It’s no secret: Millennium Secrets 2: Roxanne’s Necklace is far from perfect.
As we step back into the shoes of secret agent Kate in Millennium Secrets 2: Roxanne’s Necklace, we’re left to unravel the mystery behind an ancient necklace, split into multiple pieces to avoid it falling into the wrong hands. These gems have the power to unleash unbelievable destruction, so Kate must find the pieces before the Syndicate lays claim to them first.
Roxanne’s Necklace, first and foremost, is a point-and-click adventure game, mixed with a few hidden object scenes, rather than being the other way around. For the vast majority of gameplay, you’re left collecting multiple items in various categories, and are then asked to use those items to complete another task, usually involving a puzzle. For instance, you may be asked to collect eight photographs, which are used to play a spot-the-difference game, while pieces of wiring are used to repair construction equipment.
With the abundance of items you’ll need to find in each environment, the gameplay quickly becomes tedious, as you’re left to navigate each room via left and right buttons, rotating the room 90 degrees around Kate. Each section contains crates, desks, plants and other items that can be opened or otherwise searched, but oftentimes you’ll need to find hammers, screwdrivers, scissors or crowbars to even interact with these items. Back and forth you’ll travel, from one side of a room to the next (often becoming confused as to which door you came in), as you may find yourself looking for more than a dozen items at once. Needless to say, by the time you find that hammer amongst the chaos, you may forget where it was needed in the first place.
Hidden object scenes are actually quite rare (all things considered), and come with the worst graphics in the game. Where cutscenes and overall environments have relatively crisp graphics, something goes wrong when searching for the 17 or more items in each scene. Aside from the fact that that’s a huge number of items (and that you’ll only be able to view a handful of the required items at a time), the graphics are often filled with blurry textures and monochromatic colorations that make it hard to pick out anything in the clutter.
Gameplay-wise, most of the puzzles don’t fare any better. While basic puzzles like jigsaw puzzles and the aforementioned spot-the-difference games are easy to complete, there are others that, while unique, also come with so little instruction that it can be difficult to discern the end goal. In other cases, you may know exactly what you need to do (for example, connect specific wires across an electrical panel), but even when the task has been completed, the puzzle still doesn’t finish, because you’ve done something wrong. In our above example, you must make sure that the wires overlap in a specific fashion, in addition to actually connecting the proper A and B slots. Of course, you’re not told that, and are left to figure it out on your own (or skip the puzzle entirely).
Since you’ll need to do a lot of traveling both within a scene and between environments, there’s actually a very helpful map feature that shows you where you need to go, and when an environment has been completely searched. This is incredibly useful, as otherwise you’d be left to randomly click about an environment, hoping to stumble upon that last fuse or piece of paper you need to progress the story, hidden behind a crate way back in the corner.
When everything combines, if you are willing to use puzzle skips and play on the easiest difficulty setting, the story in Millennium Secrets 2: Roxanne’s Necklace is actually quite interesting, harkening back to the days of Alexander the Great and lost treasures beneath the sea. This makes it all the more disappointing then, that the gameplay is so tedious and even boring in the long run, forcing you to use those hints and skips even more just to move things along. If there has ever been a game to try before you buy, the repetitive gameplay alone places Roxanne’s Necklace into that category.