The Final Spell
So you have Harry Potter, see? Only, ok, make him shorter. And plumper. And with a bowlcut reminiscent of Javier Bardem's Oscar-winning performance in "No Country For Old Men." This is Tom "Tucker" Crubucker, and he's a student at Hogwarts—er, Zibward Wizard School, sorry--and he needs your help. You see, he's about to take his final exam, and it's his last chance to earn his wizarding diploma. But poor Tom is so nervous and so clumsy that he accidentally trips and bangs his head against a table--and when he wakes up he's in a locked room full of magical objects and enigmatic puzzles! Good thing he has an army of veteran point-and-clickers to help him out, eh?
The Final Spell is not the most polished room escape game I've ever seen, nor is it the prettiest or most ingenious. It is, however, undeniably charming and completely good-humored. The format of the game will be familiar to anyone who has played a few of the kabillion examples of the point-and-click genre: collect objects, combine objects, use objects in more-or-less logical ways with the rest of the room, etc. No pixel-hunting, though, hallelujah! The puzzles are fairly easy and intuitive, and it probably won't take you more than 10 minutes or so to complete the game. What makes The Final Spell fun is its sense of humor, provided mainly by the many pamphlets and books scattered around the room, and sheer cuteness; an endearing amateurish sensibility is combined with just enough substance to leave you grinning.
The game does have a few annoyances, most notably that many of the necessary objects in the room are impossible to pick up until one has read the correct book or pamphlet; however, the game is nice enough to tell you that it isn't time yet. Also, near the end players might be stumped by a matter of semantics or, as I like to call it, "I have the answer but the &$! game isn't recognizing it" syndrome. Still, taken for what it is--a quirky, fun little adventure, perfect for a coffee break--The Final Spell does not disappoint. If the Submachine series is a marathon workout, think of The Final Spell as light calisthenics.
Help Tom achieve his wizarding destiny.