The Hidden Portal
(Retail Box) (ZANZARAHPR)
Publisher: Funatics /
A- from Just Adventure
from Four Fat Chicks
A Tale of Two Worlds
This is the enthralling story of two worlds ... the world of
fantasy and the world as we know it. Once upon a time, these two were one, but
now they exist separately, unaware that there ever was a connection between
But there is one person capable of reuniting the two worlds:
An 18-year-old girl who as yet knows nothing of her powers and her importance
for both realms.
Lead this girl from the trials of everyday life into a world
of fantasy, magic and battle.
Explore the realm of the fairies and learn to use your
heroine's increasing powers to find the fairies and to conquer them. For these
fairies shall enter the arena on your behalf, whenever goblins or other magical
creatures block your path.
Windows 98/2000/Me/XP: Pentium III 500 MHz or faster,
16MB RAM, at least 64MB hard drive space, 2nd generation video card (e.g.
TNT2), DirectX8.1 or higher, CD-ROM drive, sound card, mouse.
Adventure by Maggie Holt
"Ultimately, despite the fact that the fierce, fighting
fairies of Zanzarah only superficially resemble the gossamer creatures of my
childhood memory, I had to agree with the press release when it described the
game as enthralling - but - and it's a BIG BUT! I wouldn't
recommend it for anyone who is a purist adventure gamer. There are no puzzles
as such and this game does require combat, in which - rather oddly - its
the fairies who do all the fighting. I can remember my husband saying how
gruesome it sounded when I once said during game-play: "just hang on a minute
and I'll make a drink when I've killed this fairy!"
"Playing the game requires a steep learning curve at the
beginning, which is not one of my favourite things, I prefer to dive straight
in and start adventuring! However, the enchanting look of the game, the smooth
game-play and fluid movement all convinced me to persevere and read the
detailed booklet plus invest some time in practising. This practise involves
getting to know and learning to handle your fighting fairies
a strange concept to me, but it does work within the game story. These fairies
are kind-of pets that you collect during your travels and as long
as you treat them well, they will fight all other fairy-beings that try to
obstruct your progress, on your behalf. There are seventy-seven different kinds
of fairies to collect! I think I managed about fifty-two and considered that I
had done really well!"
"There are many praise-worthy features in the game.
The graphics are superb, the game-play is seamless and easy, with instinctive
360 degree game control using both mouse and key-pad. The soundtrack is
completely appropriate with gentle celtic-style music, convincing alien
languages, and natural background noises; plus the fairies all have their own
distinctive and amusing triumphant battle cries. Zanzarahs inhabitants
are diverse, imaginative and appealing: This is not a game where you could ever
feel lonely there are characters constantly wandering about that you can
talk to, butterflies flutter by, birds twitter, rabbits and other creatures
scamper across your path. Then of course an aggressive fairy can manifest
itself at any time and their visual appearance is always unusual and
.. for instance I would never have imagined the possibility of
a metal fairy."
"I think the clear message, reinforced by this episode, is
that Zanzarah is not a game for a quick weekend fix. Its a long-haul
game, definitely not for the faint-hearted, it requires a commitment in terms
of patience and time, but provided you are willing to put the effort in, you
will be rewarded with great satisfaction and value for money in return. It was
wonderful therapy at the end of a frustrating work-day to come home and lose
myself in the misty swamp or the enchanted forest
this game is altogether a great vehicle for pure escapism."
Chicks by the Old Rooster
"Britney wasn't available, so our developers have scoured
Europe and found, in a London flat, Amy. Indeed, our Amy bears a striking
resemblance to one April Ryanremember her? But on with the game. Zanzarah
is an intriguing amalgam of adventure, RPG, and first-person shooter. It
creates an alternate universe of fairies, elves, dwarves, and other peculiar
creatures. It seems this parallel world, which has really been there all
through time, has been hidden from us for thousands of years due to some
ancient misunderstandings. However, there is trouble in River City, or
Zanzarah, and the ruling Druids need this naive but bright and good-hearted
youngster to heal the breach, solve the problems, bring the factions together,
make the universe whole again, etc. To accomplish this, Amy must not only
wander the mythical world of Zanzarah, unlocking doors and making discoveries,
but also must become a fairy collector and gain skills in fairy fighting!
"As one of those rare gamers who likes to
read the manual before playing the game, I was ready to consign this one to
some kind of banishment. C'monfairy fights, card collecting, elves! It
seemed like a Pokemon-type children's game. Well, the banishment didn't occur,
because I installed and started playing in one of the most gorgeous and
superficially involving game worlds I've experienced."
"After my first hour with Zanzarah, I told our fearless
leader that I didn't care what kind of game was incorporated in this
worldit was so beautiful and involving that just being there made it all
worthwhile. Well, it does make a difference, and the esoteric and rather
peculiar gameplay (from my perspective) affected, I'm afraid, my overall
viewing of the title. With its stellar graphics, fine level design and
wonderful sound, Zanzarah could readily have earned one of our coveted gold
stars if the gameplay had been more purely adventure, or even action/adventure,
in the sense we typically experience it. Instead, in an apparent desire to be
creative and different, the designers went with a strange collecting game
coupled with a substandard shooter. In spite of the lovely world, the
complexities of managing fairies, together with the difficult fights, brought
this down to a thumb up rating. As a disclaimer, this is one Rooster's opinion,
and it's very possible that others may find this gameplay right up their alley
and not as mind-boggling as did this player. Indeed, I would recommend the game
to many, given the reservations expressed above and, once the price becomes
"budget," which I suspect will be soon, you may well choose to "step into the
realm of magic and mistinto the unknown."
Evil Avatar by hoochie
"Zanzarah is gorgeous. The modeling on all the NPCs, as well
as on Amy and her cadre of fairies, is detailed and lush, the grass and bushes
rustle and sway as you pass them, and the water effects are classy and
"While the story does lead you onward to new territory, the
world is entirely non-linear. You can either barrel forward or take your time
and thoroughly explore before moving on. The game in fact requires you to
return to areas that youve been through before, allowing you to unlock
doors or remove obstacles once youve gathered an impressive enough fairy
"Gameplay consists of two modes; Amys travels
across the landscape of Zanzarah, and the battles that her fairies fight for
her in the astral plane the realm of the fairies. Amy solves various
puzzles and, often with the help of specific fairies, demolishes the obstacles
in her way, but doesnt engage in combat. Zanzarah is one of the least
violent games I have ever played. When you defeat a fairy, it doesnt die.
Either it drops money or an item, or youre given the opportunity to
capture it. No blood, no wounds, no bodies. Even the threats to Zanzarah are
relatively benign rocks and thorny bushes have cut off access from town
to town, pixies are infesting peoples basements, and a wise old dwarf has
"Zanzarah is a sweet game, with lilting music and
beautifully simple gameplay. It was lovely and delightful. Altogether charming.
All of which sounds sarcastic but is in fact the utter truth. No big adrenaline
moments, no splatter or screams or disgusting monsters although the
fairy Jumjum is kinda depressing looking this was just a really nice
"I beat it in about 30 hours but Im still playing it
completing my collection, exploring all the crannies, and there is a
multiplayer component as well. You can take your favorite fairy combos online
and play against other fairy masters, although due to the fact that this is a
German-developed game and the English release was in the U.K. only, there is a
dearth of English servers... Its definitely different than the typical
American game experience. Its quite refreshing to find a game that is fun
AND bloodless AND not geared toward the kiddies."
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