A tale of love lost, set in Imperial China. Lotus Spring was your lover, and you try to uncover what has happened to her within the Garden of Perfect Brightness.
This is a game of quiet unfolding of a tale. The graphics are beautiful. There has been much research into the items that should be found in such a place, and you can learn the details easily.
Basic point and click game play. Your cursor is a small doll which will change position according to whether you can move in that direction, move back, turn left or right as you move to appropriate parts of the screen. There are times when it may look like you can interact with an object, but you'll need to have a specific item in hand to see results (hold a lit match to a candlestick). You have to explore each room in detail, the areas that trigger an action can be quite small.
In each of the sixteen major game locations, there is one item of special significance. When you touch that item, you'll see a memory about that item and more of Lotus Spring's diary will fill up.
The other major functions in the game can be accessed by pressing the 'i' key or the space bar. The space bar is where you can examine Lotus Spring's diary and see the objects that you are carrying with you. Each object is grey until you have found it, full coloured when you have it. As you fill the diary, pages will fill with poems and you can replay the movies of particular significance. When you press i, you will get a screen filled with the objects in this location. Select any object to read more about it, or you can turn on the sound and have the history read to you instead.
The major problem with this game is that it is quite slow. You aren't solving puzzles, which is what I expect in something that calls itself an adventure game. You are exploring a world to find pieces of a story. The story line is played out in tiny disjoint pieces. There is a lot of history, but the presentation of the history is not interwoven with the story elements. This may be an advantage, you can ignore such information but it also felt very artificial.
Movement between locations is of the slide show type (still images). This can be very disorienting; sometimes the china doll looks to the side, but when you turn, you actually turn completely around. The map function does not assist, you cannot tell what direction your character is headed.
The active area for turning diary pages is too small. I didn't even notice that there was one until I read more of the manual.
The music rapidly got on my nerves, it was too repetitive and distracted from the atmosphere. It does change in rooms, but it can be quite irritating.
This game may appeal to fans of the original Myst or to people who wish to explore a beautiful Chinese setting. Gorgeous graphics, lots of historical content within the game. But I would not recommend this game to people looking for an adventure game. There are no puzzles to solve, merely explore the world carefully.
Distributed by DreamCatcher Games, created by Xing-Xing and promoted by Women-Wise
Pity, that the first adventure type game that is specifically for women is too dull for me to recommend. It may be pretty, it may be a romance, but that doesn't mean it will appeal to all women, by any means.