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I like to play on my DS now and again for a spot of relaxation. Therefore, I do like a game that allows me to use my brain, but won't get too stressful as well as one that I am able to put down and pick up again easily. I have found Mystery Stories to be appropriate for both, so it is a game that I play from time to time. I bought it online for £10, currently it is pricing at around £7. THE STORY There has been a kidnapping on an ancient Caribbean Island and a 'Mayan' curse placed. As the player, you become a journalist on holiday and you need to collect and piece together the clues and solve the mystery. As the story unfolds, you come across various different characters that you interact with such as an antique expert and diver. THE GAME The game is quite simple in concept. The idea is that you are given a scene and a list of objects to find. You then have to explore the scene and identify all of the objects on your list by tapping them with your stylus. This is the basic concept followed by the game but different levels offer slightly different challenges to hold your interest - for example a scene may be totally blackened out and you need to search with a torch or you will not be given a list of objects but a noise will play and you need to work out from the noise what you are looking for and then find it in the scene. If you can't find an object of just tap the screen you are given time penalties. Imbetween the scenes there are other tasks that you need to complete, such as putting a map together and there is dialogue between you and other characters to work through. MY OPINION This game is basic and easy to play. This is both a positive and negative for me. I like that fact that I can pick this up weeks after I last played and not have to remember how to play and that it is easy to play without thinking too deeply. However, there is no real depth to the game and no real imagination shown by the makers as the tasks are all much the same. If you were to play this for any length of time I think that you would probably find this quite boring. Not only are the tasks the same (finding objects) but as you get further along in the game, you find that some of the scenes are repeated too - museum, beach, railway station. Also, a lot of the objects that you are looking for are repeated too. This means that, whilst the first time you look for an object it may be challenging, you grow used to what the object looks like and you know what you are looking for so it is easier to find. The scenes themselves are good and there are a lot of places that you need to look but sometimes some of the colours of the scenes have not been well thought out and make it really hard to differentiate between the object and the background. I also find the music irritating as there is not much to it and after a while it becomes repetitive. I usually play this with the volume right down. It can also be irritating when you select an object and the game doesn't recognise it or you haven't quite put the stylus in the exact right place. This can cause you to rack up the time penalties. For me, this game serves a purpose in that it is simple, I get to use my brain and I can play this for as little as I want and come back to it. I do find that if I play it for too long, my eyes can ache a bit so I tend to just play in short bursts. I wouldn't recommend this game to anyone that plays on their DS regularly as it is quite simple and there isn't much to it. I think there are probably better puzzle games out there for more avid gamers and this does get extremely repetitive. The storyline is also quite poor and it can be really irritating working through the lengthy dialogue. Not for everyone.
I'm a big fan of point and click games and think they're a great workout for the eyes, and when I was in my local Gamestation looking for some new games for my DS I found this pre-owned for £12.99, it looked like my kind of thing, I love a good mystery, mixed with some point and click puzzles I thought it would be a great buy. However, I was left feeling a little disappointed the further I got into the game and ended up trading it back in the week after I bought it. Gameplay: You play the character of a journalist who is holidaying on a picturesque Caribbean Island. After a kidnapping on said island, it is up to you and your trusty DS pen to piece together the clues and solve the mystery of an ancient Mayan Curse. Right from the off the plot to the story seems pretty lame. There are over 180 different puzzles and mini games for you to complete, with over 1000+ hidden objects to be found. This however doesn't mean that these are 1000 different objects, a lot of the objects repeat themselves in puzzles so you get used to trying to find certain objects, after doing a few puzzles you get used to knowing what something looks like and therefore you can find it easier as you go along. There are 40 locations to explore taking you from the Caribbean to Berlin. There are 2 ways to play the game ; Normal mode wants you to play with a time limit, but if you're after a little less of a challenge you can play in Relaxed mode and not be timed. Each location will require you to find certain things that according to the dialogue will be "vital to your investigation", so you're searching a location and apparently a tape measure or a bike bell will be vitally important to you finding the kidnappers! It's extremely far fetched, and there isn't really much you can do in ways of solving the mystery of the Mayan Curse. The game shouldn't have been titled as mystery stories but something more simple like "find the stuff", as the story really is quite ridiculous. The locations in the game are quite stunning, and each picture is heavy with detail. As you move around the various locations around the globe searching for clues behind the mystery, each picture changes accordingly but the objects you need to find are always very similar. You could be looking for a snorkle and a pineapple in the Caribbean, and looking for the same things in Berlin. I think the developers simply ran out of ideas for objects in the end. The controls are simple, you need the use of your Nintendo DS stylus and thats about it. You can scroll further across the screen in all directions on the hunt for the objects on your list, if you get stuck you can use hints, but these aren't in endless supply. You earn hints through each level and if you don't use them you accumulate even more. There is also an option to "freeze time" so the clock stops and you can have a free look around the screen. Once you have completed certain locations there is a small cut scene and some pointless dialogue to go with it, which is meant to talk you through the story and end up with the answer to the Mayan mystery, however towards the end of the game I ended up just skipping through the chit chat and getting right back into the game. Overall: The game has an age rating of 3+ but I really doubt that a young gamer is going to want to play this, even if they did I think they'd be bored to tears within a few levels. There's no blood guts or guns, so why would they want to play this? It's a good game for a lazy sunday afternoon as it's not very taxing on the brain and requires little thought to actually play the game. You aren't really solving the Mystery yourself, the game is basically a scavenger hunt on your DS. I'd recommend it to older players who like puzzles or point and click games, but it's not really worth anything over £10. It took me a couple of days to complete the main story, in the end I never real took much interest in the story as it was so far fetched. I ended up just blasting through the levels and skipping most of the dialogue between locations. Some puzzles are tricker than others but it really doesn't take a genious to work out the mystery behind this game, that it's a complete rip off.
This DS game recommends age 3 plus and in my opinion it fails to appeal to young children and adults alike. The object of the game is to find clues and solve a mystery, and this is a reason I bought it. I love solving mysteries, but I was disappointed with the format of the game. You are acting the part of a New York Journalist who has earned herself a holiday on a Caribbean Island. Upon arrival at your hotel you are led into difference locations in and around the hotel. The top screen lists hidden objects you need to find in the picture on the lower screen. A total of 36 locations are in the game, and you work your way into the next level by finding all the objects in the location picture. There is a choice of two modes Relaxed Mode, play without a time limit; the Normal Mode introduces a time limit in which to find the objects. The background story warns Mayan spirits are up to mischief and as you solve the mystery you uncover a key to a great treasure. The mystery leads you off the Caribbean Island to Berlin in Germany. Although the pictures, in which the objects are hidden, are attractive in appearance I found to keep just looking for objects in pictures did not hold my interest for very long. Also young children, who, I asked to try it, found the objects hard to find and lost interest too. My conclusion is that this game does not quiet come up to expectation of its title Mystery Stories