Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena

8.0 Overall Score

Written by on September 21, 2010 in

Are you an adventurer and would-be archaeologist type looking for inspiration but find the Lara Croft a bit too intense?  A different female is ready to hunt for treasures of legend and her name is Samantha Swift.  Imagine if Strawberry Shortcake grew up to become an archaeologist and you have an idea of MumboJumbo Game’s treasure huntress extraordinaire.   In Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena, Samantha starts her journey to recover the Scepter of Zeus for her Museum of Secrets Lost.  She finds the treasure very shortly after the game begins only to have rival treasure hunter Ravena Stryker steal it away.  Samantha and her partner Dr. Butler are extremely disappointed until they realize Samantha has also recovered a portion of the legendary shield of Athena, the Greek goddess of war.  The shield is incomplete, however, and thus begins a glob-trotting adventure to recover the missing roses to this legendary symbol of power.

Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena is a hidden object game with clever mini-game puzzles mixed in.  The upper screen is used to communicate with the Samantha’s partner, look in on Samantha’s rivals, and watch short animations when the player solves a puzzle successfully. The upper screen also has a scanner that will show the player a silhouette of an object they highlight from the list of items they need to find.   Some of the items are treasures will be saved to the museum while other objects are tools that will help uncover items displayed using blue text.  There is a clever way to see the items stored in Samantha’s museum.  The player can select ‘Museum’ from the main menu and be transported to the Museum of Secrets Lost and wander the wings and click on item for details.  It is a very nice touch.  The lower screen contains the searchable area with the list of objects the player needs to locate on the bottom of the screen.  Navigating around the searchable area is fairly simple.  Using the stylus the player can press down and hold on the area they want to zoom in or out of.  On the lower left hand of the lower screen are one button labeled ‘Tools’ and the other labeled ‘Hint’.  When the player sees an area framed in blue with a symbol of gears in the corner they must click on the ‘Tools’ button to choose the correct tool to uncover an object in blue text.  An area framed in green with a magnifying glass in the corner denotes a puzzle the player needs to complete to progress in the game.

This is a casual game at heart, there is no timer and only a minor penalty if you click on the screen too many times without finding an object.  What is the penalty?  The object scanner that is displayed on the upper screen goes black for a short period of time.  The hint system is also fairly easy.  Highlight an item on the list and click on the hint button and a bolt of lightning directs the player to the object’s location.  Other helpful gameplay elements are available in the game.  Since this is handheld game there will be times when the player will need to stop and restart the game.  When the player restarts the game Dr. Butler briefly runs through basic gameplay.  This is very helpful without wasting too much time in lengthy explanations. Another extremely helpful element of gameplay is the fact that the player must complete all of the required tasks in a room before they can exit.  The player may need to revisit the same room again later after completing other tasks.

The game is not all simplistic hide-and-seek gameplay.  There is a bit of strategy involved.  There are a limited number of tool slots available in inventory.  The player must use tools to make room to collect more.  At one point the player must travel between several rooms gathering tools and items from each to solve puzzles in another room.  The mini-games clever little puzzles that may stump the player for a short time but the answers or hints may be found along the journey.  The player should take note of any odd diagrams and symbols they find along their journey because they may become useful later in the game.

Overall the game is very fun and keeps a light hearted adventurer busy for a good amount of time.  There were only a few concerns.  The most frustrating thing I experienced was clicking manically on an item I had found without successfully selecting it.  Often I needed to find the object’s sweet spot.  Also, while navigating around a search area I found the game registering my navigation as unsuccessful attempts to click on a hidden object.  There is no big penalty for this it is more a minor annoyance.

I am impressed by the great graphics, a great adventure, and a fun bunch of puzzle-solving.  I recommend this game for any gamer that likes a casual challenge.

A copy of Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena was provided to The Married Gamers for review and evaluation.

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Author: Melisa Snyder View all posts by

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