This kingly tale isn’t exactly hidden object royalty
Scarytales: All Hail King Mongo may present itself as a dark and menacing hidden object experience, but the game is actually the farthest thing from scary, or even thrilling. As the princess in a medieval-style Kingdom, you’ll be called back to the palace after your father’s disappearance. Through a very short campaign, you’ll learn the details surrounding the King’s disappearance and will discover why your brother was so quick to take over the throne.
Scarytales: All Hail King Mongo is an incredibly short game, lasting barely two hours on the easier of two difficulty settings. You’ll spend most of that time backtracking through just two main sets of environments, repeatedly completing many hidden object scenes and gathering tools in each location that require very little in the way of effort to collect. If you ever do get stuck, the hint system will thankfully tell you exactly what to do and where to go, rather than forcing you to repeatedly click on the button until you happen to end up in the right location.
While the game comes with lots of fully voiced cutscenes, the character models are mostly static and outdated, and the graphics don’t really fare better in the hidden object scenes themselves. While some items are easy to spot, there are always a few that have been hidden too well, by having their size or color skewed to blend into the background. The hint button charges slowly, and even when it is available, it simply pops up a tiny picture of where the item is in the scene rather than showing you by way of a sparkle trail or another similar highlight.
Furthermore, scenes often challenge you to find items that are far too modern or just feel out of place. This is a fantasy world filled with spell books, bows and arrows and magical staffs, so it simply feels odd to be searching for industrial strength magnets, and other modern tools and items.
The game’s puzzles are just as lackluster, ranging from jigsaw puzzles and tile sliding puzzles to item association games. If a puzzle ever does feel challenging, it’s not because the design or goal is hard to deduce, but because the game fights many of your actions with a series of annoying technical glitches. The game’s inventory only appears when hovering at the bottom of the screen, but it often disappears when you actually wanted it to be open, and many cutscene or “item usage” animations cause the game to hiccup and lag at the beginning and end, including some nasty graphical tearing.
There’s nothing about Scarytales: All Hail King Mongo that screams “play me,” and the game looks and feels like it should have been released years ago due to its short length, lifeless graphics and overall bland feeling. If the game were longer, many of these issues might be fine to ignore for players that are looking for an incredibly casual gameplay experience, but when you can finish the game in less than two hours, it’s simply not worth the price of admission.