Nightmares from the Deep The Cursed Heart is a point and click pirate adventure, where you’ll have to figure out how to use the items around you to proceed with the story. Developed and published by Artifex Mundi, the game previously launched on PC back in 2012 and received very positive reviews.
You are a museum owner who has just received a new exhibit in the form of a notorious dead pirate, Captain Remington. Upon searching the museum for his weapons and undergoing a basic tutorial, you place the items on his body ready for display. In doing so, Remington comes to life and his ship destroys half of the museum, to make matters worse he kidnaps your daughter in a bid to use her to resurrect his dead love, who died centuries ago. As you progress and use your best detective skills to scour the environment looking for clues and items to use, you’ll uncover a tragic and cursed love story among the ruins of Skull Island, and try to break the curse that haunts it.
Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart: Xbox One [Reviewed], PC
Developer: Artifex Mundi
Publisher: Artifex Mundi
Release Date: 5 September 2015
Price: £7.99 [Disclosure: Game copy supplied by Publisher]
Each level in the game is made up several areas and items to explore. The game helps you out a lot (on normal difficulty) by showing the areas that still have items or objects you need to interact with on the map. This helps greatly, if like me, you normally struggle working out how certain objects or actions could be of any use. This small feature made the experience an enjoyable one when puzzle solving and made progressing a breeze. Of course, if you prefer to work out everything for yourself, you’ll be able to make the game more of a challenge by playing in Expert Mode, which turns off that feature and doesn’t show a highlight around objects that can be interacted with throughout but overall it isn’t too difficult.
To get the items you need to proceed, you’ll either be playing a lot of Mah-jong or searching through piles of items to find a list of things required in a multitude of hidden object scenes, the option to just play a game of Mah-jong rather than spend ages looking is available for every scene and there is also a hint system for when you get really stuck or the item that’s needed is blending in just a little too well. Once you have the item, you’ll be able to store it in your inventory until you find a place for it. Items can be used for making Grog for a dead Pirate to get the chemicals he possesses, making your very own voodoo doll and clearing the path, there are loads of possibilities and problems to solve in your bid to rescue your daughter and take down the evil Captain Remington.
The art design within The Cursed Heart is eye catching and experted crafted , every level is enriched with the very essence of Pirate life. Deep within the bowels of Remingtons sturdy yet powerful Ship, the somewhat murky and grisly scenery is illuminated by the bright glint of treasure, with colourful sealife such as Starfish attaching themselves to the wood that keeps the ship together. The Catacombs are dark, dank and eerie while the Crypt, where the once greatly feared Captains lost love now lies, is surrounded by beautiful red roses. The depth of artwork and sheer sense of adventure immerse the game, helping to bring the story to life. Being a fan of both 80’s classic The Goonies and swashbuckling rum soaked Jack Sparrow I was instantly drawn into the adventure that lay ahead.
Along with the hidden object scenes and Mah-jong, the game offers a great deal of variety with it’s different minigames, used to proceed. Guiding a fish around a course to obtain a ring, putting a statue back together and moving tiles around to form a picture being just a handful of the activities available, and if a particular puzzle seems impossible or is preventing you from continuing, there is a skip option which allows you to skip the minigame altogether.
Collecting Doubloons and returning them to a cursed, locked chest will reveal the story behind the island, Captain Remington and how their love for each other came to be and makes finding them extremely rewarding. Every item has a purpose, and it’s up to you to figure out what that may be, sometimes it’s not always obvious and there is a feeling of satisfaction with every completed level.
Overall, Nightmares from the Deep the Cursed Heart, sets a high standard in the point and click genre. Uncovering the story and exploring the exquisite environment around you, gives you a deeper understanding of the game and a sense of satisfaction. Fans of hidden object games will definitely not want to miss out, neither will gamers who like a good story.