Rafael Ramirez is dead. He may sound like a nobody, but this guy had some powerful friends, including the governor. You’re called in to investigate his death, and wouldn’t you know it, everything about the situation reeks of mystery. There’s something sinister and supernatural at work here, but there’s also a knot of human coercion and intrigue that needs to be untied.
Sea of Lies: Nemesis is a casual adventure game that focuses on clever hidden object scenes and deep item interaction. Your adventure takes you through a host of renaissance era buildings, outdoor environments, and a creepy graveyard or two, all in the name of clue hunting and item gathering. Nemesis is packed with things to interact with, ensuring your cursor never sits in place for long. Grab everything of interest and talk to everyone you meet, you never know who (or what) is in on this murderous conspiracy.
Hidden object scenes are a fascinating part of the Sea of Lies experience. Instead of a static screen with a big list of items, we’re treated to a nest of screens with areas to zoom into, silhouette puzzles to solve, and interactive items to pick apart or assemble. Each scene is a hybrid of shape and list based hidden object puzzles that only show a small selection of items at a time, affording you the luxury of focusing on a few objects at a time instead of wildly clicking around the place. If for some reason you aren’t interested in looking for items, you can always switch over to a match-3 game instead.
Beyond the hidden object scenes, Sea of Lies has a respectable amount of mini-games carefully crafted to fit with the game’s setting and atmosphere. Most of them are simple enough to figure out without resorting to the “skip” button, but on the same note, there aren’t any surprises to run across, either. Another mini-game of sorts is hunting down gold coins to purchase items in your own private villa. It doesn’t make a lot of sense in the context of the game, but it’s actually kind of fun, so we’ll let it slide. In fact, the only real downsides to the Nemesis experience are the low level of difficulty and occasionally bad line of voice acting. Small potatoes when the rest of the game is so well made.
Variety is Sea of Lies’ strongest point. The story is told in chapters, with each one unveiling a clever little twist once you complete it. You’ve also got a handy little kit you’ll use to dust objects for fingerprints, seeing as how you’re a detective and all. Those two features alone keep you guessing as to what to do next, but throw in the clever hidden object scenes and gold hunting mini-game and you’ve got an excuse to keep playing all the way to the end.