Monday, August 30, 2010

Deal - Magician's Handbook II: Blacklore - $2.99 this week!

The Catch of the Week for August 30 - September 5 is The Magician's Handbook II: Blacklore!

This is a hidden object game.

To get it for $2.99, click the image below, and use the coupon code CATCH299 at checkout!


Mac users click here!



Thursday, August 26, 2010

Sequel to Drawn: The Painted Tower, and other thoughts!

Drawn Sequel

If any of you liked Drawn: The Painted Tower as much as I did, you might be interested to know that the sequel is coming. That's right. Go here to watch the trailer for Drawn: Dark Flight! w00t!

Recent Games

I've been trying a bunch of new games, to see if they're worth buying and reviewing. But I find myself unable to make up my mind about most of them. Perhaps you'll be willing to post a comment and add your own 2 or 10 cents?


Echoes of the Past: The Castle of Shadows: I can't even get this game to work. It just black-screens. The same thing happened with Vacation Mogul, and I never got to try it. It would sure be nice if developers would iron these things out before the release date.


Robin's Quest: A Legend Born: This game has sweet production values! It's lovely to look at and plays smoothly. But I have two gripes that are keeping me on the fence.
  1. In a culture where we have already feminized men beyond recognition, do we really need a game that casts Robin Hood as a woman, and gives her the brains and brawn to break out of jail and save her helpless husband from the same jail?
  2. There's not much challenge in the game. And I've heard others say that the game is a bit short. These are two heavy strikes against a purchase for me.

Enlightenus II: The Timeless Tower: The game looks pretty, just like the first Enlightenus. The game has the exact same music as the first game. In fact, it is almost exactly like the first game in every way. I was hoping for a little something different, but this sequel pretty much feels like a clone of the first game with different environments. Sure, the mechanics are still enjoyable, but with no significant changes to draw me in, I can't decide if it's worth a buy.


Brunhilda and the Dark Crystal: Here, you get cartoony graphics that are reminiscent of The Curse of Monkey Island. The whole presentation is attractive, with satisfactory music, professionally drawn environments, and well-integrated seek-and-find mechanics. But it's the theme and story that don't interest me much. I don't know why. As much as I like the gameplay, the story doesn't make me want to keep going.


Wedding Dash 4-Ever: While I haven't played this game, my wife has. And she's asking me to buy it. Wedding Dash: Ready, Aim, Love was one of her favorite games, and this sequel has once again earned her affection. So, if you like these sorts of games, you ought to give this 4th entry a try.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Deals - Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy, and Hidden Mysteries: Buckingham Palace for $2.99 this week!

Here's the Catch of the Week for August 23 - August 29!


PC: Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy is a hidden object game.


Mac: Hidden Mysteries: Buckingham Palace is a hidden object game. Read my review!


To get these games for $2.99, click the image below, and use the coupon code CATCH299 at checkout!

PC users
Mac users



Monday, August 16, 2010

Deal - Echoes of the Past: Royal House of Stone for $2.99 this week!

The Catch of the Week for August 16 - August 22 is Echoes of the Past: Royal House of Stone!

This is a hidden object game.

To get it for $2.99, click the image below, and use the coupon code CATCH299 at checkout!


Mac users click here!



Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Strategy Guide - Royal Envoy!

Introduction

Royal Envoy is one of the most enjoyable strategic building games I've played (Read my review!). The goal of each level (besides completing your assigned tasks) is to earn the gold seal. This is accomplished by finishing all of your tasks before the timer runs out. On some levels this is easy to do. On other levels, it's somewhat challenging. But on some levels, it can be a real struggle, taking 3 to 5 attempts to figure out an effective path to success. The purpose of this strategy guide is to give you a step-by-step walkthrough for the levels that I found to be most challenging.

You might find some of these levels to be easy. Still, others of you might play levels that you think should be included here.

If you can't seem to find the path to the gold seal on a level that I haven't included, please post a comment on this article, and tell me which level you'd like a walkthrough for. I'll add a walkthrough for any requested levels.

