Take on another job for the Museum, this time on the hunt for a lost Chinese dynasty!
In this fourth installment in the Amazing Adventures franchise, you’ll once again receive a letter, asking you to take on a job for the Museum. This job sees you traveling throughout the orient, looking for clues as to the location of a forgotten dynasty that apparently existed before even the earliest recorded dynasty, but which time simply forgot.
The gameplay here is standard for the series, and is perfect for hidden object purists. That is, you won’t spend any time navigating around an environment; you won’t be enveloped in a lengthy or complex storyline. You’re simply placed on a map, told where to go next, and will complete one mission after another finding themed items, and learning some educational tidbits about ancient Chinese culture in the process.
There are 25 missions to complete, with most missions having two or three hidden object scenes and the same number of short puzzles or mini-games. This time around, the game’s graphics cause a bit of a problem in some scenes as you try to locate items on a list, as there are so many shades of red or brown that they have a tendency to be a bit harsh on the eyes. This adds a bit of difficulty to the entire setup, but nothing that can’t be overcome by the rechargeable hints.
In between each hidden object scene, you’ll play one of a variety of mini-games that reveal the next scene you’ll be searching. These games are things like tile-sliding puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, spot the difference scenes, and even word searches or match-three levels. There’s a great variety to these mini-games, which makes up for the difficulty you may experience in completing some scenes.
Your performance throughout the game is once again scored, with bonus points being received for finding more than one hidden item in rapid succession, or for finding all of the items in a scene without using a hint. You’ll also earn extra points for finding the two yin and yang symbols hidden in each level, with there being 50 symbols to find in all.
You unfortunately must find all 50 symbols before you can access the other two gameplay modes, which are accessible via the main menu. That being the case, you’ll be able to spend more than a couple of hours with the game without ever having a chance to take part in these two modes. One mode offers you unlimited hidden object scenes, where you won’t be timed and can simply track down items at your leisure, while the other is a match-three mini-game in the same vein as Bejeweled. That being said, it would have been nice to see smaller limits on at least one of the modes – perhaps finding 25 symbols – rather than requiring both to unlock at what is arguably the end of your gameplay experience (that is, beating the main game or finding all 50 symbols).
Ultimately, it would be fair to say that Amazing Adventures: The Forgotten Dynasty is more of the same gameplay found in previous installments, simply given a new coat of paint. However, the gameplay remains solid, and if you’ve yet to experience a title in the franchise, or simply have an interest in the orient, it’s probable that you’ll find plenty to like here. Hopefully though, SpinTop will add more variety to future installments, to return the series to the entertainment level of prior games.