Advertisement

Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba


  • Currently 3.6/5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Rating: 3.6/5 (24 votes)
| Comments (1) | Views (15)

grinnyp_joanjade_banner.jpg

GrinnypHidden object/adventure hybrids often cover a wide gamut of styles. Some emphasize the hidden object aspects, some emphasize the point-and-click adventure aspect, and some emphasize the puzzles. Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba is one of the latter. Created by Artifex Mundi, Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba has lots of pointing and clicking, adventuring, and even more puzzling to do as well. So much so that mini-games and puzzles outnumber traditional hidden object scenes at least five to one.

grinnyp_joanjade_screenshot1.jpgPity poor Joan. She and her husband are enjoying some clearly deserved alone-time while the kids are in the Yucatan volunteering on a summer archaeological dig. Of course, something goes wrong almost immediately, as a nasty storm hits the area where the kids are and, surprise, surprise, they have gone missing. It's up to intrepid Joan and her husband Bruce to fly to the rescue.

The bulk of the game is the adventure as Joan travels from the dig site to an ancient Mayan temple complex, where kidnappers have apparently taken the kids. Arrows appear to show places where Joan can travel as well as a handy changing cursor that turns into little walking legs. Cursor changes also indicate items that can be picked up or manipulated, and areas that can be investigated. Although most areas require some finding and manipulation of objects, almost everywhere are puzzles. Doors, chests, machinery, almost all of it requires the solving of multi-level puzzles. These are familiar games, pipe puzzles, sliders, etc. but the sheer number and variety add a lot to the gameplay.

grinnyp_joanjade_screenshot2.gifThere's a refilling hint timer, and all of the puzzles can be skipped after a certain amount of time. Everything you find and see goes into Joan's notebook which can be referenced later if necessary. Solve your way past certain areas and enjoy cut-scenes of Joan as she leaves letters like breadcrumbs for Bruce and the rescue party to find as she makes her way deeper and deeper into the mysterious, unexplored temple.

Analysis: Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba will appeal to anyone who enjoys logic and puzzling over simple hidden object finding, and to those who enjoy the challenge of the adventure. Reminiscent of the original Azada, Joan Jade is a game that relies almost entirely on logic and problem solving skills.

The artwork is done in a beautiful, hand-painted, water color style that just pops from the screen. The designers were certainly doing their homework, as each area is imbued with fantastic, intricate, stylized pre-Columbian art. Eerie music adds to the atmosphere as Joan works her way deeper and deeper into the temple. To keep the player engaged and coming back for more there are also lots of trophies to be won, a wide range of awards for finishing puzzles quickly and finding artifacts, encouraging lots of replay.

Will Joan find the kids? Well, what do you think? Although there is a satisfying resolution, Joan Jade appears to be setting itself up for a sequel with an amusing plot twist that happens at the last moment. Definitely something to look forward to.

If you enjoy lots of logic based puzzles and problem solving then Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba will keep you entertained for hours. Fun, atmospheric and challenging, Joan Jade will appeal to all those with a sense of adventure. So go rescue those kids!

WindowsWindows:
Download the demo
Get the full version

Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Get the full version

1 Comment

This is a good, solid game. The hidden object parts - which I usually loathe - are well worked into the scenery, and you won't find some odd piece of cloud that represents your items. However, my main gripe is that the game is very short (little over one hour for me on the first playthrough), and it is very easy. There just doesn't seem to be enough puzzles of either kind - so once you finally start feeling the challenge, the game is already over.
The finish-this-puzzle-now-bar only adds to the easy mode. Seriously, it fills up faster than anyone can manage to complete most of the minigames, even with a perfect completion.
It's solid, the story is simplistic, the art is pretty, and they actually bothered to do some research when making it. But overall? Short, easy, full of plotholes, but pretty. Very pretty.

Score: 0 (0 votes) Vote up Vote down Report this comment Reply

^ Scroll Up | Homepage >

Leave a comment [top of page]

    Please consider creating a Casual Gameplay account if you're a regular visitor here, as it will allow us to create an even better experience for you. Sign-up here!
  • PLEASE UNDERSTAND SITE POLICIES BEFORE POSTING COMMENTS
  • You may use limited HTML tags for style:
    (a href, b, br/, strong, em, ul, ol, li, code, spoiler)
    HTML tags begin with a less-than sign: < and end with a greater-than sign: >. Always. No exceptions.
  • To post spoilers, please use spoiler tags: <spoiler> example </spoiler>
    If you need help understanding spoiler tags, read the spoiler help.
  • Please Preview your comment before posting, especially when using spoilers!
  • No link dropping, no domains as names; do not spam, and do not advertise! (rel="nofollow" in use)
1,055 Views
3 Comments
Caves Online> Johnny123 An online platform game that pits you against the "ghosts" of players who've run the course before you. Use the arrow keys to jump, dodge and collect gold as you avoid lava pits, skeletons and the ever-sliding view.  ...
394 Views
1 Comment
Primary Max> Lori.h Play around in Max's clone lab and test out his new machine by solving puzzles. Use your clones as stepping stools and button pushers but make sure they get back, as you find your exit, to prevent a time paradox.  ...
372 Views
0 Comments
Manor Memoirs> starchild Scarlett has just moved into an old, decrepit manor, looking for inspiration for her new book. But who can write in a house that's falling apart? That's where you come in. As a seasoned interior decorator/garage sale organiser, you will do your best to raise money to renovate the old place. Manor Memoirs is a wonderfully sweet hidden-object/time management hybrid that's guaranteed to make you smile.  ...
3,063 Views
14 Comments
History Museum Escape> Dora Trapped overnight in the history museum, if you want to escape you'll need to solve puzzles and craft some pretty darned clever tools in this short but sweet game also available free for iOS and Android.  ...

Recent Comments

 

Display 5 more comments
Limit to the last 5 comments

Casual game of the week

Mystery Trackers: Blackrow's Secret

Browser game of the week

Gridland

Mobile game of the week

History Museum Escape

Your Favorite Games edit

add
Save links to your favorite games here. Use the Favorites editor.

Popular on JiG


The Room

Virtual Villagers: Origins

Submachine 9: The Temple

Surgeon Simulator 2013

The House 2

Papa's pastaria

Fireboy and Watergirl 4: The Crystal Temple

Fireboy and Watergirl 3: The Ice Temple

Moonchild

The Royal Trap

Loren the Amazon Princess

1931: Scheherazade at the Library of Pergamum

Magical Diary

Heileen Series

Visit our great partner: maxcdn!

Monthly Archives

Legal notice

All games mentioned or hosted and images appearing on JayIsGames are Copyright their respective owner(s).

All other content is Copyright ©2003-2014 JayIsGames.com. All Rights Reserved.