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E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventures (Mac) Review

 
5
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5

 
At a Glance...
 

Formats: Mac
 
Genre: ,
 
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Developer:
 
Final Score
7.0
7/ 10


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Interesting moral decisions must be made in the course of the story.

Not so much?


Often very random puzzle solutions that don't make sense.


Final Fiendish Findings?

E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventures is a point and click adventure with a steampunk, sci-fi feel that really gets you thinking. The randomness of some of the puzzle solutions may leave some gamers feeling rather disappointed, but the use of a unique style of storytelling makes for a game that can be played over and over again to different results.

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Posted November 15, 2012 by

 
Full Fiendish Findings...
 
 

There is evil afoot, and you’re going to have to rearrange your whole way of thinking to defeat it.

E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventures is a game that’s hard to define. I wouldn’t really define it as a hidden object adventure, as there are only three object jumbles in the entire game. It’s maybe more of a point and click adventure, with a lot of borrowed elements from the hidden object standard. There is a lot of wandering between stages, combining objects, the aforementioned object jumbles, with a few mini games thrown in for good measure. Definitions aside, E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventures isn’t a game that will appeal to everyone, regardless of their casual gaming preferences. A quirky way of thinking and a whole lot of patience are definitely a must.

The story in E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventures has a bit of a steampunk feel to it. Things are both futuristic and a bit pastoral at the same time. There is farmlands and magic and pirates and a very old time feel to a lot of the game’s environments, yet there are also robots and spaceships and floating islands. You play as Susan Blankwall, a young woman who has grown up on her uncle’s farm. Susan never knew what happened to her father, and when a strange man gives her a crystal that belonged to him it sets off a chain of events that will change Susan’s life forever.


Your journey as Susan takes you across the universe. From floating islands to enemy space stations to mystical worlds, your quest to save yourself and uncover the mysteries of your father’s life is a perilous one. You will operate generally in one world at a time, but within that world will be several different environments. If you can pick something up, your cursor will turn into a hand. If the cursor turns into an eye, you can click on the item to learn something about it. You also have a diary that tells you a bit of the story and gives clues here and there of how to advance.

Wandering around the environments, picking up items and talking with characters is the majority of the gameplay in E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventures. The mini games and puzzles are in general interesting and engaging, but there are few of them in the game. Your main puzzle is figuring out which items to interact with, in which order. While I don’t mind a quirky sense of humor, or thinking outside the box, there were quite a few times in E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventures that I felt like figuring out what to do next was much more a matter of just trying everything that a puzzle to be figured out.

I don’t want to give too much away in terms of spoilers, but I’ll give one example fully to illustrate my point. (It is a bit of a spoiler of just that one spot, so feel free to look away till the end of the paragraph if you’d rather not know). In one scene, you need to figure out how to operate a cannon. You do several things that make perfect sense for firing a cannon, but the final step involves swapping one fish with another off a sign and then inserting the fish into the cannon and firing. I just don’t feel that is a thing that makes any sense at all, even in a quirky way. It is a swordfish, so in my opinion using it as a sword would make a bit of quirky sense. Using it as a cannonball? Notsomuch.

I just felt there were far too many times in the game where I had to just wander back and forth between environments trying every combination of items because, short of using a hint, the solutions didn’t make even a random sort of sense. That sort of spoiled it for me, because I like a puzzle to be a thing that can be figured out. The way the story plays out in E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventures did make up for that in a lot of ways, though. Rather than making the story be a completely set line of events, there were times in the game where you were asked to make moral decisions that would affect the outcome of events. Whether to save someone, or who to save, makes a difference in how the story plays out, and there is even more than one ending to the game. These different decisions add a little replay value to the game, as you can go back and replay in expert mode to try things a little differently.

E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventures is a point and click adventure with a steampunk, sci-fi feel that really gets you thinking. The randomness of some of the puzzle solutions may leave some gamers feeling rather disappointed, but the use of a unique style of storytelling makes for a game that can be played over and over again to different results.


Amy

 
U.S. Senior Editor & Deputy EIC, @averyzoe on Twitter, mother of 5, gamer, reader, wife to @macanthony, and all-around bad-ass (no, not really)