Feb 5, 2014
Sarah Black is back in Nightmares from the Deep 2
It’s an immersive adventure; continued investigation and puzzle solving is pretty much a continual goal. The backstory is core to the saga; it continues from the first iteration, except that Davy Jones somehow takes a back seat to the dastardly Mayor Murray. Our heroine is called to save Calliope, who the Mayor had imprisoned, and use to Giudici his Kraken-summoning powers. Of course, the Mayor threatens the town’s future by doing what all sea-faring villains do: he made a deal with Mr Jones.
The game, in tried and true G5 fashion, gets right to the action. Using intro cutscenes that do a good job of serving as a tutorial, we are thrown into intrigue; using intricate artwork, the fantasy story comes to life. The game uses visual cues to help spot “hot” areas that have information and/or tools that can be used to access other objects. An interesting post is the puzzle within a puzzle…within another puzzle. In other words, solving one quest sometimes leads to another problem, which then requires something else… a hidden object quiz, or a step-by-step interactive problem solver perhaps. Every now and then, there’s a scrambled picture to be rearranged a diary be parsed through.
Solving quests generally demands a good deal of patience and a willingness to explore, as some solutions are immediate or straightforward, and might entail backtracking and solving a new puzzles to obtain a pertinent clue or tool needed to solve the initial puzzle. For the genuinely stumped, there is a generous, rechargeable hint button, as well as a diary to monitor quests and inventory.
Cool graphics and involved gameplay aside, this probably not a game for quick-hitters; it’s almost way too involved to play casually. Unlike some hidden object games, there is more or less enough intrigue and diversity of puzzles that the complexity shouldn’t be too off-putting. I hope.
It’s a great game to try, but note that taking Sarah all the way through the game will cost a few bucks via in-app purchase. It’s more engaging than one might guess, but it’s a nice game sequel.