More than a decade ago, the Kingdom of Aurelia was seized by a vicious tyrant. Princess Aurora hid from his troops and eventually managed to overthrow the warlord, restoring the king to his throne and peace to the land. You’d think the story would be left to a happily ever after at this point, but no, evil isn’t done with this world. Not yet. A mysterious man approaches the Princess and offers to read her palm. Instead, he slashes her hand and curses her with a mysterious poison, the cure for which can only be found beyond the forest. As her best friend, it’s your job to venture forth and save her life, before it’s too late.
Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger is a casual adventure loaded with mini-games and sprinkled with the lightest touch of hidden object scenes. The story takes place in the most charming of worlds that fuses fantasy with steampunk, throwing things like mechanical insects at you all while chatting about spells and wizards. You’ll also get a device that can read people’s minds and toy around with a robot companion, both of which change the way you’ll look at puzzles in the game.
Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger is more concerned with mini-games than hidden object scenes. You’ll spend a great deal of time wandering between sections picking up items to store in your inventory, some of which can be interacted with by clicking on the plus sign. As soon as you put an item where it belongs, a mini-game will pop up. Most of these stick to simple gimmicks like matching symbols or lining up tiles, things most people will recognize from other hidden object games. Occasionally, though, Poisoned Dagger throws something wild and amazing your way, just to make sure you’re paying attention.
When a hidden object scene does arrive, it won’t take you long to complete. Each one displays a collection of silhouettes at the bottom of the screen. Find each item (or pieces of an item) in turn, often using them on the screen to unlock and open the way for new objects. Once you collect everything you’ll get an important piece of a puzzle and be sent on your way. Easy!
Kingdom of Aurelia has more of a lighthearted and adventurous tone than most hidden object adventures. The situation is tense, of course, since you’re on a mission to rescue the princess, but because you play as a curious young boy crawling through hidden passages and investigating magical forests, nothing seems dire or hopeless, just mischievous. Paired with the lovely graphics and unique setting, this change of atmosphere sets Poisoned Dagger on the top shelf of hidden object games. Once you start playing, you’ll be drawn in immediately.