By Mike Riley on Tue, 09/07/2010
I have been an electronic game player since the early '80's, and I find the aspect of game genre evolution fascinating. The category that 10tons Ltd's Miriel the Magical Merchant HD fits in is a time management style game known by many as a 'Diner Dash' type, since that game was the title that firmly established the genre. And like most titles that draw their inspiration from the defining source, enhancements, variants and improvements take the new game beyond the original concept. This is the case with Miriel the Magical Merchant HD (MTMMHD).
At its core, MTMMHD is a race against the clock, with customer characters arriving on screen with food combination demands that need to be satisfied within a certain period of time. The faster the delivery, the bigger the tip. When enough time has passed on enough money has been collected, the level ends and a more challenging one begins. Food orders increase in ingredients and complexity with each passing level, as does the speed and variety of demanding customers. Power ups in the form of speed ups help keep pace with these demands, but gamers will need to be as agile and efficient as possible to see that Miriel is able to successfully navigate over 60 different levels.
Enhancing the game play is a somewhat compelling storyline with branching choices to be made in a read statement/respond by clicking the button containing your choice. These decision points eventually lead to one of 13 different endings. As such, the game offers some impetus to replay several times. And even though the game levels pass quickly, the higher levels present quite a challenge and some gamers may become frustrated well before completing the quest. However, for those who persevere, the ending offers a nice reward beyond a point total. As a bonus, some of the food combinations called upon in the game offer their real-life recipe counterparts for those players who wish to replicate in-game food in the real world.
Graphically, MTMMHD is one of the best looking 'Diner Dash' style games I've seen. The sparkling embellishments, the swiftness of character motion and the colorful and splashy graphics all show a level of care and quality that went into the game to take it beyond just another time management romp. Check out the YouTube video to get an idea of the graphic and sonic quality that went into the game. Overall, MTMMHD is a game worthy of occupying coveted application space on your iPad.
Product: Miriel the Magical Merchant HD
Developer: 10tons Ltd
Price: $4.99 US
Rating: 4/5 stars