iPad Game Review: Alchemy Mysteries: Prague Legends HD (iPad) Review
Reviewed by Tom Slayton
Alchemy Mysteries: Prague Legends is a supernatural hidden object/puzzle/point and click adventure. It features 42 locations, 24 mini-games, 15 achievements, and a supernatural mystery to solve.
Whenever I set out to review a hidden object adventure game, the first thing I try to determine is how it sets itself apart. Sometimes, sadly, these games don't do anything new. However, Alchemy Mysteries: Prague Legends does a nice job of offering some new innovations without monkeying too much with the winning formula of this genre. First of all, while each location is distinct and requires time to load, once there, players can rotate seamlessly through four distinct views (representing north, east, west, and south). While it's not true 360-degree it's a nice touch. Second, searching for objects sometimes requires that you combine an item from your inventory with an onscreen item; You will know when this is necessary by the blue text. Third, knowing when to use what and when is in no way obvious, and will require some real cleverness. Unfortunately, this is imperfectly implemented because you can never be sure what part of your environment is interactive and what isn't. Fortunately, the hint system is generous, and the feedback you occasionally get also helps. The rest of the game is pretty standard fare, although not in a bad way if you enjoy hidden object adventures. Lastly, 42 locations, 24 mini games, and 15 achievements means that you will definitely get your money's worth with Alchemy Mysteries: Prague Legends.
Although Alchemy Mysteries: Prague Legends features industry standard graphics, it puzzlingly proclaims that it supports retina displays on newer iPads. Unfortunately, I had a hard time figuring out where these hi-res assets were hiding. Specifically, the hidden object portion of the game features the same muddy graphics we are all used to with this genre, and zooming in just makes everything bigger and muddier. While it's no worse than almost every other game in the genre, it's certainly not what I would consider "retina." The interface is clean, however, and the game has a nice level of graphical polish.
The sound and music of Alchemy Mysteries: Prague Legends are both well done, as is the voice acting. None of it truly stands out from the crowded field, but neither do they lag in any way.
If you enjoy hidden object adventure games, Alchemy Mysteries: Prague Legends is definitely for you. While the supernatural theme may be off-putting for younger players, it's never gory or jarring. The graphics were a bit of a let-down, although they were no worse than other games of this type; I just expected more from supposed "retina support."
Ratings (scale of 1 to 5):
Graphics: - 3 - Not great but not bad. Certainly not retina in any meaningful way. Sound: - 4 - Very good audio adds greatly to the overall level of immersion. Controls: - 5 - A solid, clean interface that is accurate and responsive. Gameplay: - 4 - Classic hidden object adventure, but not particularly groundbreaking in any way.
Playing Hints and Tips:
If you don't know what to do or where to go, use a hint. They are not deducted if there is nothing to do at that particular location, and you will be directed where to go next, free of charge. Don't forget to access your inventory while adventuring, and be prepared to be creative as some of the solutions are not obvious.