Sacra Terra: Angelic Night

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Sacra Terra: Angelic Night on Steam

MSRP: $2.99

Platform: Windows

Release: 7/15/11


I’ve been on a bit of a hidden object kick lately; most of the time, they’re low brain-power and have no need for good reflexes, and don’t suffer from short play sessions. Sacra Terra: Angelic Night is a solid example of the genre. It’s not revolutionary or mind-blowing, but it’s satisfying without being too difficult.

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The hidden object scenes are some of the most straightforward I’ve experienced, which would make this a good game for someone new to the genre. Items look more or less like you expect them to, and each scene (on expert difficulty at least) has one item in red that has to be either uncovered or created by combining other items in the scene.  Some of those are little more challenging, especially if you’re not really familiar with hidden object scene conventions, however, the hint button has a fairly short recharge period – one minute on casual, and two on expert – and can basically be used on every puzzle if needed.

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The story is spooky, but like many hidden object games, not particularly believable. You wake up alone in a very very creepy hospital, and you are tasked by an angelic apparition to rid the grounds of manifestation of the seven deadly sins. If you’re at a loss for what you need to next, you can always consult your map (which will show you which locations have activities you can perform) or your journal, which contains all the significant story thus far.

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The puzzle logic mostly solid, and there are no real inventory puzzles – you won’t be combining items in your inventory. Once you have no further need of an object, it will disappear, which is nice.  However, a few times, I felt that the game was a little too rigid. At one point, I needed to move a liquid from one place to another.  Not only would the game not let me pick up the vessel it was already in, but it would not let me use a vial in my inventory on it. It would only accept one certain item as that puzzle’s solution.

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There’s no voice acting, but the ambient sounds and background music fit the setting well and was pleasant to listen to. The story is pretty linear, but not painfully so.  My only minor gripe was a lack of map-to-move feature; when there’s a map in game, not allowing fast travel with it makes me feel like there was a deliberate decision to stretch out the play time via a lot of backtracking.  Given that there is one major set of items that need to be placed one by one pretty much as they’re found in order to continue, there was a LOT of backtracking that had to be done.

The main story will likely take about three hours to complete, not including the bonus chapter or any time spent hunting collectibles.  For a three dollar game, that’s about spot on. Most importantly, for a hidden object puzzler, Sacra Terra: Angelic Night plays fair. It doesn’t use murky graphics to cover up otherwise weak hidden object scenes, and it doesn’t give you puzzles that don’t make sense.  It even includes a full strategy guide if you need more help than the hint button provides.

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