The Secret of Chateau De Moreau iPhone Game Review.
Before downloading this next game, please make sure that you have your power charger ready and at hand, snacks and drinks right there on the sofa with you, because you’re in for a game that will pin you to your chair without pause. The Secret of Chateau De Moreau is an adventure-puzzle-mystery game where you’re both the killer and the detective trying to prove your innocence. The game is designed primarily for the iPhone, but it displays beautifully on the iPad with 2x mode.
With most games I’ve played, the prologue to the story is something I’d inevitably end up skipping after the first few seconds. It’s definitely not the case with The Secret Chateau De Moreau. The story draws you in from the first flickers of the screen. The sound is intended to augment this effect and that too works perfect to set the mood.
The basic plot is that you are Antoine, the stepson of Count Moreau. You got a letter from the family telling you that the count is dead and you’re expected to his chateau for the funeral and other proceedings. Along with the death-notice, you also got your first clues for the mystery. By doing this, the game pulls you into the story and the mysteries ahead right from the prologue - a very clever use of the introductory slides you normally skip with other games.
Once you arrive at the chateau, you meet, one by one, your stepbrothers and stepsisters, along with the staff of the chateau. You find out that the Count has left you some other items to show to the family, along with his will and testament.
That day’s family dinner is also a clever twist to the plot. You find out that the Count was after all poisoned, causing his heart attack. After you read the Count’s will, you find out that he left everything to you. Your stepbrothers are naturally pissed and they name you the primary suspect in the murder of the Count. Now it’s up to you to clear your name by putting clues together, interrogating the family, staff and guests at the chateau.
The developers brag about 40 different endings to this game, and I’m not surprised of it. With each puzzle solved and each question asked, you need to make conscious decisions, and these decisions will ultimately impact on how the game ends. In fact, the only ending that might surprise me is if you are indeed the killer, and even that is not out of the question. The story is that well written!
As with every adventure game, exploring your surroundings is key. You cam move freely within the chateau walls and enter any rooms that are not locked. The chateau is a three-level mansion with plenty of rooms to explore, including the dinning room, banquet room, living room, boiler room, maid’s room a bar, amongst others. You can also go out into the garden and even enter the abandoned tower, which is also a two-story building.
So the universe is pretty big, and naturally I’d have expected the game to be lag when it came to moving through all the rooms and the map. How very not so! It was a pleasure to see everything perform admirably. The map is a view from the top, rather a floor-plan view of the floor your currently on. Your character is the only colored piece of graphic on the map. Touching and dragging on the map will make your character move in that direction. Once you get to a room door, you can tap the door icon on the bottom of the screen and enter, provided the room is not locked.
But once you’re in a room, you can interact with the person in it, if it’s not empty, or search the room. Both actions are really intuitive. use the top buttons to select what you want to do (Search, Present, Question or Move).
The Search option will let you touch items in the room and see what they are. If a clue is present or you touch an item (they usually have a sparkle), it’s added to your inventory. The Present option will let you show or give an item from your inventory to the character you’re interacting with. The Question option will let you ask questions of the character, pertaining to a specific quest your on. Each quest has different questions, but not every character will know what you’re talking about. The Move option will let you exit the room or move to an adjacent one.
This is basically all you need to get around the chateau, search rooms and interact with characters.
But moving around is only half the battle. The puzzles are the only things left standing in the way between you and completing the mystery. And they’re not easy, mind you. There are over 100 different puzzles in the game, so it’s definitely one of the most developed games in the AppStore. The puzzles will range from finding and combining objects to open doors to translating weird manuscripts and books.
Personally, I would treat everything that happens after you get to the chateau as a clue and everyone you interact with a suspect. To aid you in figuring out puzzles, finding objects and even turning back time, you have potions at your disposal. Caution, use sparingly, they’re limited and the first few levels are easy enough. Waste them here and you’ll be stuck later on. Presumably, you can finish the game without these helpers, but that doesn’t mean you should bang your head against the wall to do it. When you’re stuck, use the blessed water potion to reveal clues inside a room. At dinner, don’t be shy to use a time potion to go back right before dinner and get the answers right.
How to open the count’s study in Chapter 3
There’s no point in providing you with a walkthrough of the first quests, which are pretty easy if you pay attention to your surroundings and the map. Getting in the count’s study is the first real puzzle that will boggle your mind. So here’s how to open the room.
After you picked up the three dice (one is in Catherine’s room, one is in Ulric’s room and one is in Giz’s room, Victoria will just give it to you), just go to the count’s study room and try to enter. When you’re at the puzzle wall, drag each of the three dice to the squared-slots right above the die-faces in the middle.
Number slides will appear right underneath and you can change numbers as you need to open the lock. What you need to know is that those die-faces are not dice, but they actually tell time. So all you need to do is match the time on the die-faces with the number written underneath.
The way you do it is also easy. The die will show four hours (0, 3, 6 and 9 o’clock), with each die having holes punched in where the correct hour should show. A quick example is the 3 o’clock time. The die will have the hole to the right and the hole to the top punched out. 6 o’clock will similarly have the top hole and the bottom hole punched out. The thing to note is that the 12 o’clock hole will always be punched out.
So in the left screenshot, the correct combination to the lock would be: 9, 6, 0. That opens the count’s study, but there’s a lot more puzzles waiting inside.
It’s a game that makes you proud when you finish a quest and eager when a new one comes up. I can’t imagine what more you could expect from a detective story. Well designed, well written storyline and great game mechanics. It’s surely a game that will keep your iPhone plugged in for recharge!
Version reviewed: 1.0.0
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