Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Strix was released in July 2011 by Cateia games, a development and publishing company based in Croatia. The game follows the basic point and click theme of found in many hidden object style games.
The aim is to complete what your Grandmother was unable to finish before she passed away, this is done by finding objects, solving puzzles and defeating the enemies. The game has a very good story line with good cut scenes and a good amount of talking to let you know what’s happening and for what reason.
When starting the game for the first time, you are asked to choose which difficulty mode you wish to play under. There are three options to choose between;
- Easy; has a faster hint recharge rate, a find objects bar, faster skip recharge rate and sparkle hints on areas.
- Casual; has a slower hint recharge rate, slower skip recharge wait, a find objects bar and no sparkle hints.
- Adventure; has no sparkle hints, no find objects bar and an even slower recharge rate for hints and skips.
After selecting the difficulty you are taken through a short tutorial explaining the main components of the game. Taking you through the first few stages of the level, the tutorial shows you what you’re looking for throughout the rest of the game, for example; Yellow arrows indicates different routes you can take, if the cursor changes to a question mark it means you are able to inspect an object, if the cursor changes to a hand icon it shows that you can interact with the object.
There are many different areas for you to search through and a variety of puzzles for you to discover and solve. The entire game is like one large puzzle, occasionally you’ll have to find items and piece them together to complete the item; these will then be used in the level to find other hidden objects. The smaller puzzles throughout the game are challenging but still enjoyable. To some these puzzles may seem easy, it all depends upon what your good at and enjoy. Some of the puzzles include; rearranging parts of an object, placing items in their correct places, selecting the right part at the correct time.
Throughout the game you go up against enemies in the bid to defeat them, to do this a small mini game is played which requires you to swap tiles around to make a line of 3 or more of the same colour. To goal is to fill the oppositions bar with blue before they fill yours, matching the skulled tiles together increases your blue bar and any other tiles slow the progress of your blue line.
At the bottom of the main screen are five main sections to help you on your way to defeat your enemies, these are; your inventory, a task list, hints, menu button and the skip button:
- The inventory shows you what objects you are currently holding and whether or not you can inspect them closer (this is shown by a green zoom icon). Alongside this you can also combine some items within your inventory to make a complete object (indicated by a green plus icon), which is then useable somewhere throughout the scene.
- The task list advises you on what needs to be done to move on, it is quite vague so it doesn’t give too much away but if you ever get lost, referring here will help you to find your way.
- Hints are shown in the bottom left hand corner, they are generated over time, so once used it will be a while before you have another one. The speed at which they regenerate will also depend upon which difficulty you choose.
- On the bottom right of the screen is the menu button which allows you to change settings, exit the game and get help. The help reminds you of what things mean that you see on screen throughout the game.
- During puzzles you are given the option to skip it if you feel you are unable to solve it. Skips are generated over time, so you do have to wait for them to fill up, but this allows you time to try the puzzle before you give up.
For a point and click game, I didn’t expect the graphics to be as detailed and in depth as they were.
For me personally the game had too much talking throughout it. I did like that it had a solid story line but at times I felt it was just a bit too much. You can however skip these cut scenes but I didn’t want to miss out on any important information talked about. If these cut scenes had been shorter I feel the game would have vastly improved but on the other hand it would have made it a lot shorter. But all-in-all it was still an enjoyable game to play.
The music and sounds were satisfactory, not really my cup of tea. I found myself not actually noticing there was music playing throughout the levels; it kind of faded into the background. From what I did hear, it was good and did make me concentrate more on the puzzles.
I did really enjoy this game; it was good to have a story line and the objective to defeat enemies throughout. It was different to other hidden object games which made it that extra bit interesting for me to play.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.