The Spiderwick Chronicles
The Chronicles were originally a best-selling children's book series that was recently released as a feature film. Of course, with children's movies come videogame tie-ins. The titular Chronicles are an encyclopedia of the fantasy world that exists all around us. Arthur Spiderwick discovered this hidden dimension many years ago and kept a journal of his discoveries. Players take control of three siblings when they discover the field guide after moving into Spiderwick's old mansion.
The first thing you'll notice is that the game is very dark. The game will prompt you to adjust the brightness right off the bat, but I played every version of Spiderwick on several monitors and every time I had to turn the brightness all the way up.
Gameplay is a mix of exploration, puzzle solving, and combat. There are tons and tons of items to find, Sprites to catch, and curious areas to check. The game does a good job of engaging the player, keeping them from getting bored, and enticing them with what might be waiting around the next corner. Puzzles start out easy, but eventually they provide a nice little challenge. One aspect of gameplay that is a little obnoxious, though, is that you can't pick up an item until the game decides it is time. You may examine an item, then learn how to use it, and have to backtrack to go pick it up. The game lacks an inventory system.
Combat is mostly button-mashing (or mouse-mashing), but it's pretty satisfying smashing in a goblin's skull with a metal baseball bat. As you defeat enemies you'll pick up goblin teeth, which (for some reason or another) unlock new attacks. Of course, these usually only grant you another swing of your weapon, but there are a few cool abilities to be unlocked. Jared, the sibling you begin playing as, has a rather awesome "launcher" attack that lets him hit goblin home runs.
Finding Sprites will grant you magical abilities such as healing, super speed, or super strength. Catching them with your Sprite Net will initiate a mini-game where you have to "water color" an image of the fairy. This would get tedious were it not for the fact that, once you catch enough of a certain kind, you are freed from the need to paint their portrait.