Oct 14, 2011
â€¨â€¨Hidden object games usually revolve around searching an area for answers to some mystery and repeating this process over and over. The people at HeroCraft decided this basic formula needed something else, and thus they added in some logic puzzles to help sweeten the pot. It is an interesting spin on the genre, and in this case it is one that works well.
Musaic Box starts with a mystery about where grandpa disappeared to. A note is all there is to get going on solving this mystery. From there it is up to the player to work through the house to find more clues on where gramps went, and why. The story serves more as a purpose to move throughout the house than something to talk about at the water cooler.
The story may be slim, but the gameplay is where this app shines. Players will need to search rooms for pieces of parchment that contain outlines. Some of these are easy to find, like looking on a chair, while others will require various steps to activate items like an old Victrola or projector to reveal hidden pieces. These fragments setup the puzzles that will challenge players for the better half of the game.
Once an outline is fully restored, it is off to the musical puzzle aspect of the game. For this part there is a small section on the bottom of the screen where players can listen to the song they need to build, and Tetris-esque pieces scattered about the board. These pieces will need to be assembled in the correct order to recreate the song. The outline helps define the puzzle while colored symbols complicate it further by not allowing duplicate colors in each row. A hint system is there to aid players, but using it will deduct from the final score.
All this item hunting and brain teasing happens in a beautifully detailed world. Every room is unique and varied with heaps of musical items and paraphernalia scattered about, like a workshop that has violin frames hanging from the rafters or a study with old Victorian wallpaper. This is also a game that sounds great, which is a good thing due to how much of it revolves around music. The puzzles place familiar tunes, like Mary Had A Little Lamb, into unique compositions. This is a game I wish I had a larger screen to enjoy.
The biggest hitch I ran into was with the controls. Sometimes I would want to tap on a piece of paper sticking out behind a book, or pick up an item off a stack of junk, but the game would register the tap wrong and select something else. This led to a lot of double and triple inputs to select the correct item. It can become a bit frustrating, but those playing on a tablet may not have the same issue as the larger viewing area will be more forgiving here.
Musaic Box is enjoyable and entertaining with just enough challenge to make things fun, but not so over the top to make one want to chuck their phone in frustration. There is a lite version for anyone wanting to test the waters, but gamers that enjoy this genre will find this solid purchase.â€¨â€¨