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Publisher: Worldwide Biggies    Genre: Puzzle & Trivia
Min OS X: 10.4    CPU: G4 @ 1000 MHz    RAM: 512 MB    Hard Disk: 100 MB

The Princess Bride Game
September 4, 2008 | Michael Scarpelli

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Finally, a hidden item game with a well-drawn room.
The Princess Bride has become a piece of Americana. The film is a modern classic, something that Iíve seen at least a dozen times and quote more often than I realize (references to building up immunities to iocaine powder, telling people that ďYou keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it meansĒ, and so onÖ). It contains a vibrant cast of characters and has a beautifully told storyline of epic fantasy. It would be remiss of me not to mention that there is also a wonderful book that the film was based around, but Iím sticking to the film because thatís what this game is an homage and adaptation of. However, where the film is somewhat of a masterpiece, the The Princess Bride Game is hit and miss.

The game actually retells a bit of the movie via some very nice animated cut-scenes. The animation is high quality and the characters portrayed are very likable analogs to their real-world counterparts and, in what I consider a major coup for the game, it actually features Wallace Shawn, Mandy Patinkin and Robin Wright-Pennís voices for the game. However, while the cut scenes are fun to watch, they seem briefer than they need to be. Itís clear that to enjoy the game fully, youíre expected to have seen the movie. The cutscenes are charming and highlight the filmís most memorable moments, but itís a pretty choppy narrative unless you know the flow of things from the film. This might have the effect of whetting the appetite for someone not familiar with the film, but it made it feel a little thin to a serious fan.

The actual meat of the gameplay comes in the form of four sets of mini-games. You have a task management game with Westley and Buttercup on the farm, a trivia game with Vizzini, a platformer game in the Fireswamp and a hidden object and item-mixing game at Miracle Maxís. Thereís a Storming the Castle section as well, but itís not so much a mini-game as it is a reason to re-watch the gameís cinemas so you can click on items in them (it makes sense when you play, trust me).

The problem with the game, and what makes it so hit and miss, is not the games themselves (not entirely), itís actually just how theyíre made. Everything you watch in the game is just an .flv file and everything you play is an .swf. Basically, youíre playing an embedded Flash game. The problem with this is not Flash specifically, but the fact that however this game was created, the Flash is not very responsive. This is very much apparent in the task management game and the platforming game. Both games require precise and rapid inputs, and they just donít respond as they should. The task management game has no task queue system, so you have to always be clicking around rapidly, and it just feels like a jumbled and clunky experience. The platformer would perform better, but it actually manages to be jumpy graphically, pausing every few seconds as if it was running on an underpowered machine. A MacBook Pro with 2.33 GHz and 3GB of RAM should be able to run Flash just fine, thank you very much.


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