Version Reviewed: 1.1
Device Reviewed On: iPad
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Just because a game hearkens back to classic point-and-click adventures doesn't mean it's an instant classic. Take, for instance, City of Secrets for the iPad. At first glance, it's an impressive game: colorful, sophisticated graphics, full voice casting and relatively responsive controls. What it's lacking, however, is substantive. There is an interesting game here, but some may find it lackluster even given the low $0.99 price point.
For those unfamiliar with the main characters, as I was, apparently Rex the Dog and Mr. Moles have been featured in various games throughout the years in Europe. They share some similarities with "Wallace and Gromit," including an unusual, European-style sense of humor, but where Wallace and Gromit have crossover appeal to American audiences, I'm not sure the same can be said for Rex and Mr. Moles.
Perhaps that's an unfair assessment. There may be some really sophisticated humor at work in the game, but the translation is muddy and the English-speaking narrator and character voices are often equally shaky both with their delivery and with their grammar. Thus, the humor is generally either lost on Americans or thuddingly banal. Bad news in both cases for anyone looking for a good laugh in the game. Guybrush Threepwood these characters are not.
So if you're looking for an inexpensive point-and-click adventure, you could certainly do worse than City of Secrets. It's pretty to look at, and the puzzles are so-so (some are patently obvious; others require the fortunately-included help system to EVER figure out). Just don't expect too much out of it. There may yet be room in America for Rex the Dog and Mr. Moles, but City of Secret wasn't the best way to introduce them.