It starts with a dream. You play Tales from the Dragon Mountain: the Strix (TDM:TS) as Mina, and your first introduction to this new world is in the dreams she has of her grandmother’s house going up in flames. Driven to investigate these strange happenings, you are soon confronted with a mysterious old house, a variety of puzzles to solve, and a mountaintop full of mythical creatures to save.
How does it work?
TDM:TS is driven by a series of task-based puzzles, such as lighting a stove to boil water for tea or searching for crystals to power an elevator. In order to solve each puzzle, a variety of hidden objects must be acquired. In addition, there are a few tile-matching games which, despite following the onscreen instructions, do not seem to work (tapping tiles does nothing). Luckily, these puzzles are skippable after a certain amount of time.
The game’s plot takes you on a journey starting into the the ruins of a house belonging to Mina’s grandmother. From there, you explore the backyard, a meadow beyond it, and finally a research facility located on a cloud (rather than try to make sense of the plot points, just go with it…the storyline is bizarre, but endearing).
Each location has multiple areas to explore and puzzles that require objects scattered in each area.
Is it contagious?
This game provides clean fun for the whole family, but unfortunately not very much of it (with moderate determination, the game can be completed in about three hours). As mentioned, some puzzles have poor directions, but these can be skipped. The final battle involves such a puzzle, which is anticlimactic.
For an app that can be used to while away an afternoon, TDM:TS is an engaging and visually stunning game, but be ready for a hokey plot and some cheesy character voices.