Now where did I leave that rusty saw? Oh yes, in that extravagantly untidy pile of crap I left in the corner sometime after Christmas. Why are hidden object games so much fun? In real life I don’t own a rusty saw, but I do have many piles of crap in various corners and behind furniture. It’s called trying to cram an entire life into a one bedroom flat. I always lose stuff and although I generally know which piles to rummage through first, the search is never fun (unless I suddenly find that Pet Shop Boys t-shirt I lost in 1987). Somehow, Artifex Mundi makes hunting through piles of rubbish an absolute blast, and here they are again with Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood, yet another fabulous entry into this underrated genre.
Enigmatis 2, as the title suggests, follows on from the original Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek, and continues the determined detective’s adventure. I won’t say too much in case some of you haven’t played the first game, but while it was a stand-alone story, the end was left open for a sequel. And what a fine sequel it is. Enigmatis 2 retains all the aspects that made the original so damn good.
The core gameplay is a point and click mystery adventure. A family have disappeared under strange circumstances and it seems to be connected to your ongoing investigations into the murders that took place back in Maple Creek. It’s up to you to search the grounds of Ravenwood Park and discover its dark secrets. There’s something very hinky going on.
Returning to centre stage is the evidence board, a mechanic that allows you to sort through the evidence you find and make deductions. Here you can speculate on suspects, crime scenes, murder sites and motives. In order to gather your evidence you will be required to solve puzzles. These are little mini-games such as matching up coloured lines, cracking codes, sliding tiles and tilting little balls down holes. As per the norm, there’s nothing taxing here; just good old fashioned puzzling fun.
In addition to the puzzles you will also play hidden object games. These often occur when you need a specific object to progress and you can’t find it anywhere else. You’ll be given a list of items to find and a scene to search through. At the end you’ll get the required object. There are also some more complex scenes that are part hidden object and part puzzle. For example, near the beginning of the game you’ll need to repair a teddy bear. Search for his missing limbs and clothes and find a way to stitch him back together.
The game has a good balance of puzzles, hidden objects and standard pointing and clicking. Graphics are to the usual high standard with some gorgeous scenes. Transitions to each location are smooth and instantaneous with virtually no loading times at all. Cut scenes are improved since the first game which had been a little dated. Just wait until you see that raven…
The narrative flows well and carries the gameplay with it at a nice pace. It’s a good story that does the original justice with its Gothic intrigue and supernatural edge. You’re looking at around five hours to complete depending on biscuit breaks and Twitter addiction levels. It’s a relaxing game, as all the Artifex Mundi games tend to be. They are not the most beautiful or the most clever or profound games on the PSN store, but they are great fun and worth every penny of their wonderfully cheap price tag.
If you’re a trophy hunter and hoping for another easy platinum, you’re in luck. Enigmatis 2 has a very similar trophy list to the other games from this publisher. There are 37 to collect including a very straightforward platinum. The only trophies likely to cause the brow to furrow are the usual speed achievements but, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect or, if it doesn’t, give the controller to someone else.
Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood is yet another blinding entry from Artifex Mundi. Awesome puzzles and hidden object scenes aside, it’s the detective work that makes this particular title stand out. A worthy successor to the original game.
S J Hollis Rating – 8/10
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