Review: Alchemy Mysteries: Prague Legends
I’ll come right out and say it: Plot is never the strong point of a hidden object game. For some reason they’re always disjointed messes of scenes, with little connective tissue between them. Alchemy Mysteries: Prague Legends suffers heavily from this syndrome, leading you around by the nose and telling you all about things that might be interesting if you had any agency in them. Honestly it wouldn’t be a very good use of your time if not for the surprising level of polish found within.
As the title implies, you putter around Prague in a very low-key effort to solve an alchemy-related mystery. Don’t get too excited about either of these points, however, because Prague is little more than a streetcorner between a house, cafe, and spooky graveyard. The entire game plays out in a very limited area, with you scouring studies and bookshelves over and over in search of new doodads to unlock things. At least the time of day changes as you progress, giving areas new context and walling some off for a time.
You’ll find inventory items as you wander, most of which have obvious applications even if they themselves are ecclectic. Prague Legends at least has a good flow to its puzzles, and between the logical progression and the excellent map system you’ll never find yourself stuck. The hidden object scenes are the only place that might hang you up at all because they tend to be challenging and include items that must be combined, sometimes with inventory items. There are also a dozen or so actual puzzles to solve with clear instructions that provide some welcome variety to the wandering and hidden object scenes.
The plot is banal garbage about a golem and scary people who want to use it, but there’s very little interaction between your character and the happenings in the game at all. This can lead to boredom if the item hunts aren’t keeping your attention. Strangely all the effort seems to have gone into the graphics, which are some of the best the genre has to offer. Scenes rotate with a smooth, convincing 3D effect, and the few NPCs you encounter are presented in shockingly detailed 3D.
There are some ham-fisted spooks that’ll have you laughing if anything, and if not that then the voice acting will crack you up as you listen to a bunch of Prague natives speak in unaffected American accents. Still, the graphical achievements are worth noting and the gameplay itself is quite solid. As long as you don’t mind much mystery in your mysteries, this is a perfectly serviceable title.