UPDATE: Now, I'm in the process of adding the gold solutions for every level in the game.


Strategy Guide

Note about taxes: In all of the following walkthroughs, it is assumed that you will be collecting taxes from houses whenever you can, unless specifically instructed to do otherwise. The same goes for Banks.

Level 18

Note: Don't pay the pirate in this level.
  1. Build 2 three-star Cottages (upgrade siding first) in the center row, with a Lantern in between. It is important to keep working on these until they are complete. Don't collect any taxes from them until they're done. You want to keep your workers from going back to the Castle.
  2. Build 3 Cabins on the top row with siding and gardens (no other upgrades).
  3. Build a Lantern between 2 Cabins and a Flowerbed between 2 Cabins. At this point you'll be a little over half of the allotted time.
  4. Pay the balloon guy in the following order:
  5. 2000 (2 times)
  6. 500 (2 times)
  7. 100 (repeat until the scale is balanced)

Level 23

  1. Build a Sawmill next to the Castle.
  2. Process wood (800 at a time) at the Sawmill until you have 4800 materials.
  3. Process 200 wood at the Sawmill. You will now how 5000.
  4. Start construction on the bottom bridge.
  5. Buy 2 Tax Collectors and 1 Worker.
  6. Dig up 2 holes as soon as the bridge is complete.
  7. Start getting good deals at the Market (you're trying to collect 35,000 money). 50 for 3000 or 100 for 4000 are the best deals. Keep doing this as you proceed with the following steps.
  8. Once you have 35,000 money, pay the pirate.
  9. Dig up the hole.
  10. Trade with the merchants until you have 10,000 money. In the meantime, build the upper bridge and make sure you have 4500 wood in stock. You don't need to trade in the Markets anymore at this point.
  11. Pay the 2nd pirate.
  12. When the smoke clears, build a Statue between the Cabins.

Level 26

  1. Build 2 Chalets with siding. I put them on the right and left sides of the Castle.
  2. Build Cottages with siding in all other slots.
  3. Begin paying the pirates whenever you have 3000 money.
  4. Add a garden to each building.
  5. Use your remaining wood to upgrade any houses you can. I focused on the Chalets.
  6. Once you have 7000 money, pay the last pirate.

Level 32

  1. Start producing in the Workshop.
  2. Clear all brambles.
  3. Build a second Workshop right next to the other Workshop. Keep them constantly producing.
  4. Build a Villa under the Circus.
  5. Upgrade the Villa all the way, with siding, but no garden.
  6. Complete the bridge.
  7. Build Cabins with siding in every remaining slot.
  8. Restore the Circus and start running festivals. Keep running them as you proceed. Eventually you will finish the level.
  9. Buy Tax Collectors until you have 7.
  10. Keep collecting taxes and producing materials in your Workshops.

Level 35

  1. Build a Sawmill in the middle row, middle slot.
  2. Add siding to all Villas as soon as you've collected taxes once.
  3. Process 800 wood at the Sawmill once you have enough money.
  4. Process 400 wood at the Sawmill once you have enough money.
  5. Build a Workshop in the middle row, next to the Castle. Keep the Workshop constantly producing.
  6. Keep constantly processing 400 or 800 wood in the Sawmill.
  7. Buy 3 Workers as you go (for a total of 6).
  8. Build Chalets (with siding) in the empty slots in the top and bottom rows.
  9. Demolish the Villa in the middle row.
  10. Build a Bank in the middle.
  11. Demolish Villas on the top and bottom rows.
  12. Build Chalets with siding on the top and bottom rows.
  13. Demolish the Sawmill and build a Market in its slot. You can use the market to help you get the 10,000 money needed to pay the pirate.
  14. Pay the smoking pirate.
  15. Build a fountain.

