While the visuals of Spirits of Mystery: Amber Maiden Collector’s Edition are really stunning, the gameplay leaves much to be desired. There is lots of running back and forth between realms at the beginning, between the home of the Princess’s adopted mother and the cursed castle where the witch who put the amber curse on the kingdom is residing. We see how the curse came to be, and collect things along the way to try to learn more about why things happened the way they did, but I did not get far along enough in the game to get to the end, because I found it to be rather frustrating and confusing. I’m sure, like in most of these hidden object games, the princess will find a way to strategy guide and come back to her parents, but as I was collecting all these odd trinkets along the way, it was kind of difficult to know why I was doing so or where they would be needed. There are logic puzzles peppered here and there, and with the Spirits of Mystery: Amber Maiden Collector’s Edition you do have automatic access to the strategy guide, but I tried to go as far as I could without it. This is a game you need time to get into, and is not well done if you have interruptions or have to leave it abruptly for, well, everyday life in general. There are many great games in the Hidden Object Mystery category you can try. If you have the time and patience for this one, then you will have a much better time with it than I did.
Dark Parables: The Exiled Prince Collector’s Edition is stunningly beautiful, and incorporates many aspects of classic European fairytales into this game. In Germany’s Black Forest, the chancellor’s teen daughter and her bodyguard are taking a hike through the woods, and they are both kidnapped. You are roleplaying the part of an investigator who has gone in to find them. This part of the Black Forest is filled with frogs of all kinds, and sculptures of frogs. This is a different kind of hidden object game, in that you are not given a list of items to look for in an area, but parts of objects you need to put together, like keys and amulets and other items to move the game along. Some of these items are very aesthetically pleasing to see, and you might not want to part with them when you reach that part of the game when you will need to use them. You encounter a shadowy figure with glowing red eyes every once in awhile who keeps warning you to stay away, and that he in having to go through a very painful curse. You see a ghost of a princess in a green gown, but never really learn whom she is.
Dark Parables : The Exiled Prince Collector’s Edition is a great way to while away some hours, but it can be frustrating having to backtrack through the game as often as you have to to find items to unlock new areas. Lots of backtracking is done here, so you might end up wanting to take breaks every once in awhile. As a whole the game is a very entertaining way of bringing old legends to light in a brand new way.