Growing up, I loved hidden object games. Granted, I rarely played them, but I remember being so charmed by the beautiful scenes and the attention to detail. For a long time, I’d forgotten about these lesser-mentioned treasures. That changed when I visited the Artifex Mundi booth at PAX West last year to try out the My Brother Rabbit demo.
If you want to see my actual review of My Brother Rabbit, you can find that here. You can also go here to find my review of their newest game, Irony Curtain – a full-on point and click adventure – here. The shortened version is this: My Brother Rabbit is the game that made me fall in love with hidden object games all over again. It featured fascinating, quirky landscapes with fun details, a beautiful story, and a variety of puzzles. When I started it, I figured I’d just play a little. Instead I found myself immersed in the world that My Brother Rabbit had so lovingly, painstakingly created. I was in love.
There’s something magical about this genre. The art is often beautiful, and the music is even moreso. Despite sometimes dramatic stories, the gameplay is often relaxed and calm, and perfect for a cup of coffee. It was the perfect way to spend an afternoon.
After that, I did some more looking into Artifex Mundi – honestly, I was already smitten with them after the conversations I had at PAX. It was so clear how much love and passion went into their games. I love the clever details and the thoughts that they shared. And as I kept looking, I found more and more games I wanted to try – too many, probably. I would honestly consider selling my soul for the rest of the Artifex library.
Some of these I’ve played as a solo venture when I needed a pick-me-up, but I for sure wanted to feature one for #loveindies. With so many to choose from, I ended up settling on Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride, as my streaming game.
The Forsaken Bride leaves the player in place of a young woman headed to her sister’s wedding. What should be a joyous event is soon stopped by a bear attack – and even worse, the bear takes your sister with it! Armed with only your wits and a lantern, you head into the woods with your sister’s groom-to-be… but is everything truly as it seems?
The Forsaked Bride features a handful of difficulty settings that should be welcoming for any player level. Personally, I like a combination of being challenged without being frustrated, so I tend to use Casual – a comfy setting that lets the player work at their own pace, with no misclick penalties and an option for more clear tips. Those looking for bigger challenges can choose Advanced or Expert to adjust how often they can ask for hints, misclick penalties, and the highlighting of active zones or hidden object puzzles.
I also enjoyed the variety of puzzles. I’ve played some games that were pretty straightforward – you simply search for objects in a scene, then move forward. Rinse, repeat. Games like The Forsaken Bride help mix things up a bit. Of course there are hidden object challenges, but often you’ll find ones where there are smaller puzzles within – perhaps an item isn’t complete, or needs to be unlocked from inside a chest. Where do you find the item to do that? Mixed in are various types of puzzles requiring all different kinds of gameplay. As you go through the game, you’ll need to figure out what you need to go forward. How do you make hair dye? Where is the windmill key? My favourite addition to the gameplay is the cute kitten you get at the beginning – they soon become your constant companion, and even will be required to help get certain items.
What really surprised me in The Forsaken Bride was the really engaging storyline. A little cliched at times, but for awhile I really did have fun trying to guess what was going on. Because of their nature, a lot of hidden object games have so-so stories. I’ve played some that were super cheesy, and others that were ridiculously dramatic. Sometimes they can be wild as all heck. This time I got a fairytale-style drama that was surprisingly engaging and even had my chat throwing out some theories.
All in all, The Forsaken Bride is a really enjoyable play, as are just about any of the Artifex Mundi games (okay so I’ve only played a handful but I feel pretty strongly that I’ll eventually track them all down and love the experience dearly). If you’re new to hidden object games, it’s a great one to start with, and if you’re not, it should be a solid choice for your next.
Not interested in this particularly storyline? That’s okay! Artifex Mundi has a whole bunch of games with varying themes – check out their library and find something up your alley!