The latest point & click/hidden object game from Artifex Mundi to be released on Xbox One continues the quality set out by the many games that came before.
You can read all our reviews of the Artifex Mundi series so far below:
Clockwork Tales: Of Ink & Glass
Nightmares From the Deep: The Cursed Heart
Enigmatis: Ghosts of Maple Creek
Nightmares From The Deep: The Siren’s Call
Dark Arcana: The Carnival
Enigmatis 2: The Mists of Ravenwood
Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom
Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan
Eventide: Slavic Fable
Eventide 2: Sorcerer’s Mirror
Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden
Lost Grimoires 2: Shard of Mystery is once again set in a magical kingdom far away. Opening with a prologue, the story is set out simply while you get to grips with the gameplay. A lengthy war with the evil witch, Drosera finally comes to an end when the King manages to defeat her & lock her away in magical mirror.
Here you play as Violet, the alchemist teacher & protector of the future king. Years later he mysteriously vanishes the night before his coronation. It’s up to Violet to track him down but who is the mysterious woman he seems to be following & what does she want with the mirror?
Regular Artifex Mundi fans will instantly feel comfortable with the formula set out here. There is little deviation from the setup but it works so well that it hardly needs sweeping changes. That being said though, there are some elements to gameplay that have been played around with. Not necessarily for the better & in some cases things have been dropped completely.
It’s disappointing to see the alternative option (such as Mahjong or Dominos) to the hidden object puzzles has been dropped completely. These added some freshness to a second play through as well as a nice alternative if you’d gotten stuck.
Most of these are hardly challenging though, something that applies to the other puzzles that crop up. There are a few new ideas within the puzzle section of the game but a few too many are laughably easy to complete with only a handful likely to test you.
One of the better ideas though involves Violet’s skill as an alchemist. Once you’ve acquired the ingredients to make a potion you play a ‘match 3’ style mini game. The aim being to clear the required number of gems within a certain number of moves. Later these become a little more challenging & you actually have to think about your matches.
As per usual, the hand-drawn art style pops on the screen & the world introduced here is vibrant & exciting to look at. Every new scene is a feast for the eyes & the imagination involved deserves plaudits.
The lack of a bonus chapter hurts the game overall though. Without that the game feels extremely light & can be completed in a handful of hours at most. Still, you know what you’re getting with an Artifex Mundi release & they still pump out quality games that satisfy & entertain. Lost Grimoires 2: Shard of Mystery isn’t the best of the bunch so far but it’s still a very good game.
Lost Grimoires 2: Shard of Mystery