Oh no! A sly art thief has stolen the world’s most recognized and valuable painting. Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa was lifted from the Louvre, so you’ve been called in as lead detective to solve puzzles and collect clues that can lead to the masterpiece’s recovery.
Fans of jigsaw puzzles will likely enjoy the challenging Museum Mystery, an interesting head-scratcher that, while not without its faults, proves to be a stimulating and gratifying download.
You lead the investigation into the disappearance of the Mona Lisa by piecing together more than a dozen other famous paintings from yesteryear including Eugène Delacroix’ s Liberty Leading the People and Jan van Eyck’s The Madonna of Chancellor Rolin. You rebuild these paintings by dragging and dropping square pieces from the right-hand side of the screen into the correct spot on the painting, which might sound like a simple task but it’s far from it.
This is because the game-play gets quite challenging in three respects:
Players will be tasked to solve multiple paintings at the same time. One will always fill up most of the screen but two or three others are clickable as thumbnails at the bottom of the screen, which then replaces the main one. The loose pieces on the right-hand side of the screen can be for any of these paintings, so you need to match it to the correct painting and find the right spot to put it in. Also, doing so swaps out an incorrect piece in its place, which might be need for another painting. You with me so far?
As you progress through the game, more of the painting will be missing. So if a painting is only missing, say, 6, pieces near the beginning of the game, it’ll turn into 10, then 14, and so on, before you know it.
Every few levels or so requires players to put together a painting with pieces that can be rotated by right-mouse clicking on it. So now you not only have to find the correct piece but also rotate it accordingly. And this all must be done within a time limit or else you have to start all over again.
Gamers will also toil over a Cryptex puzzle from time to time, where you must correctly answer multiple choice questions about the art you’ve been studying in order to set the right combination and reveal a clue inside, such as a key. This isn’t easy – especially the questions that ask which painting did such-and-such artist work on. Doh! If you get an answer wrong it goes to the start of the Cryptex puzzle until you get it all right.
As an added bonus, and incentive, players can also use these famous paintings as computer wallpaper once they’ve been solved.
Museum Mystery is certainly fun but the game isn’t without its faults. Aside from a relatively high level of difficulty that might turn off some players, there is no Hint button for when you’re stuck. You’ll simply run out of time, second by second, until you have to solve the puzzles again. Also, the game-play, while interesting and increasingly challenging, gets a little redundant after a while. It would be very cool if the developer released a new game mechanic after a while or perhaps a new piece of artwork each week or something like that to increase the game’s appeal and longevity.
Overall, however, Museum Mystery is a unique puzzler that is easy on your eyes and tough on your brain. And hey, you’ll likely learn to appreciate famous oil paintings because of this game, even if you didn’t have much interest prior to playing.