Another weekend has gone by which means that I have played another cheesy, hidden object game. This time, Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala took my fancy, playing through the entire game on my Xbox One in a single day.
You may have noticed that quite a few of my last video game reviews have been these cheesy point and click, hidden object puzzle games. That’s because I am unashamedly addicted to their weird stories, amazing variety of puzzles and the fact that they all seem to have the number 3 in their titles. Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala is simply the newest addition, and it found its way onto my console for the weekend.
Unlike the previous Artifex Mundi games that I have played so far, Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala started very differently. Riding in on a small plane with your partner, you play a detective looking for a preacher who has something to do with a demon. The plane is crashing and you must climb your way back into it, instead of falling out of a broken area. This tutorial teaches you how to play the game, while intensely forcing you to climb up into the plane. Then, after grabbing some objects in the background, you get to physically put out fires, moving your cursor across the screen.
These movements and little moments of chaos are pretty intense for a start and did make Enigmatis 3 stand out to me. Once the intro scenes are over, the plane is fixed and crashed, you’ll get introduced to more new features of this episode. You’re looking for a demonic preacher who is hoping to make a deal with the dark side to have ultimate power. You’ll need to investigate, find evidence and solve the normal arrangement of puzzles required by these games.
Once you have gathered evidence, either by finding documents or taking a picture of various items with your camera, you then have a board to organise it all on. The main story creates circles that you can then drop various bits of evidence into, giving you more story to listen to if you get it correct. You’ll need to dip in and out of this board to further the story and to get a better idea of what is going on.
Detective work aside, the game plays like a massive puzzle game full of various hidden object puzzles, items to gather from around the screen, loads of strange characters and a slightly odd mix of 2D and 3D graphics.
You’re traveling up to a monastery where you think the preacher has been, but this monastery is in a very snowy, isolated area of the world, so that’s why you were on a small plane trying to make it there. It seems like the preacher was trying to open a portal between a demonic world and the world everyone currently lives in, something that’s been studied by many people previously. The story itself is pretty predictable and, of course, cheesy but in the best possible way.
What I found really funny about Enigmatis 3 is the use of the gun. Right at the start of the game, but also several times throughout it, you will be presented with a gun and ammo. This ammo is never used to harm another person, but instead to solve puzzles; break locks, knock items loose and destroy objects that are dotted around, all with the aim of your gun. If you don’t have something to solve a specific puzzle, try using your gun! Why wouldn’t a gun be the best tool to solve these puzzles?
You also don’t need to have played any of the previous Enigmatis 3 games to enjoy this one, I sure haven’t. The story was still one you can follow and once you finish it, the game unlocks a second chapter which actually gives more details into the people you met on your adventure, showing them before you knew they existed.
Enigmatis 3: The Shadow of Karkhala is another great puzzle game, this time adding a few new ways to play into the mix. I’m getting really into these hidden object games and am now barely noticing the hitboxes being a little off when playing on the Xbox One due to how it handles cursors. It was extremely prominent in previous games, especially ones which punish you for overly clicking, but it’s very much something most people can get used to over time.