Lotus Spring. - Box

Lotus Spring.
Ages Everyone

Not so much a game as a wonderful walkthrough of the Garden of Perfect Brightness - a pavilion of many rooms set within a walled garden compound - a luxurious mini palace where emperors kept their concubines. The garden actually existed during the Qing dynasty and the story is taken from a legend about an emperor and his forbidden love.

Maybe this is the beginning of a new form of women's games - one that connects with and engages the player in many ways. The game becomes just one of the activities within a larger construct. It starts with the package - tied with a gold cord to which is attached a gift card carrying the message “A gift of Love”. There is an online e-story, game tips keyed to scenes and a women's group backing the whole thing at Women-Wise.

The game itself is a visual delight. The settings have been recreated in keeping with historical accuracy. Think of this as a guided tour through the grounds of a royal palace. You will walk through the throne room, light incense burners, examine the food and service pieces, visit bedrooms, see clothing, quilts, paintings, pass through gardens and open air, moon viewing pavilions. The interiors are suffused with the soft glow of lanterns and, as the game ends, night descends.

Identifying with the main character is important, and the episodic glimpses you get of the heroine Lotus are not quite enough. Reading the online story helps but it reads more like an explanation; it needs more emotion to grab the reader. The puzzles are simple. Mostly they involve picking up the right object to use elsewhere to further the story. Think of it as divertissements to keep your interest as you wander through the Garden of Perfect Brightness.

Editor Review 11/00

  • Lotus Spring.
  • © Women Wise/DreamCatcher Interactive 2000 $24.99
  • Windows 95/98 Mac System 7.5 or higher
  • Game Site: http://www.women-wise.com/games/g2_lotus.html
  • To Order: http://www.amazon.com