Dark Parables: Rise of the Snow Queen

After your last Dark Parables adventure, you get reports of children disappearing in a nearby area.  Your investigation of the Snowfall Kingdom reveals that the villain is the one and only Snow Queen.  Can you stop her before she destroys the world?

Again, I am reviewing a game that is the third in its respective series.  Like the other games in the series, this one offers you the chance to choose your own difficulty level and whether you’d rather figure stuff out as you go or have your hand held through the entire game.  You can even choose to have a tutorial in the beginning.  There are hidden object scenes throughout the game, but it basically comes down to collecting various parts you need to reassemble inventory items.  Still, I’m glad that every item you collect is essential.  Too many hidden object games have you collecting useless crap just to complete the scene.  If you have trouble finding anything, you can use an unlimited number of hints, and they recharge at a normal speed.  You can also collect certain objects in order to speed up the bar.  You have to do a bit of backtracking in order to collect everything, but if you get lost, you can access your map at any time.  If that’s not enough, there is a wide assortment of mini-games, and if the games are too hard, you can just skip them.  My one problem with the gameplay is that despite all the danger, there’s no sense of urgency and no chance of anyone dying.  When a wolf is sent to attack you, it just stands there until you get the item that you need to shoo it away.  Even in the bonus game, when Gretel is captured, you can take as long as you want to save her.  If you’re creating a game that’s supposed to be suspenseful, don’t try to make it relaxing as well.  Give us the same feeling the character we play has, that if we don’t hurry up people will die.

I’m a huge fan of fairy tales, so any story that’s based on them can be done very well.  Okay, any fairy tale based story can be done well if the writer had a clue what he or she is doing, and in this case the writer did.  The writer not only explains the Snow Queen’s backstory, but also combines the fairy tale with that of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.  In the game, you can even collect bits and pieces of the backstory as you go on.  The only thing that keeps the story from being truly beautiful is the voice acting.  It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either.  It’s because of that I couldn’t really get into the story.  Look, I get that it’s Big Fish Games, so they won’t be able to afford Oscar winners, but why do they even need voice acting at all?  The voices I imagine in my head move me more than the voices they put in the game.  If they must have voice acting in the game, will they at least give us the option of turning it off?

Like the last game I reviewed, this one also comes with additional bonus footage if you pay extra.  I especially like that it comes with an extra game where you play as Hansel in order to save Gretel from the witch.  Along with the lack of urgency in the bonus game, I have another problem with it.  Why is Gretel always the damsel in distress who needs Hansel to guide her?  I get that it’s pretty much how the original fairy tale went, but you don’t need to follow it exactly.  The ABC series, Once Upon a Time, changed the roles of the two so that Gretel was the leader and Hansel was the stupid one.  I’m not saying that you have to change them to be portrayed like that, but why can’t you have them both working together to stop the witch, instead of immediately casting one as dominant and the other as submissive?

While, the voice acting wasn’t great and the game had no sense of urgency, it’s still a fun game.  I give this game 8 out of 10, a nice, fun and quick game to play when you’re bored, and a creative use of two fairy tales.

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