Reasons to Buy Dale Hardshovel and the Bloomstone Mystery
1. The game has twinklings of self deprecating humour.
2. The awesome Egyptian Techno Music and Australian Witticisms.
3. The puzzles are engrossing.
Reasons to Avoid Buying Dale Hardshovel and the Bloomstone Mystery
1. The graphics and gameplay are unpolished.
2. Egyptian Techno Music and Australian witticisms may quickly become irritating.
3. The game doesn’t have much innovation.
Dale Hardshovel and the Bloomstone Mystery follows the adventures of Dale and his daughter on their quest to find the bloomstone, a legendary stone that might be able to translate some ancient parchment Dale’s daughter had lying around. The bloomstone is located in the center of a pyramid, and to get there Dale must solve puzzle after puzzle, occasionally with mummies chasing his daughter through a maze to relieve the ennui.
The puzzles involve shifting Egyptian themed symbols around a maze to match up like symbols. The symbols must be pushed together in such a way so that none are left behind, or stuck in inaccessible places. There are various other objects that help or hinder the process that are introduced at various points in the game. The puzzles become increasingly difficult as the game goes on. Occasionally, there is a bonus level where Dale’s daughter runs through a maze while avoiding mummies and collecting keys (PAC-man style).
The puzzles in this game seem deceptively simple, but are quite engrossing. The player will find themselves eager to finish just one more, and proud of figuring out each one as the difficulty increases. The storyline is nothing to write home about, but has some funny moments and nice, comic style graphics.
However, the rest of the graphics are no-frills, rendered 3D and the backgrounds to the puzzles are not particularly inspired. The background techno music, while initially interesting and amusing quickly becomes grating, along with the bizarrely out of place (unless Dale himself is an Aussie?) Australian catchphrases that are spat out at intervals.
Is it worth the price? This is a good little puzzle game, with a well paced increase in difficulty at each level, and it does have some interesting and funny extra features, however they are not varied enough to hold a players interest alone. For the puzzles the price might be worth it, and it is definitely worth downloading to take a look and decide for yourself.