In addition to the clue system there's a "just solve this" button that sometimes (why not always? I'm not sure) appears in the non-hidden object puzzles you often have to solve. I appreciated this very much for one of the puzzles! (small figures of soldiers you have to place on a mantelpiece in a specific order - I tried a few things but the answer left me mystified...
I checked the credits and it looks like the game was made by a team of fewer than ten people! How times have changed? I'm mulling over whether "hidden object games" make for good student projects. Probably not? (I mean, if students want to make them, sure...but not as an assignment/forced project)
I'm really enjoying this - it has just the right level of difficulty for me - or perhaps I'm just better at these games now? Surprisingly there's a fair amount of "documentary" content! The game is set in Buckingham Palace and as you play you find documents and the (lost) crown jewels from way back when. I think it refers to actual gems that were lost when Oliver Cromwell(?) melted the crown jewels for reasons? Or something like that.
The game clearly has a fictional component - there's an "A.M." person who's left documents and who's trail you're sort of following. But the goal is what I'm curious if it's real (or also fictional). The documentary part comes in because the locations are (I suppose) ACTUAL locations (rooms, areas) in Buckingham palace with little historical notes of when it was decorated, who did the decorating and what it's use has been. It's interesting - and then you have to find random objects plastered over the artists rendering of that room. It also makes me wonder if the artist rendering of the rooms is based on real pictures of those rooms? (like, if you took away all the nonsense objects, do you get a decent picture of that real room with it's actual decorations and things?).
The game also has a really good clue system. You have 10 points you can spend to get clues. Each scene has two crowns you can find to get 5pts each extra, and the points reset between acts. Now, for 1 pts you are shown a silhouette of the object. For 3pts you're shown what the object looks like. For 5pts, where it is...and perhaps there's one more. So, you can scaffold yourself here! Now, if you pay 1 pt and still no luck - you still have to pay 3pts for the next clue (no discounts from having spent points already).
Hey, I did another crossword! And when I completed it turns out I had a mistake - I couldn't tell what it was (you can review the clue, only see what letters you got wrong). Which makes me really suspicious - supposedly crosswords should not work like this! Like, things won't line up (clue and word you put in) such that you can fill the whole thing out and then get it wrong...so... I also still have issues with the writing recognition (writing an "i" does not work if you do a straight vertical line - that's an "L". To get the "i" I have to do a dot and then, very quickly, a short vertical line underneath it). I spent too much time doing "undo" and rewriting. I am curious about other crossword games on the DS though - the dedicated ones, not the "here's a million different games in one"....
I'm currently on an Apple Arcade free trial offer so I thought I'd poke into some of the (afaik) exclusive games on the service. I started with Grindstone because it's the one I was most curious about and interested in playing.
No pun intended - but it feels a bit grindy - I've been working my way up the levels and they're all challenging in different ways which is fun. I also like the multiple goals for each level and I've only just reached the point where I feel ok with NOT getting all the goals (e.g. unlocking the chest or getting the crown). Mostly because failing too often on a level becomes expensive really fast. When you die (lose all three hearts) you heal one and are sent back out. It costs 5 (or was it 10?) grindstones to heal a heart, and there's also a price for healing two. So, if you're not earning at least as many grindstones as you lose - well, you're draining your grindstone currency as it where. In theory, with a challenging level - I might get down to zero (currently have 200 or so) and then I'd have to literally grind for grindstones...and this all seems a bit much?
The levels have an interesting pacing - and perhaps my play is still too "novice" - but I often decide to make a few small/short matches to say, get rid of 3-4 creeps of the same color just so I can set up a large match for later. Of course this is sometimes risky as you get more "angry" creeps the longer you play. Also, it seems weird that you should NOT try to do a 9-creep match because...well, if it was 10 you'd get a stone on the board! So, maybe match 2-3 of that long chain to hopefully set up a 10-chain for your next move. This seems counter-intuitive to most match games - where more matches is always better (at least in terms of score).
A feature I do like - it's fun when it happens AND it also helps is that when you get a grindstone or some other on-the-board resource (e.g. creep part, sticks, ore, whatever) they fly up and land on a random space on the board. If that space is occupied- the creep gets bonked and dies. If it's a creep with a minimum skill chain to destroy (e.g. 5), the required amount goes down by one and the item bounces some other place. So, this reduces the length of the chain you need (and it's helped me out on more than one occasion).
I'll keep on playing until I get tired/bored because I don't think the game runs "eternally"? We'll see...