Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek PlayStation 4 Review

If you’re still looking for a chance to get some detective works done, give Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek a try.

By RON, Posted 06 Feb 2017

For any developer, the hidden object puzzle genre is difficult to deal with, especially when there’s only a limited variation and less amount of room for implementing wide-ranging gameplay. If the story doesn’t stick well, games of this genre won’t appeal to everyone. Artifex Mundi are well renowned for puzzle games with engaging stories, and they’ve decided to bring their already popular Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek on the PlayStation 4, as their first ever game of this genre on this generation of PlayStation consoles. Even though such games are widely popular among the mobile/app users, a PS4 release was a bit unexpected. Previously released back in 2011 on PC, due to Artifex Mundi’s reputation, Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek is definitely a series worth exploring.

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek, PlayStation 4, Review,Screenshot,Gameplay,Walkthough

The game takes place in a small town called Maple Creek, and, as a detective, your job is to search and find a missing girl. A mysterious storm at the beginning of the game scatters everything and the detective finds herself with little memory of what she was doing there. Luckily, her torn notebook reveals just enough clues to remind her about the missing girl and her initial investigation, emphasizing, mostly, on remembering what she was investigating. Eventually, she finds her way into a rather complex, mysterious situation. There was no getting back from Maple Creek since her car broke down during the storm, and fixing it in such a town would be much harder than solving the case. Her search for the missing girl leads to several unwanted scenarios, such as murder, black magic and ghostly activities. All these incidents are likewise filled with hidden object, jigsaw and swap puzzles, with riddles topping everything off.

Compared to any hidden object game Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek should be considered as a massive one. The story breaks into several parts of the town and leads for solving the case take you to almost twenty different locations. There’s a feature called Evidence Board that marks up the questions regarding the investigation, and these questions are answered by clues or objects found in different locations. Most objects are found in an interactive manner, such as when getting past an angry dog guarding a gate, you must find a way to feed it a sausage that needs to be found somewhere else. To find the sausage, you need to solve another puzzle, which leads to another and so on. Due to the nature of the game, each scenario offers plenty of mini puzzles, which boil down to finding the objects from a given screen, where those needing to be found are hidden or blend among several other objects. In these mini puzzles. The list of required objects is shown in text form at the bottom of the screen. When found, they disappear from the list. Each mini puzzle rewards an object which is essential to solve the next puzzle.

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek, PlayStation 4, Review,Screenshot,Gameplay,Walkthough

In most cases, even when one or two objects are required to solve a scenario, you might have to go through several other scenarios to find them. A lot of traveling, from one end of the town to another, is required for gathering these objects. During these travels between locations, you’ll meet a few people who’ll direct you towards more puzzles, helping out by giving clues or leads. Clues are mostly analyzed in the Evidence Board, and items, such as pieces of a torn photo, when found, give valuable information for solving somewhat difficult puzzles. Though, it’s fair to say that Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek doesn’t really offer any challenge when it comes to solving the puzzles. They are rather dull and easy to solve even without the help of the hint system. It could be, perhaps, that the intention of the game isn’t really to make you solve puzzles but to find more and more hidden objects. Then again, to break the monotony, a few head scratching puzzles would’ve been a nice addition.

In terms of graphical presentation Artifex Mundi did a decent job to capture the gloomy and ghostly environment of the town. But, unlikely to their reputation, the voice acting lets it down quite low. The entire voice acting feels too robotic and seemed as if they were simply reading from the script without any emotion. Thankfully, there are subtitles just in case if you wish to lower the volume, in order to save yourself form the irritation. The background music, however, is much better. The music shifts between spooky and enigmatic scales based on scenarios keeping the ghostly atmosphere throughout the gameplay. Sound effects such as ringing bells, birds chirping, crunching leaves, add the realism needed to bring a genuine feeling into the game. But what really made the gameplay dull was too much traveling. There’s no fast travel mode, so you’ll have to walk all the way to the other corner to find something and then travel back again. This goes on the whole time no matter which puzzle you’re solving. Luckily, the map highlights the places you should travel to solve or find something, and even the screen indicates them, with quick flashing lights, giving away hints for directions.

Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek, PlayStation 4, Review,Screenshot,Gameplay,Walkthough

It’ll be unfair to ask too much from Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek from its first appearance in PlayStation 4 while the game is originally designed for app users. There is a bonus chapter at the end of the games that thickens the plot of original story. It offers variation from most PS4 games and its fun spending some time that doesn’t involve killing or jumping. Puzzles have always been my favorite thing on and off, and the lack of real puzzles in this game makes me want more in the future. If Artifex Mundi is to publish more games on PS4, I’ll recommend to make more puzzle oriented titles, not just finding hidden objects. No matter how interactive finding hidden objects is, it always leads to boredom. Having said that, if you’re still looking for a chance to get some detective works done, give Enigmatis: The Ghosts of Maple Creek a try.

Sarwar Ron, NoobFeed
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General Information

Platform(s): PS4
Publisher(s): Artifex Mundi
Developer(s): Artifex Mundi
Genres: Puzzle
Themes: Hidden Object
Release Date: 2017-01-24

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