Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Secrets of the Dragon Wheel Game Review

Epiphany O'day was kicked out of her college research position for believing in the Secrets of the Dragon Wheel. After getting in touch with her old mentor Professor Lunn, she finds herself thrown into a dangerous adventure where mysterious people are willing to commit murder to achieve their goals. Help Epiphany as she travels deep into the Far East and unravels the mysteries surrounding the fabled Dragon Wheel!
Secrets of the Dragon Wheel is another great hidden object adventure game developed by Silverback Productions, the makers of the highly popular Empress of the Deep game. In Dragon Wheel, you play the part of Epiphany O'day, an archaeology researcher who has just lost her position at her university for stubbornly believing in the mythical Dragon Wheel. Feeling depressed, she contacts her old mentor Professor Ramond Lunn.

Professor Lunn tells Epiphany that he believes in her, and asks her to help him in his research. As Epiphany takes the train to Istanbul to meet with the professor, she suddenly finds herself caught up in a web of mystery and murder. Things become personal for her when tragedy strikes and she finds out that the Dragon Wheel really exists. She then sets off on a quest to ensure that the Dragon Wheel does not fall into the wrong hands.
Secrets of the Dragon Wheel does use some story concepts and plots that are common in mystery murder games and may seem tired and overused. There is the mysterious train ride, an Eastern sage and a journey into the exotic Far East. However, it does so with an interesting angle and quirky sub-plots that manage to keep the story and the game fresh and entertaining. The story will keep you on your toes, and you definitely won't get bored with it.
A good story won't succeed without its supporting cast though, and this one is complemented by great art and sound. The artwork is detailed and crisp, and invokes the romantic feel of the early 1900's and the Orient Express (but in full color!). The objects and puzzles hidden throughout the scenes are blended into the background perfectly and don't stick out like sore thumbs. The music soundtrack is also perfect for this atmosphere. The voice acting is also pretty good, except for a couple of voices that seem slightly misplaced.
The gameplay in Secrets of the Dragon Wheel is what you'd come to expect from a good "next generation" hidden object game, where the focus isn't just on the traditional hidden object scenes where you have to look for a whole bunch of random items. This game is a combination of an adventure game and an interactive hidden object game, where you need to interact with the objects that you find. This may involve combining the objects to create larger items, using the objects as "keys" to progress in the game, and using them as tools to interact with other objects or parts of the scenery in order to solve a puzzle or obstacle.
The hidden object scenes and puzzles are blended seamlessly into the game, and don't appear suddenly or out of place. Instead, the story and cutscenes flow logically into these puzzles and create a smooth gaming experience. The hidden objects in these scenes aren't too small or hard to spot either, due to the detailed and gorgeous artwork. However, don't expect it to be too easy, as the game still provides a harder than average challenge.
There are also plenty of minigames and puzzles, providing variety and a break from the standard hidden object fare. Some of these minigames are the typical jigsaws and logic puzzles that normally appear in hidden object games. But there are some puzzles that are unique to this game and will stump you. There are also a few puzzles that appear to be an homage to some of the hit adventure puzzles from the early 90's, and work well with this story.
Secrets of the Dragon Wheel is a strong game with good gameplay, story and art. Any fan of the murder mystery and archaeology adventure genres will be happy with this game. It also lasts longer than most of the hidden object games out there. So join Epiphany O'day and assemble the puzzle pieces that will unlock the Secrets of the Dragon Wheel!
Rating: 4.5/5.0
You can read more about Secrets of the Dragon Wheel at http://www.hidden-puzzles.com/secrets-of-the-dragon-wheel.html
Steven maintains a hidden object game review website at http://www.hidden-puzzles.com/ - a website devoted to the most popular hidden object and puzzle games. You can read game reviews, download and play them online.
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