Wonderland Of Invention*****
BASED ON COMPLETED GAME
Hard to believe this is the first of the Mystery Trackers series. It is such a sweet and simple game compared to the hard hitting, spectacular sequel Raincliff, and all that have come since. Yet you can see the quality and excitement in this game that are characteristic of all these games. Although a quiet start, the tension builds quickly and the mysterious atmosphere lasts the whole game.
SIGHTS & SOUNDS
There is no widescreen option, of course, and the graphics have aged a little, but are artistically delightful and on most monitors, you’d not see much difference from a decent game made today. And the colours are bold and bright, the HOPs cleverly designed to misdirect the eye while remaining clear enough to see. I did find an occasional item difficult to find because of the age of the graphics, but they were few. Being a little more mature, shall we say, there are few animations and the HOPs are less fun because of it.
The background sounds are great. There are frogs in the pond, and rain dripping into it too. There are spooky noises in the house, and some wonderful booms and crashes. The music is mixed. Some I liked more than others. Voices don’t play much of a part in this game, but they are used to get effect. Love the radio in our car.
We belong to a quasi-secret society called Mystery Trackers and we have been called in to investigate the disappearances of 3 famous people who have visited the mansion of recluse-inventor Malleus Void. Well, nobody rolled out the welcome mat for us, so we’ve had to improvise. The things we find in the mansion will both amaze and shock. And the mystery will become ever more intriguing.
Nicely simple gameplay, considering the series’ tendency to be a bit tougher in more recent games. There are HOPs and other mini-games/puzzles in equal number – 38 each. Which makes it a very long game. Even I could not play it in one sitting. The HOPs are simple word lists, and as you progress you are required to get more and more multiples of some of the items. The puzzles, too, increase in difficulty as the game moves forward.
The adventure side of the game is at its most simple. You rarely keep inventory items for long, and the game seals off behind you once you are finished with an area, so there is never too many locations to work on at once. There is no map, but hint is literally a hint. Not quite the answer, but enough for you to know where to go and figure it out. The journal receives a lot of information, and some of it is necessary, so it is good to read it regularly.
This game has 12 achievements, which are mostly story related, but there are a couple of performance based ones.
I surely did love playing this game, especially just after playing the latest in this series. It’s certainly not as sophisticated as its brothers, but it is a sweet game with a lot of imagination and verve.
I recommend this game!