This is the latest hidden object game to release on the eShop. It contains 3 types of puzzles – traditional hidden object, finding objects based on their silhouettes, and sliding tile puzzles. The settings are famous cities (London, Moscow, New York, and Paris). Despite some commendable aspects, City Mysteries is an ultimately sub par eShop title.
Presentation is lacking. You just move from city to city, solving the puzzles along the way. There isn’t even a light story to tie things together. Couple that with the lack of music, extra modes, and general polish, City Mysteries feels like it’s simply trying to coast.
The graphics are quite clear which I certainly appreciate, yet the whole city setup is visually uneven. Iconic locales like the Eiffel Tower and Statue of Liberty share space with scenes that look as if they could be Anytown USA. While there is some diversity, overall the theme feels underutilized.
I did notice the ‘sweet spot syndrome’ while playing this game, where tapping the correct item didn’t register. This is reflective of lesser hidden object games. Failing to connect with the stylus just right will result in loss of points, so take your time if they’re a big factor.
City Mysteries is quite short. I beat it in just over an hour. Even the timed mode isn’t much longer due to readily available hints, and only light penalties for clicking the wrong object. Variations in the hidden items listed to find are really all there is to see on replay.
There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about City Mysteries. It feels like a strictly average game, yet the presentation, some control quirks, and amount of content make it a challenge to even score it as such. Only having environmental sound effects for audio doesn’t help either. Ultimately the lack of multiple profiles, which are common in most other 3DS hidden object games and a bug that locked the game up (losing my save file in the process) were deal breakers.
Fans of the genre should still get some brief fun in short bursts while playing City Mysteries. But there are more robust hidden object games on the 3DS eShop. I’d recommend Vacation Adventures: Park Ranger first. City Mysteries is a no-frills affair, which would be better acquired at a discount.