Abby Plays Alicia Quatermain 3: The Mystery of the Flaming Gold

Abby uses her solo game time this week to play the new time management game Alicia Quatermain 3: The Mystery of the Flaming Gold. Say that five times fast! Will this time management game hold up to the hopes and dreams of a fast paced gaming queen? Or will her cries of disappointment wake up the kids? Let's find out in this week's game review! 

So James and I love games. We love playing them together... but it's also nice to take a break and put my headphones on for some nice solo game time. So, every week, James and I try to give each other about an hour or so of alone game time while the other helps the kids with their homework and takes charge of all those important responsible parenting things like making sure they bathe and brush their teeth.

This week, I selected Alicia Quatermain 3: The Mystery of the Flaming Gold. I choose this game for two reasons. One, I love time management games. I love the fast pace and the need to strategize your moves in order to win. I also absolutely need to get full marks on each board so time management games fit perfectly with my obsessive personality.

Alicia Quatermain 3 Title Screen

And two...the name Quatermain seemed really familiar to me. I'd like to say it was a character from a book or some sort, but, after some careful consideration, I realized why the name was jiggling some corner of my mind... it was the last name from a family in my mother's favorite soap opera General Hospital. Now, I didn't really watch it but my mother loved it. She could not stop watching it. I only really remember it because I built up a very large resentment for it because it ran the same time as after school cartoons and we only had one TV in the house and mom always won that fight. 

Childhood issues aside, I decide to give this Quatermain a chance and hoped it would fill my hour or solo gaming with a fantastic gaming experience I've come to expect from the genre. 

Alicia Quatermain 3 Difficulty Levels

The game began by first asking me to select the difficulty level I'd like to play on. Normally, I would jump right in, but after playing the new Mystery Case Files: Rewind game with James and having to deal with the time limits, I decided to err on the side of caution at first and learn the game mechanics before I threw my hand in. 

After I selected easy, I was treated to a little animation that set the scene and the story of the game. I have never played the previous Alicia Quatermain games before so I appreciate that they tried to give a bit of backstory here. Not that time management games need much of story to be enjoyable, but I do appreciate a bit of theming. 

It appears that our main character Alicia is taking a break from her adventures and getting gussied up for a museum event where here dear friend, Sir Gringray, was donating his family's treasured sword to the museum. However, just when the main event was about to happen, a ghost appeared out of nowhere and denounced Sir Gringray and stole the sword right before our very eyes! Oh no!! The horror!

Alicia Quartermain 3 Ghost Thief

Of course this calls for an adventurer brave enough to enter the ghost infested halls of Sir Gringray's ancestral home, and Alicia is determined to get to the bottom of things.

All of this has a very Scooby Doo feel to it already so I am anticipating that the ghosts will be unmasked later in the game and it will be Mr. Henderson who's been behind it all even though we don't know who that is... okay so it's a little hokey but I'm not expecting too much story depth to a time management so let's roll with it. 

Alicia Quartermain 3 Level One Family Homestead

At the beginning of Level 1: Family Homestead, you see a list of objectives for the level. We need to find the key to the back door, take the key, and unlock the door. Seems simple enough... 

You begin by making your worker collect resources like food and construction materials. The workers are the main grunts of the game. They can collect resources and fill in holes, but there are some things that only Alicia can do, however it still burns up resources when she performs a task so you need to be aware of how much you have. 

It didn't take me long to get the hang of the gameplay so by the second level, I was ready to turn the time limits on and start earning my stars. I was pretty pleased that it was fairly easy to change difficulty levels. Simply click on the face icon in the top right of your screen and select the difficulty level of your choice. This can't be done while you're playing a level though. You need to be on the map screen in order for this to work. 

Alicia Quartermain 3 Map Screen

Once I changed the difficulty level, I quickly went back and replayed levels one and two in order to start racking up my stars... because hey, I'm obsessive and I feel joy when I've been graded. 

I thought I would get into the swing of thing from here on out, but that's when things started to go a little sideways. They introduced boosts to the game, which is fairly normal. I'm used to speed boosts and such and there was a boost that gave me an extra worker so that was cool. But then we also got a dog who could perform tasks that no one else did. So now I had workers... Alicia... and a dog to boss around. That's taxing my brain a bit but I think I can handle it. 

But then we started to need to turn on lights and crawl through holes and cut down trees and upgrade mines... it all started to get a little too complicated a bit too fast. Before I could even get used to certain tasks with a level or two... they were throwing something new at me. And I'm normally up to a challenge but this was starting to frustrate me. Most time management games have a set amount of resources available on the board so you don't have to think about how much to get... you just need to get it. This, however, featured multiple renewable resources that would just need to be collected over and over again... but, if you weren't careful, you'd waste all your time collecting one item that you didn't need instead of focusing on the resource you did need. 

Alicia Quartermain 3 Pause Screen

The game did give you time at the beginning of each level to study the board a bit and maybe come up with a winning strategy, but you couldn't really see how much resources the obstacles needed to remove them so it didn't help much. It got to a point rather quickly that I would need to simply plan on playing the level multiple times before I could get 3 stars and that kind of annoyed me. 

More often than not... this happened... 

Alicia Quartermain 3 - Getting 3 stars on a level is hard

And do you know how hard it is for me to leave a level at 2 stars? It's not really acceptable so I'd have to go back over and over to play the level in order to finally figure out how to get 3 stars. Now, I expect this in later levels... but this was level 6 people... level 6!!!

Have I just become really bad at these types of games without knowing it? Has old age dampened my reflexes?? Do I need to stick to puzzle games and match 3 games now for the rest of my life? Seriously... is it me??

It wasn't long after I hit level 9 that I was ready to throw in the towel on this one. I think I really do need to go test my meddle on another game before I give final judgement on Alicia Quartermain 3: The Mystery of the Flaming Gold. Maybe it was me. Maybe my long-term resentment of the Quartermains hindered my ability to properly play this game. Who knows! I'd love to hear if you had a similar experience with this game or if I do indeed need to put my time management games to rest. Leave me a message below!

Now that James has gotten the kids all clean and ready for bed, I'm going to go perform the easy part of bedtime and tuck them in! 

- Abby out!