Level 37

  1. Build a Workshop in the middle row.
  2. Clear all brambles.
  3. Demolish the Fountains and Flowers.
  4. Produce in the Workshop constantly.
  5. Build 2 Villas in the empty slots.
  6. Add siding to both Villas, and upgrade them to 3 stars.
  7. Collect taxes until you have 15,000 money.
  8. Pay the pirate.
  9. Add siding to the Villas on the bottom row.
  10. Pay the other pirate.
  11. Demolish both middle Villas.
  12. Add siding to the Villas on the top row.
  13. Build 2 Banks in the middle.
  14. Build a Flowerbed between 2 Villas, and Flowers between 2 Villas.
  15. Upgrade 2-star Villas to 3 stars.
  16. Buy extra tax collectors (for a total of 6).
  17. Keep emptying the Banks.

Level 38

  1. Clear out the right side first.
  2. Restore 2 Markets, and build a Sawmill at the bottom as quickly as possible.
  3. Spend the rest of the time clearing brambles, digging up holes, restoring Markets, building Markets doing trades, and buying 800 wood at the Sawmill.
  4. Note: Only do Market trades of 3000 for 50, or 4000 for 100.
  5. Once all Markets are restored, build the three flowers. Each flower costs 450 wood. Once you're down to the last flower, use the Sawmill to process whatever amount you need, even if it's just 200. You should finish just before the timer runs out.

Level 56

  1. Send out all Workers to clear the brambles. Start with the buildings on the sides of the Castle. Then, focus on the bottom. You want to quickly clear paths to the Bank, and to the empty lots in the middle. Then, get to the middle lots in the top row. Then, clear out the rest. You'll still be clearing brambles while you carry out the steps below.
  2. Build a Sawmill one one side of the Castle. As soon as it's built, buy 1600 wood.
  3. While you're waiting for the Sawmill, buy Workers. You'll want 9 total.
  4. Build a Workshop on the other side of the Castle as soon as your Sawmill worker delivers the wood to the Castle.
  5. As soon as your Workshop is built, demolish both Dragon Statues.
  6. Keep your Workshop constantly running.
  7. Start building Mansions with siding in every slot. Start with the slots closest to the Castle, and build out from there.
  8. Whenever you have enough money, buy 1600 wood from the Sawmill. Keep checking periodically.
  9. Whenever the Bank has 4000 gold available, send a Tax Collector to pick it up.
  10. Once all Mansions have been built, start adding Gardens to each one.
  11. Build 5 lanterns.

Level 57

There are a number of ways to finish this one with the gold seal, but only in the nick of time. I played it over and over, trying to find the quickest method. I finally found a way to get the gold seal while your timer is still above the little metal bar near the bottom of the time meter.
  1. Demolish the Market. This gets you lots of materials.
  2. Start collecting rent right away.
  3. As soon as you have enough money, start buying Workers. Keep buying them as you play, until you have 10.
  4. As soon as your Workers bring back the materials from the demolished Market, start running your Workshop, and keep it constantly running.
  5. Put siding on your Mansion as soon as you can.
  6. Put siding on all of your other houses.
  7. Collect money from your Bank regularly.
  8. Start buying Tax Collectors, and keep buying them as you play, until you have 10.
  9. Buy 400 materials at the Sawmill.
  10. Once you have 2000 materials, build a Workshop next to the Bank. Keep it constantly running.
  11. Note: If you need to, you can occasionally buy 400 or 800 materials at the Sawmill to help you build all of the stuff in the following steps. You should count mostly on your Workshops though.
  12. Start upgrading your Mansion until it has 3 stars.
  13. Build a Mansion with siding in one of the bottom corners.
  14. Build a Bank in the other corner. Keep collecting from it regularly.
  15. Add Gardens to 5 houses. Only add a Garden to one of the Mansions.

