|System: PC||Review Rating Legend|
|Dev: City Interactive||1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid||4.0 - 4.4 = Great|
|Pub: The City Interactive||2.0 - 2.4 = Poor||4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy|
|Release: Nov. 26, 2008||2.5 - 2.9 = Average||5.0 = The Best|
|Players: 1||3.0 - 3.4 = Fair|
|ESRB Rating: Everyone 10+||3.5 - 3.9 = Good|
Some adventure games feature dozens of hotspots in a particular area; thats not the case here. Moving the mouse over elements in a room causes the cursor to change to a context sensitive icon indicating what actions can be taken. Hitting the question mark icon in the inventory bar reveals all hotspots that can be physically interacted with without showing hotspots that only can be looked at.
Also, there are usually not very many hotspots in a given area. This streamlines the exploration process and makes it easier to focus your attention on the important elements. Control-wise the game is pretty standard fare; youll be pointing-and-clicking to your hearts content.
For the most part, the many requisite puzzles to be found in The Scorpio Ritual are more straightforward than you might expect. There are a few outright logic puzzles in the game, but most of the time youll be combining items youve picked up and using them on appropriate hotspots. Adding a level of trickiness, youll often have to manipulate objects in your inventory before they can be combined. For example, you might not immediately realize that you actually have to manually remove the lid from a bottled item youve found before it can be used. This can lead to some frustration, but its nowhere near as irritating as puzzles found in some of the more brutally tough adventure games. Leroux also frequently drops her own verbal hints on where to go next or what needs to be done. Despite the game being slightly less difficult on average than other entries in the genre, youll still come across plenty of challenges.
One of the truly impressive aspects of The Scorpio Ritual is its in-game graphics. The pre-rendered scenery is quite beautiful. Theres a lot of sharp detail etched into every scene, and the frequent change in location keeps things from getting stale. Character designs, on the other hand, arent quite as dazzling in comparison, but theyre generally reasonable. Leroux, along with her cohorts and adversaries, show a good level of animation and movement yes, even their mouths move during speech. Cutscenes are the poorest aspect of the visuals, and theyre not even that bad.
Chronicles of Mystery may be lacking in the excitement and action departments, but its and otherwise well-constructed adventure. Though the ending works, many players who enjoyed the tense sleuthing leading up to the games climax will find it disappointingly anticlimactic. Still, players whod rather flex their brains instead of their trigger fingers should derive a solid amount of enjoyment from this mystery.
CCC Staff Contributor