Night Mysteries: The Amphora Prisoner
Options include a slider for Brightness before you even enter the game (can be changed at any time), separate sliders for Music and Sound, Full-screen and Screen Correction (to make it widescreen). Choice of Casual or Advanced Mode, which can be changed at any time.
NOTE: You cannot access the Menu by clicking on the Menu button. lol~ You have to click on the ship's wheel above it in order to get to the menu.
WARNING for those sensitive: We have a mini-game where we have to catch a few tarantulas... Oh and there are rats, too. No snakes, though, you're safe there! lol~Story
You've had a run of terrible luck, but manage to gain passage upon a cargo ship bound for America. What seemed to be a boon turns out to be a nightmare in disguise when a horrible noise awakens you one night and you find that the crew of the ship has disappeared. You soon discover the horrible truth, and you only have 'til dawn to save the crew... and yourself!
The story progresses via semi-regular cutscenes. Our Journal
contains extra details, and will also give you an idea of what you should be doing without giving you hints. It feels more like a true journal than is usually seen in a game with hidden objects. There is also an Objectives
list inside if you need it.Gameplay
Be on the lookout for pearls* as you play. You'll likely notice them right after you start the game, but you won't find out that they're not a collectible until after you've been playing for a while.
The first half+ of the game plays more like a true adventure than an IHOG. Your cursor will change when you mouse-over something you can interact with, but it does NOT change over items that you can pick up. Like any good adventure game, click on anything that looks useful. You may get a message that there's no reason to do or take something right now, but at least you'll know it's there for later. The latter part of the game has a lot more puzzles and HO scenes and less adventuring.Hidden Object Scenes
can be lightly-interactive, but most of them are just your standard to-find list. The HOS themselves are junk piles, and some of the items are really cleverly-hidden. These scenes will eventually repeat once. Besides the lists, there are also a couple of times during the adventure portion when you'll have to find multiples of something, fragmented item-style.
A couple of the Mini-games
are based on timing (ie. dropping something at just the right moment or spraying moving targets), and there's a super-irritating Simon-type memory game where you have to remember and repeat 8 sequences... and if you mess up anywhere along the line, you have to start over.
We do have a MAP
of the ship, but it is not interactive, nor does it allow instant transport.
Using a HINT
during the adventure portion will either give you a direction to go or pinpoint an objective on the scene.
*Now about those pearls...
Sights and Sounds
You MUST have all of the pearls in order to complete the game, but I found out AFTER I spent 10 minutes looking for the last two that once you finish everything else in the game, the hint will help you find any missing pearls. *face palm*
The scenes gently rock in rhythm with the sea, but you can turn this function off at any time.
Most cutscenes are done in a graphic novel style, but the rest of the game is done in the too-perfect 3D model style of yesteryear. Although the copyright in-game shows 2015, Amphora Prisoner
actually came out in 2013, so it's no surprise that the graphics feel dated.
A couple of gripes, both related to anachronisms (there are a TON of them!): What is a modern-day fire extinguisher doing in a tale that feels like it's from the 1900's, and why can't we use said extinguishers to put out fires, huh? >_<
The music and SFX are nicely-environmental, and there are no voice overs - much preferred to BAD voice overs, I must say!Extra Content
This is not a collector's edition, but you can replay any minis and/or HOS that you've already completed in the game via the main menu.
- 15 Puzzles
- 11 Hidden Object Scenes
Cleverly-hidden HO's are offset by some annoying mini-games, but overall, this is a pleasant way to spend two or three hours, and - due to the strong adventure element - a bit different than your usual IHOG fare.