New Software To Be Reviewed Review

Joan Jade & the Gates of Xibalba: A Winner!

Submitted by jerrymouse on Fri, 2010-01-29 22:07.
Author's Product Rating:
Ease of Use: 
The lowest price: 0$
You can buy it at RegNow for that price.
Good story, new puzzles and mini-games, challenging yet not so difficult, trophies are like bonus.
Some bugs, seemed like gameplay becomes a bit repetitive and gets detached from the story over initial levels, a bit pricey.

Alawar Games' puzzle and hidden objects game Joan Jade & the Gates of Xibalba just made my day! I've been playing this continuously over the weekend, and completely addicted. I can't remember when the last time was after Mystery Case Files by Big Fish that I got so much excitement out of a hidden objects game.

The story is built around the archeologist Joan Jade trying to find her lost children in Mayan ruins. She fears that they have been kidnapped. While her husband deals with the police, Joan starts on a journey through the jungles, and she finds clues from her children, as well as Mayan artifacts.

In each scene, Joan has to find out the hidden objects to fill her inventory. Some of these objects are useful for doing things like opening chests and gates. Interestingly, these objects can be used in combination with other objects, which makes the game interesting. Each level can encompass multiple rooms, so you have to find some useful stuff from one room and then use it in another one in the same level.

At each gate, Joan Jade is faced with puzzles and riddles. These mini-games are a refreshing diversion from the hidden object main gameply. Some of these are pretty tough, but doesn't stop you from moving on to the next level, because unlike MCF, Gates of Xibalba only has a timeframe within which you can solve the puzzle to get trophies. When the time is up, you can choose to move on to the next puzzle.

Many of the hidden objects are multiple of a kind, these are fast and easy to find. The knife in your inventory can do wonders with clearing the bush, including other things. Only the objects that will be used later on remains in the inventory. The rest just simply vanish.

There are several trophies to win, which gives the game some replay value. The music and graphics are conventional for a hidden object game, but quite good. There are small bugs like you can't use the knife two times consecutively, you have to put it back in the inventory and take it out again, which was ridiculous.

Pressing the hint button helps you with what to do next, but a lot of free hints comes with the game at each new level. But there is this annoying thing when you're done with one room. If you guess there are more things to collect, but there aren't, and you press the Hint button, it just illuminates the exit sign to the previous room. Then when you go to the other room, you have to wait for the Hint counter to get recharged.

Either way, this is a very nice game for the price. There are lots of levels to complete, and the story unfolds in an interesting way. But the story-telling is a bit slow, like once you reach a new level, you find some clues about Joan's children, but they don't give much twist to the gameplay. MCF was great in that respect.

For any hidden object games enthusiast, I would strongly recommend Joan Jade & the Gates of Xibalba, despite its shortcomings. The mini-games and the puzzles have a lot of variation and novelty to keep you entertained!


Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba is a great hidden objects/puzzle game, and I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of the genre as I am!