By Eric Pankoke on Mon, 02/04/2013
When G5 released Nightmares From The Deep, I had actually started to grow weary of hidden object games. Thankfully the balanced game play, focus on adventuring aspects, and interesting story kept me captivated until the end of the game. It even convinced me to play the bonus adventure, which I had never done before. Now G5 brings us another treasure from the same developers in the form of Abyss: The Wraiths Of Eden. While I’m not quite sure if I like this one as well as Nightmares From The Deep yet, there’s no question that it shares the same high quality as the previous game. Adventure and hidden object fans should have a great time with this one as well.
First of all, I think it’s time for the men to step it up a bit. It seems like these days all the adventure games have the women saving the day. Anyway, gender roles aside you’ll find that the story is quite intriguing, and as you delve further into your surroundings and meet new characters you’ll want to know more about the project that was under way and what went wrong (I’m being vague so I don’t spoil any of the story for you). I like the fact that the story is integrated into what you’re doing as opposed to in Nightmares From The Deep where you had to keep going to the treasure chest to unlock the details of your journey.
Actually playing the game consists mainly of tapping, as one might expect from a touch screen based game. You have to tap twice to leave a room, though it doesn’t have to be quick enough to be considered a “double tap”. Consequently I sometimes found myself leaving a room because I had tapped the area for the exit, and then when I thought I was tapping something else I accidentally tapped too close to the exit again. Thankfully load times in this game are nil, so other than temporarily going somewhere I didn’t want to go it wasn’t a bother. To use an inventory item you can tap it and then tap where you want to use it, but you can also drag it onto the target area, which is a nice feature and actually worked better for me in a couple of cases where I wasn’t tapping the exact spot on the target that I needed. In general the controls work well and are quite responsive.
The game play is nicely balanced between object based puzzles, hidden object scenes and mini games. To be quite honest, I like the fact that the hidden object scenes aren’t as prevalent, and wish they’d make one or two of these games where they just left them out completely. The mini-games have been reasonable and while often not my favorite type, have all been passable without having to skip them. As with Nightmares from the Deep there is a game you can play to bypass the hidden object scenes, but I couldn’t figure out what to do. There are also Game Center achievements, but as I usually say they don’t really seem necessary in this type of game (though some are quite amusing). The bonus content includes concept art and the ability to both watch the movies and play the hidden object scenes independent of the game. There’s also a bonus adventure you can play once you’ve completed the main game that lets you relive some of what led up to your current predicament.
For the most part the graphics are wonderful. The backgrounds are well drawn and nicely detailed and there is plenty of animation so it doesn’t feel like a static world. The mini-games also look really good. Much like Nightmares I’m not 100% sold on the character models, but that seems to be a tough area for most digital artists to conquer when they are dealing with people and not just fantasy creatures. The sound effects are well done, and once again the voice acting is great. For what I noticed the music sounds good as well, but I was usually too caught up in the game itself to pay much attention to the soundtrack.
In the end this is another top notch adventure from Artifex Mundi. The story is intriguing, the game play is nicely balanced, and the aesthetics are quite pleasing. The only major gripe I had was that it ended, but that’s the sad inevitability of an adventure game, great or not. I just hope G5 and Artifex Mundi are working on more games to bring to the iOS platform, because I’m going to need another fix soon.
Overall Score: 10/10
App Store Link
Note: This game was reviewed on an iPad 2 running iOS 6.0.1.