City Interactive

[Review] Mysteries and Treasures: The Adventures of the Mary Celeste (PC)

I got a lot of boxed games…and they are begging to be played! Most are point-and-click, and most I’m sure you’ve never heard of! Here is one of them!

Mysteries & Treasures: The Adventures of the Mary Celeste

I love me a good mystery, particularly urban legends and the unexplained. One of those areas happens to be stories about ghost ships.

Have you heard of the Mary Celeste? In 1872, an American ship called the Mary Celeste was found abandoned at sea. It was carrying booze which hadn’t been messed with, and was full of personal effects from the ship’s crew. The lifeboat was missing. The ship’s captain and crew have never been found. Since then, speculation and myths perpetuate about what happened to the crew – a storm? Pirates? Aliens??  No one really knows for sure.

Mysteries like this always intrigue me, because it’s different, strange and there are a lot of “what ifs”. Why wouldn’t I be interested in a hidden object game that epitomizes this historical story?

Well…the Adventures of the Mary Celeste isn’t reaaaallly about the real Mary Celeste…it’s about Mary Morehouse who takes a vacation on board the Mary Celeste II. Part II is on her maiden voyage, and of course, because of legend, all sorts of shit gets real, starting with a wicked storm. But, not before this happens:

Mary Celeste 2015-06-12 22-07-27-44

Thanks to the taxi company strewning the contents of Mary’s luggage all over the harbor, YOU have to pick it all up in a hidden object scene. If this were real life, I’d be pissed!

Once you pick up Mary’s knickers, she settles in to her cabin, when suddenly the lights go out. She soon discovers she is alone on this ride – what now? Time to find some objects! Where the heck is everyone?! She is tasked with getting off this crazy ship, but not before she searches for that wrench, rope and pulley for the upteenth time.

The gameplay predominantly consists of hidden object scenes with untangle and pipe puzzles interspersed. The game uses about eight different venues for these scenes, and repeats the same 20 objects to search for, which, let’s be honest here…gets boring even for a beginner to the genre. At least you weren’t timed (my least favourite casual gaming trait!)! The story of this ship does not advance in any meaningful way, and I guarantee you, if I were Mary, I’d be jumping on the next lifeboat outta there the first chance I got. No messing around!

The Adventures of the Mary Celeste was one of the first boxed hidden object games I ever bought, back in 2011. I had just started getting into this genre of casual games, and my appetite for HOGs was insatiable – I’d pretty much rip through one of these every two evenings. I had little experience with these games, and Mary Celeste filled a gaming need. But, even back then, I recognized there were some decent HOGs, and some bad. This one fits somewhere in the mid range – safe, boring, skippable. There are better ones out there!


Mysteries & Treasures: The Adventures of the Mary Celeste
City Interactive

Go here to read recommendations for some better hidden object games!

[Review] Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer (PC) Blows Goats

I got a lot of boxed games…and they are begging to be played! Most are point-and-click, and most I’m sure you’ve never heard of! Here is one of them!

Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer is a point-and-click crime adventure game, and a sequel to Art of Murder: Deadly Secrets, a game I had reviewed waaay back in Fall 2013. That game was terrible, and this one was no better. You might think I am a glutton for punishment…trying to play a sequel to a game I had given my precious “This Game Blows” Seal of Disdain to. But my long-term memory failed me, and my need to clear out some of my boxed games is a priority, soooo here we are.

In Deadly Secrets, we saw Nicole Bonnet, NYC FBI detective investigating a murder. In Hunt for the Puppeteer, she is in France investigating a murder that might be related to a string of murders that have taken place in New York. The Gendarme are on the scene, as a body of a ballerina has been found in a studio, posed in a similar fashion to artist Edgar Degas’ (1834-1917) painting Waiting (1880-1882) by using wires suspended from the wall and ceiling. Nicole, posing as a guest to the Gendarme, comes in to investigate in secret, as the police don’t really want her tampering with the crime scene. Somehow, she manages to build an evidence dossier using plastic document protectors, pencil lead and tape at hand, but not until she and the gamer consult an in-depth walkthrough on the internet.

degas ballet

The Waiting by Degas

Okay that last part of sentence isn’t quite true. I consulted an in-depth walkthrough….thanks Gamezebo.

The game looks pretty good, and collecting equipment to have at hand in your inventory is fairly easy. What isn’t is actually using your equipment…did you know if you join a stapler and a pencil, you can easily cut a pencil in half? Or how about using a match stick and cotton to make a q-tip? But, wait, why couldn’t I just use that pencil tip and cotton as a swab? Several choices in items you use to investigate didn’t make sense to me, and were not intuitive. And once I got my evidence, I thought we could just move along in the game past the first chapter. I was wrong.

Truthfully, the first time I played this game was about five years ago. I quit after the first chapter because I could not progress in the game, even after consulting walkthroughs. My gaming chops were not grown in yet, so I figured I would get more gaming under my belt. Since then, I have played many adventure point-and-click games, including Broken Sword and Syberia – both excellent games! I’ve played Mass Effect for chrissakes!

I have the chops, yet Hunt for the Puppeteer eluded me. I could not get Nicole Bonnet to leave the crime scene. She kept saying she had more to investigate. I tried again with a new gamer profile…following step-by-step instructions on everything Nicole was to do. Still, somehow there was more to investigate.

puppeteer hell

I don’t know what I was doing wrong or what I was missing. But, forget it folks, daylight is fading and who gives a shit. I am out! Detective Nicole Bonnet will be solving this one on her own! Au revoir!


Art of Murder: Hunt for the Puppeteer
City Interactive