Name: Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate Collector's Edition
Release Date: 22 March 2013
Developer: Orneon Limited
Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate is the third game in Orneon's innovative Secrets of the Dark series. With the first two games as its base, Mystery of the Ancestral Estate follows the same style of gameplay.
Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate tells the story of a young woman live on a dark island in the middle of the Mediterranean. Once you arrived, she is being kidnapped by an evil spirit and it is your task to save her, break the curse cast upon the ancient family along with save a few other innocent souls. Surely the story is not the most unique one we have even seen but it still interesting enough to follow.
Secrets of the Dark 3 has great graphics although it could sometimes be described as 'muddy' but that suits the theme. As stated in the name of the game, most locations in the game are quite 'dark'. Luckily, Hidden Object scenes have perfect lightning which make items not overly difficult to find. Hidden object scenes also come in various types from standard list type, finding objects from its images and putting objects back to their places; all types are very well done with good amount of interactions.
Fans of the first two games would be appreciated to know that the gameplay of this third game is familiarly similar to its predecessors. In many locations, you can switch the lightning on or off and the location will change according to the lightning. Again, this is a very good idea and it can be said as the only idea that makes Secrets of the Dark series stands out from the crowd. Otherwise, all other aspects of the game are very typical.
Unlike the first two games, mini games in this sequel are relatively difficult. They are not unique but come in enough variety to entertain us, nonetheless, you still have to replay some of them. There is no map provided within the game so you have to go back and forth, back and forth, again and again to get to another location and what is really annoying is that the amount of backtracking you need to do is simply 'a lot'!
Secrets of the Dark 3 offers a solid, 3 hours of total game length for advanced players and another 45 minutes to 1 hour of Bonus Adventure which is basically a continuation of the main game which is unnecessary. Unfortunately, the game is very light on the Extra Content because apart from the bonus gameplay; it includes only a strategy guide and a set of bonus mini games.
Secrets of the Dark: Mystery of the Ancestral Estate might not be the best Hidden Object Adventure game lately but it is surely entertaining and definitely lives up to the standard sets by the first two in the series. Those who wants to purchase the Collector's Edition might want to wait for the Standard Edition since the Extras is really, not worth the price.
Graphics: 4/5 Stars
Sound: 4/5 Stars
Story: 4/5 Stars
Originality: 3.5/5 Stars
Originality: 3.5/5 Stars
Gameplay: 4/5 Stars
Puzzles: 4/5 Stars
Control and Navigation: 3/5 StarsFun Factor: 4/5 Stars
Extras: 3/5 Stars
Looking for similar games? We recommend:
-Secrets of the Dark: Eclipse Mountain
-The Agency of Anomalies: The Last Performance
-Haunted Halls: Revenge of Doctor Blackmore