Red Hare Studios
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What they say: Page Chronica mixes vibrant 2D platforming with vexing word puzzles. As well as guiding the main character Topaz through enchanted storybook worlds, players have to collect the magical alphabet floating about. Collecting and rearranging letters into words correctly lets Topaz unleash spells and attacks, which she can use to take out the evil infesting the stories.
What I say: When I first heard of Page Chronica I really didn’t know what to think about it. Was it a learning game? If so, we can’t have that! Video games are supposed to rot your brain right? But seriously, the game did look interesting with a unique mechanic to drive it along.
The story is about a cute little witch names Topaz that guards a library of dreams. One day Topaz reads a book she shouldn’t and lo and behold “The Big Bad” escapes. Seriously, that is his name. Big Bad heads to other books/dreams to destroy and corrupt them and Topaz must put right what once went wrong.
The game plays pretty well, but you must manage your time wisely. Each stage has a time limit. In that allotted time you must make words, get power ups, explore the stage and get to the end. In regular stages you get 10 minutes, in Boss stages you get only 5 minutes. And that’s where the problems start for this game. None of the stages are overly hard, although there sure are some hella cheap areas in some of them. The real shock is how damn hard the boss battles are. They are pretty relentless and you not only have to fight them, but spell words as well. You HAVE to keep making words as your powers have limited uses and must be recharged by more words. Sure time slows while you are spelling, and in the stages it’s enough, but the boss battles are a whole other story. The almost schizophrenic difficulty shifts make the game needlessly frustrating and checkpoints are oddly placed in the levels.
Graphically, the game suffers a bit. It’s not bad by any stretch, but it certainly isn’t great. The graphics almost seem dated but it does lend its self well to the story and old school nature of the game. It will not win any beauty awards but it does goet the job done.
Overall Page Chronica is a pretty fun game. There are a few design issues but I do like the spelling mechanic and the platforming was well done for the most part. With a little more balance and polish this would have a great game. As is, it’s simply a good one, but who can complain about that?