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The Spear of Destiny
According to ancient legend, the Spear of Destiny is the most powerful artefact in the world. Who ever has possession of this artefact can rule the world. So powerful was this artefact that, when the last person to control the force died, a council of wise men decided that its power should be weaken by the removal of the various gems built into the artefact. These gems were then handed over to an ancient Colossus who was charged with guarding them. The Spear, itself, was hidden away in a secret place.
As the centuries passed, the legend was almost, but not quite, forgotten. That is until a great conflict arose that could affect the state of the whole world. Thus begins the game of Spear of Destiny – The Final Journey.
The game opens in the year 1942 with your character being cast in the role of securing the Spear on behalf of the Allied forces before it could fall into the hands of the enemy. Heavily influenced by the various Indiana Jones stories, this Hidden Object Adventure game involves your characters in a series of unlikely situations as you attempt to gain possession of the Spear of Destiny while helping others, including a mother and son, as you thwart the efforts of the enemy. Along with the main adventure, this title comes with wallpaper, music and concept art which can be accessed immediately plus the replaying of mini games and Hidden Object scenes once the main game has been completed.
Profiles can be created for different players. These profiles can store progress in the game plus volume levels for music, sound effects and voiceover dialogue. You can also opt to play in full screen mode with or without a custom cursor. Four types of difficulty levels are available. Casual mode has the fastest recharge speed for the Hint and Skip features with sparkles to indicate active zones. There is no penalty for over clicking in Hidden Object scenes and the map feature is provided to show locations and where tasks need to be completed. Advance mode does away with sparkles and is slower at recharging the Hint and Skip features. Selecting Expert mode means an even slower recharging with no sparkles and a map that does not reveals locations where tasks need to be completed. You can cherry pick and adjust various settings by selecting Custom mode.
A choice of full or just special features can be covered in an optional tutorial. This tutorial will explain about the different types of mouse cursor as you interact with objects and other characters. These cursors include a magnifying glass, gears, hand, lips, question mark and navigation arrow.
Spread over six chapters, taking you from a hidden temple through a town environment, secret cell, underground ruins, frozen fortress to inside a mansion, the game covers a variety of landscapes. The various scenes are well-drawn with suitable animations. When other characters are involved their dialogue will be both printed and spoken with appropriate facial expressions.
Overlaid across the bottom of the screen, when in Adventure mode, are the various tools available to the player. Taking over the central area is the Inventory. This storage area holds the objects you collect and will automatically conceal itself when not being used. Sometimes this happens before you have actually finished with the Inventory. Some of the items in the Inventory will need to be combined to form a single object before they can be used.
To the left of the Inventory is a Diary, containing discoveries and objectives that need to be completed. Next to the Diary is an illustrated map showing your current location and others that might require a task to be completed or are nearby and yet to be visited. The Hint feature, replaced by the Skip option during mini games, is on the right along with access to a military room displaying the achievements you have gained.
A variety of mini games or puzzles are dotted throughout the game. While some of these interludes are of the familiar type seen in games of this genre, effort has been made to integrate the appearance and style of them so that they blend into the game’s environment of a war type scenario as a special agent searches for an important relic. There were also some mini games that I have not encountered before. A Skip option becomes available for any mini games that might prove too difficult.
In a number of cases the successful completion of a mini game will lead straight to a Hidden Object scene. All the various Hidden Object scenes follow the same pattern of setting you the task of discovering objects listed in text format within a cluttered scene. Any item in the list coloured green will not be immediately available. Sometimes you will need to move an obstruction or open a container to reveal the item or repair an object. There are also some objects with the ability to morph into different objects. These can be selected when they are adopting the relevant shape. As a reward for completing each Hidden Object scene you will receive one of the items located.
While dealing with the enemy forces, searching various locations, playing the mini games and completing Hidden Object scenes, the Spear of Destiny also provides you with a number of collectible achievement items as if you had not got enough on your plate. Included among these collectable items are military hats, tanks, planes and figurines.
Spear of Destiny – The Final Journey is a well-designed game that should provide many hours of enjoyable entertainment. It is reasonable challenging with options to replay mini games and Hidden Object scenes once the main game has been completed. Available from Big Fish Games priced at £7.70, the game’s system requirements call for a 1.0 GHz processor with 512MB of RAM and 404MB of hard disk space running Windows XP and later.
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