First, the story. It isn’t really Phantom of the Opera retold, but there are some definite similarities. You play as the fiance of a debuting opera diva, who has just closed her first show to resounding success. But before the curtains close on her successful show, she is snatched from the stage by a mysterious character cloaked in black. It appears black magic is at work at the Stoneburg Opera House – but aren’t about to let that stand in the way of finding your love and unmasking her sinister captor.
Since there is black magic afoot, several of the people you encounter while searching the theater have been put under a spell. Before you can interrogate them, you need to rid the objects around them of the magic, thereby freeing them from their magical captivity. To do this, you perform a series of activities typical for this genre – finding a series of objects that are hidden around the many environments in the game, and then putting them together appropriately. For instance, freeing the photographer involves finding the proper solutions to develop and hang a photo, among other things.
Mystery of the Opera is definitely a game that will have you wandering back and forth constantly. Find one item over here, go way back over there to use it, then back to another room for the next item, and so forth. It can get a bit tedious at times, simply because there is so much back and forth, but the hint button is always there to point you in the right direction if you aren’t sure which way to go.
The gameplay in Mystery of the Opera is a pretty even spread of traditional object finds, and finding in the environment. Although finding items in the environment definitely takes more time – you have to figure out which items are usable, as well as how and where to use them – there are a decent amount of traditional object finds (where you find a list of items among a jumble on a fixed screen) to add variety and break up the wandering. There is also variety in the form of various mini games presented throughout the game. These range from reassembling a torn picture, to pulling levers in the correct order, to slide puzzles. They are a short but welcome bit of a different kind of puzzling, but are all able to be skipped after a short time if they aren’t your thing.
Mystery of the Opera provides an entertaining yet casual experience for gamers on the go. Whether you’re killing time on your commute, or catching a few minutes of gaming bliss in your busy day, it provides quick pick up and play action. While there isn’t a whole lot in the way of something new or exciting, it provides solid gameplay for a few hours of casual fun.