Echoes from the Past
Developed by Orneon, The Citadels of Time and The Revenge of the Witch are episode 3 and 4 in the Echoes of the Past series. Classified as Hidden Object Adventure titles, these games continue the saga of the Witch and her dislike of the Kingdom of Orion. A front-end menu is provided for installing the two titles separately.
Both titles offer the user a similar set up of options. You can create profiles, adjust various volume settings and opt for full/wide screen viewing with a custom cursor. Citadel of Time offers two levels of difficulty and this option is increased to three levels with Revenge of the Witch.
Echoes of the Past
Attending the Royal House Museum to see a new exhibition, you find yourself trapped inside when you attempt to leave. The imprisonment situation has been created by an evil witch who has cursed the royal family of Orion by fracturing time and trapping everybody in limbo. It is up to you to locate the scattered, well-hidden clock pieces and break the curse
Assisting you in this task are the usual elements. Tools consisting of a Magic Book, automatically recording your findings, an inventory and a rechargeable Hint feature run across the top of the screen. There s also an icon for a Strategy Guide but this feature is only available in the Collector's Edition of the game. The mouse cursor changes shape to indicate when it is over areas requiring further investigation and offering help with regards to which directions you can travel.
Moving around the museum, and other areas available through a portal, you meet different characters who are generally portrayed as a ghostly figure due to the distortion in time. They will communicate with spoken dialogue delivered by a voice actor and will appear as printed text. Once you have corrected each time problem, the associated character will loose their ghostly form and disappear.
Hidden Object game play and puzzle solving will need to be carried out at varying intervals. Combining a well-populated scene with a list of objects, the game's Hidden Object action involves two different formats. In one case the list will be in text format with the entries coloured yellow and red. If red is used then the item will require an additional action. Once the list has been completed then an additional object will be added and this will become your reward. On other occasions the list will contain images which will need to be replaced within the scene.
The game sets a variety of puzzles. You might need to aim and fire a crossbow to hit a target or match leaves with cut-out shapes. Other tasks will involve repairing a shattered picture, set dials to generate power, arrange juggling balls or place icons in different groups. A skip option becomes available if a puzzle proves too difficult.
Echoes of the Past - The Revenge of the Witch
With its three levels of difficulty, the Revenge of the Witch offers a Strategy Guide from its title screen but this just brings up an error message meaning that this feature is not available. Entering the gaming area, you find the Witch has moved her focus from the Royal House Museum to cover the whole Orion Kingdom. While the appearance of the scenery might change the layout of the game's tools remains the same. A Magic Book, inventory and Hint features are arranged across the top of the screen and the mouse cursor changes shape to indicate when different action are possible.
Game play follows the same pattern of the earlier title as you move between different areas, often revisiting some locations several times, to collect and use items elsewhere. Various characters will be encountered and these will communicate with spoken dialogue to flesh out the story line of the Witch's battle with the Orion Kingdom. Cut-scenes, featuring special effects will link together sections of the game.
Hidden Object game play follows the same pattern as the earlier episode. When the required list is in text then you will need to find them in the accompanying scene. Entries coloured red will require an additional action before it can be collected. When the list consists of images then you will need to replace them within the scene. Puzzle game challenges include correctly linking lights together, matching plates with icons, a game of Solitaire and directing coloured moving shapes into their appropriate area. As usual a Skip will become available if a puzzle proves too difficult.
Rather than repairing time issues, you will need to seek out the ten red gems that power a magic shaft to defeat the Witch's curse. You will also need to collect magic power to help weaken the spell and collect drawings that have been folded into origami shapes.
With more content than the Citadels of Time, I felt the Revenge of the Witch was a more challenging offering. I have seen this two game pack available on eBay priced at £3.82. System requirements call for a 1.00 GHz processor with 1280MB of RAM and 933MB of hard disk space running Windows XP and later.
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