Blood and Ruby is a fun vampire-themed diversion with an interesting plot.
Blood and Ruby begins with a young man named Marcus, talking to a gravestone. He tells the deceased, a woman by the name of Rosa, that he has been found out, but that he has left clues all over Venice for his sister Ruby. You have to wonder, who these criminals are that they allow their victims to leave clues and puzzles all over the city prior to abducting them.
As the story begins you take on the role of Ruby on her quest to find out what happened to her brother. As the story unfolds you will find yourself thrown into a world of vampires and curses and will travel into the memory of your past self. You must find and destroy the Fountain of Life. The fountain can cure those who have been recently bitten by a vampire, but it can also allow vampires to withstand sunlight.
You will interact with many characters on your adventure. There is the mysterious man who may be helping you, the antique dealer who met your brother shortly before his disappearance, and numerous others. Throughout the game you will need to defend yourself against a couple vampires who plan to steal fountain and who are responsible for Marcus’s abduction.
Blood and Ruby is a hidden object game with both inventory and traditional puzzles. The game also features a unique hidden object/puzzle blend that appears several times. When you find yourself in a life threatening situation you will be given a list of items to find to help you survive. Once you find them all you will need to figure out how to use them in the environment. It is a nice change of pace from static hidden object scenes.
The implementation of the hidden object scenes is excellent. The scenes you visit in the game also double as the hidden object scenes. While you are looking for items you can still interact with other characters in the scene and solve any puzzles in the area. All the objects fit the scene and the time frame. The downside is that, while the objects are well drawn and in proportion, many of them are very small, some bordering on miniscule. Luckily, most of the scenes are well lit and the hint button recharges quickly.
A seasoned adventurer should be able to finish Blood and Ruby in around three hours. You won’t travel to many different locales, but you will visit them again in another time period. Even though the game world is small, the locations are beautiful and create a wonderful atmosphere.
The music in the game isn’t particularly memorable, but it isn’t intrusive either. There is no voice acting in the game and it would have been a nice addition because you do interact with numerous characters.
Blood and Ruby may not be perfect, but it is a fun diversion with any interesting plot. If plots about vampires and intrigue are of interest to you, I would definitely give this game a try.