Both recent Nevosoft titles we’ve covered, Vampireville and Annabel, have brought solid stories along with a compelling hidden object/adventure experience over to the iOS. I was excited to get my hands on their latest adventure Mysteryville 2.
Naming a small town “Mysteryville” is simply asking for trouble, so not-so surprising is that another mystery arises in this small town. Once again Laura Winner, a journalist, finds herself exploring the town, meeting townsfolk in which she (you) slowly unravels the secrets behind a Jewelry Auction being held by the new priest in town as well as the case of her friend Bill’s disappearance. The story itself is well written and does a decent job glueing together the scenes that you explore throughout the town. However, since it’s told through still images with static dialog, after a handful of chapters my interest waned and I quickly tapped through the dialog to get to the actual game.
Mysteryville 2 offers exactly what you expect to find in a Hidden Object title. There’ll either be a list including shadows of outlined objects or a list of words that need to be found in each scene to push the story forward. Included are a few simple mini-games and a variation on finding hidden objects to keep the gameplay fresher. This includes “Spot the Differences” between two pictures (there’s an interesting story mechanic behind this…but I’m not spoiling anything) or find all the “fruit” (or whatever) in the picture…to name a couple. However what captivated my attention from the beginning to the end was the timing…and as they say “time is of the essence” which is true of solving any real life mystery. While the allotted time continuously counts down you must find everything or you’ll have to restart that level all over. While I personally love this feature, if you’re looking for a more casual experience you can turn of the counter.
Even though Mysteryville 2 packs a lot of gameplay it unfortunately feels a little slapped together. You’ll be searching for objects that have nothing to do with the actual story and even worse these objects tend to reappear from stage to stage. Why does every place in this town have a turtle? Or the same exact tea kettle? I think this is the true mystery! Since the same objects tend to appear frequently, it becomes rather easy to spot them after a few stages.
The Bottom Line: 7/10
While we absolutely love Vampireville for its quirkiness and Annabel for tying in a solid adventure experience, Mysteryville 2 teeters on the “Okay” side of things. If you’re looking for an easy Hidden Object game then this is it.
There’s also a free version of Mysteryville 2 (click here) so why not give it a try.