House of 1000 Doors: Serpent Flame Game Poster Image

House of 1000 Doors: Serpent Flame

(i)

 

Casual hidden-object adventure minimizes frustration.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn puzzle solving and patterns by using inventory items to progress through the game. Hidden-object scenes require players to carefully analyze complex images, searching for specific items. Memory, logic, and deduction skills will be put to the test in mini-games that involve matching tiles, picking locks, and deciphering secret codes. House of 1,000 Doors: Serpent Flame has plenty of puzzles to solve, but ample hints and the ability to skip mini-games takes the edge off the challenge.

Positive messages

The story is about trying to save the world from evil snakes, and players complete helpful tasks, such as freeing people and fetching needed items.

Positive role models

Players are firmly on the side of "good" and encounter others who are willing to help them with their important task.

Ease of play

Kids can play in Casual mode -- wherein hints recharge after 30 seconds and interactive zones are highlighted to indicate where to click -- or Expert mode, wherein hints recharge after 60 seconds and interactive zones aren't highlighted. A helpful map highlights rooms containing things to do.

Violence

Kids will occasionally see dead bodies, blood splatters, human skeletons, and skulls. A monster is speared and disappears in flames. Death and human sacrifice are discussed. Full-motion video of serpents ransacking a city could be scary for younger kids, but there's no on-screen violence.

Sex

A tribal priest appears bare-chested in a loincloth.

Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that House of 1000 Doors: Serpent Flame is a casual-adventure game about saving the world. It mixes thoughtful logical puzzles with hidden-object scenes. Several sequences contain dead bodies, blood, and human skeletons, but violence is never acted out on-screen.

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What's it about?

In HOUSE OF 1000 DOORS: SERPENT FLAME, the world is under attack from giant fiery serpents, and the main character, Kate, must stop them by traveling to different time periods and collecting elements that can drive the snakes away. Players explore the environment, searching for items that can be used to solve puzzles and mini-games. Occasionally players can zoom in on special hidden-object areas, where they search the scene for items on a list, or, in some cases, place items back into a scene.

Is it any good?

QUALITY

Serpent Flame is a by-the-numbers hidden-object adventure with plenty of hints sprinkled along the way for players who get easily frustrated. The puzzles are moderately challenging and can all be skipped if the player chooses. These puzzles don't always make sense -- one involves unlocking a secret compartment in a bedroom shelf that contains, of all things, a bucket of ice -- but they're fun and varied. There are some impressive full-motion video sequences, though the voice acting can be a bit sketchy. Serpent Flame will have no trouble appealing to its target audience of casual-adventure game fans.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the merits and demerits of generous hint systems. Do you prefer to skip puzzles if they're too hard, or would you rather figure them out on your own no matter how long it takes?

  • Families also can talk about the structure of this particular game. Do you think that the hidden-object scenes are a good fit with the rest of the puzzles, or do you prefer more traditional point-and-click adventuring?

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Subjects:Language & Reading: vocabulary
Math: patterns
Skills:Thinking & Reasoning: applying information, solving puzzles
Self-Direction: work to achieve goals
Price:$6.99
Available online?Available online
Developer:Alawar Entertainment
Release date:September 1, 2013
Genre:Adventure
ESRB rating:NR for No Rating

This review of House of 1000 Doors: Serpent Flame was written by

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