game review Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle BoxTiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box by Marjorie M. Liu

Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle BoxDownload Tiger Eye: Curse of the Riddle Box

I recently had the opportunity to try out Tiger Eye Part I: Curse of the Riddle Box, a casual game released in April 2010 by PassionFruit Games. The game is based on the first half of the novel Tiger Eye by Marjorie M. Liu.

A disclaimer: I’m not as well-versed in casual games and hidden-object games as some other players might be; my gaming background is more in point-and-click adventure games (favorites include The Longest Journey, The Secret Files: Tunguska, and Barrow Hill). Those old pixel-hunting skills served me well, though, in the hidden-object sections of Tiger Eye!

Hidden object scenarios make up a large part of the game, and they’re set in locations from the book, some of them stunningly beautiful. So, for example, you’ll hunt for magic objects in a Beijing market and search for toiletries in an opulent hotel bath. The difficulty of finding objects varies. I found that in every scene, there were a few items I found right away, and there was always one last thing that took forever to find. The game also includes other types of puzzles, such as word puzzles, Match-3 (Bedazzled-style) games, connecting shower pipes, connecting neurons to activate Dela’s psychic power, and assembling jumbled pictures. Again, the difficulty varies, but hints are available and many mini-games can be skipped if you’re totally stumped. The games fit the plot — always a welcome thing.

The romance plot between Dela and Hari takes place during the cutscenes. (Dela looks exactly like I imagined her, but I hadn’t pictured Hari as a redhead!) Liu wrote the script herself, and it’s faithful to the book. I look forward to seeing the rest of the story unfold in the subsequent game.

Tiger Eye Part I: Curse of the Riddle Box is a game that’s easy to squeeze into your schedule. It doesn’t take long to load, and when you decide to exit, it saves your game wherever you happen to be. It’s also not a long game overall. I’m a sucker for games of epic length, and so I’d have been happy to see this game run longer or be united with Part II. Yet this was a fun gaming experience, and I’m quite glad I gave it a try.


  • Kelly Lasiter

    KELLY LASITER, with us since July 2008, is a mild-mannered academic administrative assistant by day, but at night she rules over a private empire of tottering bookshelves. Kelly is most fond of fantasy set in a historical setting (a la Jo Graham) or in a setting that echoes a real historical period (a la George RR Martin and Jacqueline Carey). She also enjoys urban fantasy and its close cousin, paranormal romance, though she believes these subgenres’ recent burst in popularity has resulted in an excess of dreck. She is a sucker for pretty prose (she majored in English, after all) and mythological themes.

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