Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart
Great dev disappoints with poor gameplay
TITLE?Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart
VERSION?Standard Edition (demo)
GENRE?Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure (supernatural adventure)
STORYLINE?As curator of the Caribbean Museum, you've recently acquired the remains and relics of the notorious Captain Remington, scourge of the seas. You rather stupidly reunite him with his demonic amulet, only to have him reanimate as an undead pirate and kidnap your annoyingly helpless yet bossy daughter in order to resurrect his mistress. So, off you go to save her while she screams, "Help, Mom!" and struggles uselessly. I'm thinking you shelter her way too much.
OVERVIEW?I really dislike giving a low rating to a game with such lush graphics and animation, but it seems that Artifex Mundi spent most of its time on that and very little on storyline and gameplay. And I just yesterday gave a five-star rating to their game Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden, a rating I rarely give. While this game is a visual feast, it is the Sahara for the experienced gamer, I'm afraid.
GAMEPLAY?Standard adventure intermingled with lots of HOs and a few incredibly easy puzzles. Lots of backtracking. The HOs are partially interactive (use a machete to crack a coconut, move one item to find another, etc.).
INTERFACE?Journal: Keeps notes and lists objectives. Map: Shows your location and areas where you have actions available, but it's not a jump map?and it should be. Hints: You won't need any. Specials: None in the SE. Strategy Guide: Not applicable.
GRAPHICS?Stunningly rendered 3D backgrounds and objects. Good use of color and texture. Eye candy.
CUTSCENES?Breathtakingly cinematic when they don't include characters. Characters are 3D posers with fairly lifelike movement, and lip synching which isn't lifelike.
MUSIC?Music style and performance added to the storyline and mood of the game, as it usually does in Artifex Mundi's games. They always do a great job with the audio.
SOUND?Ambient and game sounds very appropriate to the game theme.
VOICEOVER?I'm sorry to say that the voiceovers were just awful. The museum curator came across as an irritatingly overprotective mother who reacted with shock every time she saw her daughter, but never reacted at all to talking undead pirates. Her daughter seemed a naive, sheltered, spoiled brat. Captain Remington was a dead ringer for Captain Barbosa from the Pirates of the Caribbean series. And his "crew" spoke a mishmash of low class British accents. The only awesomeness was the decaying guardian of the doubloon chest.
SUMMARY?While I appreciate that Artifex Mundi is stepping up the graphics and animation, they need to remember they're writing games, not movies. Had they spent more time on the storyline, which was weak, and on gameplay, which was beginner-level at best, this game could have been a five-star game. As it stands, I can't recommend it unless you're home sick and feel like a really easy game that's full of eye candy and you happen upon it as a Daily Deal. And I can't give it more than two stars, and it only gets those because of the graphics, animation, and music.
February 27, 2013
BACK & FORTH WASTE OF TIME
I hated this game. I gave it a chance, I really did, in spite of the blue/gray/brown muddiness of the scenes, the childishly easy mini games, dreary HOS and the monotonous music. But after being given a map which was useless (it shows where you're at but does not allow jumping) and running back and forth one too many times, I uninstalled it asap and moved on.
June 14, 2013