Enigmatis: The Mists of Ravenwood
Has Its Ups and Downs
This game has promise. The intro was very good, got you excited from the start. But once the detective started her search at the camper's crash site, it kind of lost its oomph.
The graphics were very childish and catroonish, a huge turn-off. Next, the voice acting of the child was terrible. Whine much? Even bigger turn-off.
I thought it would be downhill from there, but the excitement level did pick up again once the detective came in contact with the locked up "helper". Talk about a Hannibal Lechter type! I would be very worried about this guy!
Having grown up in the very place the story is set, I can tell you the giant redwoods are spooky all by themselves. Good setting for the story! The spaced out over-the-hill hippie was a nice touch.
My demo ran out before I got to the end of the second chapter and I was fairly surprised. Guess that says I was pretty engrossed!
I feel this is a solid SE purchase. Anymore, most of the CE "bling" just doesn't make it worth the extra money. I do recommend trying for yourself.
October 26, 2013
A Really Great Game! Definitely Worthy of the Praise!
I waited a long time for the sequel and then a long time to get it. I must say, it was worth the wait! This was a great game, with only the one downer- the story did not end conclusively, but I think that was to set up a third Enigmatis.
The story was absolutely awesome. It started with a bang- a bang that lasted right to the end. It was a thrill for the entire game. I could not stop playing it. There are so many twists and turns, it just keeps you going. And the story with the relief pieces down in the prisoners cell in the tunnels just adds to the excitement, and you begin to uncover the true story behind the villain.
This is a true murder mystery, that comes complete with an evidence board that you can add evidence to as you collect it, and you begin to unravel the mystery with each bit of evidence you collect. Each bit of evidence uncovers the biggest kept secret of all, and that is one that I really wasn't expecting!
Each character plays their own role. It really is a delight. The only downer I'd pick is that this story follows the exact same format of the Nightmares From The Deep series: Bad guy with supernatural powers controlling some evil force. They've even added the 12-part backstory too. Will all their stories follow this format from now on?
I wouldn't say the ending to this story was conclusive. What happened to Whitmarsh? What happened to the prisoner? These, the two biggest questions, are left unanswered in the story, and this is really annoying. I'm assuming it has ended like that as the starting point for a third Enigmatis, but seriously. After about 3.5-4 hours of gameplay, I was really expecting a conclusive ending, and that wasn't it.
The gameplay was good, but not great. I'd say this game is definitely story-driven. On the plus side, unlike most other games by this developer, there is more than one type of HOS. In this game, there are three: classic junkpile, fragmented objects and silhouette. Each HOS provided an individual challenge and each one was equally as fun. I'd have to say my favourite was the fragmented object scenes.
The puzzles were all good. Most of them were challenging, but a few were easy. I was able to solve a few of them, but I had to skip a few as well. I'd say I solved half and skipped the other half. I wouldn't call the puzzles unique, but they were definitely on the fun side.
As I mentioned before, there is an evidence board, which is a great feature, and I hope it continues to be used in games. I loved and looked forward to each moment I could go back to it. There are 26 evidence pieces in total to collect, and these are spaced out evenly in the game.
Tied with the evidence part of the game, there is also the character of the prisoner. You interview him for helpful bits of information. His face appears in the reflection on the evidence board when he has something new to tell. This is more frequently used in the first half of the game, and is only used a couple of times in the second half.
There is also the 12-piece backstory, told by the prisoner after you collect a metallic relief piece to put on his cell door. This gives detail in to how the villain became the villain. I think it was used better in this story, because it was more interesting, and because you could replay any of the scenes by clicking on the pieces, something you couldn't do in the Nightmares from the Deep series.
I wouldn't call this your standard HOPA, but I'd still say it's fairly easy to navigate. It has a map, a journal and a hint, all the staples of HOS. Experienced players should have no trouble navigating their way through the game.
The graphics, as always, are outstanding. The artwork is so well drawn and has so much detail, it's a visual delight. The character designs are great too. They are also very detailed. Each HOS is incredibly clear too. I have absolutely no issues with the graphics.
The voice-overs are standard. They aren't terrible, but aren't outstanding. I have no comment.
3 modes of difficulty: Casual, Advanced and Hard.
Hint and Skip- hint recharges quickly for Casual. It is very useful outside for HOS.
Diary- diary is used fairly often and keeps track of events.
Map- the map is interactive, but is not very helpful at all. It tells you the area where there is something to do, but doesn't tell you the exact scene.
Evidence Board- this is where all evidence is stored in the game. It is a very good feature, and I really enjoyed it.
Collectible evidence (26)
Overall, I'd say this is a fairly good game, and is worthy of the praise it gets. I can see why it's called the best game of the year by reviewers, and why it won awards. The only reason it's getting 4 stars and not 5 is due to the incomplete story and the hardly useful map. I highly recommend this game!
WHICH IS THE BETTER BUY?
The only things that the CE really has to offer are a bonus chapter, achievements and collectible butterflies. I'd say the SE is the better buy.
ON THE GAME LENGTH
The game length is at least 3.5 hours on Casual mode.
January 4, 2014
My Favorite so far
Artifx Mundi has a hit with this one. Good flow. gets a little too rapid at the end but the lead in sets the game up nicely with no need for earlier games to fall right in step. Hope to see more like this and I hope other developers will follow suit.
A few more HOG's could have been placed when the final discs get found... That lost them 1 star for laziness.
March 27, 2014
overall the game play was fairly simple, although a few leaps in conceptual thinking were required to connect objects to activity zones and I had to reduce my challenge zone for these. I felt the storyline fell a bit short at the end - would have liked to see the villain more involved. The graphics were sumptuous, but not used to their full potential - let's climb a few trees or hide in those deep green bushes. But plenty of surprises kept me guessing.
November 8, 2013
And the story continues...
As a follow up to the first in the series, this was an enjoyable adventure with the option to do Match 2's instead of the HOs which turned out to be necessary sometimes since the objects weren't readily identifiable.
Looking forward to the next in the series which most probably will occur on a similar storyline given... well, just play the game and you'll get what I mean.
August 20, 2014
Fun but short.
Very fun. Somewhat short, not a lot of puzzles or variety.
June 17, 2014
The literal regimentation of the play is what turned me off. You can't unlock the medical kit even though you have the key. First you must play the hidden object game. That's the type of structured play that I don't enjoy. I liked the first game in the series and had hopes for this one. I've been very disenchanted with released over the last several months and was hoping this one would entice me to buy. Does cut it. Would rather replay the old games where I felt there was a challenge. Just too easy and too structured.
October 27, 2013
Good sequel to the first one
Again, this is the CE review and I have to take a few points off of it. I liked playing the game and would give it four out of five stars if this was the SE.
Again, we follow the same detective as she helps a little girl find her parents in an abandoned national park. I do think playing the first one will help, but it isn't totally necessary. This at least concludes the storyline which is a bit better than the first one.
So why the three stars? Again, the bonus game is very short and again takes part in the past. We know what is going to happen and there is no reason to play it. Also, the extras has the HOGs that are programmed to stop after finding the 12 objects instead of cleaning out the room.
So for those thinking about this game because of its very high rating average: Wait for the SE and save some money.
October 26, 2013
I seem to be out of the loop on this one as I really disliked. There was way too much dialog and the voice seemed whinny to me. I am just puzzled with the good reviews?????
October 27, 2013
I usually select my games by looking for high ratings from other players. This game I just do not get. It is boring and I did not care what happened or if I solved the mystery. Just a regular HO game with an annoying narration voice. Disappointed!
May 27, 2014