Yet another hidden object mystery to creep us out. Something wicked this way comes in the form of Dark Arcana: The Carnival. It had a very Scooby-Doo kind of quality at first, with the carnival atmosphere, and its Olde Worlde setting. Soon, things weren’t so 70’s Saturday morning. In this story, a mother and her little girl go into a House of Fear at a carnival. On the way out, the girl steps back out of the entrance, and then the door slams behind them, and locks her mother in behind her. This is a odd situation where a parent goes missing from a public event rather than the child. The kid is very frightened, and the security officer promises to look after her while we take on the role of detective to find her mother.
We move throughout the carnival, looking for useful objects in well-rendered pictures of areas, and tracking the accessory to the true villain through the park. Speaking of the retro, it turns out that a carnival show had a dreadful ending, not unlike the… some obscure music video I saw in 1994 about a doomed circus done in Tim Burton-style that still haunts me to this day! Still can’t remember the song or the band, though. Here we are dealing with two carnivals, one in our world, and a twisted world that you are transported to via magic mirror. What a place that is!
If it has some kind of connection to dark fantasy, then it will be here. You have only two allies in your quest. A magically trapped fortune-teller and a rescued monkey. You’ll spend some time trying to free the fortune-teller, and this game will take you on so many wild turns, you will think that this isn’t some exotic carnival, but a night at Cedar Point.
The only drawback is the basic gameplay, as it is just like any other HOM game. It would be nice not to have to keep running back and forth to find twelve different object to open one insane lock, but somehow, those game developers haven’t figured out how to do that yet. I don’t know if it so much them, or myself for getting into another HOM. If you like old school mysteries, or are just into weird stuff, then give Dark Arcana: The Carnival a try.