Developer: Launching Pad Games
Price: $0.99
Version Reviewed: 1.1.1

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Game Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★★☆
Re-use / Replay Value Rating: ★★☆☆☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Scarlett and the Spark of Life is a well made pixel hunter/puzzler that blends slick animations with witty, self aware dialogue to create a fun game world. The story of Scarlett and her royal kidnapping (which apparently will go one for 4+ episodes) starts with you, as Scarlett the princess, tied up to the back of a kidnappers horse. The goal in the scene, like the vast majority of the game, is to pick the right dialogue selections at the right time and to find various objects on the screen to help you along.

Eventually you escape and make your way into strange, deranged animal worshipping town with the unenviable task of completing a talking mechanical horse that will help you ride away to safety. All of the characters are over the top, the dialogue is all sarcastic and self aware, and the plot is pieced together so that you never really get tired of the setting. It’s especially hard to get tired of the game because the game only lasts for maybe an hour or two before its over, but I guess my intrigue will probably hold over for a future episode 2 purchase.

The only real problem that I have with the game is its relative ease. I know that I play a lot of games and may be quicker at beating them than most (due to practice, not innate skill… trust me), but I’m not entirely sure that there is a real way to get stuck. If you ever say the wrong thing, the game is more than willing to give you a second, third, and fourth chance to get things right. Even finding objects in Scarlett and the Spark is simplified by a star system that shows you everything that can be interacted with on a screen. I think I’d rather have this oversimplified system than to go through Myst and its relative obscurity, but a little more of a challenge would be appreciated.

Even with its relative ease and its short gameplay, it’s hard not to like Scarlett and the Spark of Life. The animation is just too spot on for the game to be bad, and the story/dialogue really is quite good. If you’re into pixel hunters/puzzle games and don’t feel the need for something really tough, I’d definitely recommend Scarlett and the Spark of Life.

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