The sky is falling, the sky is falling! No, for real, it is! Chunks of the Sky Kingdom are breaking off and raining down to the villages and towns below, causing destruction on a massive scale. As a detective you’ve been called in to find the legendary Jack, a man who is rumored to have set foot in the Sky Kingdom before. Maybe he can offer some insight on this latest apocalypse?
Dark Parables: Jack and the Sky Kingdom is the sixth release in the hidden object adventure series from Blue Tea Games. As one would expect, this entry looks fantastic, plays like a dream, and has the ability to pull you in and keep you clicking for hours on end. It starts with a bang and never slows down, making it both a challenging and exciting experience that constantly keeps you on your toes.
The adventure portion of Dark Parables 6 sends you through countryside and town searching for items to stuff into your inventory. As is usually the case with Blue Tea Games, items tend towards pieces of strange objects instead of mundane things like crowbars and screwdrivers. Pick up pieces of these seemingly random things, then find a clever place to slot them in. Once you solve an overworld puzzle, you get to indulge in one of Dark Parables mini-games. A few of them are pretty ordinary, but some forge their own path and are a joy to figure out and complete. Skip button? No thanks!
Hidden object scenes are a big part of the Dark Parables experience. Each one presents a handful of objects broken into several fragments. Those fragments are hidden in the scene above, all you have to do is hunt them down and give them a click. Interactivity is at a minimum, but because the items are abstract and smartly hidden, you really don’t need an extra layer of challenge thrown on top. Complete the fragmented objects to assemble something useful for the main part of the game.
The only real drawback to Dark Parables 6 is how much it forces you to focus on details. This isn’t the kind of game you can zone out and keep clicking to win. Because every item is a detailed piece of something larger, your eyes are constantly drenched in the intricacies of the environment. You really have to watch shapes and outlines to make sense of it all, which might veer too far from casual territory for some players. As long as you’re not half asleep, though, you shouldn’t have any problems.
Dark Parables: Jack and the Sky Kingdom delivers on every front. The moody fantasy setting is dripping with gorgeous artwork and great voice acting, and the story keeps you guessing right until the end. It’s impressive how the game can be so crowded with items and scenery yet not feel claustrophobic. Blue Tea Games has a reputation for stellar quality in its hidden object games, and Dark Parables 6 is no exception.