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Solve the mystery of 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek on Windows Phone and Windows 8

Polish developer Artifex Mundi produces some of the finest hidden object puzzle adventure (HOPA) games in the world. Their games are especially fine because most of them end up on Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8, including the Nightmares from the Deep series.

When we interviewed Artifex Mundi at Casual Connect a few months ago, we learned that they also publish other developers’ games. That applies to their latest Windows Phone 8 and Windows 8 release – 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek. Developed by Tap It Games, 9 Clues still offers an intriguing mystery story and lots of puzzles and hidden object sequences to keep gamers busy. Impressions and Store links after the break!

Snake City

9 Clues takes place in a noir-ish 1950s setting. As the story begins, the player receives a distressing telephone call from a good friend. Her friend had been reporting on a festival being held in the isolated coastal town of Serpent Creek.

When the player reaches the town, her friend and her friend’s assistant have both gone missing. The local townsfolk are either lethargic (as if drugged) or behaving as if they’re hiding something. And was that a humanoid reptile skulking about in the shadows?

The story comes to life with full voice acting, lending personality to the game’s characters. The animation during story sequences and pretty much everywhere else is a few cuts below what we’ve come to expect from Artifex Mundi. Even mouth movements are limited to two awkward frames of animation. The substandard character and mouth movement makes the game seem like a low-budget affair.

Unlock the mystery

Luckily, the adventure portions of the game should keep gamers happy. As with other genre entries, you’ll explore various hand-drawn environments as you look for clues. Sometimes you’ll encounter a puzzle, other times a hidden object scene. There’s no skipping the hidden object sequences in this one, but their difficulty is quite reasonable so they don’t overstay their welcome.

Seeing as how the protagonist in 9 Clues is a detective, the game appropriately features actual detective sequences as well. When the player comes across a crime scene, she will need to scour the environment for clues such as blood stains and torn items. Find all the clues to put together what happened and advance the story.

Try before you buy

Animation issues aside, the intriguing story and enjoyable puzzles in 9 Clues will please adventure and hidden object fans alike.

As with several of Artifex Mundi’s games, the first portion of 9 Clues is free. To play the rest, you’ll need to make an In-App Purchase. The game has a built in “restore purchase feature,” so don’t worry about losing your full game unlock if you switch devices.

To celebrate the title’s launch, the Windows Phone version is on sale for $2.99 (40 percent off its regular price of $4.99) and the Windows 8 and RT version is on sale for $4.99 ($6.99 regular price).

  • 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek – Windows Phone 8 – 145 MB – Free – Store Link
  • 9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek – Windows 8 and RT – 206 MB – Free – Store Link (opens in new tab)

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

21 Comments
  • I bought 3 of their games and could not stop till I reached the end. Need to buy more :)
  • Enigmatis is a BIG case in point!
  • Glad to see AM's continued support. They could enable Xbox features to appeal a much broader audience.
  • I cannot recommend their work highly enough.
  • I played one of their games which was free and it was awesome,p.s the games are very small and quickly finishable cuz very exciting.
    Off topic: add me my gamertag is rahulrambhat
  • I couldn't find ur gamertag....mine is paras CFC
  • I couldn't find yours......mine is paras CFC
  • Added ;)
  • Can I download both and data saves to both?
  • No, it doesn't use cloud saves AFAIK.
  • So I would have to buy both and then play both separately if I wanted to play it on the tablet and phone?   So i guess the question is which one to download it to?
  • That's right. Unfortunately, no sharing between platforms. Me, I prefer Windows 8 because my WP8 device is perpetually out of space. But WP8 is cheaper and possibly more convenient!
  • Weird: it has the Brazilian certificate in the store but isn't available...
  • Really enjoy this genre of gaming. Would be nice to have WIN8 game "Adera" also on WP8.
  • Acevedo has been dropping gems all month. Keep it up.
  • What does nourish mean aside from feed?
  • Foster, bolster, add to...
  • Yeah.. Just couldn't reconcile it in the sentence "takes place in a nourish 1950s setting".
  • My bad! That was supposed to read noir-ish.
  • Ah. Makes sense now. Cheers.
  • I wish it was Xbox enabled, loved Adera.