Venice Mystery

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Venice Mystery

JohnBVenice Mystery is a new casual game from Gamgo Games that puts a new twist on mahjong. An oracle once foretold that the city of Venice would flood, destroying its treasures and devastating the people. A number of great thinkers gathered and created plans for a Doomsday machine that could save the city from destruction. Time passed, and the plans for the device were lost. When the Venice began to flood the people knew their only hope lay in the machine lost in legend.

Venice MysteryEach puzzle in Venice Mystery plays out like a game of mahjong with a few unique twists. Instead of clicking identical tile pairs at random, you choose from a small menu of tile types, then click matching tiles on the playing field. The more tiles you eliminate each round, the more points you get. To complete the puzzle you must unearth a set number of keys buried beneath the piles of blocks.

Power-ups in Venice Mystery add a nice bit of spice to the game. Some allow you to blast sets of tiles with a click of the mouse, while others let you peer beneath the piles at the keys hidden below or even swap tiles in your inventory or on the playing field.

Every few levels Venice Mystery drops a mini-game-style puzzle in your lap that help propel the story forward. The first presents you with a scroll that outlines a portion of the Doomsday machine plans. A series of Roman numerals are written on the page and you must match them to the clock device on the screen. Easy! The second mini-game presents you with a lost painting and several small pieces of the image rearranged at the bottom of the screen. Rotate the pieces and place them where they belong to win.

Analysis: The gameplay in Venice Mystery is quite captivating and manages to put a new spin on a very old game. The storyline is just as gripping and will probably be the first thing that really steals your attention. Unfortunately, Venice Mystery doesn't integrate the story and gameplay into a complete product, leaving the plot to take a nap in the backseat for most of the journey. The short intro really ramps up the mystery element, but once you're in the game it's little more than tile matching and Roman numeral clicking. Pity, as successfully bringing a Da Vinci Code-style story to this kind of game would be intriguing.

Also worth noting: tile patterns. Some mahjong games use distinct tiles that are easy to tell apart, while others employ intricate drawings that are barely discernable from other patterns. Venice Mystery uses the latter. On the one hand it makes for a more beautiful game, but on the other the gameplay suffers from the ambiguity. I found myself scouring the game screen trying to find every 'inside-out blue clover thing with little fluffies in the corners' many times. They look good, of course, but aren't as functional as they could be.

Despite its few minor flaws, Venice Mystery is an addictive and challenging casual game. The mahjong-style puzzles are fun to complete and the power-ups and mini-games add just enough spice to make it work.

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Mac OS XMac OS X:
Download the demo
Get the full version


There seems to be a glitch in the download. The game opens and everything looks fine until I got to first level. None of the board tiles were visible, although they were active (with some random clicks I matched something).


Sounds like a graphics issue. Are you certain you have the latest drivers available for your video card?

As a last resort, try uninstalling/reinstalling? :/


I have the same problem. The playing field doesn't show. The lower row of tiles near the bottom are visible and clickable, but the actual central area of play is just a blank background. If I click randomly around the empty field I can sometimes get one of those Egyptian eye power thingies, but it doesn't help.


Would you folks who are having difficulty with this game please try installing the latest DirectX drivers to see if that's the issue?


I did try updating my Geforce2 MX driver and reinstalling and the same thing happened. I have DirectX9 (on WindowsXP).

The latest version DirectX10 so far as I can tell is only for Vista.


I don't know what to suggest. I can't reproduce the problem, so it must be a local configuration. Perhaps the game uses video modes that your video card does not support. :/


I have an old nVidea GeForce2 MX/MX 400 so there's only so much I can upgrade. I've had the latest for several months now, and the latest DirectX9c. All other newer games work fine.

Oh, I turned off automatic updates for XP a month ago. (Trying to preserve what I still got.) Could that be it? If it is, I ain't turning it back on.


What's interesting is that both people who reported a problem are using the same video card. ;)


Interesting it is. Nvidia isn't exactly obscure, and the GeForce MX series is one of their most widespread cards. The same GPU chipset is in my old powerbook and also in my mac mini. Obviously I can't play the game on those yet (maybe that's why?).

The game itself, meh, not my style. But that's just me, you might like it.


If the game doesn't support nVidea2 the designer has cut off quite a decent-sized chunk of possible players. I assume that wasn't intentional. Does this game have graphic features that are too strong for nVidea2? Are full-bore anti-aliasing & anisotropic filters 'built in'?


