Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun (Nintendo DS) Review

By Adam Riley 03.12.2010 5

Review for Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun on Nintendo DS

Trying to stand out from the slew of Hidden Object games already on the Nintendo DS must be difficult for developers, but that has definitely not stopped teams from giving it their best shot. From the better examples, like Mystery Case Files: MillionHeir and Cate West: The Vanishing Files, to some of the more average, such as Tropical Lost Island and Mystery Stories, Nintendo's portable has its fair share of entries in the genre that became so popular on PC at first, but now City Interactive is attempting to tap into the lucrative market with Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun.

Reporters and journalists are always striving to get their mitts on the next big story, sometimes even with the long-term goal of winning a much-coveted Pulitzer award. For Emily Davis, an attractive young lady with high ambitions, nothing is more important than the latest news scoop and heading towards achieving the greatest accolade in her field, which is why when her boss tells her to jump on the next flight out to the undeniably terrifying terrain of Transylvania she does not even hesitate before proclaiming her agreement to the proposal. After all, how could she pass up the chance to investigate the recent phenomenon of a prolonged solar eclipse (hence the game’s subtitle ‘The Mystery of the Hidden Sun’, naturally), as well as why the scientist attempting to analyse the problem has gone missing.

Vampire Moon is the latest in a throng of Hidden Object games where the player works through a graphical novel depicted on the top screen using extremely impressive and atmospheric visuals (for a DS game), whilst collecting a set amount of hidden items around the different locations visited. With the DS screens being considerably smaller than that of a PC monitor, the fear is always that objects will be almost impossible to find. The way City Interactive has circumvented this issue, though, is by providing the gamer with impressively clear landscapes that have been drawn from scratch in order to retain the high amount of detail required to ensure objects are expertly tucked away from direct view, without making the experience a frustrating tap-a-thon affair (thus leading to the game dishing out penalties for 'cheating').

Screenshot for Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun on Nintendo DS

Therefore, once a story segment has passed and Emily has interacted with various unusual characters from the land she now temporarily resides in, a list of objects appears on the top screen and they must all be located within a set time. Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun uses a special random generator that ensures that each level plays differently. During Emily's journey of discovery, she sometimes needs to pass back through areas previously visited, so having to find a whole batch of alternative objects prevents the procedure from growing stale.

On top of this, whilst Vampire Moon is quite a short title compared to the likes of Crime Lab: Body of Evidence, there are some interesting touch-screen puzzles thrown into the mix to add longevity, with players having to guide Emily through labyrinths or uncover symbols masked by dirt using the stylus, for example. Unearthing all the hidden objects in a stage is not always the end of a level either, with certain ones remaining in your inventory for use with something else located in that particular area (for instance using a shield as a means of blocking a gap in a bridge). With secret scrolls on offer (that give background information on Dracula and vampires in general), as well as the chance to collect emeralds (upping the number of hints available) or rubies (for extra points), and the lure of 1,000s of ingeniously hidden objects around Transylvania, Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun will keep players engrossed and eager to come back for more, time and time again.

Screenshot for Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun on Nintendo DS

Cubed3 Rating

8/10
Rated 8 out of 10

Great - Silver Award

Rated 8 out of 10

City Interactive has done it again, bringing not only another highly impressive game to the Nintendo DS, but in Vampire Moon: The Mystery of the Hidden Sun has managed to create an exemplary addition to the Hidden Object genre overall, easily matching the best already found on the portable platform.

Developer

City

Publisher

Mastertronic

Genre

Puzzle

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  8/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date TBA   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

Tom (guest) 04.12.2010#1

Certainly sounds far better than that last hidden game reviewed on here! Smilie

Pete (guest) 05.12.2010#2

Not heard of this one before. Definitely on my radar now, though! Smilie

Interesting take on the "Hidden Objectd" genre. Might be worth tracking down.

Definitely a great purchase for fans of the genre. It is indeed far better than Mystery Stories and Tropical Lost Island. It's also better than one I'm just finishing the review for at the moment, Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena (also on DS, but only out in the US at the moment).

I really hope more people try out Vampire Moon to encourage City Interactive to do a follow-up because I really want to know what happens to Emily following this story's conclusion! Smilie

Adam Riley [ Director :: Cubed3 ]
Vampire Moon (guest) 26.12.2011#5

Does anyone know how to gwt past the torn up postcard
Please help I have been tryig for ages!! Smilie

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