Apr 25, 2014
G5 is practically the authority when it comes to hidden mystery games, and one can be fairly certain that a game from the venerable development house will be better than decent. With Letters From Nowhere: Mystery, we do get what we expect, and a bit more.
The gameplay goes a bit beyond Murray finding miscellaneous objects in different environments; this game has a few palpable elements that add to the overall gameplay in quite positive ways.
But it isn’t like the hidden object is necessarily lacking. The artwork retains the intricate, colorful workmanship we have come to expect from its developer. The animations are crisp and expressive without being goofy, and the use of shadows and contrived natural lighting is superb. The different locations do a decent job of conveying the story, and the visual aspect is pretty well done all together.
The mystery is cobbled together by the different mini-mysteries and tasks that are thrown at players in sequence. A typical series allows the player to search out the objects in picture, and tapping on the right object marks it off the list and removes it from the picture with a flash of animation. To locate a clue/object, others have to be found to free it.
One element that is present is the time threshold. A countdown timer in the top right corner marks the dwindling resource, and finishing quickly is definitely key. Even more ominously, randomly touching dark spots or rapidly “guess-tapping” has repercussions in the manifestation of non-optimal time penalties. There is cash to be won, and boosts (like exhaustible object finders and extra pockets of time) are also available. Garnered XP points advance players to adventures otherwise locked, and there is even combo play. The in-app store is fully stocked with all sorts of valuables and boosts, but real cash is not necessary.
The storyline was a bit jumbled for my tastes, but to be fair, it’s not really needed for this caper, as it is easy to get lost in the end-to-end action. Some of the scenes do get a bit repetitive, but all in all, it’s a game that is easy to enjoy.