I knew going into this that I was stepping into the final chapter of the trilogy without the benefit of starting at the beginning. Sort of like watching Return of the Jedi without having seen A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. And, I do have to admit that I felt at a disadvantage not knowing the backstory. Several Flux fans assured me that flashback-focused factoids and film reels would “catch me up,” but I still didn’t feel that I had a strong grasp of the game’s premise.
From what I could tell, the main character, Jesse, has somehow flubbed things up and needs to travel back to her family’s mansion in the few moments before her "mistake." Of course, nothing can be that straightforward. Rather than setting course for home, circa five minutes pre-disaster, Jesse sails through time helping historical figures and solving mysteries through Hidden Object Areas and various mini-games.
The entire premise owes more than a wink and a nod to Marty McFly and his flux-capacitor-equipped Delorean. Remember how Marty needed to make it back to Pine Valley mall just a few minutes before the Libyans took out Doc Brown?
Perhaps because I didn’t have the benefit of having played the first two games, I found myself clicking the hint button more often than usual. It certainly would have been helpful to have had an integrated strategy guide on this one.
Gameplay seems to be pretty evenly distributed between mini-games, Hidden Object Areas, and FROGs (fragmented object games). The components of the fragmented objects display in the inventory tray along the bottom. Once you find all the pieces, the item "assembles" and then becomes a true inventory item for use later in the game.
Some of the items in the FROGs were minuscule and hard to spot. If I’m looking for an object about the size of my pinky nail on a normal sized screen, the outcome is not going to be positive.
As for the graphics, I’m not a big fan of the cartoonish approach employed in Flux Family Secrets: The Book of Oracles. However, I’m well aware that Flux fans find it charming. I much prefer the rich, photorealistic imagery of games like Secrets of the Dark: Eclipse Mountain.
The audio is serviceable, but nothing more. Difficulty level seemed to be right down the middle, nothing dead easy and nothing hair-pulling hard. I thought several of the mini-games were quite unique, at least in approach. As a Greek scholar, it was refreshing to see some Alphas and Betas thrown at me that had nothing to do with fraternities.
I’d recommend Flux Family Secrets: The Book of Oracles to Flux fans who enjoyed Rabbit Hole and The Ripple Effect, as well as for history buffs who might like the noteworthy characters who Jesse encounters. It’s an enjoyable romp; I just think missing the first two episodes put me at a distinct disadvantage.