From developer Sunray Games comes Mystic Diary: Lost Brother, a hidden object adventure that is far too short to be worthwhile. Clocking in at around three hours of gameplay tops, the game has an interesting storyline and a fun hidden object aspect that, if longer, would have made this a recommended game for any hidden object fans.
The story involves two brothers, one who is lost, as the title implies. The brother who is not lostÂ goes looking for his archeologist sibling, Gustav. The not lost brother has magical powers, albeit supposedly limited, and he finds the Mystic Diary, which allows him to teleport around to any location, provided he has a photo of it. The ending is expected, but still feels unfinished. There seemed to be leanings towards a bad guy who tore up a photo in one level, but there’s no reference to anyone other than Gustav and his magical brother looking for the book.Â We won’tÂ spoil the ending, but it’s a decentÂ attempt at a twist that falls just short of believable.
TheÂ hidden object aspect is delivered inÂ three ways, aÂ word list, a picture list and picturesÂ that have to be found in pieces. Nothing is ever terribly hard to find,Â but ifÂ a player does get stuck, there’s a hint system that recharges relatively quickly. TheÂ hidden object areas are denoted by sparklies, so there’s no random clicking around the screen tryingÂ to find a hotspot. Also, the icon changes to a hand when there’s some kindÂ of action that can be doneÂ on the main screen, which helps with the adventure portion of the game.Â
Players have to find various tools and objects and figure out how to use them to unlock certain items and doors, which is a nice break fromÂ straight up hidden object.Â There’s also a good variety of puzzles, although most of them are gimmes, meaning there’s no real challenge to them and ifÂ a player clicks enough, the puzzle will be solved. We would have liked to have seen moreÂ complexity and more examples, perhaps in an extras section, of certain puzzles like the magnet maze and the microscope one, where some basicÂ math comes into plaÂ . There’s also a ‘rub the mouse over the screen until the entire image appears’ that comes after each scene, and it’s extremely pointless, except that there’s a puzzle at the end that makes use of it, but again, if a player clicks around enough, they’ll solve it, so paying attention to it is really unnecessary.
Overall, Mystic Diary: Lost Brother is solid, but extremely short, even for a hidden object title. There’s no extra modes to play with and, once solved, there’s not a lot of value in replaying it. The music is generic and the graphics are adequate, but they don’t blow us away. It IS a fun game, though, which is why we have to mark it up for enjoyment. We just wish the developers (and this goes for all of you out there) would stop skimping on extra modes. Give us some extra gameplay for our money!
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