Thar be pirates in this here hidden object adventure.
G5 Entertainment is known for providing casual gamers with a plethora of hidden object adventure games for their enjoyment. It never ceases to amaze me how different each of these games are, despite being of the same genre, and that’s a real plus for gamers who want to get their object finding on without genre fatigue. Nightmares From The Deep: The Cursed Heart combines hidden object jumbles with a variety of puzzles, some very challenging gameplay, and a storyline that will keep you guessing till the end.
Nightmares From The Deep: The Cursed Heart begins with your character, a museum owner, unpacking a much coveted and newly arrived pirate exhibit. Your museum has acquired the body and effects of a legendary pirate called Captain Remington. Rumors abound that his prowess in his dastardly adventures was the result of a pact with the dread Davy Jones. As you and your daughter begin to uncrate the exhibit, it soon becomes apparent that legends Captain Remington’s evil power were no exaggeration.
The story in Nightmares From The Deep: The Cursed Heart plays out in vivid cutscenes that really immerse you in the story. Even as you fight to free your daughter from the sinister pirate, the underlying threads of cursed love and unlikely redemption have you sympathizing with the enemy. The voice acting is quite convincing, and the characters and environments are vibrant and realistic. While this is obviously a supernatural story, the plotline is both believable and unpredictable.
The hidden object portions of this game play out in a couple different ways. You do have your standard “find this list amongst these items” jumbles that occur in most hidden object adventures, but they are interspersed with the larger task of figuring out what to do. Within the several environments you visit in the game, there are many different rooms and areas that must be explored, with little clue as to what you need to find and where you will find it at. This is the largest puzzle in this game, and the most challenging one as well. You will travel back and forth between the stages, gathering this ingredient here and that ingredient there, until you piece together everything you need to advance in the story. If you get hung (and you likely will, here and there) the hint feature is readily available – although it does need time to fill up between uses.
One feature I found unique about Nightmares From The Deep: The Cursed Heart was the Mahjong aspect. Within the object jumbles where you are given a list of items to find, you may choose to instead play a round of Mahjong. If you are successful in uncovering all the items, you will be given the object you would have won from completing the jumble, without finding a single item. You can access the Mahjong table at any point in the jumble, so if you get stuck on a few hard to find items, you can choose to play a hand instead. My biggest complaint about that feature is that I would have loved to be able to complete *both* puzzles.
Finding objects and figuring out where to go next are the biggest part of the gameplay in Nightmares From The Deep: The Cursed Heart, but there are a few other puzzle types sprinkled throughout the game. At times, you are asked to do things like unscramble tiles or work out the pattern on urns. These are skippable, if that isn’t your thing, but they give a nice challenge that fits in well with the story.
Nightmares From The Deep: The Cursed Heart is what a hidden object adventure should be. The gameplay is challenging but not frustrating, the story is really well done without making you feel like you are watching more than playing, and it is just plain pretty to look at. I recommend it whole-heartedly to fans of hidden object adventures, and anyone who loves a good pirate love story.