PC/Mac/Linux
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Game Info:

Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Strix 
Developed by: Cateia Games
Published By: K.I.D
Release Date: July 2011
Available on: PC/Mac
Genre: Point and Click Adventure
ESRB: Not Rated
Price: $6.99

Thank you GamersGate for sending us this game to review!

A woman has been having dreams about her deceased grandmother's estate being engulfed in flames. To put this matter to rest, she took a train to investigate her grandmother’s house. Upon arriving at the estate, she discovers that her grandmother was killed by an evil demon. Apparently her grandmother spent her life keeping the evil forces at bay in her neck of the woods. Since the grandmother's passing, the evil lord has imprisoned many of her friends that she must now rescue. Besides rescuing these friends, she must find a way to defeat the evil lord once and for all. 

Tales from the Dragon Mountain: The Strix is an adventure style game where you have to look at your surroundings, and gather objects, to solve various puzzles.  For example, when you first arrive at your grandmother’s house, you’ll have to search under the bucket to locate the house key.  Once inside, you’ll have to make your way to the kitchen where the water is not running.  In order to get the water flowing, you’ll have to twist around the pipes to get them in their proper positions.

Highlights:

Strong Points: I like the idea of a built in hint system, but it’s only good for locating items.
Weak Points: One of our reviewers could not get this game to run on his Mac. I was able to run the PC version, but it had its share of glitches too.
Moral Warnings: Dark themes and some magic use.

While the built in hint system is handy, it won’t help with the actual puzzles like the kitchen pipe example.  Clicking on the hint icon will help you find important objects and artifacts in the room you’re in.  I like the addition of the list of remaining items to find in each area.  Gone are the days of forgetting to get something from an area you visited an hour ago.  

Finding the objects wasn’t too difficult, but they do blend in at times so the hint system definitely came in handy.  For the most part, it didn’t help me when I was truly stuck in the game.  Fortunately, there are walkthroughs readily available, and only a Google search away.  I won’t deny it, I used them.

Many of the puzzles seemed reasonable, and I was able to figure them out on my own.  Typical of many adventure games, there are some zingers as well.   One of the puzzles was collecting the planets and putting them into a lock in the shape of the solar system.  I was pleasantly surprised when the game put them in the proper sequence for me.  On the flipside, it was a wasted educational moment.

There are some enemies and battle scenes in this game.  While you do make a potion or two, the magic system is pretty tame.  The magic and battles are handled by tile puzzles, where you have to match up similar color tiles by swapping adjacent tiles.  If you match up skull tiles, you get harmed instead of the enemy.  

Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 62%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Stability - 3/5
Controls 2/5

Morality Score - 80%
Violence - 10/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 0/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Despite the dark theme, this game is pretty family friendly.  There wasn’t any language, but I didn’t care for Mina’s snippy attitude.  I can understand her frustration, but I’m nothing like her so I couldn’t relate with her.  Perhaps I’m spoiled by multiple choice dialogue options.  

The voice acting in this game is subpar and the background music is forgettable.  The character dialogue seemed to be lacking emotion, and it didn’t resonate with me.  The graphics were a disappointment as well.  I liked the background art and puzzle graphics.  However, the characters didn’t mesh with the game.  The backgrounds were 2D while the characters were 3D rendered, and they just didn't blend into the environment.

The controls are a mixed bag.  One of the puzzles was difficult to get out of, and it took me a while to do things in the expected order to complete it.  Other than that, the game ran fine for me.  One of our reviewers tried the Mac version without success.  So consider yourself warned! 

Like many adventure games, there isn't much replay value after you beat the game.  It took me roughly ten hours to beat this game.  Your mileage may vary depending on how easily you can figure out the puzzles and by how often you read the walk throughs. Even though the story was decent, I had a hard time getting into this game.   Sadly, it too falls short like Kaptain Brawe.  The $6.99 price tag is reasonable and there is a demo available.  I would recommend, especially for Mac users, to try the demo before buying it.   

About the Author

Cheryl Gress

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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