Charles Dickens and Washington Irving were never really known for their exciting works. Suspenseful, maybe, and certainly intriguing, but you won’t find any action movies based on Oliver Twist or A History of New York. Midnight Mysteries: Ghostwriting hopes to change that a little bit with a surprisingly fast paced hidden object game that prominently features the two authors in a classic tale of good versus evil.
Midnight Mysteries: Ghostwriting is built around a predictable casual adventure game core, complete with long stretches of exploration interspersed with hidden object scenes and mini-games. You’ll gather heaps of items at a time, often aided by your flying raven friend, and put them to use in straightforward ways. Golden key goes in the golden lock, hex wrench goes with the hex bolts, easy. Ghostwriting doesn’t rely on obtuse puzzle solutions to add challenge, it’s logical puzzles from beginning to end.
Every few rooms you’ll encounter a hidden object scene, and they’re always a welcomed diversion. The basic structure sticks mostly to text lists with a large number of interactive items. You might need to find a ring, for example, but first you’ll have to move some things around, locate a gemstone, slide that into the ring base, then click to collect. Nothing too brain-breaking, just the right amount of challenge each time.
Outside of its adventure and item hunting sections, Midnight Mysteries sprinkles a handful of mini-games and side quests into the mix for just the right amount of variety. Mini-games stick to the usual array of sorting and matching puzzles that are fun but a bit on the easy side. There are also some well-hidden meta-items you’ll want to watch for, as they unlock bonuses from the main menu.
Midnight Mysteries: Ghostwriting puts together a lot of standard elements, things you’ve seen a hundred times in a hundred different hidden object games. At first glance that might seem like a downside, but Ghostwriting manages to stitch them together to create something interesting. It’s all held together with the glue that is the game’s non-essential extras. The little diversions that are normally throwaway content are what actually make this game complete. You’ll show up for the classic tale good versus evil, but you’ll stay because there’s so much to see and do.
The strongest hook in the Midnight Mysteries experience is the story. It grabs your attention from the beginning with a large cast of recognizable characters, and it never lets go. The graphics and music provide some nice decorations on the side, creating a game that looks ordinary on paper but plays like a dream. Or in this case, a nightmare.