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    jp's Jewel Link Chronicles: Mountains of Madness (DS)

    [December 28, 2020 06:28:48 PM]
    Finished! Yay! It took a lot longer than I expected at the end because the final levels really ramped up the, multiple attempts. I also had to be more strategic about the powerups and I ran into the problem that I didn't remember what they all did (because I wasn't really paying attention when I unlocked them because they weren't necessary at that point in time). The help pages just explained they existed but not what each of them I had to engage in a little trial and error, and that took more time.

    So, the story's ending is "good" (you rescue one original survivor and escape safely). To be honest, I don't actually remember the ending to the original story, so maybe that's right...or maybe not? Sometimes my recollection of the stories vs the general theme of Call of Cthulhu TRPG adventures is at odds with each other. :-)


    So, I went back to see the other adventure and...I was wrong. It's not another adventure - it was just another profile/save game slot essentially. So, I have finished the story mode of the main game (you can now play in a relax/endless mode and so on, but I'm not really interested in that).

    Weirdly - afaik (I might have missed something) - there's never any reference to either Lovecraft or his original story. I didn't check the game's credits, but there is no reference in the manual. I wonder if this was an attempt to get the game out under the radar of the Lovecraft estate? Or, was the story already in the public domain? Or, some other reason? Anyways, I'm curious as to the lack of attribution to the original...wondering if it's just lazy work or there was some legal reason...
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    [December 26, 2020 06:07:08 PM]
    I picked this up just on the promise of the title.
    An HP Lovecraft-inspired match-3 puzzle game? Yes. It is. Isn't that crazy? I never would have imagined that this game would have been made - especially by what I assume is a small developer for a niche space (match-3 games). Based on the title I think there are other games in the series...and I'm guessing they're all match-3/hidden object games. As this one.

    I’m actually quite impressed by how well integrated Lovecraft’s story is in the game – there’s a solid narrative that, if memory serves, tracks the original story quite closely. I haven’t gotten to the end, so I’m curious to see if the game has a “true” Lovecraft ending (tragedy) or not….

    In terms of the gameplay, it alternates between 4 different types of levels/screens:

    (a) Match-3 puzzles: these have gotten increasingly more difficult the longer I play (I’m 2/3 of the way and I have a really hard time finishing within the time limit, thankfully you can always try again with no penalty and with an optional extra 5 minutes on the clock). You also have powerups that cost energy to use, though you can recover (some) energy through playing. Your energy charges carry over to the next level though, so you might not want to waste them. To be honest, I ignored the powerups until very recently – when the levels got a lot harder and I had to start paying closer attention. In terms of in-level mechanics, there’s the usual frozen tiles, tiles with a background you must “remove” by doing a match over it, and so on.
    (b) Hidden Object: These are all scenes from the story/journey (as you travel in search of survivors of the Antarctic camp massacre finding a series of strange locations with hideous dead creatures, etc.) that are littered with objects that (mostly?) make sense – though there are lot of them, ‘cause otherwise there’s not enough hidden objects for you to find. Based on the story’s progress you sometimes come back to the same location to find other (from the remaining) objects. Contrary to some of the other hidden object games I’ve played (recently!), a found object does not disappear from the scene here – rather it becomes “shaded” (striped?). Anyways, it’s still there but you can tell it looks different (harder for some of the smaller objects to be honest)
    (c) Hidden Gem: These are smaller/easier hidden object scenes where you need to find some gems that are hidden or obfuscated in a scene. Sometimes you have to use an object from your inventory – these objects are always SOME items from the previous hidden object scene. In the hidden gem scenes you will end up using all of them. The general theme is that you’re using these gems to unlock/open gates/passage ways – sort of following in the footsteps of the previous expedition. Sometimes, in addition to finding the gems – you also need to complete a Necronomicon page (using a fragment you had to find in the previous hidden object scene)
    (d) “Jigsaw” Puzzle: A page from the Necronomicon has been torn into (roughly) rectangular pieces and you must slide them around into their correct place to re-assemble the page. Once put together again, this unlocks a new powerup that you can use – the icon for the powerup is the illustration in the Necronomicon page you’ve just put together. Curiously, there’s a “timer” that fills up on the bottom of the screen. Once it’s full you can tap on it to skip assembling the page and (presumably, I’ve never tried it) get the powerup without having to solve the jigsaw.

    All of this takes place on an overworld map that shows you how far along you are – it’s a linear journey but you can see 1/2 of it depending on what map page you’re on. Although the pages are next to each other (L and R), the path on them actually doubles back – so you travel from page 1 to 2, then back to 1 and then finally on to 2 again. I don’t know why, but I thought this was interesting.

    Oh. This is also half the game – there are two adventures, I’m just doing the one on the bottom of the main menu – in hindsight I realize I should have probably started with the one on the top. It’s probably the adventure of the original expedition with the second adventure the rescue mission? I guess I’ll find out. For now my plan is to finish this adventure (just to see what the ending is) and then start the other one just to see what the story is (at least the context).
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    jp's Jewel Link Chronicles: Mountains of Madness (DS)

    Current Status: Finished playing

    GameLog started on: Thursday 24 December, 2020

    GameLog closed on: Monday 28 December, 2020

    jp's opinion and rating for this game

    No comment, yet.

    Rating (out of 5):starstarstarstarstar

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