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Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun

Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun

Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun


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Every month we receive numerous requests from publishers & developers to review their new adventure, or action/adventure or even games that barely contain borderline adventure game elements. Heck, we’ve even received requests to review first-person shooters. But it wasn’t until a request to review a company’s newest HO game arrived that I was truly stumped. It took me a few hours – and probably I should have clicked on the link and looked at the game first – but it seems that an HO game is a Hidden Object game (and I hope your mind wasn’t in the gutter).

Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun is an H.O. game (notice the importance of punctuation!) from our old friends at City Interactive and the good news is that they seem to have finally purchased a Funk & Wagnalls as there is not amessspelled, oops, misspelled word in sight.

Polish developer City Interactive is known in the adventure community for their two series of point-and-click mysteries. The Art of Murder games starring FBI agent Nicole Bonnet and featuring FBI Confidential,Cards of Destiny and Hunt for the Puppeteer & the Chronicles of Mystery starring Parisian archeologist Sylvie Leroux featuring The Tree of LifeThe Scorpio Ritual and Curse of the Ancient Temple.

But that was then and this is now as City Interactive has temporarily branched out from their adventure roots in favor of Hidden Object games on the Nintendo DS and also their acclaimed shooter for the PS3, Sniper: Ghost Warrior. It does though look as though their Art of Murder and Chronicles of Mystery series’ are to be transmogrified into part-adventure, part-hidden-object games on the pc (the upcoming Legend of the Sacred TreasureSecret of the Lost Kingdom and The Secret Files). Which brings us toVampire Moon.

Hidden Object games are a secret passion of mine. But I hate them because once I start playing, there is no quitting and if I’m munching from a bag of Lays Potato Chips at the same time, well, double whammy. Even better are the newer themed games such as Edgar Allen Poe or even – and I’m not making this up – Dostoyevsky. As long as the search objects relate to the subject matter the overall quality of the game is enhanced.

Vampire Moon, unfortunately, is tepid Twilight twaddle as a young reporter is sent to Transylvania to investigate an ongoing solar eclipse. Though it does a better job than most hidden object games, it tries too hard to be a titillating teenage tale of vampiric adoration. There are occasional flashes of adventure game intrusions when an inventory item must be used to progress or a map reassembled, but like most Hidden Object games there are also moments of total lunacy.

In one instance, reporter Emily Davis wonders why a statue of an angel would be in the middle of nowhere, but earlier in the game I wondered as to why she didn’t question the inclusion of, in her hastily assembled list of items to pack for her trip, an earthworm? Especially when everything else on her list made sense. Even worse though is an ancient oracle living in a hut outside Dracula’s castle who like Yoda speaks. Every encounter with her is a totally nonsensical moment that repudiates the game’s gothic atmosphere.

The graphics are beautiful – as they are in all City Interactive games – and the reporter’s diary and the addition of factual evidence add some authenticity to the atmosphere, but Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun is the ‘B’ movie in a double feature and receives a Final Grade of C.

Randy Sluganski

Randy Sluganski

Randy Sluganski was a true adventure gamer and his passion for these games made him just as important as the developers and publishers of these games. Randy passed away after battling lung cancer for over 10 years. Randy can never be replaced but we would like to light a torch in his memory for what he did for us with his love of adventure gaming.We dedicate this site to the Memory of Randy Sluganski and his love for adventure games.

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