Based on the popular children’s book of the same name, as you awake from a horrible nightmare, Emily is relieved to be back in her room with her beloved cats. As Emily comes to, she realizes that her nightmare may have been more than what she thought. Emily’s cats Mystery, NeeChee, Sabbath and Miles are actually missing. Emily the StangeStrangerous then takes you into a short tutorial to get the player acquainted with the controls before you embark on a journey to find your beloved kitties.
This title brings a new aspect to the puzzle games by offering the players a wide variety of puzzle games and worlds that hold these games. The graphics are very well done and a step above most DS game graphics, the music is quite catchy and really fits the feel of the story.
Since this is a puzzle game, let’s dive into the puzzles first. For the most part the puzzles are pretty self-explanatory and easy to get the hang of. There are a few puzzles though that really will test your patience. The connect the dot puzzle game is a real pain as there are numerous possible answers for every puzzle. It is a trial and error sort of game that should have been taken care of by the developers by adding some sort of direction or better clues. Players can also test their patience by transferring liquid from beaker to beaker in a game that requires you to get a set amount of liquid in one beaker.
The puzzles are extremely versed and really offer a great array of games for the players to enjoy. The games mix of puzzles keeps it refreshing for the player and keeps them from getting too bored or tired of the same old repetition. The farther the player progresses, the more puzzles and mini-games that become available. As I said they keep it refreshing.
Once you begin to run through the game the player will come to the fairgrounds. This is extremely useful as you progress through the game because it is a refueling point for treats and oddettes. Treats are fed to your cats for tips or anytime you need something special or strange done. Oddettes are used by the OddISee, which is basically a computer that you use to play some of the puzzles on. If you run out of oddettes, the OddISee will cease to work.
Once the player is stocked up on oddettes and treats they can explore six different worlds on their quest to rescue Emily’s cats. Each world has a unique feel to it and offers a great experience for the players. The worlds seemed to mesh really well and didn’t feel tacky, which is a huge accomplishment for a game of this type.
As the player moves through the game, anything that is collected or recorded will be found in a scrapbook. Stickers, information on your cats, all collected items and even the mini-games and puzzles the player has encountered can be found here. This is a handy device to come back to or check every once in a while during the game.
Have a DSi? Then you have even more exclusive content to enjoy in the game. The DSi players have mini-games that can be accessed through hidden locations. There is also a Zonster-Creator mode available here. Using body parts acquired through scanning are dropped here and are available for the players to create their own strange Zonsters. There are tons of options and you can even have a random Zonster created by having the computer randomize one using all the collected parts.
This game was a refreshing take of puzzle games and was well worth the time put into it. The difficulty is moderate, offering the player some easy puzzles and some puzzles that require more time and thought. The game does not get old as you play on, as is the case with most puzzle games. Emily Strange offers an excellent story to go with the interesting worlds and people that you find along the way. This game is well worth the money you would invest into it.
I give it 4 gems.
Platforms: Nintendo DS