Review by odino
"Tommy and the Magical Game"
Tommy (previously known as Thomas) is in a bind and needs to rescue his friends. Travel through several stages with 8 levels each to find them all. So the story isn't too great, and the overall game is very childish but you will no doubt find a tougher game than expected.
The game plays like Scrabble with special features, blocks, waypoints and an aim. Using the letters provided alone can be good enough for most of the time, but they help a lot and you often need to use the special items to get through a level. Take, for example, a long narrow path, you can not possible make a 10 letter word and get through it. You need to break it into bits by using the hammer. Making long words, however, is helped by the magic letter maker. Making long words also gives you more points, make one over point multipliers and you'll soon swarm in extra bonus tiles. Why? Because every 500 points you get 2 of each and you should aim for getting at least twice that much. While you go from island to island you can pick up more bonus tiles by writing across them. Often you need to hit a waypoint to open up a gap in the wall. Sounds like fun already? Once in a while you get treated with an orb level, where reaching a chest will give you the chance to play a game of hangman. Use the orbs you have collected to get hints, or try guessing characters where each wrong attempt will break one. If you can't guess the word by the end of the level then you need to start over, but with around 15 orbs at your disposal you shouldn't have a big problem. Time also stops for the hangman game, so don't worry and grab a dictionary if you want to cheat. Time? Yes unfortunately the creators have decided to include a time bar at the top of the game that will decrease slowly. Or not that slowly, I got the feeling it was getting faster in the later levels but that could just be me managing to do smaller words. Smaller words equal less time increase. Picking up watch icons will stop the time for a decent period but I did not aim for them unless I run really low. Quickly making a few words at the unimportant parts of the map will give you points as well as give you more time. The time limit makes the game faster but I wouldn't mind spending more time on matching long letters than be forced to make a dozen small words here and there. A downside on the magical tiles is that the dictionary is lacking a lot of correct words and the hat icon often creates short words when long ones could be available. I found it amusing what kind of words the dictionary DOES include instead of other goods ones. One last thing to mention about gameplay is that the mouse usage is excellent. Right click to get a small keyboard and shortcuts to the magic tile as well as the clear icon.
Sound is pretty nice, relaxing. There aren't many different tunes and I think the effects quality is poor, but the overall package is adequate. Tommy must be around 6-8 years old and I could easily do without his voice commenting on my moves.
The graphics are neat, but not very sharp. Too cartoonish even. As the main game is concerned with the scrabble game I didn't mind too much.
When you are done with the Adventure mode you can play on with some of the other modes. I wouldn't recommend this game for the big price tag, so try the demo and see if you are a big fan, maybe you prefer to stick with the original Scrabble after all.
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 04/28/06
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