Fablewood is a free-to-play challenging Hidden Object Game (HOG) brought by HitPoint to Facebook fans. Inspired by fairytales and children’s books, the game creates a magical wonderland where you will meet a hybrid cast of characters like Alice and Little Red Riding Hood and go on search hunt in story-based scenes.
Fablewood preludes its gameplay with a fairytale style starter. The forest of Fablewood was corrupted by Gideon, the wizard of winter, and frozen in endless winter. Fables were gone wrong. Luckily, you have the ability to use magic ink to rewrite the corrupted items in the stories and so to melt the snow to recover the forest. With the hard landing in the rabbit hole, you begin the heroic journey to beat the evil.
There are currently six chapters in Fablewood that usher you into six distinct realms based off the popular books and rich lore. From the adventures in wonderland to the hidden world, from the red and the wolf to the beast and the rose, you will play several beautiful scenes, though in a deliberate mess, in each chapter to complete quests and drive on the storyline. In-game scenes are an alternate presentation of what we read in book or imagined in our mind. Caterpillar’s mushroom, grandmother’s house and witch’s lair, etc. – they are colorful and challenging with objects all over the board hidden in the different layers of color and light.
Searching for hidden objects in this game plays the same with most games of the genre. You find the items on the laundry list, using hint tools if necessary, to gain points and earn crowns. The score is rated based on your accuracy, combo, speed and basic completion and then used to ignite the crown that indicates mastery of a scene. Hint tools help a lot in gaining high score and there are couples of different types for varying purposes. Of them, you can use magnifying glass to point out a random item, use score multipliers to boost the points or try the swapper tool to alter the objects in the list. Where do you get these tools? You can always purchase them and you can also gain supplies of them as rewards of completing quests.
In Fablewood there is a quest line to guide you in progression and reward you with useful tools. And the quest reservoir is a mix of item search and building. Building the Fablewood into its former lushness is another task equally important in the game. Magical facilities, cottages and workshops, greens and decorations, beacons and paths – as you gradually unlock and construct them in the forest you accumulate Enchantment points so as to unlock more scenes. In turn, playing scenes gains you experience points for level up and crowns necessary for expansion towards further reaches of the land.
It requires repetitive play of a scene to gain crown mastery. While a scene strikes challenging in the first several trials, it becomes less difficult because the scene does not change. On each play it costs 10 points of magic ink entailing the waiting for slow refill unless you spend Crystal Rose, the premium currency, purchasing them. Crystal Rose is rewarded by one in every level up and can be expended in many aspects like unlocking scenes instantly, placing exclusive décor with high enchantment points in the forest and getting hints and power-ups for a quicker and more comfy play.
The overall judgment on Fablewood is positive. Although it doesn’t break the established pattern of a typical HOG, it does a good job in mixing familiar concepts to an attractive story and presenting them in a solid and stylish way.