City of Secrets in Review – Comrade Moles and Commandante Rex reporting for duty

Every so often, a top-notch title springs up out of the blue. Late 2009 one such game was Call of Duty: Zombies (TMA Review); in 2010 we had a number of surprise releases, and now in 2011, that distinction belongs to City of Secrets. This superb adventure game featuring the famous duo – Rex and Moles the Mole – has been waltzing across European TV shows for years and recently picked the iOS as their foothold for global stardom.

City of Secrets is a classic point-and-tap adventure game, taking the best of PC adventures and fully embracing the iDevice peculiarities. In an attempt to get Mr. Moles a new hook, Rex falls down a hole and finds himself in the Poco Pane, the underground city of moles at war with the pesky rats. There, he is immediately seized for spying and the not-so-brave Mr. Moles has no choice but to go on a perilous journey to save his dear friend.

Playing City of Secrets will warm the heart of any adventure game fan on the platform. Unlike many other title which tend to shift towards simplified gameplay, this original iDevice title fully embraces the legacy of point-and-click adventure games. Most of the time you will be presented with a reasonably extensive area to explore, along with a handy map to guide your transitions. The puzzles are a mix of inventory-based (including in-inventory item manipulations) and a couple of minigames. Most are reasonably obvious, though some require you to think in quite unorthodox ways.

Don’t fret if you’re worried about getting lost as City of Secrets features a useful task journal, which outlines the current objectives set before you. Also, if you’re desperate for a hint it has them as well, bundled with highlighting the hotspots on screen. Speaking of which, this is my pretty much my only real complaint, as I would love to have the hot-spot highlighting without the mandatory accompanying hint as well.

The graphics in City of Secrets are simply phenomenal. If you ever watched the cartoon, you would be damned to find any significant difference in the quality of the world portrayed. Featuring gorgeous pre-rendered backgrounds and lovingly designed characters, City of Secrets takes full advantage of the Retina display to deliver truly some of the best graphics I’ve seen on the iDevice. And the sounds are equally amazing; the game is graced with full voiceovers for all interactions and dialogues, with quirky narrator comments and atmospheric music. A minor flaw though – no subtitles for cutscenes are available.

Out of the blue, Aidem Media have delivered one of the best adventure games I’ve ever seen on the iDevice, and featuring the popular duo of Rex and Mr. Moles to boot. It’s hard to guess whether City of Secrets is targeted at a younger audience, but I’m sure older players will appreciate the developer’s snide view on things like bureaucracy or a civil uprising. I can attest that I personally never felt like I was playing a child’s game and can wholeheartedly recommend it to any adventure game fan out there.

With this I declare City of Secrets officially touched!

Kiss it Rating - 5/5

App Summary
Title: City of Secrets Developer: Aidem Media
Reviewed Ver: 1.0 Min OS Req: 3.0
Price: $0.99 App Size: 263.14MB
  • Excellent writing and puzzles
  • Superb graphics
  • Minigames
  • Rex and Mr. Moles
  • Full voiceovers
  • No subtitles in cutscenes
  • No way to view all the hotspots without a hint accompanying them


A project manager in a major telecommunications supplier, an iPhone junkie and lately - a TMA editor. Love long walks on the beach and my wife, who is the most beautiful girl on the face of this planet. You can also follow me on twitter for all things iPhone and project management (and some personal stuff as well):

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