Polish game studio Artifex Mundi has made a name for itself as the premiere publisher of hidden object puzzle adventure (HOPA) games on mobile and tablet. They've given Windows Phone and Windows 8 approximately 20 such titles over the years, including such popular series as Nightmares from the Deep, Enigmatis, and Time Mysteries.
Soon Artifex Mundi will make the jump to console games as well. Today the publisher announced that it will bring Nightmares from the Deep: The Cursed Heart to Xbox One in the fall via Microsoft's ID@Xbox program. Not only will The Cursed Heart become the first hidden object game on Xbox One, but it will include some welcome console optimizations as well. Read on for the announcement trailer and more details about the game and its Xbox-specific improvements!
Nightmare at the museum
The Cursed Heart is the first of three games in the Nightmares from the Deep series. While the Nightmares from the Deep games all feature eerie nautical settings and themes, each title has a largely standalone story. The protagonist from this one does show up in the next game, though…
Cursed Heart centers around a supernatural pirate named Remington whose decayed body comes to life inside of a museum. Soon he wrecks the museum and kidnaps the museum director's daughter. As the director, you must follow Remington to his island base and rescue her before he completes his evil plan.
The story in Artifex Mundi's premiere Xbox One title will come to life via fully voiced and decently acted dialog. The CG rendered movies and hand drawn cinematic sequences aren't going to wow console gamers, but they do keep the game from feeling too static.
Like most Artifex Mundi titles, The Cursed Heart is a hidden object puzzle adventure game. Players will navigate a variety of well-illustrated environments, interacting with various objects to solve puzzles and move the story along. Hopefully, the console controls will handle such tasks well.
At various intervals throughout the game, players will engage in hidden objects puzzles as well. You know how these work – you'll have to find all of the objects from a list amidst a crowded scene. The Nightmares from the Deep games dole their hidden object scenes out less frequently than some games in the genre, probably due to their greater focus on narrative.
Players who don't care for hidden objects should be pleased to know that The Cursed Heart offers Mahjong Solitaire as an alternative to the hidden object sequences. Xbox One doesn't have any mahjong tile games just yet, so this will scratch an extra itch on top of the hidden object stuff.
Check out our review of the Windows Phone and Windows 8 versions for more gameplay details.
Setting sail for Xbox One soon
Artifex Mundi promises that The Cursed Heart will run at 1080p and 60 frames per second on Xbox One. Not a huge surprise, given the relative simplicity of the game's graphics and engine. It will certainly be interesting to see the game jump from phones and tablets to big-screen HDTVs. Perhaps that'll make the hidden objects easier to see too.
Other improvements include console-specific controls and Xbox Live Achievements. The publisher promises the new controls will "allow for smooth and comfortable gameplay in minigames." As for the Achievements, they'll be different than the non-Xbox Achievements included in mobile versions. Hopefully, Artifex Mundi keeps them casual instead of the annoyingly hardcore Achievements that former mobile publishers sometimes go with.
Nightmares from the Deep: the Cursed Heart will arrive on Xbox One this fall.
Do we have any hidden object fans in the house who are excited to play Nightmares from the Deep on Xbox One?