Mystic Pillars: A Story-Based Puzzle Game
“You are a traveller, seeking adventure and intrigue in your journey around the world. After countless days of exploration, you reach a desolate place which is tinged with the unmistakable aura of magic. As you continue further, you notice silhouettes of colossal pillars dotting the landscape. Captivated by their mystic appeal, you approach these pillars.”
After a small introduction, you reach the colossal pillars and wonder how they came into being. Then you get a feeling that you can interact with the pillars. This is where the game begins with a tutorial on how the game works. After completing the tutorial, you find a mysterious book at the foot of one of the destroyed pillars. The book is decorated with motifs of the pillars, magic and with a delicate carving of a woman’s face. You take the book with you, feeling that it might be of use in the future.
Next you notice a silhouette coming towards you from a village nearby; it’s an ailing woman and a child. After greeting them you ask what this place is called and why it’s so deserted. She explains that it’s the kingdom of Zampi. The kingdom had once been prosperous under the rule of the great Zampi Kings. However, those days have gone, and the people have become weary and weak ever since the pillars appeared. The pillars rose magically on the river Tungabhadra, blocking the water supply to the various villages along the Tungabhadra. A drought soon took hold of this once vibrant and prosperous kingdom.
You ask if there is any way you could help, and the woman responds that she’s not sure that there’s anything you could do. Unless someone destroys the pillars, the kingdom of Zampi will continue to suffer. However, she tells you to follow the path to the once thriving agricultural village of Hosapete. So you head down the path towards Hosapete, wondering if you can help the villagers and destroy the pillars.
This is where the game begins, and you find yourself on the world map, starting on the left-hand side at the first of one hundred pillars. These pillars follow a winding path which leads to the eight villages in the Zampi kingdom. The world map is dry and barren, although defeating a pillar level will allow the waters of the Tungabhadra to flow. This will bring back the lush green land and end the drought brought on by the pillars. You can find some information about each of the villages by selecting the name of the village. Each pillar is grey and has numbered grey clouds, indicating the level of that pillar. Your current pillar level is indicated as a yellow cloud and you won’t be able to move on to the next pillars until you have completed the current one.
Selecting the current level will take you to the game screen, where you will find a set of pillars. These pillars will be displayed in varying numbers and positions. For example, there could be five pillars in a straight line, or six pillars in an oval shape. On the right side of the screen is displayed the current level, home and reset buttons. It also details the winning solution for you to complete this level. Just below this is where it tells you the number moves in which you must complete the puzzle.
Around the top edge of each pillar are holes, which can hold gems. These gems are what you move from pillar to pillar so that you can match the winning solution. The number of gems on a pillar, if any, is indicated by the number on top of a pillar. So, at the start of each level there’ll be some pillars with and some without gems, and you will need to move the gems so that they match the corresponding image of the winning solution. For example, if there are five pillars in a straight line and the first pillar has three gems with the rest having zero gems (3-0-0-0-0), then that is what you start with. To win this level you will need to move the gems so that there are two gems in the second pillar and one gem in the fifth pillar (0-2-0-0-1).
If you want to move from the first to the second pillar, click on the first pillar then select the second pillar. This will move one gem. If you were to move from the first to the third (a distance of two pillars) it will move two gems (1-0-2-0-0). In the case I mentioned above, we need to go from 3-0-0-0-0 to 0-2-0-0-1, and do this in three moves. So, our first move would be to move the three gems to the fourth pillar 0-0-0-3-0. Our second move could be to move one gem from the fourth to the fifth pillar so it would look like 0-0-0-2-1. Our final third move would require us to move the two gems in the fourth pillar to the second pillar as such 0-2-0-0-1. This would complete the level and the pillars would crumble away releasing the river Tungabhadra and allowing you to move onto the next level.
Between the pillars you’ll find directional arrows; early in the game the directions between the pillars allow you to move gems both ways. In later levels, gems may only be allowed to move in one direction between pillars; one-way directions are indicated in green, and two-way directions are indicated in yellow. The number of pillars and the shapes in which they appear on the screen will vary, as will the number of gems as you reach higher levels. The puzzles will become harder and more complex as you progress, and can be quite frustrating at times. Although, if you sit back and just take a minute to think about what needs to be done, you will find the correct way to complete the level.
There are one hundred levels to complete the game, and as you make your way through the game, you’ll be accompanied by a spirit. This spirit will tell you a story about the pillars and why they are there. You’ll learn more on the story as you free each of the villages from the pillars and free the river Tungabhadra to flow through the Zampi kingdom.
In the settings you find options for Sounds (Mute All, Mute Voice Over, Mute Sound Effects and Mute Music). Also, in the options is a choice of Languages (English, French, Italian, German, Spanish, Arabic, Catalan, Chinese, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Kannada, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Tamil, Telugu and Turkish).
Mystic Pillars is a very enjoyable puzzle game with a fabulous story set in India. The puzzles will have you pulling your hair out at times, but once you figure it out, you’ll be like, bloody hell that was easy! The graphics and artwork are great, as are the music and sounds.
Review written by Piston Smashed™ for Zeepond.com!
Positives+ Challenging but enjoyable puzzles
+ Good artwork and graphics
+ Great Storyline
+ Has achievements
Negatives- Can be a little frustrating
- No cards currently
Destroy the Mystic Pillars to bring back the life-giving waters of the Tungabhadra River, thereby saving the villages of the Zampi kingdom.
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Zeepond Rating: 8/10
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