Princess Isabella: Witchâ€™s Curse is a hidden object game by Avanquest which invites players inside the wonderful castle of Princess Isabella. Princess Isabella has been away from her castle and is soon to marry the love of her life, Prince Adam. But unfortunately, when she returns to the castle, she discovers it’s been put under a deep and evil curse. Each room of the castle has been plagued by this strange curse and everyone inside has been mysteriously transformed into mirrors. Your adventure begins with the aid of your fairy friend, who appears as a shimmering ball of light and has a unique plan to remove this dreadful curse.
Originally a PC game, Princess Isabella: Witchâ€™s Curse makes its transition over to the Nintendo DS. The objective of the game is to search the rooms of the castle for the lost pieces of broken mirro that are scattered throughout. Searching through each room, the player must concentrate hard to find the shards. These mirror shards can then be reassembled in the room called the ‘Hall Of Mirrors’. Once you’ve managed to find each shard for a given mirror, this brings back loved ones and sure enough lifts the witch’s curse in each of the rooms. With a loved one unleashed from the mirror spell, the game then provides additional clues to progress through the rest of the castle. There is a great deal of discovery about this game, as the aim is to find certain hidden objects in order to move forward in the game.
Itâ€™s very easy to make your way around the castle, as a small arrow appears highlighting where in the room you should tap. Each room sparkles in different areas and these represent the puzzles you have to solve. Navigate your way through various rooms of the castle passing through doors and passageways. If you find that youâ€™re getting a little lost in the game, then simply tap on the shimmering ball of light and the fairy will come to your rescue. She may find you a particular area of interest, or point out certain items in the environment. Once youâ€™ve progressed through the game a little, your fairy will acquire new skills in order to help your progress, such as being able to transform into a rock in order to smash items,Â a fireball that can set things alight for you,Â a gust of wind which blows things away from you and finally water, which you can pour onto something within the castle. An overhead view of the castle structure is available and the player can simply tap on a place to be instantly transported there, reducing the chances of getting lost.
The puzzles are fairly straightforward and you donâ€™t need to be a rocket scientist to work them out. Most of the puzzles involve basic observation, such as the stained glass window puzzle in which you have to look carefully to find the evil monsters that are hiding within the glass. Other puzzles included one in which you had to rotate picture slides in order to make a painting. The gears puzzle was interesting as you had to collect a series of cogs that were hidden and then reassemble them in the right order to activate a door mechanism. Thereâ€™s also a series of piano keys you must collect in order for you to play on the piano and the pipe puzzle was quite cool as you connect the pipes so water can flow from all of the four sides of the puzzle to pick up a calendar piece.
The visuals in Princess Isabella are disappointing. For a game that revolves around finsing things hidden within the scene on the screen, grainy graphics do make the game more difficult than it needs to be. Although some added difficulty would be welcome, in this respect it is more frustrating than challenging.
There are over 40 mini game puzzles within Princess Isabella: Witchâ€™s Curse, which is cool considering itâ€™s a bargain game aimed at the casual gamer. Personally I would have liked to see more cut scenes and some improved voice work. The fairy voice was just so annoying that I ended up switching off the audio at one point.
Essentially the game is entertaining and will absorb the player into Princess Isabella’s quest to remove the curse with mini games, finding the hidden objects and piecing together the mirror shards. Iâ€™ve played a fair few hidden object games over the years and, although this game doesnâ€™t boast great graphics or especially challenging gameplay, it does give value for money and would be ideal as a pocket money purchase for the Nintendo DS.