Unsolved Mystery Club: Ancient Astronauts
(IHOG)2012 review updated after playing Steam version in 2019
This one was a personal favorite back when it came out. So how does it hold up 7 years later? Read on to find out~!
Options include sliders for Music and Sound, Custom Cursor, Widescreen, Full-screen or Windowed. Choice of Casual or Expert mode, the only difference being how long it takes the hint and skip buttons to charge. Story
:"This game is a fictional dramatization based on a true story and real events."
Five members of the Unsolved Mystery Club organization have gone missing in different parts of the world whilst researching theories about ancient astronauts, and you have been tasked with finding them. The game starts out at the UMC headquarters, but it's not long before you're off on your first journey.
is a communication device that we use to keep in contact with UMC. Here you can see brief overviews of the clues you've found in each part of the world, as well as the ability to replay cutscenes. Be sure to read any articles you find before closing them, as you won't get to see them at a readable size from the device.Gameplay
There is no MAP,
but each part of the world we visit has a limited number of locations, so it never feels like we're doing too much backtracking.
Be on the lookout for usable items. Sure, we're always looking for something we can use, but to me a lot of these items seemed such a natural part of the landscape that I had trouble spotting them. lol~ In other words, you'll find helpful items in places other than HO scenes.
During the adventure portion of the game, we have tiered hint system. When you click on the HELP
button, you'll get a list of objectives you can get assistance with.
Some of the answers are tiered, and you'll have to wait for the help button to recharge before you can ask another question.
The Hidden Object Scenes
are very lightly interactive, and all are the standard find-by-list type. HINTS
are available during the HOS, but both hints and skips take a long time to charge regardless of which game mode you've chosen. You will get multiple items from each completed scene.
The misclick penalty
engages when you make five wrong clicks in a row.Sights and Sounds
During the course of our adventure, we'll visit Africa, Egypt, Mexico, Peru and Antarctica, each with its own kind of beauty. The graphics, by today's standards, are nice, but at the time of release they were really something special.
Each time there was dialogue I had to turn the sound WAY up in order to hear what was being said, so a separate slider for voices would have been much-appreciated. Still, the voice acting is good and the music is fitting.
The greatest strength of Ancient Astronauts
is the design of the HOS. They're beautiful and challenging, and the theming to them is very well done. CE Content
- Integrated Strategy Guide (look for it at the top right of the retractable toolbar)
- Bonus Chapter
- 12 Concept Art (Locations)
- 12 Character Concept Art
- 6 Music Tracks (cannot be saved)
The extra chapter takes us to the Andes in Tiwanku, Bolivia to see if we can find a UMC member's missing father. There is a matching puzzle that we'll have to do in three separate places, each harder than the last due to the quantity of items to match and the fact that they move if you don't find the identical piece.
This chapter doesn't really add anything to the story, but it does address something that was mentioned in one of the UMC's bios (the missing father).
Once you finish the bonus, you can go back into the game to review character bios or to re-watch cutscenes from your communication device.Verdict
Although this was not the amazing experience that I remember from way back when, it's still a good game. This is a nicely-balanced IHOG with challenging but beautifully-designed HOS. Recommended for lovers of the genre!