Version Reviewed: 1.0
Device Reviewed On: iPad 2
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In the cinematic world, Shrek did a fantastic job of re-imagining classic fairy tales for a new era. A keen sense of humor meant that adults and children alike enjoyed the cheekiness of Shrek while maintaining the wonder of bygone fairy tales. Such thinking has seemingly spread to the iPad with Honeyslug's latest title Happily Ever After.
Much like a Big Fish Games title, Happily Ever After incorporates many puzzles encased in a shell of storytelling wonder. The background behind such puzzles is that the player is a blogger who suddenly finds themselves stranded in a bizarre fairy tale kingdom where everyone has problems that must be solved. So starts the adventure across 24 levels and encompassing around 100 puzzles.
These puzzles cover many of the typical gaming tropes that have been seen in other adventure games. There are hidden objects to be found, spot the difference puzzles, riddles and maze games amongst many others. I didn't actually find many of them hugely challenging but a hint system does help for those awkward moments. It's the kind of game that the experience is what is so rewarding rather than the challenge. Children in particular will adore the cameos by every fairy tale hero and villain possible, from Goldilocks to Tom Thumb.
Happily Ever After is of a sufficient length that the $4.99 is worth it. It oozes class with glorious graphics and an excellent and charming script. There are even multiple endings to the title. Besides that however, there's the addition of three minigames to further extend the game's replayability. They are admittedly nothing huge but they're still the kind of titles I've seen sell for $0.99 on the App Store.
One involves splatting zits quickly while another is an endless running style game involving the Gingerbread man. There's also a Spot the Vegetable game which sounds exactly like the name suggests but is oddly compelling for a short time.
All put together and Happily Ever After is a fantastic package. While the puzzles are a little easy for old hands at the genre, the storytelling more than makes up for it. It's a game that's most suited to playing with alongside young family members but it's still very enjoyable for adults too.