James Ireland On November - 4 - 2009

Elementals The Magic Key 2 Elementals: The Magic Key Review

I have been rather busy lately and some games have taken a back burner to other reviews and pieces but I’m happy because I’m caught up now and can finally write about Elementals: The Magic Key.

So, the back story is a about a small boy wizard (no, not THAT one) call Albert who lives with his sister Lily, in a magical training academy. He hears news of his sister, who holds the Great Key of Eiron, disappearing and it’s up to young Albert to discover why and maybe even, who.
The world this story is set in is very much inspired by Tolkien but then you can say that about every fantasy game ever made. Elements of magic form the basis of magic power in the land of Eiron and there are 6 of them, air, water, earth, fire, energy and nature.

Ok so the story is very much orientated at the younger gamer by its tone and not a jaded, glossed-over gamer of advancing years as myself. I have confessed before that I have nothing against fantasy based games but do prefer the Sci-Fi genre and you will have to grab my attention if you want me to sit up and play your game.

Elementals: The Magic Key is at its heart a point and click adventure. I was dubious of this to begin with and not mentioning the back ground story, I was prepared for an underwhelming experience. What I got in the end, was a hybrid of a game that I found engaging and whimsical. I was reserved to having a boring experience and was surprised to see that I ended up playing it at length because it threw some interesting stuff at me.

From a game play point of view, you are tasked with finding certain things and solving puzzles. All of this is done with the point and click style but with additions like you have an inventory with which to store items for later use (which specifically relate to puzzles most of the time).

You do have a friend along the way who drops hints and furthers the story line (and makes you feel less stupid if you can’t find something) and provides humorous quips now and then. My saviour in the game was the hint button, finding it hard? No problem. Click the hint button and it will point out what you need to do next. Don’t think you can coast the game on this, the button has a recharge time so you’ll be sat for long periods waiting for it to recharge and that’s no fun.

Like I have said before, I was reserved for a childish game that wouldn’t tax me too much. Oh, I was wrong. Simple things like finding pieces of broken glass and dew drops in a forest scene ended up with me sat forward in my chair scrutinizing the screens every detail. Shamefully, I would use the hint button once in a while but in my defence, some of the stuff is bloody hard to find!

But the puzzles deserve a mention and did engage me more that I thought they would and they vary massively. I was impressed with the work put into these and the mini games as the graphics are top notch and mechanically, no faults. All are presented in a bright and colourful way and are easy to understand.

Combat. This is weird, I never expected combat in a game set out in a point and click adventure, it is not the typical hack n’ slash affair but a rather more dignified battle of wits. You take your side on a chess board like layout and the object is to remove all your opponents’ elemental pieces by firing at them. It’s a turn based combat which really engaged me. It’s really clever and is not as simple as it first appears.

I must bring special attention to the environments your adventure takes place in. All art is done in a colourful, fresh way and with enhanced effects. Make no mistake that this is for children and the art work and characters reflect this. It’s done in a very Discworld theme and taps into that sense of wonder and charm that comes from the unknown and imaginations of those dedicated to making the best from a point and click adventure.

I know that this game is for kids (or those adults with a whimsical nature) and I really don’t think I have gotten to review a game aimed at a younger audience but I’m glad. If I had kids (god knows the girlfriend wants them) I would rather put them in front of this to tax their brains and have fun instead of a game like Spyro the Dragon and I really recommend this to adults who like fantasy games or even to adults who can play along with your kids.

It’s a low cost game that won’t tax your computer or laptop. Elementals: The Magic Key is a heart warming adventure which caters to the whole family. I’m converted (and so is my girlfriend who also can’t seem to stop playing it) and is my favourite Point n’ Click of the year and maybe my favourite kids game too. Game reviewed on the PC. Oh and using the mouse as the wand for casting spells is brilliant, too!

Categories: Feature, PC Reviews
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