Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart

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Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart on Steam

MSRP: $9.99 (Steam) / $4.99 (mobile)

Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Blackberry, WinPhone

Release: 4/19/12


Something to get out of the way – I think the prices of hidden object games for computers are usually insanely disproportionate to the amount of play they provide. The only saving grace is how often they get deep discounts or put into bundles – I currently have probably 35 hidden object games I haven’t played, and I got almost all of them bundled because I just can’t pay $10 for a game that takes less than 4 hours to play to completion.

Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart tries to artificially increase replay value by adding achievements that require at least a second play through – even if you start on expert mode, you’ll need to play at least twice to get the hidden object achievements as well as the alternate mini-game mah johng solitaire achievements.

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As far as the game itself, it’s pretty decent provided you can disregard the cut-scenes looking like they were designed for 600X800 resolution – I’ve played games that came out in the nineties that look better than the cut scenes here.  There’s a short tutorial, which isn’t overly intrusive, but can be skipped by anyone familiar with the play of hidden object games.  All of the puzzles I encountered in the early game were logical, bordering on too easy.

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Thankfully, the hidden object scenes don’t suffer from the clarity issues the cut scenes seem to have.  They’re fair without being overly easy, and the items in yellow text require you to manipulate something else in order to discover them. However, instead of just needing to click blindly, the cursor changes to indicate there is something you can interact with. So far, I’ve seen a few variations, including parts puzzles and flashlight in a dark room. Pretty standard fare.

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There’s a journal to keep track of your progress & objectives, as well as a map that will enable you to see where there are things that you can do, but it does not allow you to fast travel. Story is nothing unusual – a simple, slightly spooky tale, but as someone who is drawn to all things pirate, I’m actually finding it pretty enjoyable.

If you like hidden object games, and you can pick it up cheap or in a bundle (preferably with other Artifex Mundi games as they tend to be of higher quality than a lot of other hidden object games), Nightmare of the Deep: Cursed Heart is worth a play through – maybe even two if you want to get all the achievements.

 

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