Level 58

  1. Build 3 Villas with siding.
  2. Construct the bridge.
  3. Upgrade all Villas to 1 star.
  4. Collect money continuously from Villas and Banks.
  5. Pay the bandit once you have 30,000 money.
  6. Clear the brambles.
  7. Send Workers to dig up both holes at the top.
  8. Buy 5 Workers.
  9. Build a Workshop next to the Castle as soon as you have 2000 materials. Keep the workshop running.
  10. Buy 1,600 materials at the Sawmill whenever you have 16,000 money.
  11. Each time you have 1,200 materials, demolish a Bank and build a Mansion with siding.
  12. Once you have built 3 Mansions, add Gardens to all 6 houses.

Level 59

  1. Start building a Workshop in the empty space at the bottom. Once it's built, keep it running.
  2. Clear all 4 brambles.
  3. Dig up the hole at the top.
  4. Demolish all 4 Villas. You may want to collect money from them first, if it's available.
  5. Build 4 Chalets with siding.
  6. Buy 2 Workers.
  7. Upgrade all Chalets to 3 stars and gardens.
  8. Pay the pirate when you have 20,000 money.
  9. Build 4 Chalets with gardens in the spaces on the right side. Hopefully none of them will need repairs in the short time it will take to complete these. If they break, repair them.

Level 60

  1. Send all 5 Workers to the cave. Leave them there the rest of the time.
  2. Collect the money from all 3 Banks.
  3. Buy 1 Worker.
  4. Start constructing the bottom bridge as soon as you can.
  5. Clear the brambles when you're done.
  6. Buy 1 Worker.
  7. Start constructing the middle bridge.
  8. Clear the brambles when you're done.
  9. Buy 1 Worker.
  10. Start constructing the top bridge.
  11. Clear the brambles when you're done.
  12. Start buying Workers until you have 11.
  13. Send a Worker to dig up the hole next to the cave.
  14. Build a Mansion with siding in every empty slot.
  15. Keep upgrading the 3 Mansions until they all have 3 stars.
  16. NOTE: Remember to keep your Tax Collectors constantly collecting money from the Mansions and Banks.
  17. Start paying the pirates whenever you have 10,000 money.
  18. Clear the brambles each time you pay a pirate.
  19. Buy 1 Tax Collector (you'll have 4 total).
  20. Buy 1 Worker (you'll have 12 total).
  21. Once the brambles have all been cleared, build Mansions with siding in all 3 slots.
  22. Build Statues between all Mansions.
  23. Upgrade all Mansions to 3 stars. Eventually you'll reach 300,000 money and win with time left.

Level 61

  1. Demolish the broken Cottage.
  2. Build a Villa with siding, and upgrade it to 1 star.
  3. Add siding to the Chalet and the Cottage, and upgrade them both to 2 stars. You should be left with 100 wood.
  4. Dig up the hole behind the Castle.
  5. As soon as you have 7,000 money, pay the pirate. You should have used just over 1/4 of your time at this point.
  6. Start running the Workshops and keep them going.
  7. Dig up the hole at the top of the screen.
  8. Save up about 60,000 money.
  9. In the meantime, build lanterns in the 4 available slots.
  10. Demolish 1 Workshop.
  11. Build a Sawmill where the Workshop was.
  12. At the Sawmill, run 3 batches of 1600 and 1 batch of 800. Then demolish the Sawmill.
  13. In the meantime, add a garden to the 3 houses on the left.
  14. Build a Cabin where the Sawmill was. Don't build siding.
  15. Add a garden to the new Cabin.
  16. Once you have at least 10,330 wood, fix the bridge.
  17. Demolish the second Workshop.
  18. Build a lantern in the slot across the bridge.
  19. Build a Cabin where the second Workshop was.
  20. Add a garden to the new Cabin.

