Mystery of the Opera HD
tries to do a lot of creative things, it just seems a bit scattered in its attempts. Itís like they kept trying new things, but didnít stick with them. Throughout your travels, you will pick up an amulet and parts that fit inside of it that grant you special powers, like seeing through walls and shrinking objects so that you can carry them around easier. You will use these powers on occasion, but not often. As you go through the opera house and the surrounding town, you will encounter certain places where magic is afoot and you'll see a glowing blue rune on the wall to indicate the area is possessed by black magic. To break the curse over the area and sometimes even over a person in that area, you will need to gather the objects which are missing from that area. Again, you won't have any direction as to what objects are necessarily needed. Rather, you'll just have to try things out from your inventory. If the items in the inventory were labeled, it might be easier and make more sense, but alas no.
I must mention one particular puzzle that I truly enjoyed, even though I found most of the puzzles to be either not particularly fun or somewhat annoying. This puzzle had you collecting different buckets of colored paints and once you had all four of the primary colors, you were presented with an outlined picture. Your job was to paint each portion of the picture with a different color, never touching one color to itself. While at times, the tapping gesture could force you to have to redo a few of the colors, overall it was a fun and different puzzle type and I liked it.
Aside from puzzles, you were often required to use swiping gestures to accomplish your goals. For instance, if you had acquired a wrench and encountered a pipe that needed to be fixed, you'd have to move your finger to represent a pipe being rotated. It was something innovative that Vartis used to set Mystery of the Opera HD apart from the masses of Hidden Object Adventure games out there.
Mystery of the Opera HD tries really hard to do a lot of things to make it stand out, but because of the constant fetch quests and the lack of direction, I just didn't really enjoy the journey. The art style was nice and the background music and sound effects worked well, but I just didn't have much fun playing the game and I found it laborious. This is not really what you want in a game. There are also some translation issues in the text both within the journal and between characters, so better attention should be paid to that in the future.
The ending of Mystery of the Opera HD seems to be set up for a sequel, but Vartis Games will need to make some changes if they want a sequel to succeed. Closer attention to translation, good labeling of the inventory, and a little more direction in your missions would go a long way into making the sequel a much better experience for gamers.