Liong: The Lost Amulets - Oriental Traditions in New Style!
Though Liong: The lost Amulets takes you to the all-familiar Oriental environment, which is, by the way, very beautifully drawn and presents a real treat for your eyes, its game play is not at all traditional, as you will be offered a wide variety of unique and challenging puzzles.
Earth, Fire, Metal, Wood and Water - the elements ruling the world. And only you can restore their power!
As you should already have guessed, the five amulets representing the five elements have been lost, and your mission in the game will be to find them and restore harmony to nature. There is nothing much to say about the story, you just find the amulets one by one and restore the gems from them in order to bring the power back.
But there is much to say about the game play, as there are new exciting twists that make the game really worth attention. The first task you'll encounter is typical hidden object, when you have to find a number of designated items in a clattered screen. Everything is very simple here. After you locate all the Asian-themed items in the relaxing screen, you'll get to the mahjong part of the game.
Actually, it's not exactly mahjong, though you interact with a set of tiles of your choice (But if you wish to play real mahjong, the respective mode is at your disposal). In the adventure mode you are given a number of tiles at the bottom of the screen and a traditional mahjong layout, and your task is to find the given ones among the free tiles on the screen. Watch closely - if you find more than one tile of a certain type in a row, you'll get a bonus. There are also some special tiles, like Memory Tiles, where you don't see the symbol until you point your mouse to the tile, or Lucky Kitty, who allows you to remove any tile you wish. The goal of mahjong levels is to collect a word out of letters present as tiles in the set.
I should also mention hints, which are given in exchange of Jade Pearls found throughout the levels and earned in bonus levels. The pearls allow you to shuffle the mahjong board or find an item if you are stuck.
Bonus levels can be skipped, though I found them real fun. You have a wheel of fortune which determines what round will be played. Out of four types of puzzles (Tiling, Memory, Matching or Bingo, which is totally amazing) you are sure to find at least one to your liking. The reward for playing is a number of Jade Pearls - and tons of pleasure.
On the whole Liong: The Lost Amulets is a wonderful example of puzzle games with the perfect combination of innovative blend of hidden object and mahjong game play, masterful graphics and immersive music.
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