Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala PlayStation 4 Review

Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala is an excellent conclusion to a great series and is definitively worth your while.

By RON, Posted 01 May 2018

Artifex Mundi’s new Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure game has hit stores after a wait of three years. The conclusion of the acclaimed Enigmatis series, The Shadow of Karkhala, is a welcome addition to the franchise and to the genre. Fans of Artifex Mundi’s HOPA games, like Shadows of the Deep, can expect the same level of quality the studio is famous for, while newcomers are met with a pleasant and very accessible game that might leave them wanting to know more of AM’s work.

Artifex Mundi,The Shadow of Karkhala,PS4,Review,Gameplay,Screenshots,Guide,Puzzles

The Shadow of Karkhala presents the final chapter in the nameless female investigator’s adventure. It follows her pursuit of the Preacher, an evil sorcerer that seeks the resurrection of Asmodai, the master of all demons, in order to control thee world. Although it is a third installment in a long running series, it is very welcoming to newcomers as it presents a reasonable summary of the previous games and allows players to catch up with past events. This is indispensable, as narrative is what drives the game forward, although hidden object and puzzle mechanics are at the gameplay’s core. The story develops at a steady pace,working very tightly together with the gameplay elements to create a rich and immersive atmosphere. In this case, the Tibetan mountainside presents an ideal scenario for the title’s events. The location is not as common as major cities or as generic as an entangled wood; instead, it has the perfect balance of ambiance and peculiarity to keep the audience engaged. Artifex Mundi’s games are rather famous for their amazing art style, usually filled with vibrant colors and Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala is not the exception to this rule. The art style actually helps highlight the location in which the game develops, for it is vivid, colorful and solemn in its own sense. The way light and shadow intertwine help accentuate the mysticism in the environment, as well as provide a nice elegance to the way wilderness and civilization collide in the Tibetan mountain range. Sharp colors and brightness in the illustration are somewhat part of Artifex Mundi’s trademark, and elements in this game are treated with similar pallets, with very flattering results.   This also permeates the gameplay; hidden object sequences have a plethora of traditional objects and ornaments from Tibetan tradition, which work perfectly with the art style and color scheme.

Artifex Mundi,The Shadow of Karkhala,PS4,Review,Gameplay,Screenshots,Guide,Puzzles

There are three main parts to the gameplay: hidden object sequences, in which the player has to find objects spread through a fixed, static environment in order to complete a list; puzzle sequences, which are not over the top or incredibly farfetched, but rather light in their design and composition, and environmental interaction sequences. It is worth noting that the game is segmented in such a way that it helps the player progress naturally and not lose that much time with unnecessary backtracking. On the negative side, the hit boxes of some environmental interaction sequences aren’t very precise, and might lead to some frustration as hints are not available in these portions, as they are during puzzles. As a matter of fact, these hints can be abused during puzzle solving. This last point is not game breaking but it is worth noting because it could lead to a very different gaming experience depending on how much one wants to use hints, unlike other games, even by AM, in which some sort of penalization or limitations are in place.

The game should take around 4 to 5 hours to complete, depending on the skill level of the players, and an additional chapter is awarded after the completion of the main story line, which can be completed in around an hour. This follows the tradition of the previous two games, in which an extra chapter works as a form of epilogue. Being the final entry in the series and the conclusion of an intense chase through the world in order to stop ancient evil, it is very much welcome to have an epilogue to tie loose ends.

Another element worth noting is your companion, private eye Richard Hamilton who she befriended back in Maple Creek. Although this character never actually solves puzzles on his own, he does add a feeling of teamwork and counters the isolation of being trapped in a land as exotic as the Himalayan Mountains. This adds an extra layer of immersion to the game that actually makes you feel like an investigator trying to piece together a big mystery by solving smaller puzzles; everything comes together at the end but you must follow through one step at a time. This is especially true because of the return of the crime wall, a place where you can piece together the bits of the overall mystery. On top of that, you will receive a key item after completing most puzzles; this will help with findingthe solution to future puzzles, aiding  the pace  of the game as everything feels intertwined and, in consequence, more immersive.

Artifex Mundi,The Shadow of Karkhala,PS4,Review,Gameplay,Screenshots,Guide,Puzzles

Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala is an excellent conclusion to a great series and is definitively worth your while. It does not matter if you are new to the series or a HOPA veteran; this is a game entertaining enough for a nice casual gaming session.

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: 2018-04-06

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