Thursday, August 30, 2007


RocketJump Games and PopCap Games
Publisher: PopCap Games
Release Date: Aug. 10, 2006
Systems: PC
ESRB Rating: N/A
Official Web Site

In a nutshell: Talisman Mania

0:01 Story in a nutshell: King Midas has to make money to spend on others so Zeus will un-transform his golden daughter from gold. Makes perfect sense!
0:04 Game in a nutshell: Rotate pieces to match up pipes and makes a path. Super simple so far.
0:08 Things I like so far, the presence of a bonus countdown timer that isn't too pressing; an interface that's incredibly easy to pick up. Things I don't like: The over-prevalence of one type of block which makes it too easy to circle around the goal.
0:11 Mini-game time. I'm clicking arrows to build a statue to Artemis. It's ridiculously easy if you've ever used a mouse before. "Fun Fact: Artemis was one of the few Greek Gods to remain chaste and unmarried." Bah! Get that book learning out of my game!
0:15 Immovable rocks are getting in my way now. Longer paths get me nicer buildings. The lack of a strict time limit means I end up tinkering away at my paths forever. I always think there's something better possible.
0:18 The "Talismania" mode is nuts. Click on blocks as fast as possible to turn them to gold. Nice action touch in a puzzle game.
0:19 Mini-game #2 has me clicking flying hammers. Its only slightly harder than the first one. I hope the challenge picks up soon... this is a bit simple so far.
0:22 Five levels down and I've built a cottage for some poor farmers (with a cute little pig!) "Our new cottage is wonderful! And Shiny! It's WONDERFULLY SHINY!" Awww.
0:26 Most levels I end up just below the "gold" line. I take too long tinkering to get the good coins. I gotta focus on speed instead, it seems
0:27 Wow! I save up ten stars for Talismania and manage to clear the whole board in a barrage of clicking. Satisfying!
0:30 Bonus game three. This time I have to click hearts and not harpies. I'm perfect again. The hit range on these hearts is ridiculous. If I click anywhere near them I get it.
0:32 There's a steady stream of new stuff in most of the levels now. Minotaurs, multiple talismans. My favorite is "Pandora's blocks" just for the name. Hooray for variety!
0:35 Things are getting complicated now, with more blocks and more paths to keep track of, Minotaurs on the loose, freeze blocks, etc. etc. I'm liking it.
0:39 The strategy is already getting much more innate. Less thinking, more rotating. My scores are showing the improvement.
0:45 These medusas and minotaurs are getting annoying, constantly destroying blocks. I need to watch out for them more, it seems.
0:46 All right! I've unlocked timed hero mode. Now this should be a challenge.
0:49 The first level of hero mode is dispatched pretty quickly. I like being able to focus on quick connections rather than long, complex trails.
0:54 "Talismania" seems a little overpowered. Every time I use it I max out my score for the level quickly. And I use it pretty often. Is this a puzzle game or a twitch game?
1:00 No matter how long a level takes in timed mode, so far I seem to gain all the time back at the end, and then some. It's not that much harder than untimed mode, unfortunately.

Would I play this game for more than an hour?
Why? While the game is diverting enough and there's a little room for improvement in my strategy, it just seems too simple overall.

This review based on a deluxe copy provided by Popcap.

No comments: