Developer: Starz Media
Price: $2.99
Version: 1.0.0
App Reviewed on: iPad 3

Graphics / Sound Rating: ★★★★½
Controls Rating: ★★★★☆
Gameplay Rating: ★★★½☆
Replay Value Rating: ★★★½☆

Overall Rating: ★★★★☆

Based on the upcoming TV drama of the same name (created by David S. Goyer of Dark Knight fame), Da Vinci’s Demons puts players into the shoes of the great inventor’s apprentice, to take up the mantle and recreate some of his most famous inventions.

20130907-010345.jpgEach invention is broken down into multiple parts, each with its own intricate mechanisms that are missing certain parts. Players must insert the correct cogs, cylinders, and other fiddly parts to complete each mechanism and continue toward reconfiguring their mentor’s masterwork. A culmination of the notes left behind by Da Vinci, the sombre music, and the rich, textured visuals create an almost mystical atmosphere that complements the inspiring devices in question.

What makes this more than a simple logic puzzler is the fact that the parts can be rotated a full 360 degrees when two fingers are swiped across the screen. Hidden glyphs, secret hatches, and elusive keys add an extra layer to gameplay – incorporating hidden object gameplay mechanics and therefore a reason to replay a level more than once. With 5 devices and 60 individual pieces to contend with, there is a fair amount of content for the asking price. However, the parts all share a similar look, namely that they are primarily made up of wood, which can start to get a bit tiring after a while. Furthermore, I was frequently forced to rotate the whole mechanism because I couldn’t select the part I needed, due to it being shaded and therefore unselectable. It’s a minor inconvenience but a frustrating one all the same.

20130907-010354.jpgThis app is more than just an accompaniment to what looks like a stellar TV drama; it is a multi-layered, challenging puzzle game that stands on its own merits. For those who liked The Room, Da Vinci’s Demons is definitely worth a look.

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