I love Hidden Object games (HOGs). As a Big Fish Games subscriber, that’s probably 75% of what I buy.
The first HOG to come out for Windows Phone that I saw was on WP7 – James Patterson’s Women’s Murder Club. It was Highly Meh. The graphics were decent, but not stellar, and I didn’t care much for the story or gameplay. It had pinch to zoom in/out, but it would nearly always register a pinch as a selection attempt. Since there was a “complete a HO scene without a mistake” achievement, that was Very Frustrating!
So a couple of weeks ago, I saw some mention (I’ve forgotten where) of Enigmatis:The Ghosts of Maple Creek. I recognized it as also being on Big Fish (but I don’t have it). So I grabbed the free version, and it didn’t take me very long to go ahead and unlock it fully using the in-app purchase.
The video cut scenes are PC-quality. The voice acting is clear, and the background music is great and not a huge distraction, nor overpowering. The scenes are sometimes a little bit “trash pile” (meaning that they’re crowded with lots of just “stuff”), but the pinch to zoom in/out is FLAWLESS – no false selections and very, very little distortion. And moving around while zoomed in also doesn’t register false selections. I question some of the item names, but that’s minor (especially since the publisher is not located in an English-as-a-primary-language country). And I even jumped when you discover the … but that would be telling. ;)
As for puzzles, probably half are HOGs, maybe slightly more than half, but there are other puzzles as well. I thought the balance of HOG and other was actually really, really good. The only puzzles I really had trouble with were the ones in the bonus gameplay.
This is a “collectors edition”, which means that there is bonus gameplay. The bonus gameplay for this particular title is a little backstory, using the secondary antagonist from the main gameplay. It’s Very Short, maybe about a dozen puzzles, but it was fun, too.
The publisher is Artifex Mundi, a developer based in Zabrze and Krakow, Poland.
In the US, you can get the trial version of Enigmatis:The Ghosts of Maple Creek here. You can get the full version (which as of this writing is on sale for $1.99– so get it now!) for $2.99 here. (For other markets, check your Windows Phone store – US is what I have access to.)
Artifex Mundi has two other titles (also on sale at the time of this writing): Dark Arcana:The Carnival and Nightmares from the Deep:The Cursed Heart. Yeah, these will be mine shortly.
Overall: Definitely an A. If you like adventure games/puzzles/HOGs and want one in your pocket, this will not disappoint. Probably not for young kids, as the mood is a little dark and eerie. It’s rated T, and that’s probably accurate.