Dark Parables: The Final Cinderella (Bigfishgames.com)

After aiding the Red Riding Hood Sisters, you now have to find a kidnapped girl in a mansion on a mountain.  Unfortunately, you also have to stop a diabolical godmother from acting out her evil plan.  Can you save the girl and stop the evil godmother?

In this game, a goddess selects women to serve as a godmother to young girls with harsh lives also known as Cinderellas.  When one Godmother dies, another takes her place.  Therefore, it’s like being the Slayer only instead of killing vampires these women play surrogate mother to kind and unlucky young girls.  Still, the new take on Cinderella is interesting and I like the crossover with Pinocchio that you see later on.

The game play is the same as the last two in the series.  You have to go from room to room collecting objects. 

Along the way, you can collect items called parables in order to discover various back-stories regarding the game. 

You can also collect clothes and put them on a Cinderella doll to read a version of that fairy tale.  There’s just one minor flaw that I’m not going to be too picky about.  The game says that the first Cinderella originated in Europe, which is a common mistake, when the true origin of the fairy tale is actually China, only her name is Yeh Shen.

This game is addictive and intriguing.  I give it 6 out of 10; a great way to kill time.

Mystery Murders: The Sleeping Palace (Bigfishgames.com)

Sophia awakens in a mysterious palace with no memory of who she is.  Not only that, but the rest of the inhabitants are under a strange curse.  Can Sophia break it while also regaining her memories?

The plot of this game isn’t that great.  When Sophia regains her memories, it’s the typical royal wants to marry a commoner and it angers the parents.  Then we find out all about the soap opera lifestyle this family leads that contributes nothing to the plot whatsoever except to throw in a few misleading suspects.

The game play is your typical hidden object.  You go from room to room collecting items to add to your inventory.  You will have to backtrack quite often so be prepared for that.  If you don’t know what to do, use a hint.  Oh, and as you play the game thoughts are added to Sophia’s diary.

This game is boring.  I give it 1 out of 10; don’t bother wasting your time.

Fitness Dash (Bigfishgames.com)

DinerTown lost their first tug of war match and it’s up to Jo the Jogger to get the team in shape.  Can Jo bring healthy living back to this junk food eating town?

The plot of this game is simple; it’s about maintaining a regular exercise routine.  The Aesop is a bit ironic considering chances are the only body part the people who play this game are exercising is their hand.  Still, at least it doesn’t go overboard about the message.  Another thing is that Flo is the one who ruins things in the beginning instead of trying to get everyone back on track.

The game play is a typical Dash game.  You drag different customers to different cardio and strength training machines.  Some customers will request both and you’ll have machines for that purpose.  You can bring your customers some towels and juice when they request it.  You can also bring them water to help their mood.  When your customers have completed their workout, you drag them to the shower.  You have to reach the minimum goal if you want to advance but try for expert if you feel lucky.  Did I mention that you could purchase upgrades in between levels?  If that’s not enough, every ten levels, you have to participate in a Tetris style game in order to have a tug of war victory.

This game is very addictive.  I give it 6 out of 10; a good way to kill time.

Princess Isabella: The Rise of an Heir (Bigfishgames.com)

The evil witch has turned Princess Isabella to stone.  Fortunately, her daughter, Bella, was spared due to a fairy and a dragon.  Now Bella must confront the evil witch and save her family from the curse once and for all.

Don’t worry, this is nothing like Twilight.  The only thing the two main characters have in common is that they have the same name.  The plot itself is quite simple.  You have a princess going after the evil witch to save her mother. 

The evil eye of Sauron, I mean the witch, watches over the castle to keep Bella from entering.  In one scene, where Bella’s about to enter the castle, instead of shooting Bella, the eye shoots the path in front of her so Bella can’t get past the fire.  Did I mention she easily puts it out with magic?  Therefore, our plot relies on the witch being cursed with Bond Villain Stupidity in order to make the game work.  The extra game footage found on the Collector’s Edition let’s you go from room to room destroying each curse in the castle and it would be great if the series ended there.  Unfortunately, there’s a hint that the series will continue and I don’t see what more it has to offer.  Everything’s been done and if the series continues, you’ll be trying to resurrect something that died.  The Jurassic Park movies are a great example of what happens when you try to continue something that’s already over.

The game play is simple but fun.  You travel from location to location solving puzzles and collecting items. 

Use the fairy if you’re stuck and use the dragon if you need an item destroyed.  Some items can be used to help you advance throughout the game.  Oh, and did I mention Bella could also learn spells during her quest?

This game is simplistic yet addictive.  I give it 5 out of 10; not the best, not the worst.

Delicious: Emily’s True Love (Gamehouse.com)

It’s been a year since Emily opened her restaurant and business couldn’t be better.  Her personal life is another story.  Then she receives a letter from an old summer romance and goes to Paris to reunite with him once more.

The plot’s about romance and not just for Emily.  Angela also manages to find a husband in a serious character derailing moment.  In Holiday Season, Angela seemed less concerned about getting married and more with just dating around and having fun.  Now, she’d rather marry the first loser she finds than be single.  It seems to be a recurring theme throughout the game, “ladies, you’re nothing without a man so find one right away.”  The only character whose love life the game won’t explore is Francois and there are implications that he’s gay.  So apparently it’s okay to have implied innuendo in the game as long as it’s heterosexual but Heaven forbid that Francois so much as hints that he has a boyfriend. Just so you know I was being sarcastic about that.

For those of you who haven’t played the game, let me warn you that there are spoilers in this paragraph.  When Emily finds out that Jean-Paul (her summer romance) is cheating on her with her friend Amelie and another girl, Amelie sabotages a food critic’s meal, thereby causing Jean-Paul to lose his restaurant.  While I get that he’s a scumbag, I think making him lose his livelihood is white trashed and insane.  There are also people who work in his restaurant who are now out of a job.  Do the employees have to suffer just because of what their employer did?  What really bothers me is that they show the whole scene in a positive light. Personally, I think the only people who were cheering about this are the same ones who think of Carrie Underwood’s song, Before He Cheats, as a theme song for feminists everywhere.  In that case, it could be less insanity and more a case of simply being naive.  I know I used to think that way.

The game plays out like a TV show.  Each level is a different episode with each restaurant being a different season.  You serve the customers at the table while some prefer to order takeout.  You can also complete different events that happen in each level for extra points.  You earn trophies in the form of candy that you can watch Emily eat with her one true love.

This game is addicting yet cliché.  I give it 7 out of 10, a good addition to the Delicious series.

Muse (Gamehouse.com)

A muse named Hope wants to be an inspiration for a struggling artist.  Unfortunately, the evil Shade has banished her to the nether regions of the mind.  Now she must struggle through various works of art to find her way home before she disappears forever.

The concept is intriguing but told in a simplistic manner.  Shade is evil only for the sake of being so.  Hope goes through some development in the game, becoming less selfish as it goes on.

The game play is just as simplistic.  You go through various screens trying to find a list of items.  Sometimes Shade makes it dark so you have to use a flashlight in the tools menu to see.  Some items are also invisible so you should use an illuminating glass.  If you’re stuck, use a hint.

This game is simplistic but fun.  I give it 4 out of 10; it’s something to do when you’re bored.