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Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD

Score: 77%
ESRB: 12+
Publisher: G5 Entertainment
Developer: Cateia Games
Media: Download/1
Players: 1
Genre: Puzzle (Hidden Object)/ Puzzle

Graphics & Sound:

Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD is another Hidden Object Adventure from Cateia Games combining beautiful, but dangerous locales with dark, hidden mystery. You'll visit not only the areas surrounding your Aunt Ariel's home, but you'll also travel to the lands of the orcs, the elves, and the humans (which is a little odd, since the protagonist appears to be human, but just go with it).

Peaceful lakes, spooky forests, isolated castles, elven homes, and even your aunt's burning house are all par for the course for Meredith, the character you play in Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD. You'll see insects fluttering about in the background, fish lazily swimming in lakes, a fire burning in a fireplace, and lots of other little animations that help to draw you into each area and flesh it out.

The voicework is typical for Cateia Games, so it is a bit overdone. Now, you are dealing with evil wizards and their deadly henchmen, wounded and/or depressed elves and orcs, and even a king under a spell, so it all works well enough with the story. The music is also quite well done, but varies widely throughout the game. I'm not even talking about necessarily differing when traveling from from one area to the other, but rather while you are in the same area, it can meld from haunting, lilting tunes into what reminded me of creepy background music from a late 80's - early 90's horror flick. It's not a bad thing, by any means, but it is a bit unsettling, which is the point, I guess. Just be prepared for a wide variety of music to color your adventure.


Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD places you in the role of the young enchantress Meredith, whose mother Salina stole a trio of powerful books from an evil wizard many years before and escaped into the night with the books and baby Meredith. The wizard has since been seeking Salina, who died several years before, and more importantly, the Books of Knowledge, Law and Magic so that he can take over the world. Since your infancy, you've lived on the edge of the world with your old Aunt Ariel, a powerful witch, herself, and the story begins when the wizard's henchmen find the house, recover the books, and attempt to burn the house down. You'll work to stop the wizard and his three henchman, track down the missing books, and discover just what the wizard has been up to all of these years.

As you travel about, you'll discover the lands of the elves, the orcs, and the humans, all of which are very wary of strangers, having been tortured for years by the wizard. You'll be sent on quests, all the while watching out for items that can aid you on your ultimate quest. You'll encounter Hidden Object Scenes, but also a wide range of puzzles and mini-games to keep you busy. You'll even have battles, albeit they aren't really any sort of action game standard fare. I did enjoy how they were handled though, but more on that in Game Mechanics.


Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD has four settings for Difficulty: Novice, Adventure, Challenge, and Custom. Novice provides you with quick recharge for your Hint and Skip Buttons, shows silhouetted item hints while accessing the Combiner (see Game Mechanics), shows your Objectives on your Map, shows Sparkles whenever there's a Hidden Object Scene to be explored, and provides you with a Tutorial to ease you into the game. This is the Difficulty Level to select if you want a leisurely stroll through the game, although even on this level of difficulty, some of the puzzles/mini-games can still be fairly complicated. If you select Adventure, your Hint and Skip Buttons will be slower to recharge, but you'll still have Combiner Hints and Objectives on your Map. You won't get the Tutorial or the Sparkles for Hidden Object Scenes, however. Challenge is just that - if you are a hardcore adventure gamer, this is the level for you. The Hint and Skip Buttons recharge at a snail's pace, and you don't have the Combiner Hints, the Objectives on your Map, the Sparkles, or the Tutorial. You are a babe in the woods in this mode. If none of those suit you, you can always opt for Custom, where everything can be tweaked to your satisfaction. You can turn on or off the Tutorial, the Sparkles, the Combiner Hints, and the Objectives on your Map, plus you have three different speeds of recharge for your Hint/Skip Buttons to choose from and you can change the Difficulty Mode at any time during the game. Basically, you can make Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD exactly as hard or as easy as you want, which is nice.

Game Mechanics:

Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD is your basic Hidden Object Adventure, which means you'll explore different areas, collecting objects whether they be in the environment or in Hidden Object Scenes, and you'll use those to solve various puzzles to progress through the game. I did find some things to be a little annoying, such as the time I needed to collect certain items to make a wound balm and one of the items was a purple bloom. Well, in front of the house was a bush with obvious purple blooms all over it and I even had garden shears in my inventory, but nope. I had to solve a puzzle to unlock a box containing a purple bloom within. A little lame. Also, there were times when I completed a Hidden Object Scene and in doing so, I collected a specific item that was not any of the items I picked up from the Hidden Object list. Huh? These things were a little weird, but they didn't really detract too much. I just thought they were a little odd.

One thing that Cateia Games does a lot is they use a Combiner in their environmental puzzles. Basically, you'll approach something and in order to progress, you'll need certain items. These are all silhouetted around a gear indicating that you need to drag these items to make the needed item and you might have to do a certain action to get what you need. For instance, just because you have a potato doesn't mean you have potato peels. You have to use the knife at the workbench to obtain the specific item. The same goes for the Hidden Object Scenes. Even though you may complete the list of items to find in the Scene, you could be presented with a riddle and you must solve the riddle, then select the appropriate item to complete the scene. It all just adds an extra layer of work and puzzle-solving, which means more gameplay, so I am fine with it.

The puzzles could be a little tricky and some seemed much more complicated than Cateia's standard fare. Some took me longer to do and were a little frustrating, but I must admit to having a bigger sense of accomplishment when I completed them. The puzzles and mini-games included ones where you had to rotate objects on a wheel to match the colors and shapes (there were several of these throughout the game); slide puzzles where you needed to get a certain object out of a box by moving the other boxes around it; the peg board game where you must jump over pieces to leave only one remaining (but in a certain spot, to increase the difficulty); a frantic tapping game where you had to tap rapidly moving locks to stop them so you could obtain the object they protected; slide puzzles where you had to place items in a certain location and you had to mentally map out the path they'd take so as not to prevent other items from arriving at their destination; connecting puzzles where you couldn't cross the connection paths with each other; a weird Towers of Hanoi variant that involved stacking crates (although the final product in the game sadly looked nothing like what you made); a musical Simon Says variant; a mixed up picture that you had to reconstruct, but the picture fades as you play (again, to increase the difficulty); a numbers grid puzzle where you needed to light up the appropriate number of blocks in each row or column; and several scrambled rotation puzzles.

Boss battles included pitting you against a wizard's henchman where he would throw bombs at you and you had to tap them to stop them and then hold your finger on the henchman to cast a spell on him for damage, complete with a hefty life bar and all; a Bejeweled clone boss battle where you had to rapidly remove the gems because his life bar was constantly refilling; a boss battle where you had to tap the fire-runes to keep them from hurting you, and send them back to damage the henchman; and finally, a ramped-up Bejeweled boss battle with the wizard. Needless to say, there's a lot to do in Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD.

While it definitely wasn't my favorite Hidden Object Adventure, I enjoyed my time with Myths of Orion: Light from the North HD and will always choose a good Adventure over a freemium game, because they have better stories and a bigger payoff when you solve the mysteries.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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