G5 Entertainment tries its hand at the sci-fi genre while sticking to its point-and-click roots with their newest title, E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventures. Fans of the G5's previous titles will get a feeling of the same old gameplay style, but with some added quarks along the way. However, with that being said, one get's the feeling of a rushed and sloppy effort that just isn't very fun.
Wishmaster starts its story off in a rural bee farm with the main character, Susan Blankwall, an orphan who was raised by her antagonistic Uncle. Players learn that Susan came across a fallen spaceship, piloted by an alien birdman who hands off a mystical necklace to her just as he dies. From this point on you get a sense that Susan is in store for an intergalactic adventure. Sure enough, after about ten minutes of playing time, a set of alien kidnappers abduct Susan and take off to another planet. However, those kidnappers seem to have some sort of conflict (which is never addressed in the game) which results in the ship crashing on an abandoned island. From here, the story really takes off and players get to move forward, figuring out Susan's background and where she came from.
Wishmaster had some real potential here, especially after learning of the back story optimized with a wide array of characters. Unfortunately however, the character's personalities are almost as flat as the gameplay, which is not very engaging. With a story so complex such as this, you'd think G5 would want to make the game a little more convincing than what is actually presented. Folks play games so that they can escape into the storyline, but Wishmaster suffers because of the lazy attempt at a script.
If you are able to look past the lackluster plot and script, the gameplay is actually a bit fun at times with the addition of decent mini-games and puzzles. However, the meat to this game is the search for hidden items. Typical for G5 games, the player must seek out essential pieces to the puzzle and find a way to solve each of the levels. At times you'll find yourself looking for a series of gems that open a gateway, or even fixing broken machinery. Unfortunately, Wishmaster can at times become confusing with all the backtracking that occurs.
Moving forward, Wishmaster's graphics and visuals aren't very exciting either. Some levels are very bleak and dreary, lacking some of the dazzling backdrops that other G5 titles utilize. The game is mostly 2D, witch looks decent enough, but what is worse is when the game attempts 3D character models. This results is stiff and robotic movements that really should have just been rendered in 2D. From an audio standpoint, Wishmaster really does suffer with corny one-liners and boring exposition.
With everything said and done, Wishmaster really isn't very fun or engaging. The plot is drawn-out and run dry very early on. At times the gameplay is even a little frustrating with little-to-no tutorial. Some high points in the game are interesting characters met along the way, and a few pretty fun mini-games. All in all, Wishmaster just doesn't come close to some of G5's other titles, and probably should have developed a little longer before releasing.
E.P.I.C.: Wishmaster Adventure is available to download at the iTunes App store for $6.99 for Mac.
Final Game Guys score: C-
(G5 Entertainment supplied a copy of this game for review.)