Review: Mystery of the Crystal Portal (Android)

3 mins read

Hidden object games are a great concept. They are easy understand whilst being hard to master making them ideal for all ages. They may not have the non-stop action of a FPS or the scope of an RPG but they provide you with a deceptive amount of enjoyment. Dare I even mention that they are subliminally good for you?

The concept has been around for some time, remember Where’s Wally anyone? With the success of games like Professor Layton’s various adventures mashing them up with rudimentary adventure games has become more popular particularly on handheld devices. The problem with this though is that you generally tend to lose some quality in using a small screen. This can be in terms of a compromise on graphic quality, level difficulty or loading time lag. Fortunately this game has none of these restrictions. It combines stunning visuals with little to no lag even whilst zoomed in on various areas of the screen. The static background screen provides a great chance for designers to show what they can do graphically without having to worry about much on screen movement.

Complex levels require you to find various groups of items to complete different objectives. This means that sometimes you must collect something from a different area before you can complete the one you are working on.

This game has done something no other phone game has done for me, provide me with an alternative to the mute button. Most games have really bland or repetitive background music and sounds but the background sounds to this game are just that, background sounds. To be completely honest I didn’t even notice that it has noise with it at first but you hear an occasional bird chirping when you are outside or a stream trickling in the corner. It is a lot more immersive picking up the sounds without noticing than when you do notice the sounds and want to turn them off.

With so many good free games available on the Android market it is a true testament to the quality of this game that I was happy for fork out the $4 or something just to be able to play the full version of the game after trying the free demo. Do yourself a favour and at least give the demo a try.

– Aidan B

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