Deadly Puzzles : ToyMaker – Hidden Objects : Numerous

After my week of busy-bodying, I decided to go for some casual games….
As mentioned previously, I have access to Android games now, so I decided to download the Android exclusive puzzle game by Artifex Mundi; DEADLY PUZZLES!

DP02 - Menu 01

While my time with Clockwork Tales was a little underwhelming, I enjoyed it overall as a change of pace from my usual gaming experiences. With Deadly Puzzles being exclusive to Android, I was eager to give it a try since it’s theme was a little more appealing.
Rather than being in a Steampunk setting like it’s predecessor, Deadly Puzzles places you in a Saw-esque murder mystery hunting down the serial killer, ToyMaker. Anyone who has seen any of my earlier pieces will know I am a big fan of the Saw franchise and found this concept charming, as well as being able to lend itself to the point-and-click puzzle genre.

DP03 - Scene 02

The game begins with a VHS video playing a message from the ToyMaker. He challenges you to play his games and find the clues to beat him to his next kill. Naturally, you go to the scene of the first crime and look for clues.
Looking for clues takes the form of a Hidden Object puzzle. For those unfamiliar with this concept, it is basically a game of hide and seek. You are presented with a highly detailed picture and a list of items to find. Artifax Mundi often add some complexity to their puzzles by having some two/three part pieces which have to be assembled before claiming the object.

DP04 - Maps 01

After completing the first crime scene, you find a Puzzle Box. You take this to your desk to investigate it and discover pieces are missing. You return to your city map and a whole host of new scenes to investigate appear.
This was where my heart sank.
Each of those new locations is another Hidden Object puzzle, with the reward of a piece towards the overall Puzzle Box. Once all pieces are gathered, you get to solve the Puzzle Box which usually grants you a new video from the ToyMaker and a piece of map which will eventually reveal his hideout.
This loop then repeats seven or eight times across the duration of the game, with the number of Puzzle Box pieces maxing out at five locations for one stage…

DP06 - Objects 01
You will revisit this location at least two more times before the game concludes… As well as every other location…

I don’t mind Hidden Object puzzles, but even I deemed this excessive.
The biggest problem with Hidden Object puzzles is how the player is to interpret the clue that is provided. Some of the terms and clues were more entrenched in American terminology than a British girl might be used to and I’ll admit I was a little perplexed on occasion.

Having played Clockwork Tales, my expectations for this game series were clearly too high. Clockwork Tales used Hidden Object puzzles sparingly between multiple other puzzle types and movement between numerous locations.
While Deadly Puzzles features multiple locations, they can only be visited within each Puzzle Box stage and only until you have completed them. No revisiting until the game wants you to revisit them… Which it will….

DP08 - Puzzle 02

In it’s purest form, Deadly Puzzles is a game of diminishing returns. The first couple of Puzzle Boxes are exciting because you don’t know how much more of the game there is. Unfortunately, there is a lot and Hidden Object puzzles don’t maintain the excitement or enthusiasm.

Deadly Puzzle pails in comparison to Clockwork Tales and I almost feel that my previous critique was too harsh. I shall play though more Artifex Mundi games, since I have them, and I shall find out if it was actually a diamond in the rough.
I think this was made as an Android exclusive when Artifex Mundi realised how little longevity the game held and hoped it would appeal to a pick-up-and-play audience. Maybe I am wrong for not treating it that way, but that isn’t how I play my games and I don’t intend to start now.

Ellie took all of these pictures with the screenshot function on her Android phone. Yeah; she figured it out. =D
The visuals depict work created by Artifex Mundi and Ellie doesn’t claim to have had any part in the creation of the game. Artifex Mundi asked her to find a load of pixels in a larger collection of pixels and she told them to “get lost.”

Last played and completed on 22/08/15 for Android.

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