Continuing my holiday series of mini-reviews of games for Windows Phone 8.1 and Windows 10 Mobile, here's the latest 'hidden object' classic from Artifex Mundi. Lush production values and flawless game play if you're into immersive puzzlers, Scarlett Mysteries: Cursed Child is available in both full and trial forms in the Windows Store.
From an early age, Scarlett Everitt displayed a gift for the paranormal, as ghosts and spirits accompanied her every step. Desperate to protect her from an encroaching darkness, her father, Johnathan, placed her in an orphanage run by nuns. Years later, Scarlett returns to find her dad, and finds a clue that leads her to the Victorian mansion of a baronet named Steameyer.
BUY ONCE - ENJOY ENDLESSLY! - Unlock the game to own it forever!
LOOK FOR CLUES TO THE WHEREABOUTS OF YOUR FATHER! - As the protagonist tries to locate her missing father, a clue leads her to the train station next to Baronet Steameyer's mansion and factory.
USE YOUR PSYCHIC ABILITIES! - Scarlett possesses a remarkable gift that enables her to see where her father resided and traveled in the past.
SOLVE THE RIDDLES OF A VICTORIAN RESIDENCE! - Scarlett hopes to find her father while exploring Steameyer's mansion. However, the huge house hides terrifying secrets and dreadful mysteries.
LEARN THE TRUTH HIDDEN IN THE DARK PAST! - What connects the heroine to the Steameyer family, and what dramatic fate befell the mysterious heiress to their fortune? Help Scarlett learn the truth!
Here's Scarlett Mysteries: Cursed Child in action:
A typical scene from the game. Around the UI, from bottom left, anti-clockwise, are shortcuts to map, visions (puzzles to reveal certain images), menu, objects that have been collected so far, objectives reminder, hint, and the glowing gold trail is showing the current hint (a cabinet to tap on)...
As the game suggests, up front, crank up your speakers or put on headphones, since there's lots going on in terms of audio.
Part of the cinematic introduction, Artifex Mundi create these mini-movies, artwork and puzzles full-time, and it shows.
Impressively, you can play the game in any of three different preset difficulty levels or, as here, create your own, customised to how challenging you want it to be.
Using a collected piece of tin foil to bridge two connectors. Every object has its purpose somewhere in the game. Or does it?(!)
Mini-games and puzzles abound. Here the challenge is to find the right plugs to fit into the tram's plug board, to get it going.
The psychic 'visions' system opens up visual puzzles, as shown below:
Here you have to rotate all the pieces (I've done most of them) to assemble a scene...
...and here's the final (psychic?) image. It all helps piece together the mystery of what happened (in this case) to your father.
Terrific stuff - if you have patience then put on some headphones and immerse yourself in this atmospheric world. Artifex Mundi's games are available for all platforms, but including Windows Phone 8.1, Windows 10 Mobile, and Windows 10 on the desktop (i.e. x86).