Planet Earth is hardly recognizable. Pollution, overpopulation, wars, and global warming have caused so much destruction to the surface that very little survives to this day. Barren lands and vast deserts dominate the world, leaving no room for life to flourish. In a small corner of this desolate planet are the Fertile Lands, an oasis in the mountains where a few thousand people scratch out a living, doing their best to keep humanity alive.
Alice and her uncle Colin are two of these humans, but they can’t stay here for long. Continuing the story from the previous game, Darkness and Flame: Missing Memories follows Alice as she ventures out of the Fertile Lands in search of answers. Just as before, a malefic force known as Darkness pursues her, but the bird of flames that resides in her arm keeps Alice and her uncle alive. At least, for now…
Darkness and Flame: Missing Memories is an incredibly engaging hidden object game. It’s one of those experiences that gets its hooks in you from the beginning and never lets go. The world is richly imagined with epic landscapes and creative artwork that hints at a world that was and a world that may one day be. Pulling all of this together are simple but engaging puzzles that involve a lot of item hunting and a little experimentation. Most of what you pick up will need to be manipulated or combined with other objects, so don’t turn your brain off even for a second.
The hidden object scenes in Darkness and Flame are short and sweet, just the right length to let the story carry the bulk of your intrigue. Most of them are text lists with a large number of interactive items. Move stuff out of the way, combine items, even tear them apart to create the objects you need. The to-find lists are smart and change color depending on whether or not the item is clickable. If it’s red, you’ve got another mini-mystery to solve.
Missing Memories fills out the rest of its gameplay with simple but challenging mini-games and a host of extras. You’ll find morphing objects, collectible items, and lots more, all sitting unobtrusively and waiting for your curious cursor to give them a click. Really, it’s just another excuse to draw you into the game’s detailed world. And that’s just fine by me!
Darkness and Flame: Missing Memories is great as a standalone game and even better as a sequel. If you enjoyed Darkness and Flame: Born of Fire, you owe it to yourself to continue the story. And if you didn’t, start at the beginning or start with Missing Memories. Either way there’s a lot of great artwork, incredible puzzles, and enchanting world building waiting for you.