Part ball puzzler, part fantasy epic - but all tedious - Fading Shadows shows what would happen if a budget version of Lord of the Rings collided with a broken pinball machine.
You control a beam of light and must guide an orb (which is actually a boy%26rsquo;s soul sealed in a teardrop, apparently) through castles, swamps, dungeons and other medieval environments. To conquer these terrains, you%26rsquo;ll use the orb to hit switches, manipulate mirrors to reflect light, decipher coded doors, cross bridges and other typical puzzle obstacles.
The orb has three forms (wood, metal or glass), each with their advantages or disadvantages. In theory, this adds another dimension to the basic puzzles. In practice, it%26rsquo;s just another bland tactic rendered useless by the overabundance of transformation switches in each room. The puzzles are repetitive, loading times are neverending and with only 40 levels, FS is far too short. Not that there%26rsquo;s much to convince you to go past level ten anyway.
May 1, 2008