This sequel to Magic Match comes with a new developer. Codeminion developed the original and Friends Games picked up where they left off. Giggles, the Imp guided me as I played this pattern-matching game for the first time. The game got off to a slow start as I didn’t have many spells, points or bonuses. As the game progressed, it reeled me in.
The game told stories through songs sung between levels giving the player a 40 Arabian Nights feeling with its tune, words and looks. I wanted to speed up the song and its subtitles (which I appreciated because of my hearing loss) since it was a little slow for my taste, but I couldn’t. You can skip the songs, but I still wanted to know the story… a little faster.
Thankfully, the game came with Timeless mode, so I wouldn’t feel pressure from the potion clock ticking down. I completed the game and the ending wasn’t as exciting as I had hoped. I liked receiving promotions when I earned enough points and trophies for accomplishing a certain task. However, the game didn’t explain how to earn the trophies as not all were obvious based on their descriptions. I didn’t know what to try for and just had to hope that I would luck out.
A bonus level pops up every few levels for earning extra magic points. Some of the bonus levels were fun while two were difficult to maneuver. You can play the bonus games anytime from the main menu as well as replay the songs and battle against the computer.
The variety of the components, bonuses, bonus rounds, and magic spells kept the game appealing. But it didn’t capture the magic found in the original game. The original had a few features not found in its sequel. For one, it didn’t spell out the spells not even in the Rules (help file).
The original made it clear how many points you lose whenever casting a spell and how the spell improved. The Genie’s Journey only lists numbers, which confused a first-timer. From time to time, a message stated “Complete the level to improve your Swap (or whatever) Spell.” What did it mean by “improve?” So I checked out the original Magic Match and its more thorough rules, which cleared this up as well as other questions I had while playing the sequel.
I could see why some thought it wasn’t quite as charming as the original. The sequel has two things the original doesn’t: Timeless mode and a peacock that gives you an idea of how many moves you have left. Still, the differences in the interface, functionality, usability, readability and game play are enough to downgrade the experience from the original’s great one to the sequel’s good one. Despite these criticisms, The Genie’s Journey is an enjoyable adventure and the original Magic Match is a better one.
- Windows 98/ME/2000/XP
- 1GHz or faster Processor
- 256MB RAM
- 3D Accelerated Graphics Card
- DirectX 9.1