Level 62

  1. Repair both Villas on the right side, and add siding right away.
  2. Upgrade both Villas to 2 stars.
  3. Keep collecting taxes whenever you can.
  4. Chop up the brambles in the middle.
  5. Build 2 Villas with siding in the bottom two slots. You can upgrade them to 1 star if you like.
  6. Pay 5000 money to the pirate blocking the Bank. Keep collecting money from the Bank whenever you can.
  7. Pay 10,000 money to the pirate blocking the Workshop. Keep the Workshop running all the time.
  8. Pay 20,000 money to one of the smoking pirates at the top.
  9. Demolish the revealed Statue.
  10. Pay 20,000 money to the other smoking pirate.
  11. Demolish the revealed Statue.
  12. Buy 2 Workers (for a total of 4).
  13. Build a Statue between one set of Villas.
  14. Pay 15,000 money to the pirate blocking the Market.
  15. Add gardens to all Villas.
  16. Demolish the Market.
  17. Build a Sawmill.
  18. Build a Statue between the other set of Villas.

Level 63

  1. Begin clearing out the brambles. You want to gain early access to the bottom middle slots and the two side slots.
  2. Build a Sawmill in one of the lower middle slots as soon as you can. Keep producing 1600 wood whenever you have 16,000 money.
  3. Buy 3 workers (for a total of 8).
  4. Build a Mansion with siding in one of the side slots. Start upgrading it to 3 stars.
  5. Build a Workshop in the other bottom middle slot as soon as you have enough wood. Keep it running all the time.
  6. Build a Villa with siding on the other side slot. Start upgrading it to 3 stars.
  7. Build a Bank in one of the bottom side slots. Keep collecting money from it.
  8. Remember to produce 1600 wood whenever you have 16,000 money.
  9. Remember to keep collecting taxes and Bank money whenever you can.
  10. Build a Chalet with siding in one of the top slots. Start upgrading it to 3 stars.
  11. Build a Cottage with siding in one of the top slots. Start upgrading it to 3 stars.
  12. Build a Cabin with siding in the remaining top slot. Start upgrading it to 3 stars.
  13. Build a Garden for each house.
  14. Build a Market. Don't do any trades there.
  15. As soon as you have enough wood, build the Statue and 2 Lanterns. This will probably require you to run 400 wood at the Sawmill to achieve the gold time.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Review - Royal Envoy!

Where have all the great games gone?

A lot of my favorite games are older ones (which means 1 or 2 years old in the casual games world) because the commitment to quality seemed to be generally higher back then.

And yet, every so often, a developer will surprise me.

Today, I review a new game that surprised me in a number of ways - a game that puts you in the role of the king's Royal Envoy!

What I liked

  • Superb graphics
  • Unique spin on the genre
  • Good music
  • Satisfying game length
  • High degree of polish
  • Perfect amount of challenge
  • Stays interesting
  • Subtle humor

What I didn't like

  • Character art



Quick Plot

Help to restore safe homes to the realm of Islandshire before the rainy season hits again!



Mechanics

Strategy: There aren't many casual games that immediately strike me as "strategy games." It wasn't long before I discovered Royal Envoy to be just that. Many building games offer some degree of strategy, but not like this game does.

In your typical building game, such as the Build-a-Lot series or the Be Rich series, your goal is to finish the level within the allotted time. If you don't succeed, you have to play the level over. If you finish the level very quickly, you get an Expert rank. But in these games, the Expert goal is something extra to reach for, if you prefer the challenge.

In Royal Envoy, all of the fun is tied into getting the equivalent of the Expert goal. It feels very similar to the Farm Frenzy games. In those games, half of the fun is in trying to figure out the particular sequence of actions that will earn you the Gold medal. That is exactly how Royal Envoy plays out. The developers have given a challenging, but reasonable, timer to each level. When this timer runs out, it just disappears and you can keep playing. But if you finish the level before the timer is out, you get the gold seal.

Pirate Island, with gold seals on all levels, as indicated by the stars.

So what's the point of achieving the gold standard?

There are three benefits:
  1. The gold seal earns you lots of bonus points, which can earn you a higher rank, which earns you trophies.
  2. To unlock expert mode, you must complete all levels with a gold seal.
  3. Achieving gold is very satisfying, mentally. It's a sign of good strategy.
It's very obvious that the designers intended it to be this way. I don't even know if you can lose a level. I suppose you could get stuck without enough resources to continue, and be forced to restart a level.

