Puzzle fans unite! As part of the 30th year of the Atari Lynx, and correlating competition to make the best quality new Lynx game, the creative White Lynx Productions has pulled out the stops to make the wonderful little game 'Find a Way to My Heart'. And if you are a fan of 'Minesweeper' on Windows PCs, then this game might just find it's way into your heart as well.
The question is, how do you put a new spin on such a classic gaming concept? Well, White Lynx have an answer for you. You create a kind of 'girl meets guy' dating simulator, where the goal is for the young guy to make a path to the young lady's heart through traversing honeycomb shaped minefields. Tap the wrong one, and you've blown your chance at winning this lady's heart! But don't worry - you do get another try to win her heart again! So, get practicing!
Where 'Minesweeper' had some simple 2D graphics, the clever White Lynx has once again provided something a bit special. Games from this company have always had unique visuals, and 'Find a Way to My Heart' is no exception. The game is set in Japanese anime art style, starting from the title screen's cherry blossom trees to the main game's facial profiles of key characters. Better yet is the bold color choice of pink and red hues, exemplifying the love theme and making the game truly unique in how it is presented. You'd have to go back to 'Dracula: The Undead' to see such nicely done, "stripped-back" colour representation.
In terms of sound and music, White Lynx have created a nice musical soundscape to listen to, which fits well with the romantic theme of the game. If you are an "intense concentration" kind of player, you can turn it off; but the functional little sound effects will remain. These effects are fairly basic (but pleasant) 'blips' and 'pops'; but there is also the tragic sound of an explosion if you step on a mine! It instantly made me think that I'd asked this woman the wrong kind of question, and she'd rejected me! It's worth also noting there is a really nice 'find a way to my heart' digitized vocal song on the title screen, which really sets the mood. I would have loved more of these digitised sound effects, but I did not encounter any others in the game.
Control-wise, 'Find a Way to My Heart' matches the simplest of controls with its straightforward presentation. It's easy: move the cursor around each honeycomb shape and press a button to open one up, or the other button to plant a flag (indicating you think there is a bomb in there). The shapes will reveal nice digital-clock numbers once you press them (such as '1' or a '3'). This indicates how many bombs are immediately around each of them. The shapes make it easy to think about where the bombs might be, but don't be lulled into a false sense of security: you might be wrong! The other useful control tidbit is being able to turn the sound on and off, and select the challenge level (Hard, Normal or Easy).
Oh, and did I mention the difficulty? I'm gonna level with you: I'm actually not that great at these kind of games! Yes, I have completed 'Minesweeper' before, but I definitely struggled with the higher difficulty levels. But that's part of the replay value, and the fantastic thing about 'Find a Way to My Heart' is you can choose your difficulty level. Your choice will result in the game featuring less explosives, or more. Even better, each game is random in terms of where the explosives might be, so you are always going to get a different experience every time. If you think you are going to get by through a series of memorizations, well… you aren't! Trust me - I've tried it!
All in all, 'Find a Way to My Heart' is actually my personal favourite of the White Lynx titles. I can't say why exactly that is, but I think I just appreciate the whole gaming package that the game puts forward. Like 'Shanghai', it's a calming, unique little game that is simple to play, but difficult to master; with replay value to boot. The most standout factor to me is the Japanese anime cartooning style. That is just so rare on the Atari Lynx, and it just expresses how awesome the 30th Anniversary of the Atari Lynx competition has been in drawing out new, never-before-seen gaming styles for this console. Try out 'Find a Way to My Heart' for a fun puzzley experience, great for casual or extended plays. You'll be glad you did!Score Card
This review was submitted by Jon Mc from JMac Productions