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Snark Busters: All Revved Up

Score: 87%
ESRB: Not Rated
Publisher: Alawar
Developer: Alawar
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle (Hidden Object)

Graphics & Sound:

It seems to me like I've been seeing more hidden object games popping up lately, maybe because they're not too hard to create, but end up being very addictive. A recent game called Snark Busters: All Revved Up! is a nice little hidden object game where you need to find pieces of things to try and solve the puzzles and catch an elusive Snark.

The overall appearance of Snark Busters is very clean and crisp, which is important when you're searching for hidden objects. The backgrounds need to be clear enough that your eyes can identify what is out of place when you start looking. That doesn't mean that it is easy to find things, though. If it were too easy, then it wouldn't be any fun! I think that they manage to get a very good balance between making the pieces not so hidden that you can't find them, but still hidden enough that it is a challenge. That's not as easy a thing to do as it seems.

In Snark Busters, the music isn't really necessary to the game, but it is nice to have there. You do get sounds when things open and close, so if you choose to mute the game, you'll miss out on those little things. But since the characters don't actually speak and you don't have to listen to the music, this is one of those games where you can create your own soundtrack and listen to whatever you choose.


Gameplay:

There is only one major thing that you need to do in Snark Busters: All Revved Up!: find pieces of objects and put them together to solve the puzzles. Sounds easy, huh? Well, it isn't too hard but you can get stuck if you're not careful. When you first start up the game, you can choose from Play, Options, or Quit and there is a space for your name in the top. You simply click on that space and type in your name. You can have several players at once, so they can all be at different places in the game as long as you just give each player a new name. Make sure to change the name before you start because once you start the game, it ties that game to that name and you can't rename it. Under Options, you can change things like volume and you can turn the hints off or on. Once you've set things up, just jump right in and choose Play.

This story takes place in Nodnol. Given that the game deals with a mirror world, it makes me wonder if the main game is our mirror since Nodnol is the mirror of London. Anyway, you are playing as Jack Blair, a car racer who comes from a line of racers. His grandfather, Robert Blair, was the best until he mysteriously disappeared many years ago. Jack has always wondered what happened to his grandfather and would love to be able to race against him. First though, you've got to get your own car out for the big race. To do this, you have to find pieces of objects. Snark Busters: All Revved Up! is a bit different from other games since you're looking for pieces to put the object together and not the entire objects. You start off having to find parts to collect to fix a car, and a cute little robot dog which reminds me a bit of K-9 from Doctor Who. I love the little robot dog, even if he has a very minor part. Anyway, once you have your car fixed and win the first race, you'll get a letter from your long lost grandfather explaining a bit about what's going on. This is when the real quest starts. You'll start flipping between the real world and the mirror world which is really quite beautiful. It's made of blue and greens and swirly things in space. You'll find the car there, but to get to it, you have to make it past 6 doors. Unfortunately, once you do get through all the doors and get the car, the game is over but there is plenty of room for a sequel to continue the adventures of Jack Blair!


Difficulty:

Like all hidden object games that allow a Hint button, Snark Busters: All Revved Up! is 100% solvable given enough time. The game shows you which pieces can be found on whatever area you're looking at and exactly what those pieces look like. Granted, they'll probably be rotated and blended into a background and a different size, but you still know exactly what you're looking for. If a piece is solid red, then you'll have to open a cabinet or move an object or something like that before you can find that piece. If you can't find a piece, simply click the big question mark in the lower right hand corner. It will show a big magnifying glass right over one of the pieces you haven't found yet. You can't use the Hint button again instantly though. It takes time for it to recharge. If you're stuck on which direction to go next, you can also hit the Hint button. It will recharge instantly when it has only shown you the next area to go to. Obviously, you don't have to use the hints if you prefer, but if it's just too tempting for you not to use it, then you can turn Hints off in the Options under the main screen. This will make it so that you're forced to rely on your own skills throughout the game.

Throughout the game, there are also puzzles that you'll have to solve. For the most part they're not too hard, but sometimes you'll run across puzzles that you're just not good at. You can't use hints in the puzzles, but there is a bar below the puzzle that slowly fills up. When it is full, a Skip button appears. If you're just too frustrated, you can simply skip that puzzle and continue on with the game without banging your head against your screen for too long!


Game Mechanics:

There really isn't much to the mechanics of Snark Busters: All Revved Up!. It is a very straightforward game to play. Everything is done with your mouse. You click on the pieces to collect them. You also click on certain objects to interact with them. You can click on pieces of the puzzles to move them around. You will never need your keyboard after you use it to enter your name. Granted, I didn't test unplugging mine or anything, but since I'm on a laptop that might prove difficult. Anyway, the game will tell you anything that you need to know about how to play it, so you can't possibly get lost.

I really enjoyed playing Snark Busters. I beat the game in under 10 hours, but given that I had totally forgotten where the objects in the beginning were by the time that I finished the game, that when I restarted the game, it was like I was playing it all over again. Yes, I might know the story now, but the fun is in finding the objects. If you're a fan of hidden object or puzzle games, I recommend that you check out Snark Busters: All Revved Up! today. It's a great game for a great low price!


-Cyn, GameVortex Communications
AKA Sara Earl

Minimum System Requirements:



OS: Windows XP, Vista or 7, Processor: 1 GHz, Memory: 512 MB RAM, Graphics: DirectX 9 compatible video card with 3D acceleration, Sound: DirectX 9 compatible sound card, DirectX 9.0 or later
 

Test System:



OS: Windows XP Service Pack 3, Processor: 2.4 GHz, Memory: 3 GB, Hard Drive: 7 GB free, Graphics: 128MB nVIDIA Quadro NVS 140M, Sound: DirectX 9.0c

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