Relics of Fate:
A Penny Macey Mystery
Relics of Fate: A Penny Macey Mystery is a brand new hidden object adventure from Fuzzy Bug Interactive. It ditches the usual string of still scenes packed with items to find and lists to manage in favor of an adventure-style layout, freeing you up to solve interactive puzzles and stock your inventory with useful items. Top it off with a healthy dose of crime investigation and you've got a wholly enjoyable game on your hands!
Private investigator Jack Macey seems to have been kidnapped while investigating the robberies of a set of relics. Arriving at his office one day, his daughter, Penny, notices things seem a bit less tidy than they should be. After cleaning things up a bit, she discovers a note in his filing cabinet instructing her to locate the eight relics before anyone else does. Naturally, Penny immediately sets out to investigate!
Relics of Fate: A Penny Macey Mystery follows a more adventure-oriented layout, sticking to inventory puzzles and environmental challenges as opposed to hidden object-laden scenes. Most of your time will be spent exploring still scenes with the mouse, clicking on areas of interest and looking deeper into certain areas that sparkle on the screen. Yes, you'll still find a laundry list of items or two, but these are very much secondary to the main chunk of the game and mainly serve to provide you with key items.
Relics of Fate utilizes container items made popular by the Treasure Seekers series by Artogon. When you click on certain objects, they'll display a round menu with a few grayed-out items displayed to the side. In order to activate that object, you'll need to find a few things from around the scene and place them in the container. It's immediately intuitive and is actually a lot of fun to do.
Solving puzzles is the central focus of Relics of Fate, and they're pretty interesting from beginning to end. The usual battery of crime-related activities make an appearance, from dusting for fingerprints to searching for clues. But you'll also have to figure out more interesting puzzles, like how to put a drowsy cop to sleep. Relics of Fate also encourages you to really look around each room, checking in drawers, behind cabinets, underneath desks, etc. When you complete an area, you'll really feel like you've gutted it for clues!
Analysis: For the most part, Relics of Fate: A Penny Macey Mystery is a standard hidden object/adventure hybrid game. It leans more toward the adventure side of things with its overall design and emphasis on inventory items and puzzle solving, which works very well for the type of story being told. And if you're in the mood for a more challenging experience, you can choose Challenge Mode when you begin the game, offering fewer, more vague hints and penalties for rapid clicking.
One area where Relics of Fate really stands out is visual design. We've been spoiled by modern development studios pouring money into the artistic side of games, so it takes a bit of extra creativity to stand out from the crowd. With Relics of Fate, still scenes are livened up with a number of animated characters and items, all presented in smooth, shaded 3D. From Penny's icon at the bottom of the screen to the librarian
Relics of Fate: A Penny Macey Mystery doesn't leap out from the legions of hidden object adventure games on the market, but that doesn't stop it from providing an interesting story with great visuals and strong puzzles to solve!