Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Emerald City Confidential

All right, I finished the game faster than I thought I would.

I enjoyed this computer game. It was a lot of fun, and as a Baum fan, I loved spotting all sorts of little references to the original books. The plot was fun and made you want to keep playing to the end (though there's a twist I saw coming).

The game's premise is that after a war with the Phanfasms, the magic of Oz has fallen out of balance, and the fairyland has become corrupted. They now use money, and law enforcement has grown tighter. Many of the Oz characters (using characters from Wonderful Wizard all the way to Magic) have set up businesses. The Shaggy Man makes Gumps for the Emerald City's taxi service, Cayke the Cookie Cook owns a diner, Woot the Wanderer owns an arena for magic duels, and the Lion is a corrupt lawyer who blackmails people who use magic.

You play Petra, a private investigator who has been given a case by Dee, who she quickly deciphers to be Dorothy Gale. Dorothy needs to know what became of her fiance, Anzel, but when Petra eventually finds him, she also finds he's wrapped up in dealings that could result the conquering of all of Oz by the Phanfasms.

The graphics are good, and the point-and-click gameplay is very easy to play. I also liked the music.

Probably the game's worst aspect is the lack of replay value. The gameplay and story is very linear, there is no adjustable difficulty setting, and there aren't many sub-quests that can be overlooked. There's an optional side quest to find seven emerald, ruby, and topaz buttons each for Scraps, and she will give you sketches for each one that can be viewed in the notebook, but unless you want all of the medals at the end of the game, it's hardly compelling enough to go back and play again, particularly as there doesn't seem to be a way to re-play the game without losing your completed data.

All in all, this is a fun play for $20. If you're a gamer, give it a shot.


Wadjet Eye said...

Neat! I was wondering when one of the Oz blogs would play the game. Glad you enjoyed it, Jared.

(Designer of ECC)

Nathan said...

Yeah, I would imagine it doesn't have much replay value, but I'd say it's probably still worth it for $20. I played and enjoyed the demo, and maybe I'll buy the full version when I have some free time and less to read on the Internet. {g}