Pearl Hunt is an addictive Flash game in which the object is to drop ten (10) pearls down through the maze to the bottom before time runs out. Simply click on a clam shell to slide that row horizontally. If an empty space or an item appears below a pearl, it will drop down to it. Clear 10 pearls to make it to the next level, and start all over again.
Special items you will find along the way include: gold starfish that add ten (10) seconds to the timer; gold coins that add ten (10) points to your score. You are awarded 40 points for each pearl you get to the bottom of the maze.
Items that exist to thwart your progress include: red crabs that will cause you to lose 10 points; jellyfish that cause the pearl to move to a random location; black spiky things that cause the whole maze to randomize itself, items and all.
Analysis: Pearl Hunt is a cute game with appealing graphics and sound effects that is easy to pick-up and play, and yet is deceptively difficult to master. The problem is the time limit that keeps the pace frantic most of the time, and the quantity of items that litter the play field. The short time limit reduces the emphasis on the strategic element of the game, whereas the quantity of items increases the emphasis on luck.
There is little time to chart a course through the maze for the pearls, as time is of the essence. I found that to achieve higher scores I had to be less concerned with avoiding crabs, concentrating more on moving as many pearls as I could. Eventually I learned to try for every star for the sake of time, and then for every coin, avoiding only the black spiky things unless the play field needed a refresh due to an undesirable configuration.
And while I am certain that this is not a new game concept, I cannot place any games that I have played before like it. If you know of something similar, please do leave a comment.
All things considered, Pearl Hunt is fun little game that won't take up a lot of time to play a game or two. Click.