Polish developer Artifex Mundi produces some of the finest hidden object puzzle adventure (HOPA) games in the world. Their games are especially fine because most of them end up on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, including the Nightmares from the Deep series.
When we interviewed Artifex Mundi at Casual Connect a few months ago, we learned that they also publish other developers’ games. That applies to their latest Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 release – 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek. Developed by Tap It Games, 9 Clues still offers an intriguing mystery story and lots of puzzles and hidden object sequences to keep gamers busy. Impressions and Store links after the break!
9 Clues takes place in a noir-ish 1950s setting. As the story begins, the player receives a distressing telephone call from a good friend. Her friend had been reporting on a festival being held in the isolated coastal town of Serpent Creek.
When the player reaches the town, her friend and her friend’s assistant have both gone missing. The local townsfolk are either lethargic (as if drugged) or behaving as if they’re hiding something. And was that a humanoid reptile skulking about in the shadows?
The story comes to life with full voice acting, lending personality to the game’s characters. The animation during story sequences and pretty much everywhere else is a few cuts below what we’ve come to expect from Artifex Mundi. Even mouth movements are limited to two awkward frames of animation. The substandard character and mouth movement makes the game seem like a low-budget affair.
Unlock the mystery
Luckily, the adventure portions of the game should keep gamers happy. As with other genre entries, you’ll explore various hand-drawn environments as you look for clues. Sometimes you’ll encounter a puzzle, other times a hidden object scene. There’s no skipping the hidden object sequences in this one, but their difficulty is quite reasonable so they don’t overstay their welcome.
Seeing as how the protagonist in 9 Clues is a detective, the game appropriately features actual detective sequences as well. When the player comes across a crime scene, she will need to scour the environment for clues such as blood stains and torn items. Find all the clues to put together what happened and advance the story.
Try before you buy
Animation issues aside, the intriguing story and enjoyable puzzles in 9 Clues will please adventure and hidden object fans alike.
As with several of Artifex Mundi’s games, the first portion of 9 Clues is free. To play the rest, you’ll need to make an In-App Purchase. The game has a built in “restore purchase feature,” so don’t worry about losing your full game unlock if you switch devices.
To celebrate the title’s launch, the Windows Phone version is on sale for $2.99 (40 percent off its regular price of $4.99) and the Windows 8 and RT version is on sale for $4.99 ($6.99 regular price).
- 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek – Windows Phone 8 – 145 MB – Free – Store Link
- 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek – Windows 8 and RT – 206 MB – Free – Store Link