Enigmatis takes a tired storyline and makes it interesting again
To be honest, I didn’t have many expectations for Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek. It looked to be just another haunted town, amnesiac protagonist, dark hidden object game. And it is, but it’s also so much more. Enigmatis is a gorgeous game that takes a tired storyline and makes it interesting again.
Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek is a detective story. When the story begins, you have just woken up after a storm with no memory of where you are or what you were doing. As you look around, your memories start to come back to you. You are a detective who is following the leads from another, missing detective. Maple Creek has had several young women disappear over the years and you are trying to find out what happened to them, and hopefully rescue the most recent victim.
While Enigmatis is predominately a hidden object game, it has much more depth than many of the games in the genre. The story truly matters, and you really feel like you are investigating the happenings in this mysterious town. One of the unique features in the game is your evidence wall that’s in your hotel room. Here is where all the evidence and clues you find will be stored and you will be able to link related pieces together to help solve the mystery. Your journal is also an amazing source of information. It is kept up to date with sketches, notes and clues that you can reference at any time and it really adds a lot of information to the story.
There are also many puzzles scattered throughout the game, ranging from fairly simple to challenging. Almost all of the puzzles seem to fit with the setting though and don’t seem out of place.
The hidden object scenes are really the only weak area of the game. The scenes are well drawn and the objects fit the scenes (although many of the scenes could be categorized as junk piles) but many of the objects are extremely small and since the scenes are dark they are doubly hard to find. Luckily, you do have a hint button and if you are playing in the casual setting it recharges quickly. Also, if you are playing in casual mode, there is no click penalty! This is a very nice addition that more games should consider adding.
The music and sound effects are very atmospheric and really add to the setting. The voice acting is mixed. Most of the characters are well voiced, but there is one character who is very stilted and mechanical sounding.
The bonus chapter of the game is short but it adds a lot to the story. It’s a prequel to the actual game, and really helps explain a lot of what happens. Also, a couple of things you do appear in the main game. The bonus chapter also doesn’t skimp on puzzles in favor of numerous hidden object scenes.
Once you’ve completed the bonus chapter you will unlock several wallpapers and screen savers as well as the ability to replay many of the hidden object scenes. This adds a lot of additional gameplay.
I highly recommend Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek. The length of the game is excellent and, while the bonus chapter isn’t particularly long, it adds enough to the story to make it worth the Collector’s Edition price.