Letters from Nowhere 2 Review

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by on May 16, 2011 at 6:39 am

Letters from Nowhere 2 is the continuation and conclusion of the game and story started in Letters from Nowhere, which left us with a cliffhanger. It’s a hidden object title, with a smattering of relatively easy puzzles thrown in throughout the game. The story is fair and the hidden object aspects are ok, but what saves this game from being simply mediocre are the trophy system and the unlimited mode. That’s not to say those additions make it a great game, but it’s not terrible either. And for the overachiever, there’s a lot here.

In Letters from Nowhere, we discover that a husband has gone missing and the wife goes on the investigative hunt to track him down. She receives letters from a mysterious source, which turns out to be a ghost. In this second game, instead of letters, we’re looking for diary entries from a man who disappeared while he was investigating the strange disappearances in a small town decades earlier. A black cat is following us around from scene to scene, and is the special hidden object which must be found in order to unlock sections of the game, along with the three stamps per scene as in the first game.

The hidden objects come in a list, but there are four power-ups that can be bought, three of which can help on the hidden objects. The fourth object is simply for points. The three that will help find objects are a temperature gage, to play hot and cold with the list, a camera which flashes and shows some of the objects on the list, and a power-up that turns the list from words into pictures. This final power-up doesn’t come into play in the unlimited mode, since the list is already in pictures, but can come into great use during the story mode. In each scene in story mode, some object is special, requiring an extra step, like finding one half of a brain and adding it to the other.

There are also puzzles scattered throughout, triggered by clicking on some object on the screen and awarding an item on the list when won. All puzzles can be skipped, for anyone who finds them too difficult, but the puzzles are not hard. However, that’s not to say they aren’t fun, because they are. It’s also nice that once the puzzle mode is unlocked, players can play those puzzles as much as they want to. Puzzles range from simple jigsaws and rotating puzzles to find the two matching items in a sea of uniques. The chalk puzzle, one of the hardest and our favorite, involves trying to get chalk out of cupboard by moving items into spaces that they fit in, either vertically or horizontally. The puzzles are well-done and the company could probably make a fun game out of just the chalk puzzle type, or the talisman puzzle, which involved fitting oddly shaped pieces into a board so that they all fit. Our complaint with the puzzles comes in the fact that there’s simply not enough of them, and a few are throwaways or nonsensical, like the seasons puzzle which tasks a player with fitting weather items into a puzzle in order – but the order really makes little sense to the average person.

Once the story is completed, there’s still plenty to do. Completing all the trophies will take several more hours of play, and for the overachiever (guilty), this will be both frustrating and enjoyable. It’s frustrating because the hidden object aspect is, at times, inconsistent. Some items are difficult to click on and accuracy matters for some trophies and to complete scenes quickly in the unlimited mode. Sometimes, the player can click so fast, the game hasn’t caught up yet and that causes a delay as well. It’s enjoyable, because it’s a challenge to get all fifty items in the unlimited mode on each scene (of which there are many) in the short time required for the gold medal.

Overall, the game is a good value. It’s not a perfect game, by any means of the word. But it’s solid and enjoyable. The story is interesting, and there are voiceovers which add to the quality. At the end of the game, different objects collected from each chapter are required to finish the ‘comic strip’ which completes the story, a cute touch. Anyone who is a hidden object fan should definitely play Letters from Nowhere and follow that up with Letters from Nowhere 2.

Score: 8.3

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