|Publisher: Fun Pause Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
|Min OS X: Any Version CPU: G4 @ 667 MHz RAM: 128 MB Hard Disk: 40 MB
Fairies has four different gameplay variations: adventure, classic, relaxed, and playback. The first three rely on the aforementioned gameplay mechanic, while playback is essentially a clone of the color/sound pattern matching game Simon.
Adventure mode has you traveling through a range of different locales, such as plains, forests, and mountains. Each area has several levels associated with it, and as you successfully complete levels you gain fragments of pictures. Once you have cleared all of the levels associated with each area, you will have a completed picture, and the next set of levels will feature a different background image and will give you a new picture when you complete them. The pictures are stored in a scrapbook accessible from the main menu, so you can go and look at them at your leisure. What makes adventure mode particularly interesting is that you have a time limit to complete each level, making it sometimes very challenging to proceed as you will be required to create crazy combos in order to get enough fairy dust to tip the scale and advance before time runs out.
Classic mode is very similar to adventure, but with one important distinction: there is no timer. You can take your time while playing classic, and although you will not see any progress on the map as in adventure nor receive any images, it is possible to lose by running out of possible color combinations. You would have to be extraordinarily unlucky for this to happen, however, and so classic is best for accumulating insanely high scores and honing your skills for use in adventure.
Relaxed mode allows you to play a perpetual game, ensuring that there will always be an available match for colors. This is a nice way to mix it up after getting frustrated over adventure, but aside from showing off the game's graphics and sounds, this mode doesn't really add much to the game and ends up being a less interesting classic mode in execution.
Playback mode abandons the color matching mechanic entirely by creating a Simon-like game of memorizing and playing back patterns of sounds and colors. The game board is divided into six sections, each devoted to a color (with an associated sound). It will play a sequence to you, and then you have to click the correct sections in the same sequence. If you play it correctly, you will gain some fairy dust and eventually move to the next level. If you play it incorrectly, you lose some dust.
While anyone who enjoys Simon will likely enjoy this mode, I personally found it far too repetitious to be interesting. It starts off extremely easy, and the difficulty does not increase very quickly at all, making playback rather less interesting than the other gameplay modes. It is nice to have such a different addition to the game, though, and it makes a nice contrast to the otherwise uniform gameplay.
Of the main variations, I found adventure to be the most fun, but also the most frustrating, and classic as the mode that I would pick up for a quick Fairies hit. Because the game saves your progress when you exit to a menu and offers player profiles, multiple people can play Fairies at the same time in as long or short increments as they like. Of course as is pretty standard in this kind of puzzle game, the gameplay is addicting enough that what was intended to be a short gaming fix sometimes takes on somewhat more epic proportions.