Fairies, by FunPause Games, is a beautiful puzzle game with enough variation that you can lose yourself for hours.
You’re a wizard looking to free fairies from an unknown evil. To break the magic spell that keeps them trapped inside jars, you’ll need match three or more fairies of the same color. The jars can move horizontally and vertically. You don’t have to worry about matching in straight lines, either—any contiguous jars can make a match. Some jars have tiny scrolls inside. If you complete a match with one of these jars, you’ll score extra points or win additional bonuses.
The game offers three variations on the color-matching theme. In Adventure mode, you’ll need to beat the clock while solving puzzles. Freeing fairies unleashes fairy dust, which is then weighed in a scale. When you have enough dust, you win the level. There are 100 levels in all, spread across five landscapes. Classic mode is similar to Adventure mode, but isn’t timed. Relaxed mode, on the other hand, lets you noodle with matches endlessly.
All of this action is fairly typical of this type of puzzle game. What makes Fairies special, however, is its Playback mode. Playback is a memory game. You listen and watch as differently colored groups of fairies sound off musical notes. Then you have to play them back in sequence. Levels get progressively more difficult. It’s similar the old electronic game Simon —and it’s a lot of fun.
The game’s graphics and music have a medieval—almost New Age—twist. There’s a breathy vocal soundtrack backed by equally breathy synthesizer music. The game’s backgrounds feature finely detailed graphics that fit the subject matter perfectly. The look is equally inspired by Celtic artwork and Maxfield Parrish paintings.
Overall, the game runs well. However, I did run into some problems while playing in Windowed mode. If I left the program to work in another application, the game stopped responding, forcing me to quit and restart. The game requires a 667MHz G4 or faster Mac.
Fairies costs $20 to register. You can download a demo and play for an hour before you have to register.
The Bottom Line Fairies is a nice variation on the average puzzle game. It’s definitely worth checking out—even if just for the musical Playback mode.
PROS: Playback mode adds musical fun; beautiful production values.
CONS: Problems with Windowed mode.
OS COMPATIBILITY: OS X
PRICE AS RATES: $20
COMPANY: FunPause Games