The Secret Legacy: A Kate Brooks Adventure Review

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by on May 25, 2011 at 4:55 am

The Secret Legacy: A Kate Brooks Adventure is probably one of the worst hidden object games we’ve seen in a while. The problems are numerous and the story is almost irrelevant. The hidden object aspect lacks the most important part of a game – fun. There are technical issues and, even mixing up the variety of gameplay and the elements that actually would have set this title apart, the execution is unsuccessful. There is one shining spot, but unfortunately, it has nothing to do with the game itself – and that’s the side story told by ancient Egyptian tablets.

The story begins soon after the death of Kate’s grandmother. It looked like an accident, but through the course of Kate’s investigation, she discovers her grandmother was murdered. Searching further, we discover letters from Kate’s grandmother and clues into her research, as she apparently knew she was going to be killed. Who the murderer ends up being and how the game concludes is a huge disappointment all around. There is a side story involving a pharaoh, an arranged marriage and a slave that is compelling and an entire game could be made off that story – it would drive a game well. This story is told only when a player finds one of the eight tablets hidden in certain scenes. This story is the only thing about the game that makes it playable – it’s fascinating.

Poorly developed stories can be overlooked, though, if the gameplay excels. Unfortunately, The Secret Legacy’s gameplay is chock full of issues. Scattered around each scene are pieces of paper that, when clicked, will reveal the hidden object goals, whether it be a list, silhouettes or an item broken down into pieces. We enjoy the idea of having to find our list before being able to enter the hidden object aspect, but this presentation doesn’t make a lot of sense. There are also some hotspots that enter into a list of hidden objects, and those lists don’t have to be found, so it’s a bit inconsistent. One nice feature of the game is the scrolling aspect. To get to other parts of the scene, the player has to scroll left and right on the scene, and doing so will change the angle of some items and reveal some hidden objects from the list. In a good game, this feature would take it up a notch, but to a less than mediocre game, like this one is, it’s a case of why bother? 

As for finding the objects themselves, even when we know exactly what it’s going to be from silhouettes, several objects are nearly impossible to discern from the background. The art is poorly done and some items are miniscule in size. The hints take a while to recharge, so this can be particularly annoying. But by far the worst part of the hidden object part of the game is the fact that clicking on the item doesn’t always clear it from the list. Instead, players have to click on a specific part of the item to get it to take it. Sometimes, we thought we had found an object and we’d click on it and nothing would happen. We’d go back to looking for it. Finally, giving up, We’d take a hint and it would be the thing we’d already clicked on. There is nothing worse in a hidden object game than when clicking on an item doesn’t work – since that’s the core of the gameplay. It’s really an unforgiveable bug.

There are a few puzzles, but they aren’t memorable. There’s some inventory objects that have to be used, but it’s never a challenge to figure out what to do with them, so it’s almost not worth mentioning. The hard thing with this game is that all the components to a great game are there – variety to hidden object lists and the objects themselves, a story that could have been intruiging, a trip through a pharaoh’s tomb and a side story that could have been integrated into the game better – but they are all executed so poorly that The Secret Legacy: A Kate Brooks Aventure ends up being a case of what should have been. What it is isn’t worth the trip.

Score: 4.3

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