Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek
The first thing I noticed when I entered the game is that I'd played it before... But that didn't make sense, I KNEW I hadn't played it, yet! Turns out that the opening scene is almost the same as the one for Echoes of Sorrow
, so if you experience déjà vu when you enter the game, give it a minute -- it is definitely much different than Echoes!
There are separate sliders for music and sound, and the game is fully voiced over. There are options for custom cursor, full screen, aspect ratio, and you can also switch back and forth between regular and expert mode on the options screen, as well.
There are two difficulty modes to choose from, Regular or Expert. Besides the usual differences, Expert mode has a misclick penalty, "less direct hints" from the player character, and no sparklies (except those that indicate a hidden object scene)!
Using a HINT during the adventure portion of the game will give you a directional arrow if there's nothing for you to do where you are, and it will NOT discharge the hint.
We have a journal, but it only records the basics. From the journal you can access an objectives list, and the MAP (which does NOT include a jump-to option.) If you're playing on expert mode, active areas will not show up on the map.
The hidden object scenes are horribly cluttered. Nothing tiny or overly dark, but VERY crowded. The only good thing I can say about these scenes is that there are a few items that are craftily hidden, instead of depending on the sheer volume of items to obscure things you're trying to find. There is light interaction on a few of the scenes, but only a few. The HOS in this game really aggravated me, and nearly made me stop playing a couple of times >_< and even worse, we visit each scene two to three times.
On the plus side, there is quite a bit of time before we hit a HOS a second (or third) time.
As we collect clues, they are sorted via our Evidence Board. We have an Evidence wall where we sort things and make deductions about our case. It's best to sort as you go, lest you get overwhelmed!
This is a very good game, and LONG, with 44 locations, not including the scenes where we zoom-in or the HOS. The story is interesting, the gameplay is good, and the graphics are well-done. I especially appreciate the differences in expert mode, and the lack of hand-holding!
After all is said and done, we come to a solid conclusion with a "To be continued..." at the very end. I would have wondered if the TBC was in the bonus chapter, but having read the synopsis for The Mists of Ravenwood
, I can see that the story does, indeed, continue in the next game (which should be out some time soon~!)
Despite my irritation with the HOS, I really did enjoy this game, and definitely recommend it