One part alchemy and one part supernatural adventure, Grim Legends: Song of the Dark Swan is a fantasy themed hidden object game that spins a surreal tale from beginning to end. You play the role of a healer charged with diagnosing (and hopefully curing) the queen’s inability to speak. As soon as you arrive at the castle, however, a mysterious light envelopes her room and the young prince vanishes. Some dark magic is at work, here. Looks like you’ll have to be a detective as well as a healer.
Grim Legends: Song of the Dark Swan balances itself between the worlds of hidden object and adventure games. There are generous helpings of each, allowing you to explore and collect items, hunt for objects in crowded scenes, and even take a break to solve unique mini-games from time to time. All of this is couched in a creatively illustrated world that’s just as surreal as it is creepy.
Mini-game variety is one of Grim Legends’ strong points. You’ll find a handful of standard games like string puzzles or tile arranging riddles, but you’ll also bump into creative diversions like the potion mixing game. Since you’re a healer and all, you’ve got the skills necessary to brew different tonics for a variety of purposes. To make a sleeping potion at the beginning of the game, for example, you’ll mix liquids and cook everything just right before pouring it into a goblet and delivering it to your patient.
Hidden object scenes are a surprisingly interactive affair. Each area is filled with the usual amount of clutter, everything from magical items to things that are probably ordinary in a world like this, such as pieces of fish statues or glowing mushrooms. Pictures of the item fragments rest at the bottom of the screen, all you have to do is locate the shards and click to slowly put them together.
Like its predecessor Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride, Song of the Dark Swan isn’t afraid to add tense action scenes to cut through the starch of a hidden object experience. Boat crash in the pond? Better start swimming! These bouts of excitement sometimes lead to new animal companions, little friends who travel with you and perform various tricks when nothing else seems to work.
Grim Legends: Song of the Dark Swan is a brilliant brew of elements. Its puzzles are clever, it’s mini-games original, its hidden object scenes interactive and interesting, and its challenge level perfectly tuned to keep you enchanted. If a dark tale of magic and mystery is up your alley, grab your alchemy kit and dive in.