example of which is the invisibility cloak you find early in the game. The transparency effects are rather brilliant.

The art ramps up for the endgame, which does something very clever. It ended somewhere I didn't expect it to, and was very pleasantly surprised by it. If you're a fan of point and clicks, I think you'll enjoy this one.

Score 4

Tagged: Game Point and click 2D Easy difficulty PC