It is said that behind every legend there is a morsel of fact, behind every myth a nugget of truth. Even fictional monsters like vampires and werewolves and bogeymen probably have hidden, somewhere in the annals of our history, their beginnings in the realm of the real and mundane. As you take up the guise of Samantha Swift once more, you will chase down the reality behind another legend that has survived across the span of eons.
It begins as a very lucrative deal. A friendly client hires you to track down a very special scroll, one that lists all of the items turned to gold by the famed King Midas. In return, you are free to keep anything else of value that you find on your treasure hunt for your museum.
But as you soon learn, there is not as much myth behind the Midas myth as once thought. The power to convert objects into gold that the fabled King wielded was very true, and very dangerous. You also come to find out that your generous benefactor is not so kind after all, and seeks to wield this power herself.
Now it is up to you in a wild race across the globe to hunt down the treasures of Midas and stop the golden touch from falling into the wrong hands. On top of this, you will slowly unravel the mystery behind your missing father as clues that could only be left behind by him bring you closer and closer to the truth of his disappearance.
Danger and intrigue await. On the upside at least your museum stands to gain a king's ransom in new artifacts... if you survive, that is.
Analysis: I had never tried the previous Samantha Swift game, but after plunging head first into Golden Touch, I find myself completely seduced by all the series has to offer. Generally speaking, Golden Touch is a hidden object game/adventure game hybrid not unlike previous offerings such as Nick Chase and Lights, Camera, Curses, though the hidden object aspect to Samantha Swift is for the most part more traditional.
But despite a more conventional hidden object approach, there are still tons of adventure elements and puzzles to keep you happy. One of the things I find remarkable is the originality in the various mini games and puzzles you find. Sure, there are some well roasted chestnuts to be played through here, but there are also some unique offerings the likes of which remind me of the latter Mystery Case Files titles (maybe not quite so complex or hard), also known for their ingenuity. The combination of well-integrated mini-games and adventure-style item puzzles do an excellent job of keeping the game feeling fresh throughout.
Equally impressive are both the visuals and the story telling. While hidden object games generally rely on the strength of their story line in order to set them apart from the rest of the field, Golden Touch pushes itself heads and shoulders above the competition with dueling plot lines and above average cut scenes. Adding to this is the relevance of the hidden objects you will find. No hot dogs in an ancient cavern that has not been open in centuries here, many of the items you will look for are reused to solve puzzles and most of them fit well with the setting.
Occasionally the artwork comes off a little too after-school cartoonish, and there are one or two instances where there is a little too much ambiguity in the item list provided (note to developers: it's not a good idea to have your player searching for a "statuette" in a room filled to the gills with statues). But an excellent hint system, hordes of backdrops, no time limit, and plenty of game time for your money round out what is an otherwise outstanding game.
You have hidden object games, and then you have hidden object games! Samantha Swift and the Golden Touch is most definitely among the latter.