I’ve got to stop being intrigued by the idea of time-travel based hidden object mystery games. Although some of them are pretty cool, Time Relics: Gears of Light left much to be desired. The concept was sound, and was not unlike the movie, My Science Project, where items from other time periods popped up inside the high school. In this game, objects and architecture from the Middle Ages suddenly pops up from in some town where we are playing as the leader of a time-keeping organization, sort of like the Time Lords and Ladies of Dr. Who.
It seems that hidden object mystery games just get creepier and creepier, and Brink of Consciousness: Dorian Gray Syndrome Collector’s Edition is one of the creepiest by far. While there is no blood, there is one psychotic “artist” that is our antagonist, and is he ever deranged! We play through the POV of Sam Wilde, an investigative reporter, and even though the place names sound very English, the background looks to be in Central Europe. Well, Sam is getting a little to close to the truth, and even in 1950, the time when this is all taking place, some low tech can be used in finding what has been missing and saving more lives, including the one dearest to Sam, his girlfriend, Anna.
This is one of those unusual dark hidden object mysteries that takes a little more effort to understand. There is a history to the story, and things are not always as they seem. In Mystery of the Ancients: Lockwood Manor, we open with a small animated film set in 1866. In the basement of the manor, there are some men in dark robes, and it looks as though they are attempting to summon a demon. They succeed, and trap the demon. These men then take the demon’s dark power to use as their own, and there the story cuts to present day.
Our two trick or treating heroes live in a town that really loves to do up Halloween. From the moment they slip into their costumes and as they go one down the streets from the kindly neighbors next door, to the creepy old professor in the odd house, to the rich part of town, they are in it to win it, and winning means lots of sweet loot! In Halloween: Trick or Treat Every house in the hood has the spookiest decorations up, and black cats and kittens are everywhere, but don’t let the these kids’ enthusiasm for the holiday get to you, because it would be much more fun to do some real trick or treating than to play this game. It is a hidden object mystery for the kids, but some of these puzzles are not so easy, and can be frightening at times. Many of the logic puzzles are great for the kids, though, so there is a bright spot in all this ghoulishness. The little witch and skeleton even get to make a trip past the town cemetery for treats. Collect up the many black and orange candy canes in every location, and your chances of getting tricked will become less, but when you do get tricked, they get you good! So avoid the skull, and make sure you get the pumpkin when those little opportunities flash on your screen.
Another great game for the Samhain holidays that will keep you guessing and running through the streets of 19-century Paris is the Dark Tales: Edgar Allan Poe’s Murders in the Rue Morgue Collector’s Edition. This is where we actually meet with Inspector C. Auguste Dupin for the first time, and he seems to be a rather eccentric, but charming character, but his puzzles are purely a test to be sure that you are able to keep up with his investigation techniques. Some of these puzzles can be difficult, but easily figured out if you apply some logic, and there are always hints available when you need them, if you don’t use too many too quickly. Dupin’s case will take us all over the city, searching for clues to the murder of Madame L’Espanaye and her daughter on the fictional street of Rue Morgue. It’s a grisly murder and a dark tale, but it keeps us guessing up till the end, as with most of Poe’s works.