Last Friday Samantha Swift and the Fountains of Fate by MumboJumbo Games was released for PC. Having never played a Samantha Swift game before, I knew I would be embarking on a new journey, and that I would probably enjoy it. Thankfully, I was right.
Fountains of Fate starts off with Samantha surfing in the Lower Keys of Florida looking for the Cortez Emerald of Judgment. All of a sudden she gets ambushed by a bunch of men riding jet ski’s. To get away, Samantha lands in this old Incan village, and that is where the game begins.
Like traditional hidden-object games, one is given a list of items below in the UI, and then you simply go about finding them, except in Samantha Swift there is a twist. While most of the items are listed in white, there are some that are listed in green and blue. Those that are listed in green can be easily found by moving the cursor around and when it changes into a hand, you click the left mouse button to uncover the object. With the blue, things get a bit more tricky. Some of the objects you come across you hang on to. Some go straight to the Museum of Secrets Lost, while others go to the right of your UI and can be used later on as a tool. When searching for an item that is listed in blue, your cursor will change to some clock gears, and then you have to figure out which tool to use. You’ll know when you’ve selected the right one when it will have this white glow with sparkles as you drag it over the place it needs to go.
In each level you’ll have about 20 items to find, a couple of blue listed items, and then there are some optional extras. On the left of the UI is a PDA screen along with a large tile that has Hint and a number above it. One lightning bolt is hidden per level, and should you find it, you’ll receive an additional hint. Now, that’s not to say that you only get a maximum of 2 hints a level, because you can actually have as many as you want. When you run out of the number originally listed, there is a cool down in which you have to wait maybe 5 seconds for another to become available. This is actually a godsend because other games in this genre have a set amount per level, and once you use them up, that’s it. Other items to find in each round are two Swift Birds. Should you find all of the Swift Birds throughout the game, in which there are a total of 60, you unlock a new game mode that is called Unlimited Hidden Object.
The PDA comes in handy as well. If you are having a difficult time finding an object, like a necklace, you just click on the name in your list and a solid white silhouette of the object will appear. This is nice if you want to know the angle the object is sitting, how large it is, and more. I’ve found that by knowing how an object is laying, I can easily figure out where on the map it is simply by observing the other objects around it. Be careful about clicking on things too much though because it can cause your PDA to go on the fritz, and then the screen becomes temporarily unavailable until everything clears back up.
Upon completing the initial chapter, you receive the Cortez Emerald of Judgment but you encounter a woman named M’Alice ne Pei. She is the main antagonist in Fountains of Fate, and at the end of the game there is a bit of a twist that includes her and Markus Payne. After handing over the Cortez Emerald of Judgment you go back to the Museum of Secrets Lost in New York and talk with Dr. Butler. Samantha notices that the base to this Cupid statue she found looks like it can fit a piece of this world map puzzle. Once the two of them assemble the puzzle, Samantha places the Cupid in the piece and a light streams across the map telling Samantha that she has to go to Basra, Iraq.
Throughout the Fountains of Fate you’ll travel to multiple places that have a mythological story about eternal youth. In Basra you go to find out more regarding Mesopotamia and the Garden of Eden. After that you travel to Lijiang, China for Shangri-La, Yassihoyuk, Turkey that once was the ancient city of Gordium for King Solomon’s Crystal Mines, Navajo County, Arizona for a Hopi Rain Ritual, and finally to Exuma Island in the Bahamas where the final piece is discovering the Fountain of Youth. What I found to be so enjoyable is that not only was I playing a game that I was genuinely liking, but I was getting bits of real history and mythology along the way.
In no way does Fountains of Fate have a heavy story, but I’m glad it didn’t. The cut scenes between each destination provided me with enough to know what was going on, and it was perfect. There was a part where I got a little confused though. Before going to Turkey, Samantha is talking with Princess Zoë, and apparently Zoë is rapidly aging. That was the first time I ever heard a thing about it, but I can only assume that something happened to Zoë in a previous game.
What really excited me were the puzzles scattered throughout the entire game. To move along to other areas, or to even discover an object, Samantha must complete various puzzles. One was this fantastic take on Bejeweled where you have to break through a wall, and in order to do so, you must match up three tiles of the same color. When matched up, the wall behind the tile changes color and eventually you get through. Another was where you had several figs and you placed them on triangle tiles. The figs came in three different colors (red, yellow, and green) and you had to arrange the triangles so that each corner matched with the colors on the other tiles. Oh, and did I mention that there are zombies in this game? Glorious zombies that rise out of this swampy area, and you get to kill them too!
All in all, Samantha Swift and the Fountains of Fate is another solid game from MumboJumbo. It had fun gameplay, a great soundtrack, fun puzzles, and achievements! 16 in all to be exact. If you’re a fan of the Samantha Swift series, definitely go out and get this game. It’s so much fun and you will really enjoy it. If you’ve never played any of the Samantha Swift games, don’t worry. MumboJumbo did a great job in making Fountains of Fate accessible for all skill levels, and for all gamers regardless if they are familiar with the Samantha Swift series or not.
Samantha Swift and the Fountains of Fate is available now, exclusively through Big Fish Games for the next 21 days for only $6.99. For more about MumboJumbo Games, check out their official website, and be sure to follow them on Twitter.