Reviewed by Cherie Jung

(December, 2012)

Madame Fate is a gypsy fortune teller at the carnival. While gazing into her crystal ball, she has foreseen her own demise at midnight...tonight! She implores the player to attempt to spare her life by investigating the other carnival workers to determine their whereabouts at midnight. Among the quirky carnival characters are Larry, the magician, Marlena the mermaid, and Lucy the bearded lady.

Madame Fate suspects each and every one of her carnival workers, and each has a motive, yet she often wonders aloud why they dislike her so much. Fate`s Carnival is a magical world to explore. Players will find uncovering the clues — hidden objects and puzzles — to be quite challenging. The secrets (puzzles) hidden within Madame Fate`s crystal ball will be especially challenging; difficult to solve, but not impossible. By paying close attention to details, especially the small ones, the player will be able to unravel the clues and subsequently, the puzzles. A word of warning for those too impatient to solve the puzzles correctly; if you choose to skip a puzzle, there is a time penalty. Skip several puzzles, each with a time penalty, and you will be hard pressed to find solutions or hidden objects. An additional caution; hints are limited. Use them up and you're on your own until you restart your investigation of that particular carnival worker (say, after running out of time).

I tried MCF: Madame Fate on the one-hour trial before purchasing it. By then, I was addicted and bought the game. I've played it through to the end in several marathon sessions. My gaming experience is pretty limited (I've played Myst/Riven, 7th Guest/11th Hour, King's Quest, Thief, Ultima II/Ultima III, and Tomb Raider). This is the first hidden object style game I've played.

I played the game by myself through once. It took me around 13 hours to complete. But as I said, I'm not very game savvy. I then played the game through with a partner. My partner's skill at locating hidden objects and solving puzzles complimented my skills. We tended to see and identify different hidden objects. Our puzzle solving skills also differed. I have a knack for word and picture or symbol based puzzles. He has a real talent for the more mathematically based puzzles. He was amazing on a really tough color coordinating puzzle. He still doesn't really know how he solved it, but solve it he did. I gave up and skipped that particular puzzle while playing the game on my own. My partner easily solved the other puzzles I had skipped in my solo exploration of the game.

In theory, a player may play for a short period of time. I was enjoying the game so much; marathon gaming sessions were my choice. Even after completing the game twice, I am still playing the hidden objects portions of Madame Fate every chance I get. What fun!

I've been playing the game so fanatically; I'm seeing hidden objects even in my dreams...

Big Fish is a popular source for games. The website allows you to play any game on the website for 1 hour before you purchase it. The games are relatively inexpensive and many are discounted by coupons available on the website. MCF: Madame Fate is listed at $9.99. I paid $6.99 (discounted with an online coupon) plus tax.

Game System Requirements:

OS: Windows XP/Vista/7/8
CPU: 800 MHz
RAM: 512 MB
DirectX: 7.0
Hard Drive: 116 MB

Game Manager System Requirements:

Browser: Internet Explorer 7 or later

This game is also available for Mac computers.


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