The Mystery of the Crystal Portal: Beyond the Horizon
You didn't really think it was over, did you? The Mystery of the Crystal Portal has returned with a brand new installment: The Mystery of the Crystal Portal: Beyond the Horizon! No more cliffhanger-like endings, either, as this game picks the story up right where the original left off. Not only that, but the gameplay and high-quality visuals also return, crafting another hidden object adventure hybrid game that will be your pleasure to dive in to!
A short cut-scene fills you in on some of the background information in case you haven't played the original Crystal Portal game. Still searching for her father, journalist Nicole Rankwist arrives at a bridge outside a floating island to find someone named Igor waiting for her. He was sent by Madame Staff, an old woman who has some information regarding her dad's whereabouts. But first you need to find a way to fix the bridge. It can never be a simple walk through the cake-and-bunny-filled woods, can it?
The best feature to return in The Mystery of the Crystal Portal 2 is the container item system. Puzzles come in the form of objects in each location that require other items to function. One of the first puzzles, for example, tasks you to find items to put in a cauldron. A ringed menu appears around the object with individual slots for the things you need to find. Simply check out the silhouette, find what you need, and drop it on the ring. This method of hidden object gaming feels much more organic than stale lists of words and adds a wonderful touch of dynamism to the experience.
Analysis: Hidden object games are becoming more and more prolific in today's casual gameosphere. Every development company is trying something different to keep things fresh, such as incorporating adventure elements into games, expanding the mini-games, or by tweaking storylines, settings, and other artistic elements. Artogon has created what is perhaps the simplest deviation of the hidden object genre with its container system (which is also found in the Treasure Seekers games). This element sets The Mystery of the Crystal Portal apart just enough for it to warrant your attention.
Of course, you can't make a game based on one gimmick alone. Well, not usually, any way. Fortunately, Crystal Portal 2 doesn't skimp on the setting, the visuals, the puzzles, or any other aspect of content. Although you may find it feels a little short at the end of the day, it's not too brief or too protracted of an experience to feel out of place.
Before the game even begins, you have the option of choosing "casual" or "normal" modes of play, the former shortening the hint delay timer and allowing you to skip mini-games at a faster pace. Even in normal mode, Crystal Portal 2 doesn't really punish you for exploring or clicking, allowing you to experience a surprisingly laid-back game even with the added challenge.
The Mystery of the Crystal Portal 2 is just as robust and impressive as its predecessor. Another hidden object game from Artogon that should not be missed!