Adventure Game Scene of the Day - Friday 22 April
The above screenshot is from The Secret Order - Masked Intent. There’s an interesting story about this game. The game was produced by Sunward Games, a Hungarian operation. This is either the first or second game in the series, depending on how you think of it. The first game was developed using an engine that didn’t have the capability to do what Sunward wanted to do in this game. It was pretty much at a standstill. Enter Artifex Mundi, the Polish game developer, and its Spark engine. Artifex taught Sunward how to use it and Bingo! we have Masked intent and its two sequels. I’m not sure, but I think this was the first of what is now many companies using the Spark engine to design games that have hidden object content. Anyway, I think of this as the first game. I’ve not played the “first” game, and am not sure if it is still available.
The game itself is very good. It’s hard to think of it as sci-fi, although it does have the same elements of time travel that Beyond Light Advent contains. Perhaps sci-fi more along the lines of the House of 1000 Doors games.
The backstory is that there is an Order of Griffins. The five current office holders are descended from a sect that dates to antiquity. The two symbols of the sect are a mask and a scepter. An outsider stages an attack on the five members, killing one, but then apparently saving the other four. In their gratitude they elect him to replace the fallen member. Bad move.
The new member steals the mask which imbues him with great power. The only way to bring this power under control is to reunite the mask with the scepter. Trouble is there is only one person who knows the scepter’s location, and he was executed several centuries ago. Obviously the only thing to do is go back in time, rescue the wayfarer, and hope he is grateful enough to tell you were to find the relic.
How this is done is very clever, because it sets the stage for time-travelling adventures in future games.
The graphics in the game are very good. As are the music and voice acting. The plot and story are very good as well…providing you buy into the concept of time travel. There are a “reasonable” number of hidden object scenes, and they are very well done. With one or two exceptions, the objects are period appropriate. The puzzles are difficult, but not unsolveable. And the puzzle objectives are clearly stated, which I applaud. There was, however, one slider puzzle that just drove me nuts. I did use the Skip button.
The game has an interactive map. While it can be used for moving around, the locations are close enough that walking between them isn’t really that much of a problem. Its main function is to alert you where there is a task that must be accomplished.
If there was one shortcoming it is that the cut scenes all seemed slightly out of focus, as if they had been photographed through a piece of gauze. I’m sure this was an artistic decision, but I would have preferred viewing the scenes in the same crisp graphic style used in the rest of the game. It’s pure personal preference on my part, and in no way detracts from the game.
Another game I have also played.
Given the relative few Casual games I have played, there is an alarmingly high percentage of those featured in your Casual Fridays .. You are sure that you haven’t peaked in my games library?
Anyway, I agree it is a very good game.
I refuse to prove that I exist, says God, for proof denies faith, and without faith I am nothing.
But, say Man, the Babel fish is a dead giveaway, isn’t it? It could not have evolved by chance. It proves you exist, and so therefore, by your own arguments, you don’t. QED.
Oh dear, says God, I hadn’t thought of that, and promply vanishes in a puff of logic.
Douglas Adams, A Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
Yes, a very good game. Technically I think it is the best of the series although I prefer the first one due to the more modern setting. After this one though it starts to stumble.
You are sure that you haven’t peaked in my games library?
Not saying anything! But I only have to peek at your library five more times unless the contract gets renewed.
I got partway into Masked Intent and then stopped. I liked the graphics and the time travel theme, but I hit a sequence where it seemed as though I was never going to make it into the village in the screenshot, and the slowness of the progress weighed on me. Just now, after reading this thread, I checked youtube, and it turns out I had only one more item to find before I could boogie into town. So maybe I’ll start it up again and see what happens next.
I’m trying to think of what you missed. I’m thinking there is a hidden object scene where you get a smoker to smoke the bees to get the hive/honey to give to the bear to get the helmet to give to the guard so you can enter the town.
Yep. It was that stubborn bear hiding the helmet. (I wonder why he was so attached to it.) I’m pretty sure I never got the honeycomb. It’s been awhile, so I’ll have to go back and see why I missed it.
Hard to tell how you missed it. You obviously saw the bear because it was not only guarding the helmet, but was also blocking the path to the lighthouse. And the honey is front and center in the above screenshot.
I’m thinking there is a hidden object scene where you get a smoker to smoke the bees to get the hive/honey to give to the bear to get the helmet to give to the guard so you can enter the town.
Without context, I’m going “WTF?”. But then, even with context, plenty of AGs go like this.
Now Playing: The Last Express
Next in line: Cayne, Tex Murphy: Mean Streets, Gabriel Knight: The Beast Within, Portal 2, Professor Layton and the Azran Legacy
Recently finished: Portal (3/5), Machinarium (4/5), Beyond: Light Advent (post-CPT) (2.5/5), Anchorhead (CPT) (4/5), Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala (CPT) (3.5/5), Violet (CPT) (3/5), Spider and Web (CPT) (4/5), Plundered Hearts (CPT) (3.5/5), J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars (CPT) (4/5), Emerald City Confidential (CPT) (4/5), The Stanley Parable (4/5), ASA: A Space Adventure (CPT) (3.5/5), Gone Home (4/5), Samorost 2 (3.5/5), Lost Lands: The Four Horsemen (CPT) (3/5), STASIS (4/5)
Anticipating: Asylum, The St. Christopher’s School Lockdown, Gibbous: A Cthulhu Adventure, Beautiful Desolation
The logic is irrefutable.