I’m quite addicted to these cheesy, hidden object puzzle games that have suddenly made their way to my Xbox One. The newest addition is Queen’s Quest 3: The End of Dawn, a game where you take on the role of an alchemy student who is regarded as the best alchemist, despite not actually being very good at first.
You are Eliana and it is your last day at your school. You’re hoping to take your final test and become more than just an alchemy student. Like every promising student everything seems to be going fine, right up until the point where you realise that you’ve left your potion mixing items in your room. The game begins with you needing to steal from a classmate in order to pass your test. But we end up quickly brushing past those unlawful acts as dramatic things start happening to the school just after your graduation.
Once you’ve solved the first few rooms of puzzles, bad people come to attack the headmaster in hopes of scoring some dragon stones. These stones turn out to be very important as they can be used to summon the long absent dragons. Dragons used to rule the land before a combined army of elves and humans put them to rest. As the least qualified alchemist on the scene it is — apparently — up to you to get these stones back and stop whatever darkness is trying to take over the world.
Queen’s Quest 3: The End of Dawn does have a lot of predictable moments in the story, but what we are really here for is the variety of puzzles. Like most of these games, there are a bunch of hidden object puzzles, sliding puzzles and instructional puzzles that you need to find and solve. Eliana is a pretty picky human, who will only solve puzzles once she has completed instructions — something I found extremely annoying within the game. At times, I had half of the instructions, which would really be enough to solve the puzzle, but my character refused. I guess she’s okay with playing by the rules if the world is at stake, but not if her degree is at stake.
Anyway, as you get deeper and deeper into the game there is one new type of puzzle that starts to appear a lot. In between massive amounts of lore, you need to do basically the same little ‘find that’ thing over and over. A person will be telling you a story, with a painting of a scene next to them. Depending on the puzzle, you’ll either have to find three of the same symbols or find three objects and then use them in the painting. These objects and symbols aren’t directly in the picture often and instead require you to find interaction points to move bits of the painting, revealing the items below.
Another important part of the story was an amulet you were given by the headmaster. This amulet needs to be activated to fight off enemies or to cross some strange paths. The amulet works in a Simon-Says style, with you lighting up the parts of the gem in the order they shine. This amulet is mentioned every time anyone tries to defeat you.
These puzzles became quite repetitive over time, but did give more details into the story. If you were ever stuck in the game then there was an option for you to do an easier puzzle or skip a puzzle entirely, much like other titles in the genre. Various scenes had additional objects that you could find to gain achievements; ghosts, hats and crests. I did not find all of these and did not get the achievements associated with them.
Queen’s Quest 3: The End of Dawn does have a bunch of amazing puzzles in it and I do adore the hidden object puzzles, and how they show you a large area cluttered with items. My biggest issue with the game was the interaction points. As I was playing on the Xbox One, I found that sometimes, despite my cursor being over the object, the game just didn’t think it was there. I feel like this might be just an issue with porting games from the PC over to the Xbox, but it was annoying nonetheless. Queen’s Quest 3: The End of Dawn also has some weird graphics, switching from 2D to 3D for bits of story, but I feel this is part of the cheesy charm, along with some very obvious storylines and puzzles that make you wonder why so many people in this world are perfectly fine with broken objects being littered absolutely.