You… are on a quest. A quest to become a true, certified alchemist! You’ve been training for this day your entire life, ever since you were left at the school’s front door when you were a baby. You’re just one final exam away from victory. Surely nothing strange will happen today. Nothing like, say, an evil demon made of smoke crashing through the window and attacking the headmaster.
Queen’s Quest 3: End of Dawn is a casual adventure game that takes place in the most prestigious of fantasy realms. It’s a little tough not to compare End of Dawn to another popular wizard at a wizarding school. You know the one I’m talking about. Fortunately, the similarities are only surface deep, as Queen’s Quest 3 is all about puzzle solving and alchemy, two things that quite naturally go together.
Your time in End of Dawn will be split between exploration centric adventure scenes and some nice hidden object diversions. You’ll get a surprising amount of freedom to roam back and forth, searching for items that can be used to open doors or remove other obstacles standing in your way. Many of these items are interactive, meaning you’ll need to click and tinker with them to find out their true nature, occasionally even using other inventory items on them.
Hidden object scenes come at a fast pace, which isn’t such a bad thing since they’re quite entertaining to solve. Most of them stick to the standard text list format with one or two interactive items marked in a darker color. Just search, click and collect, you know the drill! Mini-games manage to outshine the hidden object scenes with a glorious array of variety. Ever tried playing a movement-based isometric fantasy puzzle with hot air balloons and clouds? Queen’s Quest 3 has that, and it’s just one of several wholly engaging mini-games you get to complete.
One thing End of Dawn does well with its scale of story. What starts off with a few fetch quests in the school quickly turns into an adventure across the kingdom, complete with battles and wizard-like cunning. The story is told through a series of awkward cutscenes, which do detract from the experience on occasion. Apart from that, you’ll swear you’re in a playable young adult fantasy book, just with a few more puzzles to solve.
Queen’s Quest 3: End of Dawn doesn’t take a lot of chances with its design or gameplay content. It wins major points for its interesting story, even though it’s told in a deadpan sort of way. The puzzles and mini-games reach out and grab you from the start, saving an otherwise ordinary hidden object game from the dustbin.