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Game: Azada
Developer: Big Fish Games
Publisher: Big Fish Games
Year: 2007
Reviewed: 2007
Platform: PC
Genre: Puzzle
Reviewer: ValkyrDeath

Azada is a budget puzzle game by Big Fish Games, purchasable as an online download. It’s fairly short and easy, but well made and enjoyable while it lasts. It’s difficulty level would make it perfect for a beginning puzzle fan, or anyone who would just like something a bit more relaxing to play.

Azada Room

The storyline is inconsequential. You’ll get a page of writing about the story, something vague about a guy getting trapped in a magical puzzle book, and then you have to solve a set of puzzle pages from the book in order to get the next page. The story is only really there to tie the game together, since this is purely a puzzle game.

Graphics are fairly low resolution by today’s standards, at 800 X 600, but they’re high quality and work perfectly for what the game needs. The music is quite nice, and sound effects are adequate for the requirements of a puzzle game, though nothing too spectacular.

Obviously, the main focus of a puzzle game is the puzzles, so that’s where the focus of the review should lie too. And it’s here that we have both good points and bad points. On the positive side the puzzles are beautifully presented and quite fun to solve. On the down side, they turn out to be very easy the entire way through the game. Several types of puzzle pop up again and again throughout the game, and you expect them to build up in difficulty later on, but they tend to stay at about the same level. This is a shame, since while it can get frustrating to become stuck on the same puzzle for long periods of time, it’s also debatable how worthwhile a pure puzzle game with very little story is without the challenge. It would make the game ideal for a beginner trying to find a gentle way into the puzzle genre though. There’s also a time limit, and it can be fun to see how quickly you can get through all the levels, which makes the ease of solving them slightly more tolerable. And they are enjoyable anyway.

Azada Sudoku

The puzzles are a mixture of classic and new puzzles. The usual kinds of puzzles are included, like a matching game, a Simon-style copying game, the ever-present Towers of Hanoi and a Mastermind style deduction game. Amongst these are some new (at least to me) games, like several variations of tile connecting, including one involving matching number tiles that add up to a certain amount. There’s also a Sudoku puzzle using symbols instead of numbers (pictured to the right).

Probably the main type of puzzle, and fortunately, the most interesting, play out like short one room versions of traditional adventure games. You get put into one fixed scene, and have to find the various inventory items, before working out how to utilise them in the environment to solve the puzzles and find the next page. There are two of these in each of the ten different sets of puzzles, and they are quite varied and the most enjoyable puzzles in the game. They still don’t pose a huge challenge, but they have more options available to make them slightly less obvious than the others.

Overall, if you’re a veteran puzzle solver who plays games for a complex challenge, then this game isn’t for you. If you’re new to the genre, or if you just want something to pass some time in an enjoyable way, then this game is a nice way to pass the time. Just don’t expect it to last very long.

Save System Review: Progress is saved automatically, no problems here.

Arbitrary Final Score:2.5 stars

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