Your parents are far away, resting in Skyward Castle. But not the vacation kind of resting. No, they were cursed to slumber by the evil Dreadmyre. Queen Sophia isn’t going to stand for that, so she rides her trusty dragon across the land to put an end to the wizard’s magic. An ogre knocks her out of the sky before she reaches the castle, but as fortune would have it, she lands near a centaur that knows where she can find an artifact that can dispel Dreadmyre once and for all. Now only a forest and a bunch of puzzles and hidden object scenes stand in her way!
Awakening: The Redleaf Forest is a hidden object game that splashes all sorts of action and suspense onto a solid puzzle solving foundation. Most of Redleaf Forest takes place in a series of small areas jam packed with things to check out and explore. Nose around with the cursor, zooming in on areas of interest and filling your inventory with every piece of wood and loose gadget you can get your hands on. Puzzles block your progress and often require multi-stage or multi-item solutions, which means you’ll do a lot of exploring as you make your way to the far off castle.
Hidden object scenes are frequent in Awakening, which is a good thing seeing as how they’re so dynamic. You’ll encounter silhouettes as well as text lists during your adventure, but one thing both types have in common is how much you’ll need to interact with the screen to complete the scene. Highlighted items are incomplete and may require some assembly. Or disassembly, as is often the case. For example, the very first hidden object scene asks you to find an unknotted rope. There’s a rope curled around the screen, but it’s full of knots. Guess what you have to do to finally collect it?
Outside of the adventure and hidden object sections, Awakening keeps you entertained with plenty of short but engaging mini-games perfectly balanced between challenge and ease of completion. Pocket dragon also makes another appearance, turning many simple item puzzles into a meta puzzle of sorts. If you ever need something lit on fire, just give the cute little guy a click. He’s always ready to burn something with that breath of his.
Awakening: The Redleaf Forest is put together flawlessly. The story is suspenseful, the puzzles are intricate, the hidden object scenes dynamic, and the scenery as dramatic as the cutscenes. This is the kind of casual adventure game that never calms down, and you’ll love every exciting minute of it.