The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths (Nintendo 3DS) Review

By Liam Cook 04.03.2014

Review for The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths on Nintendo 3DS

The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths began its life as a Kickstarter project, set up by Ynnis Interactive; a development team that is made up of fans of the series. Ynnis raised almost US$50,000 and released the game on iOS, PC and Wii U in the second half of 2013. Now, the Children of the Sun have finally made their way to the 3DS in The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths. Does this title stay true to the source material? Read on to find out.

The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths is a simple puzzle-adventure game that is aimed at both fans of the series and younger gamers. Players are tasked with taking control of the three main protagonists and utilising their unique skills in order to make their way through the 30 levels on offer.

All three characters can step on switches, carry rocks and activate levers, but there are some obstacles that can only be overcome by using a certain character's special ability. Esteban can activate special switches with his sun medallion, Zia can manoeuvre through small cracks in walls, and Tao can translate tablets inscribed in the ancient language of the Mu civilisation and also send out Kokapetl to swipe keys from enemies.

The story in Secret Paths follows Esteban, Zia and Tao through their adventures, which were first experienced in the 2012 reboot of the anime. Levels are inspired by environments seen in the show and contain a variety of puzzles from stepping on switches to finding small dragon statues and placing them in their correct locations.

New elements are steadily introduced as progress is made, such as stealth sections where players must sneak past members of various different factions to avoid getting caught and also puzzles that make use of multiple levers in order to open a clear path for another character or complete a bridge for them to cross.

Screenshot for The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths on Nintendo 3DS

In-between solving these puzzles, there are scrolls to be collected, which aren't required to complete the level but add an extra goal for players willing to go the extra mile. Different coloured scrolls scattered around indicate what character can pick them up; only Esteban can pick up the blue scrolls, Zia can pick up the orange ones, and Tao can pick up the yellow ones - any of the three characters can pick up the standard white scrolls. Also housed within these levels are hidden chests, which grant pieces of artwork when opened.

There are also three challenges to complete: only getting captured a certain number of times, beating the level in a set time, and collecting every scroll in the level. These are also entirely optional and just add extra play time for those who want to get the most out of the game.

A lot of stories going around nowadays state that 'such and such game' will not be hitting a certain platform because the developers can't think of how to utilise the unique features of the platform. In Secret Paths, Ynnis Interactive opted out of using the 3D effect in favour of having the game played on the Touch Screen. However, the lack of 3D does not deteriorate the overall experience in any way and further proves that teams do not have to use every possible feature of a system in order to make a working game. There is the option of either using the Circle Pad and buttons or Touch Screen, with both of these methods working just as well as each other, so it's all down to the player and what method is preferred.

Screenshot for The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths on Nintendo 3DS

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

Just because the main selling point of a console isn't utilised, doesn't make a game flawed. The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths is a good example of this, with there being no stereoscopic 3D effect at all. Ynnis Interactive has taken something that is already well-established and has developed a good tie-in game that is great for fans of the series and gamers who are just starting out.

Developer

Neko

Publisher

Ynnis

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

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