Mystery is what some of us live for. I will not get psychological or philosophical on you, but curiosity is the most precious thing that humans have... the need that drives them to know more and automatically to learn more...
Anyway, going back to our problem, for this week's game, the issue is still "mystery". Why? Because we all agree on one thing: it is pretty "cool" to handle a good mystery. No matter if that means hunting down criminals, investigating odd disappearances or dealing with some goose-bump ghost stories.
But the most enjoyable mysteries are those that relate to ancient lost civilizations and their stories and of course... treasures. The mystic will always win!
Now, imagine yourself stranded on an empty beach. You're isolated with nothing to do, but in the island's sands lies an ancient mystery. Don't get ahead of me... I'm not talking about a "Lost" game...
The action of this game takes place in a so-called "Shark Island", that is basically an archipelago in the shape of a shark. How inspired and original... I know, but that's not the point. The point is that your mission consists in roaming the beaches (how awful) and collecting sea shells, rocks and sea glasses. Doing this, you will eventually unlock the mysteries of a lost civilization.
The game opens with the usual "Where the heck am I?" And that's normal since last thing you saw were champagne glasses. You think the booze has still some effect on you, especially when you discover the box with the odd carvings and you are under the impression of hearing voices.
I know, a bit creepy, but why not? And here are some other questions that will bother you: why do conch shells give the impression of an echo with children's laughter? And why do you seem to be getting younger since you arrived on the island?
All sounds so good, but I did not mention a thing about the game-play. Well, this is basically something like I-Spy and Mystery Case Files. That means that you have to search for a list of items on a cluttered screen. Of course this screen is not that cluttered, but you get the point.
What you have to search for
is, like I said before, sea shells, rocks and sea glasses. But this is actually a good thing. Why? Because you don't have to search for all that junk that other games made you do. No more umbrellas, bowling, base-ball, golf and other kind of balls or any of that stuff.
All the shells you collect must be placed inside the mysterious box. This box will give you certain keys that will be later used to unlock the portals on the island. These portals will allow you to travel to other islands in the archipelago.
But things are not that easy. You have to choose between all the broken shells and pick out the nice and untouched ones and do that before the next wave comes in and washes everything away.
Here's a warning: don't go clicking just for the fun of clicking the mouse's buttons. Doing that on a non-shell or shell fragment by mistake (or not) has the bitter consequences of destroying your bonus multiplier. This bonus is essential in later levels. Bottom line, clicking around doesn't work how you thought it will.
At the beginning of each "wave" you'll be given pictures of the shells that are hidden somewhere in the pixeled sand. Don't collect all the shells in an area, just those in the picture, because you have just a certain amount of time before the next wave comes in.
After you received all the keys and you want to activate a portal you must first solve a short "portal puzzle" by using the keys you've collected. You have to rotate three segments of a door in the correct order.
The "fun factor" in this game is pretty much assured. Because searching these shells is not pointless. In all this context and in the given story this shell collecting makes sense.
As you move forward, the puzzle will get more difficult. The pictures of the shells will be replaced with black silhouettes or just question marks. This will make your job tough. And there can be a problem... In the larger panoramas, where the whole shells are smaller, it will be kind of impossible to determine which one is a broken shell and which one is an untouched shell. This will really destroy your points.
Otherwise, this game will keep you hung on it with its story and game-play. What was for now a popular genre has a few twists that will definitely enchant you...