Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom Review
There’s a clear loving bond that’s been formed between Microsoft and developers Artifex Mundi. Numerous titles from their excellent series of hidden object/point and click/puzzle games have already made themselves at home on Xbox One after being carefully ported over from PC. The next title to grace the system introduces us to a new series and formula in Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom.
Artifex Mundi’s narrative of story-telling continues to excel its reputation of being well thought, engaging and in-depth. It is the excellent method of its gameplay execution that leads to Lost Grimoires becoming another well-constructed title that draws you in.
You take the reins of a young woman, who has just returned home after studying alchemy at university for a period of time. After being orphaned as a child due to a mysterious disappearance of your parents, a master alchemist took you in and became a father figure. However, upon your return, you are confronted by a stranger in your home after a unique artefact. And when you embark on a quest to discover their identity, it is only then you realise something much more sinister is going on.
Your journey begins as you must uncover the truth about your parents, and the kingdom you have lived in all your life. Is everything what it seems? Or has something much more sinister been unfolding since your childhood?
If you’ve played any of the previous games by Artifex Mundi, you’ll know what to expect from gameplay. There’s a good mix of puzzles and hidden object scenes that will aid your journey through the kingdom. However, this time there is a lot more puzzles than hidden object scenes when compared to their previous works. This is by no means a bad aspect at all, with plenty of variety among them no two puzzles are the same.
A new aspect introduced upon previous titles is alchemy. As you progress you’ll unlock new potions that will need concocting. And to do such will not only require items, but to complete a puzzle to ensure the mixture blends correctly.
The artwork and care put into the game more than matches that of previous titles from Artifex Mundi. It’s a joy to look at and play through with differing soundtracks dependent on the scene and tone of the story.
Whilst a very positive experience, Lost Grimoires also produces a few negatives in terms of longevity. If you’re a seasoned pro with hidden object games, you may find yourself blitzing through this in 3 hours or so. Take your time a little and turn on expert mode, and you’ll likely double that. What is surprising is the lack of a bonus chapter found in previous titles. The only real challenge to return for would be achievements. Yet most of these will unlock on your first playthrough, dependent on skill and the difficulty you choose.
Overall Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom highlights another excellent effort from the small development team. The introduction of new puzzle mechanics with alchemy formulate a new recipe for puzzles, whilst still retaining the charm and powerful story telling that draws you in till the end.
Lost Grimoires: Stolen Kingdom is available from the Xbox Store, priced £