Ahoy there, landlubbers! Artifex Mundi is back with more booty for the PS4. Nightmares From the Deep 3: Davy Jones, as the title suggests, is the third in a series of hidden object puzzle adventures. In this instalment you test the patience of the deep sea devil Davy Jones and pay a heavy price when he kidnaps your daughter.
If you’re an Artifex Mundi seadog and an old salt at these games you’ll pretty much know what to expect. These games are relaxing, easy and can be played in one sitting if you’ve got a spare Sunday afternoon. They have a story element, a point and click adventure element and a variety of puzzles ranging from hidden object scenes to sliding tiles to puzzles more specific to the story and setting. For example, Davy Jones has puzzle where you need to fix a weathervane, observe the wind direction and strength, and the moon and clouds and then encode this information into a separate puzzle.
The puzzles are spread out nicely and there’s a good balance between these and the hidden object scenes (HOS). The HOS are also full of variety this time around and include the ones that force you to find and then use objects in a particular order. If you do get a bit tired of the standard HOS (what son of a biscuit eater gets bored of HOS?!) you can instead opt to play out a game of mahjong. More about that later!
Graphically, Nightmares From the Deep 3: Davy Jones is very very pretty. Gorgeous colours on every screen and even the dullest, shipwreckiest, skellybone-filled scene is beautifully contrasted with just enough neon to make the whole screen pop. The HOS, again, are very attractive and are certainly prettier than any piles of clutter I’ve got lying around in my house.
Artifex Mundi’s games are always a smooth ride. The loading times are at absolute zero with not a framerate issue to be seen. Moving from one area to another is quick and easy. These games are all about the gameplay, no padding, and everything works just as it should. It’s just another reason why these games are so relaxing. There’s nothing to get frustrated about.
There are two difficulty settings. Both have a hint button but it recharges slower on Expert and there are no guiding sparkly lights illuminating the way forward. Really, Expert is the standard way to play for most of us, but Normal is great for the kids or if you’re feeling a bit lazy (and we all have days like that!). It’s an easy chill-out game either way.
Where Nightmares From the Deep 3 really shines is its story. For me, it’s not only the best story of all three games but it has the best ending of any Artifex Mundi game on the PS4. Feel free to disagree, but this was the first time an ending made me sit up straight in shock. It certainly shivered my timbers.
Trophy hunters looking for an easy platinum, yo ho ho, you got one. You’ll need one playthrough on Expert and you’ll need to find all the collectables – seahorses, pirate cards and puzzle pieces. You’ll also need to interact with sixteen animals. The good news here is that all collectables are accessible right up to the end of the game. So as long as you don’t actually finish the final part (the approaching end will be obvious) you are free to scour every single location to find your missing bits and bobs. Further good news – wait for it – you don’t need a second full playthrough for all the mahjong games. You only need to complete three to pop that particular trophy. Finally, the only timed trophies are on the HOS and they are pretty easy.
Nightmares From the Deep 3: Davy Jones is the best in the series and one of the best Hidden Object games on PS4. It’s fun, relaxing, has a great variety of puzzles, lots of humour and a strong story. Trophy hunters will enjoy an ultra quick platinum and all of us will enjoy a quality adventure puzzle game.
S J Hollis Rating – 9/10
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