9 Elefants Review
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9 Elefants Review

9 Elefants is an intriguing little puzzle game set in the heart of 1920s Paris.

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by on 05-08-2014

Just last week when composing my review for Cham Cham, I bemoaned the lack of story in tablet games. Little did I know that within a mere seven days my wish would be heard and this dazzling little confection dropped square in my lap.

I have to admit I was dubious at first… mostly from the standpoint of price. $2.99? (Yes, I am that cheap!) But Tracy encouraged me to give it a whirl and even promised to reimburse me if it failed to meet expectations. Well, I’m happy to say it was worth every franc.

9 Elephants

The backstory involves the disappearance of Professor Weismann who, after arriving in Paris to present his latest invention, the Time Camera, at the Universal Science Congress, vanishes without a trace.

You, as his daughter, Laura, arrive from Germany to solve the mystery and rescue the professor. Aided by Eustache, the Professor's cat, you set out on the trail of a mysterious sect, whose symbol is 9 elephants. (OK, if you are like me, the name Eustache is a bit much. If you are looking for a good Frenchy name, doesn’t Pierre suffice?)

9 Elefants

Gameplay takes place on a map of Paris. As locations are unlocked they appear on the map and all the great Paris hotspots are represented: Les Halles, Trocadero, the Eiffel Tower. As you progress through the game, you collect various items like film for the aforementioned Time Camera and gears for other devices.

If the map icon shows a film canister by the spot, you can obtain “time film” there that can be used to skip difficult puzzles or earn opportunities to try again if you arrive at the wrong answer the first time around.

Capturing the film itself is just a function of being quick on the draw. Think of it as a sort of photographic version of Whac-a-Mole.

9 Elefants

At each unlocked location is a character who can provide you with much needed swag (gears, buttons, etc.), but you need to solve riddles or puzzles to earn them. The conversational give and take between you and these folks can get a bit tiresome.

Tapping speech bubbles endlessly between two people gets old after the fifth or sixth exchange, but the puzzles themselves are quite amusing. They range from simple word puzzles to placing items in date order to Parisian history questions.

As you gather the proper amount of items for each episode of 9 Elefants, you descend into Paris’ famed Catacombs (sans all the skeletons and skulls I remember from my visit) to converse with an elephant-masked man who may know your father’s whereabouts.

9 Elefants

You can play up to three profiles in this game or simply open the puzzle book if you want to suspend with the muss and fuss of the storyline.

The jaunty Django Reinhardt music is in perfect keeping with the time period and the fun of the game.

9 Elefants

I can’t recommend 9 Elefants highly enough. It’s a wonderful mixture of fun and escapism. My 10-year-old daughter and I played it for two solid hours one evening and only put the tablet down because it was bedtime on a school night.

If you can’t afford a Parisian vacation this summer, skip your daily latte and throw the three bucks at 9 Elefants. You’ll be glad you did.

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