Strategic tips are offered between levels. These tips give helpful advice for achieving the gold seal.

I think you'll find that a dominant portion of the fun is found in
  1. starting a level,
  2. looking over the level's goals, and
  3. devising a strategy for gold-seal success.
The timer doesn't begin until you give a command to a worker or tax collector (I'll explain these guys in a minute). So you can look over the level and its requirements with no time pressure. This allows you to study the level in advance, and to map out your plan of execution.


Building: Once you have your strategy for a level, you begin building. This is similar to many other buildings games, in the tradition of Build-a-Lot.

There are a number of slots on the screen where buildings or decorations can be constructed. Your objective is to meet the level's prescribed goals by
  • building (or tearing down) the appropriate buildings
  • in the best order
  • as quickly as possible.
You have two kinds of hirelings to serve you:
  • workers, and
  • tax collectors.
Workers do all the manual labor of building, chopping, digging, producing and demolition.

Tax collectors are the little fellows who run to money-producing buildings to collect income. They also carry out negotiations with pirates and merchants.

Workers and tax collectors live in the castle. The castle is the central building where all money and materials are dropped off after being collected. You can also hire extra workers and tax collectors in the castle. This costs money.

Money and materials (wood) are the two resources you'll be working with. You collect both resources in a number of ways, and they are both used for multiple purposes.

How a level looks. At the top you can see money, materials, workers, tax collectors, and happiness.

Now, let me explain all of the buildings and their functions.

You have 3 types of things you can build, and they don't have names (just images) so I'll classify them as houses, decorations, and resource buildings.

The 5 types of houses, from smallest to largest are:
  • Cabin (makes the least money)
  • Cottage
  • Chalet
  • Villa
  • Mansion (makes the most money)
The 4 types of resource buildings are:
  • Sawmill: You pay money to receive materials.
  • Workshop: You pay materials to receive 10x more materials).
  • Market: You sell materials to receive money.
  • Bank: Accrues money every time you collect taxes. Money can be withdrawn.
There are 5 types of decorations. They add happiness to adjacent houses. The more expensive the decoration, the more materials you must spend to build it, and the more happiness it adds. (Incidentally, the most expensive decoration, the Statue, is a statue of the Playrix dragon. Playrix is the game's developer.)

Every so often you can gain resources by other means, such as digging up buried treasure or chopping up brambles.

Every type of building. Top row: houses.
Bottom row: resource buildings and castle.



Time Management: This is worth mentioning because the game is really a time challenge, if you play it as I've described earlier. You're trying to achieve goals as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Still, for those of you who like the building aspect, but don't like racing against a clock, you can ignore the clock and go at your own pace. You just won't achieve the gold seal on each level, which is okay.



Highlights

Eye candy: How refreshing to play a game that bathes you in highly-polished graphics. The developers overlooked nothing in the graphics department. With the exception of the cut scenes, I was completely pleased with the game's visuals.
Each level is vividly colored, with animated scenery and highly detailed objects.

I sat and admired the map of Islandshire for the pure fun of it. A series of pretty little islands is situated on a large expanse of sea. The rolling waves are gloriously colored, and each island has special animations that play when you mouse-over or click on it (once you've finished the island). You can see whales jump out of the water while the best music track of the game plays. The map spans beyond the edge of the screen, and when you scroll to the side, a navigator's wheel spins. It's wonderful. This is the sort of thing that really draws me in and begs me to keep playing the game. I thank Playrix for putting this kind of effort into the visual aesthetics.

The map of Islandshire. I wish I could live there.

Music: You know I'm almost always disappointed with the soundtracks for casual games. With a few qualifiers, I'll tell you that I did like the music in this game. Let me explain.

