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City of Secrets Review

By Andrew Nesvadba, on April 13, 2011


City of Secrets
Download on the AppStore
Rating

PROS

  • Visually stunning mix of 2D and 3D elements.
  • Fun, quirky atmosphere.
  • Plenty of vocal work to enjoy (and occasionally cringe at).

CONS

  • Overzealous hint system; highlight system also spoils puzzles.
  • Many attempts at humor fall flat.

VERDICT

City of Secrets channels classic adventure titles like Sam & Max and while it falls short of this mark it still provides an entertaining diversion suited for fans of the genre.


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Being the classic adventure game fan that I am, the recent smattering of traditional adventure titles on the App Store has been a bit of a boon. This is no surprise considering the revival of-sorts of the genre on the PC, but who's going to question why it's happening when games like City of Secrets by Aidem Media are just waiting for you to dive in.

The easy-going Mr. Mole and his friend Rex have, through circuitous means, become embroiled in the political brouhaha of a secret mole society that just so happens to be located beneath Mr. Mole's house. Plot points aside, the gameplay is much like any traditional adventure as players are presented with puzzles and challenges to solve by means of collecting and combining objects, talking to various denizens of the city and a few mini-games to break the game up. Should you feel a bit lost you can make use of a task-tracking system to give you a basic idea of what to do, though if you just want to blast through you can use a hint system to provide the next step while highlighting interactive objects on the screen. Unfortunately this does limit the challenge of the game to either spoiling a puzzle or needing to blindly tap on each screen to find every interactive object.

It's a shame some sort of separate highlight system couldn't have been implemented to provide a middle-ground, but it's no great loss as players are encouraged to explore each of the game's beautifully designed environments. The meshing of 2D elements and 3D characters is almost flawless on newer iOS devices and while the voice-acting can be spotty at times, a lot of effort has gone in to fleshing out the world through its characters.

City of Secrets' only real hump is its constant attempt at providing whacky humor. Without a straight-guy being present to highlight the absurdities, all of the fourth-wall gags and quirky character personalities can miss their mark.

Still, if you enjoy the occasional adventure and don't mind killing a bit of spare time, City of Secrets is more than worth picking up.

Screenshots

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