Artifex Mundi like to make hidden object games, if you don’t know what one is then it’s sort like a point and click adventure but with a greater emphasis on finding important objects via taking part in a hidden object puzzle. I’ve reviewed a few recently that include; Nightmares from the Deep 2, Eventide: Slavic Fable and Enigmatis 2, they all followed a very similar feel with the only major difference being the plot. The question now though is whether Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom has the right magical ingredients to make it the best of its peers.
The plot has you as an alchemist’s apprentice who returns back to her home after finishing university to continue her alchemy training. However things go badly when she visits her old family home and find that her parents have gone missing and several other dark secrets especially one hidden behind a mask! Story-wise Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom is one of the better more fluid tales of intrigue in regards to hidden object adventures. To progress the story where you navigate from a first person view is through a simple series of clicks that take you to a new scene which contains several are of interaction whether that is finding a new object, talking to someone or taking part in a puzzle.
Just like it’s predecessors Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom has lots of different puzzles beyond the standard hidden object element that can range from moving discs to inputting codes. The big difference here compared to the other titles mentioned earlier is that there no other way to complete the hidden object games, in other titles you could play Mahjong for example to bypass a hidden object game. You can still skip after a certain amount of time though. This element has been replaced with a more interesting game, some of the items you discover can through the power of alchemy be used to produce magical elements that help you open up the pathway to finding who is behind all these eerie mysteries.
It’s a nice change from the less than exciting Mahjong/Snap kind of games plus it adds a bit more weight to your character abilities. A slight variation comes from how you navigate the dialogue, you can choose which order to ask questions, it doesn’t change anything in regards to how you progress but it’s better than just rolling through reams of dialogue.
Graphically Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom has some beautifully hand drawn scenery that really suits the environment you are taking part in. It feels a lot shorter than other titles which is partly down to the fast paced nature of Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom and also a generally shorter story. Besides the main protagonist the rest of the voice acting is not as slick as it could have been, not enough to break up the intrigue but it just makes it a little less engrossing. This lack of polish can also be seen through the animations, maybe it’s the fact the scenes look so amazingly detailed, it’s almost like two different teams put it together. This isn’t just something that solely affects Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom, it affects all the hidden object games. This means Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom doesn’t have the seamless transition from one important scene to another.
Overall Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom is one of the better hidden object games, the alchemy basis gave it a better backdrop and the plot is enjoyably fast paced. This genre is definitely one which you either love or don’t, so if you like hidden object games then you will surely want to add Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom to the collection if you don’t then Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom is not going to change your mind.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Sony Playstation 4 code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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