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The Smurfs &Co.: Spellbound

The Smurfs &Co.: Spellbound
  • Release Date: July 3, 2013
  • Publisher:
  • Developer:
  • Genre: adventure
  • Official Site

The Smurfs is one of the favorite classic cartoons reminiscent of many happy times during childhood for one generation. Now Ubisoft brings those little blue creatures back to us with a new adventure social game called The Smurfs & Co.: Spellbound, providing a good opportunity to join the Smurfs in their work, play and fight against the wicked Gargamel.

The Smurfs & Co.: Spellbound starts with a failed experiment as Gargamel tried to make portions to get the Smurfs. With an explosion, Gargamel’s house on the hill became pieces and the unknown smokes spread to the Smurf village, turning everything into frozen grey. The entire forest was cursed; so was all Smurfs except YOU, the only hope to the village. Get ready to act, for the entire village counts on you.

The The Smurfs & Co.: Spellbound

Starting from a small patch of land, you will begin your rescuing action under the guidance of Papa despite of his statue status. Your task is to start anew from the new village square and try to break curses of your fellow Smurfs. Altogether, you will push back the curses and get back your home. To do that, you need to find your cursed friends one after another and bring them back by surrounding them with things that make them really happy such as crops and sundial for Farmer and toolsets for Handy.

As tribute to the original cartoon, the game features all iconic characters we are familiar with and interweaves their characteristics into the in-game storyline. From the caring Smurfette to the wise Papa, from the diligent Farmer to the magic-captivated Brainy, all loveable Smurfs take their role in the game and will contribute to the recovery of the village in specific way after you free them. Theme and storyline aside, you will find the basic mechanics being similar to that of most adventure and exploration games.

Clear the scattering debris to gain space and materials at once, build each Smurf its own shelter and workshop, send freed helpers into jobs they are good at, expand to the grey zones further and further, plant crops and raise little animals for various supplies, beautify the village with many decorations, craft increasingly sophisticated items and products, and strive to make a sweet home like old days. All these activities are rendered in the conventional style, i.e., based on point-and-click control and with the usual bright pop-up of stars and points all over the screen.

The in-game storyline is both playful and appealing. Perhaps the sentimental theme does part of the work, but the quests of the game have their own merits. Following the quest line, you will gradually push back the curse, unlocking more and more helpers as well as their corresponding contents. Doing quests gains you experience points for level-up, coins to purchase stuff and Smurfiness, sort-of shortcut useful in many ways. You can harvest Smurfiness from happy Smurfs, their houses and from freeing new Smurfs every time, and you need these resources in many different ways including instantly finish projects, expanding to locked zones and crafting various items and tools, etc..

You have endless work to keep occupied only if you have Energy. As usual, the energy bar sets the game pace. You can get a timely recharge to the full by level-up in the first several levels and then come to the crossroads of forced pause and paid resume of gameplay. Energy packages are one way for game producers to win profits, joining another major way of monetization – Gems, the hard currency that can make the game more comfortable. Gems can be used to purchase Smurfiness, skip tasks you don’t want to do, fill the blankness of no-friends, gain access to exclusive items, pre-activate items saved for higher level, and so on.

Besides, The Smurfs & Co.: Spellbound also does a good job in many superficial aspects. It has loveable graphics with great details, acceptable animations and a shifting night-and-day cycle. Does it bring something we never see in the adventure genre? Sadly no. But on the whole, it is a lighthearted and enjoyable game we can spend odd time with leisure and fun.

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