When you have a creepy painting mysteriously delivered to your door what’s the first thing you think to do? Put it up in your small son’s bedroom of course. Well it is if this game is anything to go by anyway. As the player of Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings, you are now here to fix the mother’s mistake and get her son back from the painting that stole him. In the middle of the night. Ok, so the story might not be all that but once you start to play the game, the gameplay experience almost makes up for it.
The game starts with an unmarked box being delivered to the woman’s door, which when opened is revealed to include a painting of a big, scary-looking house. Obviously the son wants this super cool picture in his room so off they go to hang it up, as you do. In the middle of the night the woman is awoken by her son shouting out to her only to find his bed empty and the original painting replaced by his image. After seeking help mother goes to a fortune teller who says she can aid her in her quest. She sends her back to the painting, but before she can do anything the painting is ripped to pieces and sent into different magical worlds that need to be accessed through other paintings. Complex.
Once you start to play the game everything becomes much clearer and actually rather beautiful. When you go into the pictures you are asked to help with whatever dilemma that particular world is facing in exchange for a part of her son’s portrait. The game is simple enough to play, you have to find the items that you have been asked to or are required to make something that is needed by whichever fairy, elf or dwarf’s world that you are visiting, it’s not very challenging but it is enjoyable.
Before you start, you are given the choice of easy or expert mode, but there is not actually that much difference between the two. In expert mode you aren’t given hints for the hotspots in the game through the appearance of a halo of stars as you do in easy, but seeing as though you aren’t timed in the level and can thus go through at your own pace, that shouldn’t make much difference to your game. Also in expert the skip and hint button takes a little while longer to fill up, but it DOES fill up, so you still have use of the function.
There are different styles of play throughout the game. First up, is the simple hidden object type game, where you are given a list or pictures of items that you need to find in the scene to free the object that you require. Nothing should be too difficult to locate but G5 have provided that afore-mentioned handy hint button, which refills very quickly, should you need a helping hand.
Next there are activity type mini-games, which are generally logic or memory based and are the only thing that you could possibly come unstuck on, but once again our friendly developers have included the option to easily worm your way out of it with a useful skip button that can be pressed if the going gets a little too tough.
Finally there’s an adventure-style game where you have to go through the world finding objects that interact with whatever is halting progress – for example, a fish to feed a cat so you can receive what it’s guarding, or meat to feed a dog so you can squeeze past it to the building it’s trying to keep you out of. All are fairly easy to find, and shouldn’t cause too much stress.
The beauty of Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings production is the best part of the game. When entering the game’s many worlds, you are met with excellent visuals that wouldn’t look out of place in the picture frames of the real world. It is beautiful, bright and blessed with a fantasy style which makes the game feel like it has had magic dust sprinkled over it.
Unfortunately, on the flip-side, the game lacks the urgency that should really follow a terrible and distressing event, so the script work for the story outside of the framed magical worlds could probably have had a bit more work to heighten the tension of the game. But it’s a comparatively minor problem and other than that, Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings is an enjoyable and involving game to play.
Lost Souls: Enchanted Paintings is available to download now.
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