Review by cutiepie

"A great journey for old and young!"

Introduction
Zoombinis, the cute and hard working little creatures, are a great way to teach small kids about math’s, patterns and basically logical and quick thinking. Give trolls their pizza wish, clear mud walls and get across lakes with crabs in them!

In this game, it is required to save the Zoombinis from their horrible masters and lead them to a new beginning with lots of fun obstacles! Well, not a very great introduction, I must say, but it was all I could think of! Bleh, well lets put it this way: the Zoombinis are fun to play when you feel bored or just really need to use your computer for some reason. It has great graphics, a sharp story line and a neat gameplay. Apart from the controls, the Zoombinis make a great game all together! And best of all: this is really a game for old and young, so anyone can have a go, even YOU. Yeah, believe it or not, I caught my grandpa playing this game, and that could prove the fact that its pretty well done for everyone! There are very little cons and quite a few pros, so yeah. It’s good.

Gameplay – 8/10
I cant really say how hard this game is, because as you go through the adventures they eventually get harder and harder to pass through without losing any Zoombinis. At Hard Mode it is practically nearly impossible to get all 16 through the WHOLE adventure! Some of the stages can be frustrating and can require lots of patience in places. Some people lack this ability to wait patiently… ^_^

I see. You want to know how fun it is to play Zoombinis? Well, I’ll tell you. It’s very fun. Very fun indeed to go through those dazzling puzzle stages and solving the well thought puzzles or jobs! Good entertainment for everyone! Although small kids may need some help from parents, smart people who think logically, or basically anyone good at something to pass some stages. And once they get a bunch of Zoombinis to their special hiding place (wont spoil anything!), that’s when some more fun livens up the fun factor!

The controls in this game are pretty straightforward and maybe even boring. The mouse is the only thing you use. Yet in some cases that’s good, while in others it makes the puzzle a bit frustrating and un-liked. I wish we could have had a chance to use the good old keyboard for most of this game… but I’m not the designer and have to deal with what’s there, and if you’re planning on buying the game, you should too!

Story – 7/10
The story is a bit weird, but it doesn’t ruin the rating. Yeah, the idea was great, but how do the Zoombinis know which way to go and end up at places at exactly the same time as the others who went earlier? And what about the actual route? How do they know which way to go? The puzzles could be anywhere, yet they always come to the same ones! Oh, and here’s a tough one: if a Zoombini fails a puzzle, it will be kicked, catapulted or thrown back to the nearest camp. Wtf? How do the obstacles, machines or living creatures know where to throw them and in which direction they should actually fly? But, after all, the Zoombini land sounds pretty fictional and magical with its talking rocks and moving plants, not to mention quite a few obstacles have an artificial intelligence! I suppose it was meant to be played by kids, and to make it interesting for them the made the Zoombini land magical and yet strange.

Audio/Video – 7/10
The video in this game is pretty well done, with carefully designed stages and the characters are all different. Well, not really because they have twins and in some cases even triplets! Hey, you try creating more than 1000 different Zoombinis with only 25 pieces! The effects seem great, and you can play around with objects at the different resting camps provided. It’s the music that’s disappointing…

The music (or audio) in this game isn’t that good. Mostly it’s people talking or some of the sound affects at the camps. Otherwise, the music is simple and not really that good. I don’t know what else to say about the audio bit but: it could’ve been better, but it was a good try.

Replay Value – 9/10
Wow, another game with a big amount of replay value. I mean, you can play this game for as long as you want (in my case this happens to be over 5 years) and not really get bored with it. The secrets are there for you to discover, and not every stage is as easy as it may look… But the thing is, once you get all the Zoombinis over to their town, you’d better start a new game, now that no new Zoombinis still have to travel through the hole journey. This is kind of disappointing, but the end has to come sometime…

Pros + and Cons -
There are quite a few pros and cons in this game, and some of them will be listed in this list. The pros are plusses (+) and the cons will be minuses (-). For those who don’t know what these words mean: a pro is something good in a game, so something like an advantage, and a con is something that makes the game less enjoyable, so the disadvantages.

+
This game will take you a long time to finish from beginning to end
The stages and puzzles are great, and make you think better
The game itself isn’t too complicating
The animations and overall design is superb.

-
The character names are very weird and bad to remember
Some of the Hard Mode puzzles can be way too hard for young kids
The game can become frustrating if you can’t think logically
This game requires thinking, and if some one is tired and wants to play it, it would be hard to concentrate

To buy or to rent? That is the question…
I’d really say buy. This game has a great amount of replay value, so you can play it over and over and over again with out getting too bored and knowing the entire puzzle answers by heart. This game pretty much has secrets on every turn, and even the best gamers may have problems… well, they should have, they’re not perfect. No one is.

OVER ALL RATING – 8/10
This game sort of needs a few more controls, and for the younger ones it shouldn’t really move from easy to hard in such a short time. Maybe, even, some puzzles shouldn’t get that hard in some stages, making it a lot harder to pass with all 16 Zoombinis. But all in all, this game’s great!


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 10/29/02, Updated 10/29/02


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