Giveaway of the Day - The Enchanting Islands

The Enchanting Islands
May 18, 2014

The Enchanting Islands were filled with light and color until an evil sorceress spread darkness throughout the land. As Alice, you can restore this fairy-tale realm by collecting the elements you need to cast your spells and watching as tall trees, glistening pools and verdant meadows to burst forth from the soil. Match elements in threes to collect them, use tools to gather everything you need before time runs out and defeat ferocious guardians in your quest to return life to the Enchanting Islands!

  • Five islands to restore;
  • More than six dozen levels;
  • More than a dozen elements to gather;
  • More than 20 upgrades to purchase;
  • Three tools to earn and use.
User Rating: Rate It!
  • 274 (75%) 
  • 89 (25%)
System Requirements: Windows XP/ Vista/ 7/ 8; CPU: 800 Mhz; RAM: 256 MB; DirectX: 8.0; Hard Drive: 42 MB
Publisher: Alawar Entertainment
Homepage: http://www.bigfishgames.c...
File Size: 43.5 MB
Price: $9.99

This software was available as a giveaway on May 18, 2014, this giveaway is not available any more. You can download the trial version of this software at

Terms and conditions

Please note that the software you download and install during the Giveaway period comes with the following important limitations: 1) No free technical support; 2) No free upgrades to future versions; 3) Strictly personal usage.


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  1. The Enchanting Islands:

    In Brief:

    An interesting match 3 game with spell casting, boss stages and mini hidden object stages. As you progress the game gets quite challenging. Worth a download if you like Match 3 games. One of the better ones.

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    The game downloads as a 43.5 MB zip file that unpacks to a read me document that contains the terms and conditions and a wrapped dual activation and set up module and a security set up file (setup.gcd). Just for the newcomers amongst today’s users that means the game will be registered once it’s gone through the set up process, so there’s no registering the game with an activation code.

    The game installs to C:\Games\TheEnchantingIslands_game

    There’s no shortcut installed to either the Start Menu/Programs list or the desktop, so you’ll need to create your own by opening up the installed games folder and creating one via the games executable. The games icon is an improvement on the original Egyptoid icon. The installed game is 37.1 MB in size

    The game should work Win 7 and 8.1; not tested it on Vista or XP. If you miss today’s giveaway you can get it 24/7 from MyPlayCity or Jenkat Games

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    The Enchanting Islands were filled with light and color until an evil sorceress spread darkness throughout the land. You can restore this fairy-tale realm by collecting the elements you need to cast your spells and watching as glistening pools and verdant meadows burst forth from the soil. Use tools to gather everything you need, in this Match 3 game, and defeat the ferocious guardians in your quest to return life to The Enchanting Islands!

    Reference accessed HERE 18th May 2014

    The Game:

    Do you want to save the world? Alawar’s The Enchanting Islands is a match-3 puzzle game that has you casting spells to save the land from eternal darkness, and making your tile matches to gather elements needed for your restoration spells.

    Once upon a time, the Enchanting Islands were completely enchanting, filled with light and color. Then an evil sorceress attacked the land, cursed everything she saw, and destroyed everything she touched. It looked like the end of the Enchanting Islands, until Alice, a nearby wizard, offered the people of the land a glimmer of hope. As Alice, you must restore the islands to their former glory by matching element tiles and beating evil boss monsters.

    To play, you must swap adjacent tiles to make matches of three or more of a type. In order to beat a level, you need to gather all of the elements required, which are shown at the top of the screen. Sometimes you will need to clear all of the gold tiles, which can be done by making matches on top of them. Other times you may be asked to release a special item, like a potion.

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    To do this, you make matches underneath it until it reaches the bottom of the screen. For each board you play, you can earn gold, silver, or bronze medals, although this doesn’t really impact the game play. Because you advance based on casting spells and not by completing boards, there’s no way to replay a board for a better score. Boards take a long time to complete, generally 7-10 minutes each.

