MSRP: $2.99 – $9.99, depending on platform
Platforms: Win, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, WinPhone, Blackberry, XBox One
Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek is a hidden object game that is not just published by, but also developed by, Artifex Mundi. Despite the fact that Artifex Mundi seem to churn out new titles every couple of months, their hidden object games tend to be the gold standard of the genre.
As you might expect, the hidden object scenes are very well done. There are occasionally misleading or ambiguous object names in the list, but for the most part, you’re going to know what a thing is as soon as you spot it. There’s a moderate level of challenge without it ever really feeling unfair, and this gives a pretty good foundation for any hidden object game.
The non hidden object puzzles are varied, both in type and difficulty. There are some that can be brute forced, and others that require quit a bit of thought. I particularly appreciated the inclusion of a few picross puzzles – something I can’t remember encountering previously in a hidden object game.
Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek is also a mystery, and you will need to assist the protagonist in deciphering evidence that you find in the town of Maple Creek. Sometimes, a conclusion must be drawn on the evidence wall in order to trigger an event which will allow the game to progress, so it’s not something that can just be ignored for any length of time. It’s similar to the system in 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek, but placed up against a slightly less absurd storyline.
There are a few jump scares throughout – something I absolutely wasn’t expecting. Given the depth and challenge here, Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek isn’t a game I would suggest someone play if they’re new to the hidden object genre, but it definitely should provide a satisfying experience to fans of the genre. It’s on the longer side for this type of game, running about five hours including the bonus chapter. The full price value isn’t great, but don’t hesitate if you see it on sale for 50% off, or in a bundle.