When perusing the demos available on the PS4, I came across a plethora of games by the developer Artifex Mundi, which all seemed to be point-and-click puzzle games with fantasy themes and colorful graphics. Intrigued to try something a bit different, but overwhelmed by my choices, I started with Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan, as it seemed to be the most highly rated.
You play as a healer summoned to the Eagle Castle to figure out a cure for the mysterious illness plaguing the Queen. It’s not long before the newborn prince goes missing, and the Queen is accused of practicing dark magic, which all seems a bit sketchy to me. Other major characters include the concerned King, who believes his wife to be innocent, and the rather suspicious Mother-in-Law.
One of the descriptions I read for this game was that it was a “hidden objects” game, which immediately brought to mind the “I Spy” books of my youth, where you would peruse pages filled with real-life objects and charming scenes, on the hunt for the items described in the riddles at the bottom of the page. Now just take that idea and add in an interactive element that a book can’t quite replicate, throw in some puzzles for good measure, and you’ve got a good start into understanding what this game is like.
Grim Legends 2 is made up of various colorful scenes that you can traverse between, seeking out items and generally poking around at everything in your environment to proceed. Yes, sometimes you will be searching for items hidden amongst the scenery, but you’ll also be solving some pretty decent puzzles, as well, such as a sliding puzzle and one made entirely out of triangles that must be rotated in pairs until you’ve completed the image of a peacock.
I actually had way more fun with this game than I expected. The puzzles were quite good, and it was also just satisfying finding some object you needed for a puzzle or obstacle that you encountered earlier, but couldn’t yet figure out. As I mentioned before, the graphics are very lovely, as well, which is definitely a good thing, considering you’ll be inspecting every inch of the many scenes you’ll find yourself in. And while the story seems pretty typical as far as the fantasy genre is concerned, there was enough mystery that kept me wondering throughout the demo what would happen next.
The game takes about 3-6 hours to complete and is $14.99 on consoles and $9.99 on Steam (I’m unsure about any other options). Though I only played the demo (which took me roughly an hour), I feel like this game would be a good option for fans of casual puzzle games. Plus, if you enjoy this particular game, it appears that Artifex Mundi makes a lot of similar titles that might be worth your time, as well.