    There are three power-ups, which are refreshed on a timer. The hammer breaks one block, and the bomb destroys tiles in a small area. The collector tool is really helpful. You can use to collect all elements of one type on the board. It also destroys chains, and clears the gold tiles underneath those elements. Bubble tiles are wild. The images inside alternate, and you can click to select the one you want.

    Of course, there are also a bunch of obstacles. Chains can lock a tile into place, and you have to make matches with them in order to break them. Some items are double chained. Spiders can leave messy webs behind, which also trap tiles. You can destroy the spiders by making matches above or below them, and break webs by including those tiles in matches.

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    While it starts off simple, things can get quite hairy when you have multiple obstacles and goals on a single board. The layouts are involved. Levels are timed, but the timer is generally pretty generous and not too troublesome. If you lose, you can just replay.

    In a new twist, you don’t actually advance by completing boards. Rather, you advance by casting spells. These spells require a certain number of “elements,” which you gather by playing the main game. For example, you might need 200 strawberries, 2 potions, and 50 gold tiles. Once you have enough elements to buy the spell upgrade, you play a short hidden object board to find the elements hidden on the screen. After you’ve beaten it, you get the upgrade.

    There are several upgrades to unlock in each chapter. When you’ve unlocked them all, you advance to the next island.

    Before you move to a new island, you have to beat the boss battle. This is really cute, and something different. You make matches of three or more, as usual. However, there is a monster scrolling around at the bottom of the screen. You need to make your matches over his head, in order for the tiles to fall on him and do damage.

    Some tiles are better than others. Leaves, for example, just float off and do no damage. Bigger items like oranges do more damage. This is my favorite part of the game, and would make a nice stand alone.

    The game features upbeat fantasy-inspired music, which really sets an enjoyable and relaxing mood during the game play. The length is good, so you can expect at least 5 hours of game play. The game itself is very smooth and polished.

    During the regular chapter play, things can be a bit repetitive. The boss battles are the most entertaining, since they break the monotony. Because of the repetition, it’s difficult to sit and play in one sitting. This is the sort of game that’s more suitable for playing in short spurts.

    There are only 3 power ups, making The Enchanting Islands less complex than many other match-3 games. The artwork is very nicely done, but repetitive. The tiles change slightly as you advance in the game, but you’re still mostly dealing with fruits and flowers. It would have been nice to see more variety.

    The Enchanting Islands isn’t particularly original or complex, but it features everything you’d expect from a match-3 game. The artwork is bright and colorful, the music is fun, the rules are clearly presented and simple, and there’s a fair amount of opportunity to form strategies as you play. It’s entertaining if you’re looking for a game to play during coffee breaks.

    Reference accessed HERE 18th May 2014


    You can see a video of game play HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

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    Simple rules. Entertaining music. Polished game play. Fun boss battles.


    Repetitive levels and graphics. Limited power-ups.


    Game play ——-
    Graphics ——-
    Audio ——-
    Replayability ——-
    Originality ——-

    Total = which equals out of 10.

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    If you have any problems installing or getting today’s game to work please go HERE for help, there’s a list of FAQ’s with answers.

    If you are posting late in the day I would also suggest posting in the main giveaway forums in the game discussion section. If you’ve installed the game but it won’t work for some reason, it should still be registered, so someone may be able to help at another time.

    Unfortunately if your problem is actually installing it then once the giveaway period is over there’s nothing that can be done until the game is given away again (though that isn’t guaranteed). Though, so long as you have the download, sometimes its still possible to activate an hour or so later. (It’s been reported as long as 3 hours)

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    If you do miss the giveaway, or find it won’t work, it’s always worth checking out the free games sites as sometimes the games we get here are also available for free from them. MyPlayCity has the most with over 600 games to choose from. Today’s game isn’t available from MyPlayCity, Jenkat Games or the other free game sits though you can get the first one (which was given away some weeks ago, from Gametop. they have changed the name to Egyptoball. There are two other Egypt themed breakouts over at MyPlayCity called Egypt Ball and Egyptian Ball, the latter is an excellent physics based breakout with cool brick physics and some novel power ups as well.

