Review by KFHEWUI
"Great for gaming on the go held back by questionable controls and stale gameplay"
Amazing Adventures: The Forgotten Ruins tells of an archeologist that is searching for a lost Mayan city, and unlike the other hidden objects games made by TopSpin this game has actual plot development and different characters. The story is not that bad, but does include some predictable plots twists.
The graphics are not that bad for the most part however some of the smaller items can blend right into the background due to the lack of detail on the items which can make it frustrating. There is a nice variety of locales from market, forest, dig site, ruins, ball court ruins, and airport to name a few.
Music is actually great, and there is nice variety of tracks each fitting the mood of each scene. Sound effects are minuscule and consist of chime for finding the correct item and beep for when the wrong item is selected.
Amazing Adventures: The Forgotten Ruins is a hidden object game, and most of the gameplay takes place on the bottom screen. The top screen houses the item list, score, hidden object counter, and mini-picture of the full size screen. Everything else is handled on the bottom screen. The game is composed of twenty levels each with several different maps which can range from two to five. There are only seventeen different screens in all which means the player will be playing the same screen multiple times through the course of the game.
Each screen in the game is very large so only a small portion of it can be seen on the bottom screen that is where the mini-picture on top screen comes in handy. There is a white box on the picture and that represents what part the player is viewing on the bottom screen. Each map has ten hidden objects plus two bonus hidden objects. Finding all the bonus hidden objects unlocks bonus content for the mini-games, and finding all 34 hidden items rewards the player with two awards.
There are a few problems with each map, and one of the biggest is the limited amount of items that are hidden which means the player will be looking for the same object multiple times in the map and other maps. Some of the clues do not make much sense like one that says "tickle the ivories", and the object that the game is looking for is piano. The biggest problem is the detail of the objects, and some of the smaller objects can blend right into the background due to the lack of detail. Smaller the item, the less detail there so it can feel like the game is a pixel hunt.
To help with this there is a hint option which is almost useless thanks to one major flaw. It highlights half the screen so on one hand it shows where in the vicinity the item is hidden, but it does not directly show where it is like in the previous hidden object games made by TopSpin. This is okay for the levels however in the mini-games where there is only a small screen it is completely useless since it highlights too much of the screen.
After each map is cleared the player has to complete a mini-game which includes: match titles, jigsaw puzzle, mahjongg, swap titles, and find the difference. These puzzles add a nice break in between each level however they get old quickly especially since the player is forced to complete one after every map is cleared. This gets old quickly however the mahjongg and match titles will either ask for matching or similar items which tries to break up the monotony.
Controlling the game is easy, and the stylus is used for selecting items while the D-Pad is used for move the screen around the map. For the most part the stylus is responsive however it can be questionable when trying to select some of the smaller objects. Even worse is when trying to select an object at the bottom of the screen since hint is located at the middle of very bottom and sometimes the game will think that I wanted hint when I was trying to select the hidden object.
Amazing Adventures: The Forgotten Ruins can be completed in about six hours, and there really is no reason to replay the game at all however there are some bonus incentives that do add some replay value. There are mini-games and unlimited seek-and-find that do add some replay, but there are also awards to collect that are awarded for completing certain tasks in the game.
Amazing Adventures: The Forgotten Ruins' gameplay makes it perfect for gaming on the go, and it is an easy game to pick up and play however the repetitive nature of the game can get stale quickly plus the questionable graphics on smaller objects hurt the game the most.
Reviewer's Rating: 3.0 - Fair
Originally Posted: 10/26/12, Updated 04/25/13
Game Release: Amazing Adventures: The Forgotten Ruins (US, 11/11/08)
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