A diadem has gone missing! That may not sound like a huge deal a regular world person like us, but it means everything in Elven Legend 3: The New Menace. Aerin immediately sets out to find the stolen crown, only to discover there are some sinister forces at work both near and afar. The fun, quirky kind of sinister, not the “keep you up at night” kind. Either way, it’s nothing a few dozen levels of good old fashioned resource management won’t fix!

Elven Legend 3: The New Menace is one of the most pleasant and accessible time management games around. It starts with the basic formula of dropping you in a variety of screens laced with a network of paths. Routes are blocked by obstacles, many of which can be removed if you’ve got a free worker and enough resources. Click to send people out to perform basic tasks like picking up stray resource piles or fixing a foot bridge. You can queue actions as long as each click is valid, so don’t hold back! Soon you’ll be repairing things like farms, mines and sawmills to generate extra resources, or just nabbing them from the altars that generate goodies on a regular basis. You’ll need all the food, wood, water and crystals you can get to dig to the bottom of this mystery.

elvenlegend31

Elven Legend 3 comes with the requisite amount of shops to repair and buildings to upgrade, but where things get truly interesting is the game’s variety of characters. Got a bandit or a big stone in the way? Most time management games would give you a scary mask or a pickaxe to carve a way through yourself. Here, you summon a griffin. There are several unique characters that perform tasks like this, each one appearing precisely when they’re needed and requiring a small donation of resources to get the job done.

Furthering the game’s agenda of standing out from the crowd, each level features a couple of items hidden off the beaten path. Keep an eye out for an enchanted book and a statue sitting behind tufts of grass or lurking behind a corner. Collecting them doesn’t do anything but earn you an achievement, but hey, can’t get enough of those, can you?

The biggest standout feature of Elven Legend 3: The New Menace is how you progress. Levels aren’t just ticked items on a spreadsheet, they actually feature unique situations and characters right alongside the intensive back and forth resource management gameplay. Pleasant surprises are dropped in your lap when you least expect it, making this more than a score-perfecting experience.

elvenlegend32

On the not as bright side, Elven Legend 3 has some peculiar design flaws that can trip you up at inopportune moments. You know that feeling when you get halfway through a level only to realize you worked your way into a resource dead-end? You’ll stumble into that situation many times in this game, forcing you to restart the level. It’s frustrating, but with a little practice you can see it coming and course correct before trouble arises.

Elven Legend 3: The New Menace keeps things simple but provides a great time management experience. It’s extremely easy to pick up and get into, even if you’re a newbie to the genre. The longer you play the more fun surprises you’ll find, making this a clear winner for any kind of gamer.