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London is Quarantined
They are back. You could almost say that they had never been away. This time the Victorian London detectives of Morgan Johnson and Jack Brown take on the tasks of investigating the mysterious illness, with no apparent cure, that was causing London to be quarantined. This results in Case 5 of the e-Funsoft Gaslamp series, entitled The Dreadful City, Match 3 game play offering.
The usual options for adjusting the game playing environment of this e-Funsoft series title are available. Profiles can be created so that different people can play the game and have their progress and achievements recorded. Volume levels can be set for music background and sound effects. The game can be viewed in full screen mode with a custom cursor and played in either Relaxed or Timed format as Morgan and Jack go about their business.
Most of the detective work carried out by Morgan and Jack occurs in the background away from the viewing area with just the appearance of a fairly static cut-scene to update the storyline. While these cut-scenes might contain dialogue, this will be limited to text format. The game does feature some spoken dialogue but this only occurs during the introduction of the main game and the individual chapters.
Your role as an assistant to Morgan and Jack involves the playing of the Match 3 aspect of this title as you tackle a series of grids. The pattern for this type of game play does seem to be set in stone when delivered by e-Funsoft. Divided into five chapters, each containing a series of grids, the game challenges you to clear a set number of tiles and other elements from within the current grid. The "playing field" is based on a centrally placed grid with any available power-ups positioned on the left and the required elements of the particular challenge on the right.
Tiles and various other elements can be removed from the grid to achieve the required target through the process of swapping two adjacent to create a group of three or more similar tiles. These tiles then disappear and are replaced by other tiles falling downwards thus possibly causing a cascading effect if more groups are founded. In some cases you may need to use an available power-up to clear a difficult area. Once a power-up has been used, it will not be replaced until the next grid. However you do have the ability to create additional power-ups in the form of bombs. This task can be achieved by creating a group of more than four tiles with the destructive quality of the bomb being connected to the number of tiles in the formed group.
Some grids will contain items that cannot be removed in the standard manner and will be included in the designated challenge. Lets call them artefacts. To remove an artefact you need to create a pathway beneath the artefact so that it can fall towards the base of the grid. It can then be collected as part of the designated challenge.
At the completion of each grid you will be rewarded with a number of stars plus the time it has taken you to finish the grid. The stars can be used to purchase the four upgrades allocated to the current chapter. These upgrades do little more than add visual features to a background scene. They will be followed by one of the static cut-scenes mentioned earlier.
While I enjoy the challenge of Match 3 game play, I am finding the rather rigid story telling aspect adopted by e-Funsoft to be somewhat boring. I downloaded my copy of Gaslamp Cases 5 - The Dreadful City from Gamehouse.com where the title is available priced at $9.99. The game requires a 1.5 GHz processor with 1024MB of RAM and 134MB of hard disk space running Windows 7 and later.
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