I’ve been pondering how to keep this review from sounding like a simple retread of the first installment, but that might be a bit of a losing battle. Thankfully that’s not entirely a bad thing because the original Nightmares From The Deep was definitely one of my favorite G5 offerings, and so far the sequel has been just as entertaining. The protagonist Sarah Black is back, as is the slimy sea serpent Davey Jones. The backstory is different, but ultimately it’s still you against evil incarnate with a healthy dose of exploration, puzzle solving and mini-games coming your way. Are you ready to match wits with the stuff of legends once again?
This time around you’re trying to save an island-bound village whose mayor made a pact with the devil and has now gone mad with power. You’ll make friends with a rebel fish-man and set out to rescue Caliope and reclaim her siren powers so that you can defeat the Kraken and whip Davey Jones into shape once and for all – or at least force him to slither away until your next adventure. A bulk of the story will be communicated through your fish-man ally and journals you find scattered throughout the world, though the annoying treasure chest and its goblin-like guardian do return for this second installment. There are plenty of rooms to explore and like most adventure games these days you’ll find yourself traipsing back and forth to certain locations several times before fully completing some tasks. The game does actually offer maps, and if you’re playing in casual mode it will mark the map to show locations where you can actually do something.
In order to fully explore the vibrant world there are plenty of object based puzzles to solve. Occasionally you’ll run into a situation that requires a bit more than what’s in your inventory to conquer, at which point you’ll enter into a mini-game. None of the games so far have been overly difficult to solve, really acting more as a diversification element than anything else. Finally there are several hidden object scenes, which in this case are broken up into three distinct types. The first is your typical “find a list of objects”, while the second requires you to find all the silhouetted parts to a single object. The last hidden object style is much like a mini-adventure as you have to find items and then use them elsewhere in the screen until you find the object you’re ultimately looking for. I really like this last type of hidden object screen and hope to see it more in future games.
To navigate between rooms you can double tap the direction you want to go, or you can actually pull up the map and double tap the location on the map to which you’d like to travel. Pretty much anything you need to do in the game will be some combination of tapping and dragging which naturally works great on the touch screen but doesn’t really take advantage of anything unique to the device. Once you’ve completed the main story you can play it again on a different difficulty setting if you want or you can continue the story with a bonus adventure that gets unlocked the first time you win the game. There are 29 achievements to earn and 3 different types of “secret” objects to collect, but these seem pretty superfluous given that this is, in fact, an adventure game. The thrill should come in seeing the story to a close (though I’ll admit the ending wasn’t quite as interesting as that of the original game).
Graphically the second Nightmares is on par with if not maybe slightly better than the first installment. There are plenty of details in the backgrounds and surprisingly enough the hidden object scenes are often challenging without being overly crowded. The character models are really well done also, rounding out the visuals quite nicely. The sound effects are pretty decent, and the voiceovers for the most part are well acted and don’t sound stiff. The music is pretty good when you notice it, but I usually found myself too engrossed in the game to care.
I’m not too surprised, but this is another fine adventure game from G5 and Artifex Mundi. The developer does a great job of telling a story, and is quite skilled at balancing the game play elements so it never gets boring. I was a bit annoyed that they revisited the concept of collecting the coins to open a treasure chest, and the extras to find like birds and octopi seemed a bit overkill, but by and large I enjoyed traveling with Sarah Black just as much this time around. If there’s ever a third Nightmare you can bet I’ll be there.
|Title:||Nightmares from the Deep™: The Siren’s Call HD||Developer:||G5 Entertainment|
|Reviewed Ver:||1.0||Min OS Req:||5.0|
|Price:||Free||App Size:||896 MB|