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COLUMN: Aaron's Backstage Pass: 'Legends of Oz: Dorothy's Return 3DS' Review

Updated: 08/19/2014 10:56 AM
Created: 07/02/2014 8:22 AM KSTP.com
By: Aaron Chalich

Lately I have been addicted to puzzle themed games and I just recently played Activision’s “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return” for the Nintendo 3DS.  I thought it was a really fun and challenging game that is great for all ages to play.

The game is based off of the movie and features old and new characters from the Land of Oz.

I really thought the story was great and interesting.  It has been some time since Dorothy returned home from her first visit to Oz and now a new villain named “Jester” appeared and has kidnapped some of the legends of Oz such as the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion.

Right before they were captured(Scarecrow, Tin Man, & Lion) sent something called “The Rainbow Mover” back to Kansas to bring Dorothy and Toto back to save them.  When she arrives back to Oz she is dropped off in the middle of the woods and must try and make it to the Emerald City to rescue her friends.  Along the way she meets new characters that will help Dorothy reach the Emerald City.

There are five different areas you must pass through before you reach the Emerald City and you have to complete all of the levels in each area to advance.

Like I mentioned earlier, “Legends of Oz” is a tile puzzle themed game and you need to complete each puzzle to advance through the game.

The puzzle board has multiple tiles and you must try to get three or more of the same tiles to line up either horizontally or vertically.  Once you get the matching tiles in a row, they will disappear and more tiles will drop down.  If three or more tiles happen to come together as the new tiles drop down they will disappear also and more will drop causing a really cool chain reaction.

You will get points for all of the matching tiles and the more of the same type of tiles you get in a row the more points you get.  You will also get a ton of points if you get a huge chain reaction by the tiles that drop down.

The controls are very easy to learn and everyone will be able to play.  All you need to do is just drag the stylus across the tile you want to flip and that’s pretty much it.

There are four game modes that you will play as you make your way to the Emerald City.  There is a move limit, where you only have a specific amount of moves and you have to try and get a certain amount of points in those moves to advance to the next level.  There is a time limit where you will need to score a certain amount of points in a certain amount of time.  There is item collection where you need to match up special items to clear them from the board.  The last one is item sink, where you need to clear enough tiles to get specific items to the bottom of the screen. As you play you will earn experience points by every tile match you make.  When you level up your character you will earn power ups and other special rewards.

Some of the power ups include:
Row/Column Breaker(match four or more tiles) – This destroys the entire row or column allowing new tiles to drop down.
Rainbomb (If you match tiles in a “L” or “T” shape) – this destroys tiles in a 3x3 grid.
Kansas Clean Up (match five tiles in a row)- this destroys every same colored tile on the board

Another thing that you earn when you play are yellow bricks and these can be spent in “Glinda’s  Shop” to buy even more power ups to use during the game.
These power ups include:
Eliminator – destroys one tile
+ Time – adds 15 seconds on the time levels
+ Moves – adds 5 moves to the move limit levels
Swapper – swap one tile once on any level
Twister – shuffles all  of the tiles on the board

There are also unlockables such as art that you can unlock while you are playing.  If you do very well in a level you will gain an emerald.  There are three emeralds on each level and they can be used in the unlockables menu that has a chest icon.  Here you can unlock concept art and stills from the film.

Overall I really thought that Activision’s “Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return” for the Nintendo 3DS was a great game.  It is a fast paced and challenging game that is very easy to learn and is great for every age and level of experience.  If you are a fan of puzzle games and of “Legends of Oz” then I would highly recommend that you check this game out.

“Legends of Oz” is rated “E”


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