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Our overall verdict "silver"

Continuing with a hugely successful spate of Hidden Object adventure games, those awesome dudes at Artifex Mundi are back again this time with a sequel to Nightmares from the Deep. Nightmares from the Deep 2: The Siren’s Call is another fishy tale of murderous pirates and mysterious curses.

Barely recovered from the kidnapping of your daughter in the last instalment, this time you are visited at your museum by a strange fish man in a fetching yellow rain mac. Over the next few minutes you discover that actually there are stranger things than a ghostly galleon crashing right through your foyer.

Hidden Object games are widespread on iOS and Android but here on PS4 they are a little rarer and who would have thought how well they translate over to console. But they do. Incredibly well. When we see these pop up on the PS Store, we beam with something akin to both glee and greed. Not only are these games brilliant fun, but they usually have wonderfully easy Platinum trophies. More about that later.

The first Nightmares from the Deep game was great, but Nightmares from the Deep 2 is even better. The story feels more engaging (even though it’s even more outlandish) and it feels better paced. You’ll recognise a lot of the mechanics from the previous game such as collecting tokens to slot into a treasure chest to reveal the backstory. You could be forgiven for thinking this is going to be an unoriginal rehash. It isn’t. Although it has all the elements that we love from this developer and the previous game, it still stands strong by itself as a great little title in its own right with a new story and lots of new puzzle elements.

A few of the Hidden Object scenes are the standard fare, but many contain puzzles amongst all the clutter. Find a time to set a clock, put objects together to extract a new object or find a cracker to feed a parrot so he’ll get out your bloody way. Everything is clear and bright so you won’t need to sit too close to your goggle box.

In addition to the Hidden Object scenes there are separate puzzles. Some are more challenging than others but do remember that these aren’t meant to be rock hard so they’re all entirely doable relatively quickly. Here comes the lecture: gaming is for everyone, from die-hard Bloodborne Platinum alumni to candy crush addicts and Farming Simulator junkies. Hidden Object adventures are accessible to anyone at any skill level. There is a hint system that can guide you through the entire game should you require that, or you can use it sparingly to give you an elbow in the right direction. Every non-Hidden Object puzzle can be skipped and every Hidden Object puzzle can again be guided with a recharging hint button. In other words, this is Sunday Gaming. Nightmares from the Deep 2 is a relaxing way to kill a day.

A little bit of bad news now … the Mahjong tiles are back. If you don’t want to play a Hidden Object scene you can press down on the D-pad and instead complete a game of Mahjong. This is the only element I feel doesn’t translate well to console. It’s great on an iPad to jab at the tiles to pair them off, but using a stick is a little cumbersome. Of course, the Mahjong is entirely optional. If you don’t want to play, you don’t have to and it won’t effect your experience at all. Yay! Oh, but more about that later too.

Nightmares from the Deep 2 is a gorgeous looking game. The environments are beautifully rendered. The colours look amazing and give the game a real fantasy feel. The cut scenes look pretty nice too and are impressive for this type of game. There has been a clear evolution since the first game and it’s awesome to see.

As with the other titles from Artifex Mundi, Nightmares from the Deep 2 has a Platinum trophy. It’s nearly identical to the first game but with the addition of some collectables. Throughout the game you can search for optional seahorses, disappearing parrots and golden octopi and there is a trophy for each set you find. Some are well hidden so make sure you polish your spectacles before you begin. If you’re playing just for the trophy hunt, there are guides available to help, but these are easy trophies. Now here’s where we take a turn back to the Mahjong. If you want the shiny Platinum, you’ll need to play the game through once on Casual and once on Expert, and once playing just the Hidden Objects and once playing just the Mahjong. That’s a whole lot of Mahjong, and, sorry, the speed Mahjong trophy is back and at the time of writing, we haven’t yet bagged it. All the others are very straightforward so if you’re quick enough with the tiles or you’ve found a workaround (please let us know as the cheat we used in the last game doesn’t work!) you’ve got yourself a really easy Platinum.

Conclusion

Nightmares from the Deep 2: The Siren’s Call is a fun and engaging Hidden Object puzzle adventure. This is the game to reach for when you want to take your foot off the peddle and relax with something a little easier and more laid back. Fun puzzles and a fantastic little story. Recommended.

S J Hollis Rating 8/10

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S J Hollis

S J Hollis has been a keen gamer since the Atari 2600. She freely admits she thought E.T. was a good game but would like to stress her tastes have since dramatically improved. She is also an author, a morning person and thinks Elf ears are sexy. Follow her on twitter @SJHollis_