    Please do remember that these free sites have the potential to install toolbars and change your provider. MPC is quite aggressive at the moment. Every time you start a game up, you will need to uncheck the checkboxes if you install the MyPlayCity version.


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    More Games

    If today’s game doesn’t take your fancy then check out the game discussion forums and the free games synopsis. We’ve posted a couple of thousand free games over the last three years, many of which are excellent alternatives to their commercial cousins. I’ve posted around 15 games over the last week as it’s now five years since I started the Free games project (now called Good Games to Grab).

    Games, Games, and yet more Games plus Download, Installation & Game play Problems:

    If you’re looking for something other than today’s game check the didimatic site via THIS link for some brilliant deals.

    Steams weekend deals include a free weekend playing Chivalry Medieval Warfare (you will need to install the Steam client to take advantage of this offer. The full game will be available to play until Sunday 1pm PDT. You can also buy the game at 75% off until Monday afternoon. The other weekend deal is 50% off The Stanley Parable (a first person exploration game), there’s 76% off the latest 48hr deal which is Magka (all 24 dlc’s are 75% off as well), yesterdays 48hr deal, which is still active till later today is Deus Ex: Human Revolution Directors Cut (a first person stealth game).

    There’s also 75% off Guns of Icarus Online, 80% off ArmA 2 Complete collection (only £4.99 for a superb military sim, with hundreds of hours of game play, explore thousands of square miles of almost life like environments ranging from European forests, towns and villages to dry environments not unlike Afghanistan. (I’ve put in well over 3000 hours on this game since it was released in 2009). There’s also 75% off How to survive, 80% off the Take on Helicopters bundle 9a really cool helicopter sim (from the same developers as ArmA), 75% off Sonic % All-Stars Racing Transformed, 80% off Carrier Command: Gaea Mission, 80% off the superb demolition derby and racing game Flatout Complete pack (only £4.49 for four brilliant games), 75% off sonic Generations, 75% off Port Royale, 75% off Deus Ex: Game of the Year Edition, 75% off Deus ex: Invisible War, 90% off BC Kings, 70% off Postal 2, 50% off Small Worlds 2 (plus dlc), 90% off Bad Rats (a physics based game on the lines of the incredible machine), 85% off Sacred Gold (only £0.89), 75% off Frontlines: fuel of War, 80% off Alpha Prime, 80% off Memento Mori, 90% off Puzzle kingdoms (an rpg based match 3 game), 66% off Gas Guzzlers Extreme, 80% off UFO: Afterlight, 80% off Original War, 80% off Jagged alliance 2 Gold, 75% off Men of War: Assault Squad GOTY, 75% off the superb 3D space sim Darkstar One, 80% off the Ankh pack (two point & click adventure games), 60% off The Bridge, 80% off Alternativa, 60% off Eldritch, 66% off Violett, 67% off Unity of Command trilogy bundle (you can purchase the three games separately for 80% off each, but you get a further discount for buying the bundle), 90% off Blood of the Werewolf, 75% off Men at War, 80% off Pound of Ground. There’s well over a hundred games and dlc’s on sale at the moment, with a developers sale on for Strategy first. you can see details of all their on sale items HERE

    This months Origin freebie is the fantastic tower defence game Plants & Zombies. You do need to install the Origin client and create a free account with EA games to access the freebies (last months freebie was the AAA rated game Dead Space) . Once you’ve got the client installed, an account created and opened up, click on the Free games tab along the top of the store front page and select ‘On the House’. You can find the Plants and Zombies deal HERE

    You’ll find many more game deals on Greenmangaming, Gamersgate, Gamestop, and GOG, Desura and Origin. There are too many game deals around too list them all. Just visit the sites I recommend above and I’m sure you’ll find something that suits you for a very decent price.

    For details of all active indie game bundles check out the thread in the forums HERE. There’s around 20 different bundles active at the moment, so you’re bound to find some games that will interest you at a heavily discounted price. I’ve also listed some free bundles.

