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Score: 90%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: The Adventure Company
Developer: Wicked Studios
Media: CD/3
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

Keepsake's gorgeous locations are just one of the many features that help to make this game your typical adventure title.

Most of the game takes place in Dragonvale Academy and the surrounding grounds. Each pre-rendered location is a stunning piece of artwork. Everything from the dark, surrounding forests to the high castle spires and the interior rooms is awe-inspiring. The characters are also fairly well done, though not to nearly the level of detail that you see in the environment. Lydia's gypsy-like outfit looks good on the character model, and it helps to set her apart from the rest of the characters you meet in the game.

Keepsake's background music is also pleasant. Typically, the tunes consist of light, airy tones helping to add to the game's mystic feel. The game's voice-acting was okay, but there were a few parts that could have been tweaked as they sounded a bit phoned in.


Keepsake follows Lydia, a new student at Dragonvale Academy, only when she arrives, the castle is deserted. Early in her investigation, she stumbles upon a small jester doll. This particular doll was a gift that she gave to her best friend, so when this keepsake is left seemingly discarded, Lydia knows something is wrong.

The new student also encounters a dragon named Zak, only someone has cast a spell on the beast and turned him into a wolf. Now Lydia has two problems to solve. Not only must she try and return the enchanted dragon to his former glory, but she needs to find out what happened to all the inhabitants of Dragonvale Academy.

Zak is a pretty good sidekick, especially as far as adventure games are concerned. The main purpose of the wolf seems to be to give guidance when you start to get stumped. He acts as a good help system, giving you hints that start off as fairly vague and if you ask enough times, they can ultimately lead to the puzzle being solved for you.

Most problem-solving games typically fall into two types: alone on a deserted island or in the middle of a crowded city. While the locations might not be these two all of the time, the principals are the same. In the first type, there are no other people and you have to get all your information from books or the scenery (think Myst), while the other type forces you to talk to dozens of different characters, most of which lend you no helpful information. But Keepsake seems to have found a pleasant middle ground where you aren't spending countless hours working through conversation trees, but you still have to interact with people.


Keepsake's difficulty is based mostly on your stubbornness rather than how challenging the puzzles are. With other adventure titles, when an obstacle keeps you from progressing in the game, you have a couple of options. You can put the game down and go back to it later with a clear mind or you can find out how to get past the problem with an outside source (i.e. the Internet).

With Keepsake's built-in help system, you can ask for help without leaving the immersive environment of the game. If the answer doesn't reveal itself to you after the first few hints, Zak will solve it for you. There have been a few games in the past to have help systems that will keep the game moving, but they typically penalize you in some way, but there doesn't seem to be any adverse effects to asking for help in this title.

Game Mechanics:

Keepsake plays like your typical point-and-click adventure. Your cursor will change to different icons when you move over items of interest, areas where Lydia can walk and people you can talk to. I rarely found myself pixel hunting and I could typically figure out what items I needed to interact with quickly and easily. This made a lot of the game's tedious work something that I didn't have to fret over, a much appreciated feature.

Keepsake is a game that pretty much any hardcore adventure fan will want to pick up. It's puzzles range from amusing to challenging, and thanks to the help system, even players who haven't been practicing with the genre since its inception can have fun getting to know the characters and story.

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows ME/2000/XP, 1 GHz Intel Pentium 3 processor or AMD Athlon processor, 256 MB RAM (512 MB on Windows XP), 32 MB 3D accelerated video card (NVIDIA GeForce or ATI) , 4x CD-ROM (or PC DVD-ROM drive), 16-bit Sound Blaster Compatible, 1.4 GB Hard Drive, Mouse, Keyboard and Speakers

Test System:

Windows XP Professional Ed., AMD Athlon XP 2400+ 2GHz, 2 GB RAM, DVD-RW, Radeon 9800 Pro, DirectX 9.0c

Sony PlayStation 2 Driver: Parallel Lines Sony PlayStation Portable Go! Sudoku

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated