Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek review
Artifex Mundi have returned after the release of their rather excellent Clockwork Tales: Of Glass and Ink, with another hidden-object puzzle game, Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek.
A terrible storm has ripped through the quiet Vermont town, Maple Creek, and you find yourself outside the town, trying to remember why you were brought there in the first place. Your body remembers, but your mind cannot… However, it is down to you to uncover the dark mysteries of Maple Creek.
Following the trail of another detective who had been sent to uncover the mysterious going-ons of Maple Creek, you pick up clues not only regarding the disappearance of the young women, but also trying to piece together what you already know, but your mind is refusing to tell you.
Mixing traditional puzzles, such as piecing together ancient artefacts to open doors, or combining the correct items to utilise them elsewhere within the game, Enigmatic provides the perfect balance of tricky and almost frustrating puzzle solving, with others which are so easy you’ll kick yourself when you don’t get it right away. Anyone who is a fan of head-scratchers would feel right at home here.
As well as the traditional puzzle solving, there are several hidden-object mini-games dotted about. These are usually brightly indicated on-screen, and often require you to complete them to obtain an item you require to proceed. These are fairly simple affairs, but some of the clues given are never completely clear. However, this doesn’t detract from the enjoyment of finding all the items. Of course, it’s very easy to just move your cursor around the screen, whilst slamming A to find everything you require, which to me just takes the fun out of it.
Your puzzle-solving skills, however, are not limited to hide and seek with objects, you also have a mystery to solve. Along the way you will pick up hints and clues to aid your discovery to the events which have plagued Maple Creek – these can all be accessed from your diary – at any point you can view the clues you have picked up and find out which direction you should be heading. This adds an extra layer to the basic puzzle game, but doesn’t feel tacked on. It’s up to you to ensure the clues are filed correctly, and to work out what your next move should be.
The art style of Engimatis fits perfectly with its illustrated backdrops and simple yet effective animations. Visually it is a delight, full of colour and incredibly atmospheric, and the puzzles and hidden-item mini games are easily distinguishable.
The soundtrack is suitably simple yet effective, and adds to the atmosphere of Maple Creek and the mystery which surrounds it. I was also glad to see that they had improved the vocal quality in Enigmatis, making them sound much more natural.
Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek is now available to download from the Xbox store for £7.99.