I had reviewed the previous two Azada games here on musings awhile back, so it seemed natural to go ahead and take a look at this new sequel, Azada: In Libro. I found this game a bit more confusing and lacking some the simplicity of the previous two games. While the first two were set in a study, and we did puzzles through classic books or logic games, this time things have gotten really weird. Titus is back with us, but we are no longer in the confines of the library, and have been lured into coming to Prague to settle a legal matter about an inheritance. We come along with our relatives’ solicitor, and find ourselves in a charming Olde World part of town, and then are caught in a trap. Titus once again needs our help to keep his evil wizard uncle from getting the Azada text, but now the dark magic is roaming the streets, and Prague itself is a bit off. Even though the Czech Republic capitol is an old city, it looks like it is stuck in around 1900, but there are these smoky dark spirits floating around loose, and they have the capacity to devour the living flesh off people and animals, leaving only their bones, not unlike Hedorah did in the 1971 environmentalist movie, Gojira tai Hedora. (A movie that gave me some serious nightmares, but I was only seven when I saw it!). These things are merciless, and you are on the run, searching for the Azada text before this dark destruction can cut loose any further.
The plot of this game is very good, but there have been some new trends at ERS Game Studio. This place is known for its beautifully rendered artwork in hidden object mystery games, but they have taken to adding extra animations now where things were just fine as static, and it somewhat distorts things. It was not broken, so they did not really need to improve on it, unless they are going to vastly improve on it. The opening CGI animations are nice and clear though. Not of Squaresoft quality, but not bad. I would really like to see the Azada games leave the computer screen and become a series of books, or even an animated scripted series. There is much to work with here, lots of untapped potential, but like our guide, Titus, Azada is still stuck in a two-dimensional place. This game had you going through lots of hoops to figure things out, and it was sort of creepy at times. At least there are no hidden object areas in this one. If you really like the series, it is worth the play time for the story. The only thing I was really put off by was the new animations. They just did not need to be there.