    The latest IndieGameStand game is Attractio a FPS-Puzzle game. The next deal starts on Monday morning 5am GMT. There’s a new site called The Daily Indie Game (though games change every 2 to 4 days) that has a heavily discounted indie game every 48 hours which you can access HERE (though I’m also updating the bundles thread in the game discussion forums, so you can usually find details of the latest game available from this site there. If you pay over the average price for games from this site you’ll get a second key that you can give to friends. At the moment I’ve not seen the average price rise above $1.50. The latest game is called Subject 9 a unique game that challenges players to fight to survive, using the environment to help aid the cause, and elemental powers to lay waste to anyone who stands in the way. Set in the future, the game is about a human weapon, Subject 9; is granted super human powers by a corrupted company that’s attempting to contain him as he escapes for freedom.


    A Request for help:

    Developers rely on good feedback to improve their games. If you download this game please take some time once you’ve played it a while to leave some constructive feedback either positive or negative. The more constructive feedback we get, the more likely developers are going to give more games away. The giveaway site already has a very good standing with the search engines. Developers want their products out there on the WWW, this site has the potential to do that. The game giveaway project gives away on average between 9 to 17 thousand downloads for each game depending upon what genre and how obscure the game is. That’s a lot of homes these games are being downloaded into and a lot of ‘potential’ cash that’s being lost by the developers. If we get better games because of better feedback, the community are likely to continue to benefit from the generosity of the developers. Satisfied community members are then more likely to visit the home sites of those developers and purchase games that they may not have bothered with before they discovered the developer via the game giveaway site, thus giving the developers more incentives to give away even more decent games.

    Please leave some feedback once you’ve checked the game out. It can be positive or negative, but please explain what your reasons were for the feedback you post. You could also leave suggestions for improving the game, for example, this game could do with more block types for the levels editor, add more power-ups, describing the ones you think would be suitable, add some mini games (which seem all the rage in some arcade games now) or enable the user to be able to change the in game music easily.

    Thank you in advance to all those who take the time to post a constructive comment.


    Whiterabbit aka Stephen

    Comment by Whiterabbit-uk — May 18th, 2014 at 3:00 am
  2. Re PLANTS v. ZOMBIES – great game! BUT – download requires a HUMONGOUS download (100s of MBs) of the ELECTRONIC ARTS/Origin game engine. Also: when I de-installed all this, there were 1000s of file-leftovers, left untouched by the EA-deinstallation program. So if you want to play this game: install both game and Origin engine using an program to monitor these installatiobs, otherwise you’ll a huge job of getting rid of all these files later on ( a game in itself! ).
    On the UP side: If you installed all this you can also play other EA games for free ( like Need for speed ).
    Hope this is of help.

    ………………………..Moderator Comment………………………..

    Hi Hugo,

    That’s a good idea using a monitoring program; it should make removal of all the Origin files and registry entries easier, (if you decide the game and future games aren’t for you). Most community members computers will probably have hundreds of Gigabytes of storage space at the very least so I doubt the size of the Origin client would impact on their hard drives; that said, if you are fastidious about keeping your hard drive tidy, it’s useful to know. (I never even thought to see how large the Origin client took up in disc space, but then I have over 10 Terabytes of hard drive space on my main computer spread over several hard drives, so space hasn’t been a concern for quite some time. (My first ever PC that only had 40MB of space back in the late 80’s – I could only run a couple of games at a time, then would have to delete them).

    It looks like the free games are going to be a regular feature, so there will be more excellent games being givewn away over the coming months, plus of course the already free Need for Speed World (online game). Thanks for the warning though, much appreciated.

    Comment by Hugo — May 18th, 2014 at 3:27 am
  3. …………………Moderator Comment………………..

    I’m going to be away again today. My son has just gone into surgery. i want to be at the hospital when he is brought back to the ward. will moderate later today.

    Comment by Whiterabbit-uk — May 18th, 2014 at 5:22 am

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