As promised, I am straight back with my first post, reviewing "Emily's Wonder Wedding."
This is the most recent game in the "Delicious" series of games where you control Emily, a young waitress who is struggling with love, money and marriage in this edition. I'd played the original "Delicious" when it came out and had enjoyed it so I was excited to see what developments had been made over the last few years. Below, I'll comment on the story, the game-play and the design of the game.
Story: The story is split into twenty-five "episodes" each with two levels. This was a nice way to break up the story and split the game down into "bitesize" chunks, which was nice to have. The story develops well, and at a nice pace - you get to meet and understand all of the characters and their motives without having played any of the previous games. The story does "jump" backwards and forwards between two locations (Snuggford and Ireland) which, while nice, does make you start to consider how much the characters are spending on air fare? Millions by the end of the game, I'm sure. Emily, the main character, appeared charming at first, but was sickeningly optimistic by the end of the game. The plot wraps itself up almost too neatly in the final chapters; some conflict or unresolved issues may have made you want to play more - or wait for the next game.
STORY RATING: 3.5/5
Game-play: The game is addictive. Levels started off slightly too easy for me but, as an experienced gamer, that is a flaw I can live with. The tutorial is clear but skippable and the levels get gradually harder without ever jumping in difficulty. Each restaurant (you visit five) has a different menu and set up with it's own challenges. For example, the second restaurant is also a hotel, meaning that you need to provide towels, soap and keys to guests. Some of the levels do start to drag by the end of the game by becoming too long - and more of an endurance test that a level. The real winner for me were the challenge levels that appear in each episode. These levels are fairly easy to pass but often hard to gain an expert rank on. The challenges that appear in these levels are realistic but tough. The challenge levels are so addicting that you want to keep playing them.
GAME-PLAY RATING: 4.5/5
Design: The game looks beautiful. The characters look realistic and yet still cartoon-like and all of the levels are designed. The music matches all of the levels really well. A few small mistakes show that programmers may have been rushing towards the end - the bedclothes (which only stay messy and crumpled) in Episode 1 are a prime example. The dialogue is clear and easy to read, A perfectly sound design - but not something that took my breath away either.
DESIGN RATING: 4.5/5
OVERALL RATING: 4.25/5
This game is definitely worth a look; I purchased and played this game through I Win (http://www.iwin.com/) who offer a one hour free trial where you can test the game.