Wow! Portal of Evil: Stolen Runes is another heavy-hitting hidden object game that was under $5! I picked this one up back in June during the Steam Summer Sale, and I was not the least bit disappointed.
You’ve been called to a Monastery in Southern Italy by Archbishop Benedict to help find your estranged Grandpa, Abraham, who recently went missing. Abraham had been working with the church in Italy before he disappeared, and turns out was also a member of the secret society, the Order of Light, an important group tasked with keeping evil out of the world. But, he has been kidnapped, and evil is seeping in. You play as Vanessa, Abraham’s next of kin, and must find him before it’s too late.
People, I have not been this excited about a casual game since Adam Wolfe. This is one game I actually looked forward to firing up after a long day at work; and I haven’t felt that way about a HOG in a long time.
With over 6 hours of gameplay, Portal of Evil is quite a robust game with all the elements that I love – a compelling story, half-decent graphics, a variety of fun and interesting mini-games, and a pretty great map. About the map: you will need it. There are at least 5 different worlds with over 8 points of interest in each, but the map allows you to teleport to those places quickly. I can only imagine how frustrating it would be to have to backtrack to those different places in the game, places you would think you are done with but aren’t. This game is LOADED with places to go. There was no need to backtrack here – just follow the map!
The hidden object scenes in Portal of Evil vary between finding objects by a list of words, and pairing one object with another. Apparently the developer, 8Floor, recognizes not everyone sits at a desk to play casual games: it played smoothly on my Windows 10 machine in Widescreen, and for once, each hidden object scene in Portal of Evil looked crystal clear on my TV, with no need to utilize the magnifier at all in gameplay.
It’s important to emphasize I played the Collector’s Edition of Portal of Evil. The game came with an on-board strategy guide (instead of taking to the goggles to search for a half-complete one…). Gamers also get rewarded with a bonus story once they’ve completed the game; this extra gameplay fits seamlessly with the main story and adds another 30 minutes of gaming.
Yeah, the cut scenes are pretty bad…
About the only critique I’d give is to the cut scenes. You would think that with the attention they give to the gameplay graphics, the same attention would be paid to the cut scenes. People, they’re pretty cheesy. Why they gave the task to a first year college animation class, I have no idea* (*assumed by me, can’t be proven). And the voiceover work was pretty bad. Please, don’t base your decision to play this game on those terribly rendered cut scenes!
Do yourself a favour and get Portal of Evil: Stolen Runes. It’s currently $5 on Steam and is well worth your time and money!
4.5 / 5
Portal of Evil: Stolen Runes (PC)