Mysteries of Fire Island
Wonderland Adventures Mysteries of Fire Island is a brand new game in Midnight Synergy's Wonderland series. These retro-themed isometric puzzle/adventure games are some of the best around, as they retain the spirit of what makes the genre so enjoyable while adding new, more modern twists to the experience. Wonderland is threatened once again, only this time the quest to save the world goes terribly wrong. Shipwrecked and marooned on the shores of Fire Island, its your job to maneuver through sets of puzzle challenges and make your way to freedom.
A story and puzzle-driven game at heart, Wonderland Adventures Mysteries of Fire Island pulls you from level to level in an almost seamless string of quests through a variety of landscapes. Each adventure is filled with sub-adventures that often have unique goals, though most of the time you'll be hunting for stars, moving switches, and chasing the mischievous little Stinkers. You'll never be confused as to what to do next, as the game spells everything out for you in clear (sometimes bouncing) text. There's plenty of variety in the dozens of stages, both in terms of content and visual setting, so you won't get bored any time soon.
If you're familiar with the Wonderland series, you'll be glad to see some of the best features introduced in Wonderland Adventures have been retained, namely the mouse-driven, keyboard optional controls and the upgraded audio visual package. To move around the stage, collect items and interact with objects, simply point and click, the game's pathfinding intelligence does the rest. For those times when a little manual nudge is necessary, you can also use the keyboard to do some motions, though the mouse is required for a lot of puzzles.
Analysis: One thing's true about Wonderland Adventures Mysteries of Fire Island: it's practically impossible to run out of good things to say. The vast and sprawling world is packed with grand puzzles and hidden secrets. There are hundreds of quests to complete, making this game an extremely long adventure you can complete in short bursts or with marathon gaming sessions. Sure, the cutesy voices and bright, colorful visuals may not be your thing, but you can't argue that underneath it all, this is a stellar game.
Although well-built and full of content, Wonderland Adventures Mysteries of Fire Island still won't be for everyone. The old-school-style puzzle adventure concept is just that: old-school. For this reason you'll probably get that familiar "done this before" feeling when you hunt for objects to hold down buttons or have to find the right combination of switches to open a bridge. Wonderland Adventures does something remarkable with the familiar setup by making it fresher, newer and more modern. Same old skeleton, brand new skin and an all-new look.
While a quick look at Wonderland Adventures Mysteries of Fire Island may inspire cute and cuddly images, the game definitely offers its share of complex puzzles for the adult gamer. Most of the dialogue is hammer-to-the-head simple and the story is fairly predictable, though, so don't expect prose when walking into the game.
Isometric adventuring done right, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better (or longer) experience than with Wonderland Adventures Mysteries of Fire Island.