First up is our disclaimer. We received this game for review purposes only, and as such all opinions in this review are our own. No money has been exchanged for this review.
Puzzle games have long been among my favorites. Of course as a professional gamer I play and review titles from all genres, but I always seem to return to the mind-bending head-scratchers that I’ve loved for decades. Submitted for your review: Spellbind, developed and published by Spider Key Games. This title was created on the Unity Engine, a publicly available source platform for any and all to try their hand at game development.
At it’s core, Spellbind is a point-and-click still-frame progression through a tricky castle and surrounding environs. As you wander the rooms, gardens and caverns, you’re presented with logic puzzles to solve. Some are classics that you’ll instantly recognize, while others will be new. The good news is that you don’t always have to solve a particular puzzle to advance the story. In fact, often times you’ll have to visit a certain room more than once to solve its mysteries!
The game is extremely fair when it comes to difficulty. If you get stuck…I mean really stuck…you can click the “SKIP PUZZLE” indicator at the top of the screen. This will cause the current puzzle to solve itself for you. I don’t recommend doing this, for two reasons: First, it takes a lot of the fun out of the game; second, the title is pretty short as it is. Blustering past the brainteasers will bring about the end so quickly, you’ll wonder what happened. Ironically, there’s a Steam achievement for skipping 12 puzzles! The best way to handle this is to complete the game “honestly” and then later start afresh, skipping puzzles to earn the achievement.
While we’re on the subject of Steam achievements, there are a total of 12 as of this writing. As aforementioned, you won’t be able to catch ’em all on your first playthrough. This feature provides some replay value, but nonetheless you should be able to complete the entire experience in a single sitting (as long as your chair is comfortable and refreshments are within reach). I played through twice, collecting all 12 achievements in about 3 hours.
While I won’t give away details of the simple, but entertaining story line, I will mention that there are three distinct endings to the game. Again, from the Steam achievement list you can tell this is the case. You get one achievement for earning the “good” ending, one for the “neutral” ending and one for the “bad” ending. Now you may ask if that doesn’t necessitate three separate playthroughs. I assure you it does not. Once you finish the game, you’re presented with two options: you can start a new game from scratch or simply replay the “last part”. The latter options represents the final 5 minutes of the story. So it’s only this last part that needs to be thrice played to see all the endings.
So overall, is Spellbind worth it? Yes it is. The Steam price of $3 (USD) is more than fair, and you’ll have a nice shiny “perfect game” to show on your Steam profile in no time! If you’re a veteran of this genre, you may find the challenges to be a tad easy. As a casual pastime though, you should still find the game enjoyable. Happy puzzling!