There are 4 kinds of game soundtracks:
  1. Those that are so bad that you just turn the music off in the settings.
  2. Those that aren't great, but get the job done, so you leave the music on.
  3. Those that really help the game and sound good when playing, but don't hold up when listened to outside of the game.
  4. Those that are so good that you'd gladly listen to the music on your iPod.
Royal Envoy has a #3 kind of soundtrack. I really liked it in the game, but isolated on its own, it doesn't hold up.

Also worth mentioning is that the music style surprised me. The game has a medieval sort of theme, with castles, men in livery, and wooden ships. And yet the soundtrack sounds like it would be more at home in a Build-a-lot game. I was expecting something more like the Be a King 2 soundtrack. But nope! You can expect a happy, modern style. And yet it works. After I got used to it, I happily hummed along while playing.

Game length: One thing that really makes any game disappointing is too short of a length. I'm glad to say that Royal Envoy has the perfect length. You'll feel like you got your money's worth by the time you're done. The game has 60-something levels, all satisfying.

If you complete the trophy room, you unlock Expert mode and have a chance to replay all the levels with even more challenging time limits.

Humor: The game is cartoony, cute, and funny in its delivery. In between levels and when you complete islands, you'll view dialogue between characters. I laughed out loud when one character said: "What a skinflint! The owner of the balloon refuses to let us have it for free." That quote left me snickering for days.

An example of character art in a cut scene.



Issues

Cut scenes: Each time you finish an island, you view another plot-advancing animated cut scene. Personally, I thought the art style in these scenes was unattractive. All of the character art (with the exception of the girl) seemed strange to me. The animation was kind of awkward, too.

Although, I will say that the voice work was good. They obviously hired experienced voice actors.

Other than that, I can't think of any other gripes.



Suitable for the family?

Everything in here is cute, so you don't need to worry about any offensive or disturbing content.

I was surprised to find that my kids actually liked watching a building game such as this. What they really liked were the little workers and tax collectors running around, and the beer-gut pirates.
My little people gladly stood watching. They even helped me keep track of things I needed to keep an eye on!



The family man's final ruling

This was one of the best games I've played in a while. So much effort went into making it a polished product. The game is worth more than you're likely to pay for it, I think.

The levels are all unique, always offering a strategic challenge. The graphics and music support the gameplay with a high-quality delivery. The game kept me interested right up until the end. Virtually every time you mouse over something in the game - buildings, people, trophies, islands - you'll get some interesting animated response. When you get to a level with a cave, try moving your mouse in front of the cave and see what happens!

This is as good as casual games get. It's right up there with games like Luxor: Quest for the Afterlife and Ancient Quest of Saqqarah in terms of production quality. If you like building games at all, don't pass this up. The emphasis on strategy and resource/worker management gives it a completely different feel from other games in the genre.

I would gladly play a sequel!

By the way, I'm going to be writing up a strategy guide for some of the most difficult levels in the game, detailing a method for achieving a gold seal on each level. So keep an eye out for that. You may find it to be helpful if you get stuck on tricky level!

The best way to fill out the trophy room is by achieving gold seals on levels!

You'll like the game if...

  • You like building games
  • You like time management games
  • You like strategy games
  • You like colorful, cartoony games

You won't like the game if...

  • You don't like having to do a bit of strategizing
  • You don't like economic/building games


My rating:

If you want to play Royal Envoy, click below:

StandardCollector's
Edition


Monday, August 9, 2010

Deal - Righteous Kill 2 for $2.99 this week!

The Catch of the Week for August 9 - August 15 is Righteous Kill 2!

This is a hidden object game.

To get it for $2.99, click the image below, and use the coupon code CATCH299 at checkout!


Mac users click here!



Monday, August 2, 2010

Deal - Cassandra's Journey: The Legacy of Nostradamus for $2.99 this week!

The Catch of the Week for August 2 - August 8 is Cassandra's Journey: The Legacy of Nostradamus!

This is a hidden object game (primarily).

To get it for $2.99, click the image below, and use the coupon code CATCH299 at checkout!


Mac users click here!