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The Great Gatsby

Score: 85%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: I-play
Developer: Oberon Media
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle/ Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

The idea of a game based on the classic F. Scott Fitzgerald book, The Great Gatsby, first left me a bit confused. I wasn't exactly sure how the story of the roaring 20's could be adapted into a game, but this hidden object game does a great job of not only producing a fun casual gaming experience, but pulling every detail from the book as well.

You can't talk about Gatsby without talking about the style, music and feel of the 1920's, so it's a good thing that The Great Gatsby nailed the feel of the era so well. Not only do the various characters inhabiting the oddly still-but-alive scenes look the part with their long dresses and stiff suits, but the decor and the locations just scream luxury and high society. Those visuals coupled with the music from the time, especially during Gatsby's parties, just seals the deal and really makes the whole game feel right.


Gameplay:

The Great Gatsby is a hidden object game that offers a few side games to keep things interesting. First of all, the hidden object part. This is fairly straightforward. When you start a new level, a list of items to find is presented and you have to comb through the crowded scene to look for the various cleverly hidden items. What's nice about this particular game is that the book's story will advance as you find hidden objects. While not distracting, that various characters in the scene will speak up and talk to each other, or you, Nick Carraway, the narrator of both the book and this game. Each item you find earns you points, and finding multiple items in quick succession gives you bonus points. These points are only used to help populate Carraway's library with everything from artwork to furniture to pets and adds a nice bit of personalization to the game.

Besides the hidden object aspect, there are also a few other types of activities scattered here and there. Some levels end with you having to do things like change a tire or mix some drinks. This is done by finding the various items you need, usually in a specific order, and using them with other items in the scene. Another mini-game has you sitting at the typewriter and typing words that fall from the top of the screen. If you get them all, an exerpt from the book gets read to you. One of the more frequent between-level events involves listening to a segment of the book being read and the overall plot getting advanced while you have to find five of a certain object as the scene slowly pans by. These are everything from five stars, to five clocks or five bottles and so on.


Difficulty:

The Great Gatsby doesn't offer too much of a challenge. The various scenes that you have to pick through are pretty cluttered with random junk to make things a little tougher, but with the game's pretty solid hint system, you will never find yourself too frustrated. If you do find yourself stuck, a click on the Hint Button will let you choose which item you want it to show you, and that button then slowly rebuilds over time. To help boost the button's refill time, you can look for letters scattered throughout the scene that spell out some word. Once you've found all the levels, or guessed it by typing in your answer, the Hint Button refills faster.

Game Mechanics:

The Great Gatsby does a great job of not only producing a good, all-around hidden object game, but it also brings in a few other mini-games and it sticks closely to the original text to boot. When the game came in, I wasn't sure how well I was going to be able to talk about the similarities between the book and the game since I hadn't read that Fitzgerald story since early high school. But as the actors started going through the script, I began to remember a lot more of the book than I realized. As a result, The Great Gatsby is not only an entertaining game, but a good learning tool as well.

Pretty much any casual gamer with an interest in hidden object adventures will want to try out the demo of The Great Gatsby, that's a given, but even high schoolers who don't typically partake of this particular game style should find it a rewarding experience, especially if they have to read the book recently. I'm not saying this game is a substitute for reading the book by any means, but it is a good way to reinforce the story and characters and help make the overall experience stick for any upcoming tests.


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

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows XP/VISTA/Windows 7, Pentium III 1 GHz Processor, 512 MB RAM, DirectX 9, 1024 x 768 Display
 

Test System:



Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

Related Links:



Windows Puzzle Dimension Windows Tidalis

 
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