Mystery of the Ancients 2: Curse of the Black Water
(IHOG)This is a standalone story
There are sliders for Music, Effects and Ambient Volume, plus options for full-screen and custom cursor. There are three difficulty levels, which can be changed at any time via the Options panel.Story:
The town of Black Water is evacuated after the water literally
turns black overnight. The two archaeologists who stayed behind have not been heard from in days, and it's your job to find them and help them escape the island. Face the supernatural in your quest to save the town... and the world!
documents what's happening in the game and adds a bit of extra story. WARNING: When you open the journal, you will be on page two. Page one of the journal contains a spoiler about the ending of the first game, Lockwood Manor
The hidden object scenes are not indicated by sparkles unless you are playing on the easiest difficulty setting. The HOS are lightly-interactive, with items listed in yellow needing some kind of task before they become visible/accessible. These are some well done scenes, interesting to look at and not horribly cluttered. There is no misclick penalty on the first two difficulty levels. Not sure about the hardest level, though.
The adventure portion of the game is really fun, and there are a LOT of locations. Finding the hidden turtles added to the interest, and really made you *look* at the beautiful artwork. Some of those turtles are masterfully-hidden, and I love that they don't all look the same.
There is an interesting mechanic added about half way through the game, and I won't spoil it, but I will say that I thought that it really added to the story.
HOS do NOT repeat, and were nicely-spaced with the rest of the gameplay (not HO-heavy at all).
The devs added something that I truly appreciate -- when a tool won't work for the task at hand, it will show and/or tell you why
it won't work. Those little extra touches are definitely appreciated.
Mini-games are SKIPPABLE
, and the instructions are not in-your-face -- you can access them if you want them, or try to solve the games without the help.
is interactive, and has insta-transport available. Any turtle you've found will be pictured on the map, so you can easily see where you might have missed one. The task bar at the bottom of the screen is retractable, but you can be locked into the open position.Sights and Sounds:
The music is nicely environmental, and the voice overs are about what you'd expect from a casual game. Not terrible, but not amazing, either.
The graphical choices really made me happy. So often developers use exactly the same color palette and style for every single scene in the game, regardless of whether it's inside or outside. It absolutely drives me crazy! I was very pleasantly surprised to see that not only is there a wide color palette in Curse of the Black Water
, but the various areas of the game have different styles... and it STILL feels completely cohesive. Bravo, devs! CE Content:
- Integrated Strategy Guide
- 39 Collectible Turtles - one on each scene
- 15 in-game achievements
- Bonus Chapter
- 10 Concept Art
- 11 Wallpapers
- 7 Music Tracks (I don't see a way to save them)
The final chapter of the game takes up right where the main game left off, and is the true ending of the story. Not only that, but there is a small tie-in to the first game, Lockwood Manor
, if you're paying attention to the journal. The gameplay is just as good, but they took a departure from the main game on the hidden object scenes!
Instead of find-by-list HOS, we have hidden object puzzles. Items to be found are listed as almost-there silhouettes, and you have to figure out how to interact with the scene in order to collect everything. It's great, and I'm hoping they used this approach again in the subsequent games of the series!Verdict:Mystery of the Ancients: Curse of the Black Water
is interesting, beautiful, fun-to-play and a good length. This is an excellent IHOG and a high-quality offering all the way around. Definitely recommended!