Chronicles of Mystery: Curse of the Ancient Temple Review (iPhone)

Game Review: Chronicles of Mystery: Curse of the Ancient Temple
Release: July 23, 2010
Genre: Hidden Object, Logic
Developer: City Interactive S.A.
Available Platforms: iPhone (iOS 3.0 or later), iPod touch, iPad
Players: 1
MSRP: $3.99 (iPhone)
ESRB Rating: T for Teen (Infrequent/Mild Alcohol, Tobacco, Drug Use or References)

Chronicles of Mystery is a hidden object adventure game where you play as Sylvie, an aspiring archaeologist. Her uncle has gone missing and you must discover his whereabouts even when danger lurks around every corner!

There are two main methods you will use to find your uncle: finding objects and solving a variety of logic puzzles. As you travel around Europe searching for your uncle, various landscapes appear filled with clues. When you search for objects, the list of necessary items appears in the bottom bar to help you keep track. Objects that need finding range from weighted balls to garden shears.

The logic games are what break up the point-and-click adventures. They include Labyrinth, where you must maneuver a ball through a maze by tilting your iPhone; Spot the Differences, where you identify five differences between side-by-side pictures; Hidden Messages, where you drag your finger across the screen to uncover the message, and eleven other games with varying difficulty levels.

Search for key items in a creepy cemetary!

The landscapes are crisp and extremely detailed. Each scene looks like an elaborate painting with excellent depth and lighting. The logic minigames, however, are really what set this game apart from other hidden object games. They present an additional challenge other than straining your eyes to find a coin. It is also cool to tilt your iPhone around to roll the ball around the maze, but when I did that in public people got freaked out. I told them I was practicing for my Fushigi.

This game is a hot mess of glitches and grammatical errors. I ask, “Is the professor in?” The response: “Unfortunately not???” A couple more fine examples: “Hmm, I remember the lectures on ancient methods of codes and hidden messages???” and “Now, find an object that you can light with the use matches in your inventory.” At first I thought this was a mockery of Speed Racer but the poorly worded statements (questions???) keep coming and it gets embarrassing.

Press the right buttons to pick the lock

The Scale minigame is glitched and I had to shutdown Chronicles to fix it. This was only an inconvenience and a precursor to the fatal flaw. In the hotel level, after I found the objects, the umbrella and cigar I needed to trigger the fire alarm disappeared. They just vanished. There is no way to restart the level, so my only option was to delete my save file and lose hours of game play.  A quick Internet search revealed this was not an isolated incident.

This game started out exciting and fun, but the mistakes continued snowballing out of control. I visited City Interactive’s website to send an email regarding the programming flaws and I noticed how they spelled “Investor Realtions.” I would stay away from this game, especially at its $3.99 price tag.

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