There’s something strange in the neighborhood. Who you gonna call? No, not either of the Ghostbuster teams. You need to call a different band of paranormal investigators — the Order of the Light.
Order of the Light: The Deathly Artisan has you investigating the very rural, one-time peaceful locale of Smalltown. The place started out calm and quiet, before paintings started coming to life and poltergeists wreak havoc. It’s down to you and your puzzle solving skills to solve things. Along the way, you’ll talk to locals (and save them a few times, too), learning a little more about the chaos unfolding in their once subdued town. It’s a reasonably fun mix too, although oftentimes Order of the Light: The Deathly Artisan can look rather dated.
As expected from the genre, Order of the Light: The Deathly Artisan is a solid mixture of Hidden Object seeking, mini-game solving, and some inventory based puzzles. The focus is mostly on inventory based stuff. Much of the time, this is reasonably logical. For instance, to reattach a handle to a drawer you need to seek out some screws before using a screwdriver to attach the handle. Rarely do things turn bizarre on this front. That’s quite a refreshing change, even if it does make things a bit easier than in other casual adventure games. You also have collectibles to pick up and ghosts to ensnare. It’s simple stuff, with you tapping on the right area or using your ghost catching equipment, but it boosts Order of the Light: The Deathly Artisan reasonably well.
Mini-games are also suitably logical, bordering on the easy side initially. If you’ve played a game of this ilk before, don’t expect to be taxed very often. It’s the Hidden Object side of things where the game turns a little trickier. This is because each scene is often quite cluttered and busy. You’re given quite a substantial list of items to find. Alongside that, some items require you to combine others, or open hidden away compartments on screen. These are highlighted green so you know what to expect, but they still tend to be trickier to deduce than the usual bunch.
This might be why Order of the Light: The Deathly Artisan’s Hints system is different from usual. During Hidden Object scenes it’s all fairly conventional stuff, but things are a bit more vague when negotiating the town. By hitting the hint button you’re given a heads up on what’s expected of you, but you actually have to pay attention rather than just follow a glowing path. That makes a change, discouraging you from being too lazy as you play — but it might take some brief adjustment for those that are easily distracted.
Playing Order of the Light: The Deathly Artisan is mostly fairly satisfying, even if it’s not exactly taxing. Its visuals let the side down a bit though. It looks quite old compared to other games in the genre. That’s reflected even in the fonts it uses, dating it a fair bit. On the plus side, that should mean pretty much any PC is going to run it without an issue. In a curious way, that reinforces the concept of Order of the Light: The Deathly Artisan being a fine introductory game for those interested in the genre.
It won’t test old hands, but it’s a decent demonstration of what to expect. I still enjoyed Order of the Light: The Deathly Artisan despite its lack of challenge. Chances are you will too.