City Interactive is a relatively new publisher, especially in North America. While they have been doing PC games since 2002, this is the first year that they've started on consoles with a few games for the Nintendo platforms. Among the games that they demoed at E3 was a DS iteration of their recently established adventure game series, Chronicles of Mystery. The game showed off just enough to potentially be a fun romp through a genre that has earned its resurrection on the Nintendo platforms.
Chronicles of Mystery: Curse of the Ancient Temple casts you as Sylvie Leroux, a young French archaeologist (there probably isn't a more adventuresome profession in fiction). As she arrives in France to visit her uncle, she finds out that he's missing. You find that it probably has something to do with a recently uncovered underground chapel from the Crusades. What awaits you is a good old-fashioned, by-the-numbers double mystery.
Basic gameplay follows a first-person adventure scheme: You look from place to place, pick up the items you need, and use them in various ways to solve the larger mysteries. However, where the game gets rather unique is through its introduction of a wide variety of highly interactive mini-games that feature different slow- to moderate-paced puzzles. While I saw several standard puzzles (i.e., spot the differences between two screens), I also found a few unique and thought-out designs. City Interactive indicated that they were also planning to allow the mini-games to be replayed via a special menu, and they showed that some of the mini-games would even spring extra variations on you during the replay attempts.
The game's graphical style uses illustrations for characters and a more realistic style for background objects. The results, while unexceptional, were nicely serviceable and play neatly to the DS' strengths. The audio was not significantly demoed on the E3 show floor.City Interactive doesn't have too large of a repertoire for E3 this year, but they're also quite new and have some interesting games coming up. Chronicles of Mystery: Curse of the Ancient Temple for the DS was the best of their E3 showcase, and they hope to have the game completed by the holiday season. The title is shaping up nicely, and the results should be quite good.
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