Mystery-of-the-Opera-–-iOS-Review Mystery of the Opera – iOS Review

   08/11/2013 at 22:01       Drew Bower       1 COMMENTS. - Score 3/5
 - G5 Entertainment, Vartis Games, Casual, Hidden Object, Adventure

I feel like I’ve played more than enough of these hidden object/point and click lite adventure games to notice that they all follow pretty much the same formula and design aspects. And because of that I realise I have developed a checklist of good or bad points in my head that I base my opinion of the game on.

So instead of repeating the same old guff over again for Mystery of the Opera, I thought I would transfer my mental notes to digital text.

The Essentials.

Graphics: For games that are basically a stream of static screens that task you with scouring them closely, the backdrops have to look lovely and sharp. Thankfully we are not disappointed here, with a nice variety of rooms within the opera house and surrounding streets to look at.

Story: As you are essentially playing an interactive novel, the story has to keep you interested throughout otherwise you may as well move on. The story centres around the kidnapping of opera diva, Christine on the eve of her successful debut. Playing as her fiancé, you get to use a magic amulet to remove spells and uncover the kidnapper. Clues and new pieces of the story are slowly fed through meeting the occasional characters who have been put under a spell by the dastardly culprit. It’s a decent enough theme although the story is perhaps not as strong as it could be.

The Smaller Stuff That Makes a Difference.

Controls: The controls across the genre are fairly standard and so whenever they deviate it often doesn’t work or feel right. Fortunately there are no such problems here as the tried and tested are implemented. The only problem I did find was the area to activate ‘back’ on the hidden object screens is fairly large. This brings about two issues: Annoyingly exiting the screens multiple times by accident and secondly the giveaway that no hidden items are located in the lower portion of the screen!

Guidance: The best feature I have seen in these types of games is the simple addition of a map with highlighted ‘action’ areas. Sadly, as with the majority of others, this isn’t present in Mystery of the Opera. As it is, you find yourself constantly punching the hint button just so you know where you need to go. Otherwise you could be wandering around through the maze of locations without a Scooby. Then you get the annoying problem of mistakenly being told where to use an item when you are led into an area where you can actually do/use something. Of course, if you play it ‘properly’ then that wouldn’t be an issue, but it takes a very determined mind not to use the hint button!

Friendliness: There is no escaping that these games are aimed squarely at the casual end of the market. As such, you want the experience to be as user friendly as possible and well, basically not be a dick. The lack of navigation has been mentioned, and the controls also overlap into this category. But it’s pleasing to note that hidden objects are hidden sensibly and are not disguised too much. They also do not get repeated which is an all too often dirty sight in other games.

Puzzles: A staple of the genre, puzzles help break up the otherwise constant object seeking. It’s unsurprising to note that the puzzles encountered are fairly standard but they are on the whole nicely presented and vary in difficulty.

So that pretty much sums up Mystery of the Opera. It’s yet another solid effort with no inherent faults, albeit one lacking a bit of sparkle or the extra little touches that make it into the recommended selection.

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