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Wonderland Adventures Mysteries of Fire Island

Published by Midnight Synergy
Price $19.95
Primary Genre Secondary Genre

While having a ball close to the community of Wonderfalls you are thrown into a dark plot. The sky is falling, and you must quest through a world filled with Stinkers, Scritters, swinging bridges and colour coded platforms. You are a Stinker, yellow and round, always ready for a good chat or lending a helping hand. Smooth around the edges, fun and challenging, Wonderland Adventures: Mysteries of Fire Island should appeal to just about anyone who wants to escape the ordinary.

Welcome to Wonderfalls. Going for a run!

With cascading waterfalls, interesting creatures and well designed elements, Wonderland is a fun place to explore. Only by solving small quests will you conquer this little big adventure. Guided by the tutorial and the local wizard you soon find yourself in a bunch of caves, out to rescue a little Stinker. While out on the rescue, I found myself puzzling over a combination of spring loaded mechanisms. Only after restarting the stage and taking note of the lost Stinkers path was I was able to make progress. In this instance the game punished me for not paying attention, making the puzzle harder than it actually is. Things can get frustrating when you have to repeat a sequence of challenges. The second time around is always half the fun.

The game does come with a few saving slots, and it would have been a great idea to have an auto save feature instead of depending on the player to save at critical points. There is a great deal of help available as you are introduced to all the features and gameplay. You can use the mouse to move your character around by clicking where you want to walk, and can talk to characters by clicking on them, and answer by selecting your reply from the given options. You can also use the keyboard to move around, and fun text effects makes for exciting dialogue interactions, adding emotion and colour to the story. Items are automatically picked up when you walk over them. Stepping on coloured tiles puts platforms of the same colour into motion, opens doors and can adjust bridge positions. Diamond shaped buttons activate two coloured gates at once while gold coins allow you to buy stuff.

Turtle Cavern. Pop Magic.

In the top right of the screen you will also find a backpack, allowing you to collect goodies. Later in the game you are introduced to Rainbow Magic. This is divided into seven different colours each with its own power. There is something called Pop magic - this allows you to activate objects with your magic gloves from afar and is a great feature that could have done with an auto deselect function when you are done making obvious casts. Door keys are stored in the backpack and their use is confusing because most of the puzzle events are triggered by movement or direct character interaction. The game also features a neat on-line discussion forum with support.

Wonderland's 3D isometric view can appear dull at times, but the use of cool effects, like butterflies, keeps the look and feel of the game afloat. There is a lot happening in this title and, though the graphics could have been better, this is a well thought out game, with lots and lots of gameplay and detail. The music score is easy to listen to and ambient sound effects sets a great atmosphere. Some of the music tracks can be a little bit overbearing at times while the gameplay sound effects are clear and fun. The Stinkers speech sounds like a combination of Lemmings and Worms, with that peppy smurf-like peptitude giving life to the characters.

My favourite feature of Wonderland is your ability to manipulate the wildlife into helping you complete quests; it really does add that chemical X. Chasing Scritters around to activate flip-bridges and guiding Dragon Turtles into the water for use as stepping stones, helps boost the gameplay and fun. It was also refreshing to see puzzle solutions that make use of multiple characters, and while the game's path finding is not perfect, small flaws don't get in the way. Wonderland has a unique style that helps it succeed at being a great adventure puzzler. With many hours of gameplay and a interesting story, Mysteries of Fire Island should keep most people who are into puzzle games engaged.

Graphics 60%
Sound 80%
Playability 70%
Longevity 70%
Overall Score 70%
Bronze Star

Published on 27 Feb 2009
Reviewed by Will Moller

Keywords: wonderland adventures mysteries of fire island review, midnight synergy reviews, midnight synergy games, wonderland adventures mysteries of fire island scores, pc game reviews, indie game reviews, independent gaming.