iPad Game Review: Samantha Swift and the Fountains of Fate Reviewed by JadeDragon
After the success of Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials for the iOS, MumboJumbo has brought another PC franchise that made them both a good deal of money and fame, Samantha Swift series of hidden objects and adventure games, to the iPad. Samantha Swift and the Fountain of Fate takes you to six exotic locations around the world and manages to immerse the players into the local culture through the objects, puzzles, visual and music. The gameplay feels expansive and the graphics will win your heart.
If you have played Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials and are looking for the exact type of gameplay, you might not find it all in Samantha Swift and the Fountain of Fate. But if you are a hidden objects fan with a sense of adventure, Samantha Swift offers plenty of both in its well designed levels and authentic scenes filled with authentic items. The game takes you from Florida to Iran, China, Turkey, Arizon and Bahamas in search of answers to the Fountain of Youth mystery. The game tells a simple story in cell-shaded slide shows and sprinkles some puzzle/board games like a picture puzzle, a match-3 game, etc. But the heart of the gameplay is pure hidden objects, unlike in Salem Witch Trials. The scenes are filled with items that fit right in with that location, and they vary dramatically in culture and style that you never feel that you are playing the same level or the same location over and over.
While the focus of the gameplay is quite different, there are many similarities in game mechanics between Salem Witch Trials and Fountains of Fate. The lighting bolts and swift birds in Samantha Swift replaced the crows and clovers in Midnight Mysteries. But if you can manage to find most of them, you will gather hints and unlock the unlimited hidden objects gameplay. The game also offers inventory slots where you can store important items that you can use to find other items. This is a part of the puzzle side of the gameplay built in MumboJumbo games. There isn?t however combining items in Samantha Swift like it was in Salem Witch Trials.
Another similarity is the way of naming the items you must find in the hidden objects levels. Here, some items aren?t named directly. For example, horseshoe is called steel footwear, fan is called handheld cooler, and arrows are called quiver?s companion, so on and so on. Midnight Mysteries started the word playing but Samantha Swift extends it with lots of items named with this word game. Many of them are easy to decipher, but once in a while, you might just get stumped.
Samantha Swift, as a veteran adventure and a skilled treasure hinter, also collects museum pieces and game trophies. You can view the museum pieces in the museum, and the trophies in the form of stamps both from the main menu screen. You can unlock the unlimited hidden objects mode, and make in-game purchase for even more levels and unlimited match-3 gameplay.
MumboJumbo made its name with Midnight Mysteries thanks partially to the atmospherically effective graphics. Samantha Swift is a much brighter game with much brighter scenes, but the styling, drawing and design are equally top-notch. Scenes are artistically sharpened and wonderfully illuminated. There were some cell-shading scenes in Salem, but the Fountain of Fate made cell-shading its core graphics style that works well for the gameplay. This is one of the few hidden objects game in which scenes are so memorable that you'd still see them and think about them long after you?ve put down the game.
The audio package is also high quality. Each location has its own signature music tracks that work with the visual to put you in the zone. The game arranged the tracks so that they match the gameplay speed, and you never feel the music repeating. Sound bites are fun, light and appropriate.
Porting big PC hits has been working for casual game publishers, MumboJumbo is doing their part to bring PC gaming experience to the iOS devices. And why not? The iPad?s screen is perfect for these games and with customized controls, the games certain can flourish on a new platform. Samantha Swift and the Fountain of Fate follows the footsteps of Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials but is never overshadowed by it. Sure, mystery solving gamers might be looking for more ?mysteries?, but hidden objects gamers will fall in love with the eye-pleasing visuals, awesome locations, well-designed levels and the heavy gameplay all effortless presented in Samantha Swift. The game has smooth controls, but there are some bugs and glitches that need to be fixed in the next update.
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 5 - Bright scenes with sharp graphics that you will enjoy looking at. Sound: - 5 - Nice mix of different style music tracks that fit the locales. Controls: - 5 - Controls are simple and very responsive. Gameplay: - 4.5 - Mainly hidden objects gameplay with some puzzles mixed in, fun and plenty. Has some bugs.
Playing Hints and Tips:
- Make sure you collect all swift birds and lighting bolts. Hints won?t work on these.
- As we mentioned the game plays word game on you, like a mimic expert is a parrot, so look at the items in the scene to work with these word games.