Puzz-3D The Orient Express from the Twenties CD-ROM Game is a virtual interpretation of Wrebbit's successful line of challenging, three-dimensional puzzles based on historically important buildings and places. There are two main modes of gameplay in Puzz-3D The Orient Express. First, players must put together a 3D model of the orient express from scores of little two-dimensional, virtual puzzle pieces, scattered across a virtual tabletop. Players first piece together the flat sides and tops of the engine and cars, then join these together to complete the 3D model. Once the whole train is assembled, players climb aboard for the role-playing mode of the game. Exploring the train's interior and observing multimedia presentations about the history of the original Orient Express will give players clues that may help them solve the point-and-click mystery and finish the story.
Puzz 3D has been producing high quality three-dimensional jigsaw puzzles for several years. Now they have made the leap from coffee table to CD-ROM, and they've done it with style. As a 3D puzzle fanatic, I wondered how easy the on-screen puzzle pieces would be to manipulate. I shouldn't have worried.
In addition to the expected ability to move and rotate individual pieces, the player can collect and sort pieces in up to seven "trays." This process is almost as good as it can get in two dimensions, except that you can't manipulate pieces within a tray. They must first be dumped back onto the main work table, probably bumping into other pieces already laid out there and ruining any previous attempt to sort the pieces already on the work area.
Your reward for solving the jigsaw puzzle is a ticket to ride on the Orient Express, in the railroad cars that you've just constructed. Your character explores the train, meets other characters, and discovers a malicious plot, which must be thwarted. You gather information (and identify the bad guys) by solving brainteasers and gathering clues to divine the fortunes of your fellow passengers.
There isn't a great deal of documentation with this game, but the tutorial for the jigsaw portion is very helpful, and figuring out what, exactly, to do with the logic puzzles is half of the fun.
If you need one more reason to download this game, here's the clincher: It's educational, too! Movie clips appear as you progress, describing the development of the original Orient Express and the culture that supported it. Overall, Puzz-3D's Orient Express is an entertaining and intellectually engaging game, filled with intrigue and adventure.
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