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Spirit of Wandering: The Legend HD

Score: 81%
ESRB: 4+
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Developer: G5 Entertainment
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle (Hidden Object)

Graphics & Sound:

Spirit of Wandering: The Legend HD looks really good, whether you are poking around for hidden objects under the sea, on a ship or in an island shack. For the most part, things are easy to recognize and are the appropriate size, although in the much later levels, you will encounter objects that are really tiny, proving that the developers aren't above trickery. Aesthetically, the game is attractive, with your journal serving as the hub point between levels where you'll see which crew member you'll be searching for at the time. Some levels have nice details like animated curling smoke hovering in the sky above The Flying Dutchman (the haunted ship you are seeking), which serves to immerse you just a little bit more.

The background music is pleasant, with an otherworldly feel to it, but it's ultimately forgettable as I never found myself humming it later and couldn't recall what it sounded like once I turned off the game. But during gameplay, it works. Sound effects get the job done, whether it be the clink you hear when you locate a Normal item or the whoosh when a "Cherished" item comes available for selection. When you get near a Cherished item and your magic orb begins to glow with mystical flames, there's a nice hum and sizzle that you'll hear until you click on the desired object. While there is no spoken dialogue, you'll see text in the previously mentioned journal as the story plays out.


Gameplay:

The story goes that you captain the Spirit of Wandering ship with your beloved husband, Jack, until one day when you encounter The Flying Dutchman and all of your crew, including Jack, is spirited away. Left only with the magic orb Jack gave you and your undying love for him, you set off to locate the ship's crew, one by one, who are being held in the spirit world, in the hopes that they can lead you to Jack's location. As you work your way through levels, you'll be looking for a series of Normal items, which then allow you to locate Cherished items. Each of the six chapters represent one of the crew and their Cherished items tell a little bit about them, such as the cook's favorite pot or Jack's favorite hat.

Instead of a written list of items like most hidden object games, Spirit of Wandering: The Legend HD uses an outline of the form of the item you are looking for, which is much trickier. The objects can be oriented in any way, hidden or obscured behind other things or even tiny in size, as is the case in the last few levels. You will have 3-5 levels within each chapter and then rounds (for lack of a better word) within each level. When you click on a level, it will tell you how many Normal items and Cherished items you are looking for, typically 20-something Normal and 5 Cherished. On the right side of the screen, you'll see an area with the outline of 5 Normal items to find, while at the top of this area is the outline of the 5 Cherished items. Once you find the 5 Normal items, one of the Cherished items fills in and you can then click on the magic orb at the bottom left which then places it on your screen. Everything is then shrouded in darkness and the orb reveals the location of the Cherished item by glowing as it gets near and then burning with a ring of fire as you scroll over the item. If you hover for a few seconds, the previously invisible item will usually manifest and you will click it to obtain it. Then your next group of Normal items will appear for you to begin again.

If you get stuck locating a Normal item, you can click on the compass located next to the orb's spot and although this will cost you 50 gold pieces, the compass will then point to a Normal item remaining on your list. There are also treasure levels where you can click to collect as much gold as you can in the time allotted. This builds up your coffers so you have some breathing room and available gold for using the compass when you need it.


Difficulty:

The difficulty level in Spirit of Wandering: The Legend HD is pretty level, ramping up as you progress. Initially, the items are fairly easy to find and are big enough that they stand out. As you move to later levels, they shrink in size and become more difficult to locate, some being so small that they are barely perceptible. While I breezed through Spirit of Wandering: The Legend HD pretty quickly, I found that as I got to the second to last chapter, things got really tough and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to beat the game. However, a trip to the treasure level after that chapter built up my funds enough to give me that comfort zone, plus, oddly enough, the game seemed to get easier for Jack's chapter.

Game Mechanics:

The controls in Spirit of Wandering: The Legend HD are about as easy as they get. You'll tap to collect objects and slide the magic orb and compass around with a swipe of your finger. You'll need speed and precision when you do the treasure levels because if you tap in a spot where there isn't a piece of gold, you'll be penalized. This also applies in regular levels where you tap several times in a row on things that aren't in the list; you'll then get penalized 10 gold pieces. There's also a gold bar ticking away below the level which I assume is your time limit, but I always had enough time to complete the levels so that was never an issue for me.

There are also 17 Achievements you can gather on your journey and they range from getting through portions of the game to gathering gold pieces to collecting items quickly. You can also easily post your Achievements on Facebook with the tap of a button, as is becoming custom in iPad games.

While Spirit of Wandering: The Legend HD certainly wasn't my favorite hidden object game, it wasn't bad. Personally, I prefer looking for listed-out objects more, but that's my personal taste. I did find that I beat the game really quickly, so if you are looking for a long adventure, you won't find it here.

Spirit of Wandering: The Legend HD leaves you with some closure, but since this is Part 1 of a Trilogy, look for more adventures with Captain Jack, his lady and his crew soon!


-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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