It’s been a crappy few days at my day job. There’s really no other way to put it. Writing for business and writing for pleasure are two different things and the former, when too many suits are involved, can be downright painful. I’m currently on day 14 of trying to get approval for some small 250-word piece I wrote for the corporate website.
Ten executives chewing over five paragraphs for two weeks is a sad state of affairs. It’s not the Gettysburg address, people! Everyone has an opinion and, apparently, is entitled to it. This thing has been changed more than newborn quintuplets. And, at this point, it’s devolved into debating single words. Really! “Amy, can you change the word ‘money’ to ‘cash’ in this sentence?” “How about saying ‘fee’ rather than ‘charge?’” It’s enough to make me throw up my hands in despair and head for the nearest Haagen Daz stand. Can’t anything be straightforward?
No sooner is this last sentence out of my mouth than I’m assigned the review for Echoes of the Past: Revenge of the Witch. Finally, something very straightforward. The fourth in the Echoes of the Past series, Revenge of the Witch concerns, well, a witch seeking revenge. Sorry, I just had to say it.
The kingdom of Orion is the place she chooses to wreak havoc and you, as the gameplayer, must save the city and its inhabitants from her evil schemes. How, pray tell, might you do that? You must restore the magician’s staff by finding the 10 jewels that give it power. The jewels are hidden throughout the kingdom and guarded, usually, by some malevolent creature or other.
Find 10 gems, put them in the staff, kill the witch. I can do this. I like the straightforward simplicity of this mission. After my last two weeks at work, this is something that I can wrap my head around. Of course, killing the witch may or may not be in the offing as this IS the fourth installment and she hasn’t shown too many signs of going down for the count in the past three.
The graphics are strong, if, however, solely of the flagstoned-castle, knights-in-armor type. I’m a little astonished at how many “treasure chest” type containers can be found in one game. Virtually every scene has some sort of chest (with a puzzle lock on its top, of course) on which you throw open the lid and, voila, a must-have inventory item is nestled inside.
Getting back to the visuals, as with most games of this type, there is a tendency for an overuse of the blue-gray palette. Hidden Object Areas waver between the traditional “take it out of the scene” to the less familiar “put it back into the scene.”
Mini-games were probably on the easy side of average, since I consulted the (very good, by the way) strategy guide much more infrequently than usual. I particularly enjoyed the “domino” type puzzle and the one where you needed to glue the pieces of the bas-relief back together.
One puzzle that I thought was ill-conceived was the game where you had to move a partition within an aquarium up and down to get the red sea creatures on one side and the green sea creatures on the other. Frankly, this required more luck than skill and seemed like the same exercise in frustration that corralling cats would be. I felt like I was back in my office. “Red executives on the left side of the conference room, green executives on the right. Now let’s make a decision about this website text!”
I recommend Echoes of the Past: Revenge of the Witch to any player who likes straightforward objectives and fairly linear gameplay. Now, if I could just get my bosses to adopt the same attitude. "Amy, find 10 words hidden throughout the office and assemble them into a sentence… and kill the witch!” I think that could really work for me!