I've sent an email on to Big Fish to inquire if anyone else has reported issues with this game.

For reference, the game runs fine on my Mac Pro with NVIDIA GeForce 7300 GT video card. I realize that's most likely a step up from a GeForce 2 MX card, so for what it's worth. :/

I'll post a reply from Big Fish when I get one.


Hi all, I wrote the developers and they told me that there is coming an update this week for the video card problem - we should check with BigFish Customer Support to get the latest update.


I can't play this game either. Also have a nvidia video card and the game won't start. Hope the developers can help us with this issue.


It's not all nVidia cards, apparently the game does not play nicely with Nvidia Geoforce 2 and 4 video cards. However, the bug has been isolated and a fix is in the works.

I expect a new and fixed build of the game to be available in the next 1-2 days, and I'll post an update here when it is.


A new version is now available at Big Fish Games that fixes the nVidia video card issue reported earlier in the comments.


Hi Everyone.
I seem to be stuck in my progress in Venice Mystery. I am on level 71 and now need to "backtrack" to pick up about 8 or so machine parts. The cryptic instructions tell me to "look closer" at the scrolls and to be sure to visit the secret clock tower...which I have been doing all along. After each set (of levels), I have been doing the scroll and clock tower thing, always ending up with a "short cut" map which I have no idea its significance other than completing the scroll thing successfully. After level 53 or so, I hit the wrong button which erased EVERYTHING and caused me to work through the levels from the beginning again. In THAT first 53 levels, I had for some unbeknownst reason accumulated more machine parts. The second time through those 1st 53 levels, I found that working the scrolls each a 2nd time was superflous, as I had already done so the first time. (Evidently, not ALL information was erased when I hit the wrong button!)
At anyrate, I can not seem to figure out how to progress the game to specifically pick up those missing machine parts. I also notice that some scrolls have 1 colored band and some have 2 colored bands...hmm.
Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
BTW, Oberon tells me that no additional instructions are available outside of the game itself and that this "unwinnable" search I am stuck in is part of the mystique and draw of the game.

zuzu hoover November 18, 2007 12:45 AM

How do you do the scrolls can't figure it out Help


I've made it to level 71. I have all the machine parts except for the one from the first scroll. I enter the numbers and I'm told that the numbers are incorrect, check the scroll again. I have tried umpteen times, and I get the same message. I've started the game over and when I try the numbers from the scroll, I get the same message. I can't finish the game until I get the scroll numbers right. I'm familiar with Roman Numerals so I'm sure I'm getting the numbers right. How do we finish the doggone game?


Carol, are you trying to assemble the machine from the parts, or are you on the last clock tower?

If the latter, I think this is the correct order:



JIGuest, I tried the numbers in your spoiler, didn't work. I am trying to work the first scroll. I completed all stages up to level 71, then I opened the scrolls and got the clock parts. The only problem I'm having is with the very first scroll, I enter the numbers, as I saw them on the scroll, and apparently I am wrong. Below are the numbers I have:



Oh! The very first scroll. Try this sequence:


Looks like you had two numbers swapped. :)


Nope, it didn't work.


Someone on another forum contacted the game developer and apparently there's a glitch. They say to install a later version, Big Fish doesn't have the newer version, (v 1.4, I think), so until someone finds a fix for this or the new version comes out, we can't finish the game. Bummer!


I like the game for the most part except I would like to play it in an untimed version. I am an older person and have arthritis in my hands so I cannot get all the matches within the time period. I also have a lot of trouble with the paintings since I cannot distinguish the color tones and shadows in the scenes.


I really liked the game but I, and some others, couldn't get past level 71. I even started the game from the beginning and I still couldn't get past level 71. I asked for and recieved a refund from BFG.


Well, I tried Venice Mystery from another website and I still have the same problem. I'm giving the game up for lost. Too bad, I really like the game.
Diana, you aren't the only one having trouble with the pictures--they are difficult to distinguish what goes where--it's the brush strokes that cause the problem.


I'm thoroughly enjoying the Venice Mystery...but I've got stuck at level 43...It's always the paintings that cause me the most problems. I saw hints posted on another site but they don't work and were very vague.
I really don't want to get knocked out of the game there a way of by passing the pictures and coming back to them later?


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