Re-experience some of your favourite childhood stories with some lively and entertaining illustrations while you race against the clock to spot creatively integrated animations. Imagine a game like Bejeweled crossed with Alice in Wonderland and you will have Living Classics. To add another level to the game, you must complete puzzles and quests in order to rescue the foxes who have gotten lost in each of the different stories.
The puzzles are fun, and generally follow a tried-and-true genre mechanic: Fine tune your spotting skills in order to earn high scores which will help you progress quickly in level. Complete quests to earn power ups, ‘cash’, and unlock new pictures. If you complete enough puzzles, the lost foxes will come to you, but you need to keep them happy and fed. You and your friends can give your adorable foxes cookies every day to make them not want to run away, back to the storybook pages.
Like many Facebook games, you can only do so much on your own. Certain parts of the game will not progress without having friends to play alongside, though the actual interactions with your friends is quite minimal. I can’t say the same about notifications, however. Upon completion of my first puzzle, I was presented with a link to ‘Share’ and then, again, after I completed quests, gained levels, found foxes, and what seemed like after anything new I tried. Honestly, it felt like it was almost constant in the first 10-15 minutes of playing.
Choosing simply to ‘x’ out of the numerous share requests I found myself quite content to solve as many puzzles as I could until I realized that I was no longer able to play because I had run out of ‘energy’. From here, I was able to use ‘cash’ that I had earned from quests to purchase more energy but it didn’t take me far. Choosing not to spend real cash on the highly priced in-game currency I was left with only the option to wait for my energy to regain, at a rate of only about 7 per hour. ( I will note, it costs 6 energy to play one puzzle). Day two of the game I started out with the full 32 energy possible and I proceeded to try out the second book and the new selection of puzzles it offered but I admit I still haven’t remembered to try, or really felt the need to try the ‘Flash’ power-up that I earned from quests.
In the 5 puzzles I have been able to access, without investing money out of pocket, I have enjoyed the overall gameplay and found it satisfying that I was presented with the more subtle animations as it added enough of a challenge to make this game suitable for adults as well as those in their pre-teen to young adult years, especially since this is a great aspect that is lost on many of it’s rivals. Though my 4-year-old thoroughly enjoyed the illustrations and was more than happy to help me solve the puzzles, she just isn’t ready to tackle a game like this by herself, reading aside.
Having been on the receiving end of many aggressive or incessant invites, I admit, I started this game with a bias against Facebook games. Knowing now that I am not required to send those invites makes me more open to playing and I am glad that Living Classics has been my first experience into this new gaming medium. I commend Amazon’s new game department for this creative idea and the impressive art and look forward to seeing more work of this quality from them in the future.