Why is it that the word “royal” always makes me think “English?” I think we’ve all been conditioned to believe that William, Kate, and the rest of the bunch are the “Royals,” and anyone else with a “highness” or “majesty” in his or her title is just an also-ran. Of course, an argument could be made that all of the various principalities and minor kingdoms throughout Europe technically trace back to England — Victoria, Albert, and their overambitious procreation schedule, but I digress.
Suffice to say, I thought Royal Detective: Lord of Statues would have me roaming around Hampton Court Palace or Windsor Castle solving mysteries and restoring order to the British Monarchy. That’s why this little game threw me a curve ball right off the bat with its setting in a charming little alpine (and I assume fictional) village called Martlet.
The premise of the story is that Martlet is known for its beautiful statues. However, these statues have come alive and taken over the town.
Your job is to discover what made the statues comes alive, and how you can stop their rampage before the town is destroyed. The key to the mystery may be contained within the life of the sculptor’s adopted daughter, Princess, a baby left on his doorstep years ago.
The graphics in this game are beautiful, but then, most game developers achieve superior visuals these days. However, this one may be a cut above. Several of the scenes had an almost painterly quality. Very pretty.
One criticism: Throughout your “exterior” adventures, a steady snow falls. I found this a little visually disconcerting as the falling snow looked similar to the falling “sparkles” of Hidden Object Areas. Frequently, I was confused as to whether a Hidden Object Area had appeared or if it was simply snow. Chalk it up to “eyes over 30.”
As you move through the adventure, you rely on the services of a flying rooster to assist you in obtaining items for your inventory. This device seemed a bit mystifying. I can pick up pieces of a wheel myself, but I need aerobatic poultry to fetch a wrench from a windowsill?
The mini-games were great fun and not your run-of-the-mill “don’t cross the wires” electrical challenges. I particularly enjoyed the one that required the placement of mythological characters into their “homelands” on a medieval-looking European map. I knew all those years I spent reading about Krakens, Gargoyles, and Leprechauns wasn’t a colossal waste of time.
If you enjoy hidden object adventure games with a regal twist, but have had your fill of creepy Victorian mansions, give Royal Detective: Lord of Statues a try. It may be news to William and Kate, but England ain’t the only game in town, you know.