Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Game Review of MYSTERY IN LONDON - On The Trail Of Jack The Ripper

Oh, how I love a good mystery, and this game sure has one!!! I've played a lot of hidden object games, but Mystery In London really impressed me. This game is so popular, I just had to try it, and I'm so glad I did! Wow! If you like hidden object games, this is a game you will love. If you also love a good mystery, Mystery In London will be simply irresistible to you!

The game has a wonderfully mysterious-sounding soundtrack, great sound effects, and unbeatable graphics. The detail of the graphics and the life-like appearance was truly impressive. I felt like I was inside the scenes I played. Shown in the screenshot below are some of the options available to you, such as levels of sounds, etc. If you're playing for the first time, I recommend activating the "show tips" option - it gives great tutorial tips throughout the game.

When you first start a game, you can choose between "explorer mode" and "tourist mode." Choose tourist mode if you prefer to play leisurely without being timed against the clock. Explorer Mode is where you match your searching skills against a timer/clock during your whirlwind trip to London. Tourist Mode allows you to relax and enjoy a selection of locales with no time limit (see below).

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Shown below is a screenshot of my first locale. I had the "show tips" option turned on, so one of the tutorial tips is displayed below. For example, to find a collectible, you can use the navigation controls to move around and find the hidden items listed at the bottom of the screen. In the scene I was currently searching, I was to find four books and one mysterious book. I also had the option for "show navigation arrows" activated, to I could navigate around the scene using the arrows or the controls at the bottom of the screen until I found a book. Once you find an item, you simply click on it to pick it up.

Along your journey, you keep a travelogue. In it, you will gather souvenirs of the major events of your adventure. It is also where you will tape all the clues you find during your London journey.

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One great feature of the game is the "hint tool." If you're stuck and can't find all the items in a scene you're supposed to, you simply click on the hint button shown at the bottom mid-right of your screen while you're in a search scene/locale. You can use the hint button as much as you need to, but it will take a little time to reload between each use (see screenshot below).

Along with scenes/locales you visit and search, there are also a number of "mini games" you play during your London visit. Look below for a shot of one of the memory games. The games are great! They include memory games, reversi, a subway/bus track alignment game (like "Vines," "Snakes," "Pipe Dream," or "Pipe Mania" games), and more.

Look at the wonderfully mysterious scene below - if was a screenshot I took of one of the narrated mini-films I was shown when I found one of the major clues on my quest to find the trail of Jack the Ripper.

Along your journey, each time you visit a new location, you earn a stamp for your travelogue. Look at the shot below to see the great number and variety of locations you get to visit during the game! The places you can visit are: Buckingham Palace, Turnbull & Asser, Hamley's, Annex3, Westminster Mary's Chapel, Trumper, Piccadilly Circus, Segar & Snuff, Pollock's Dolls, Savoy Foyer, Savoy Bedroom, Westminster Confessor's Chapel, Prince Of Wales, Kew Palm Gardens, London Dungeon, HMS Belfast Shell Room, HMS Belfast Compass Room, Tower Bridge, Tower Of London Armory, Verde, Tower Of London Chapel, Whitechapel Yard, St. Paul's, A. Gold, Hemingford Arms Pub, Hurwundeki, and Whitechapel Foundry. After you complete a scene, you're also shown a "fun fact" about that scene. Very educational! I learned a lot of historical facts while playing the game from these fun facts! You can later click on the stamps to review the fun fact from a location you previously visited, too.

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Not only can you review past fun facts, but (see shot below) you also are given the ability to revisit locations you previously visited. This can come in very handy in case your memory needs to be refreshed about something. At a certain point in the game, you're given new tabs for your travelogue. A "scenes tab" is added that shows your collected stamps and allows you to revisit any place you previously visited. You're also given a "mini games tab" that lets you replay any mini games you have already played during your game.

Here's a shot of the London City Map that shows all the locations you can visit/search on your journey:

For those of us who don't have perfect eyesight, but love hidden object games, the magnifier tool in this game is wonderful! It enlarges/magnifies anything you point it at. You can use the magnifier at any time during the game, too.

The following screenshot is an example of another of the great clues you will encounter. I didn't want to give too much information away (and this pic doesn't) - just look at this wonderfully eerie picture:

Here is a great example of the top-quality graphics in the game. It looks completely life-like, doesn't it!?!?!?!? Look at the beautifully patterned carpet in the picture below - I felt like I was in that very room searching for clues!

Mystery In London is a rewarding, even educational, way to spend some time. It's NOT one of those cheaply-made, rinky-dink games someone can finish in just a few hours. There is a true mystery theme to this game, and it is wonderfully intriguing. I would rate this game very highly - an impressive piece all-around. No wonder Mystery In London is SO POPULAR! People are crazy about it! See what all the hype is about, and try it yourself.
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