House of Da Vinci Review iOS

There’s something to be said for games like this. Especially when you have as stunningly good as this. Perhaps for the first time, after making my way through, I can’t remember the exact solution to many of the puzzles. Not only that, I can’t think of one time where I was just completely frustrated and stuck at a puzzle. There’s plenty I can say here and now, thankfully it’s released it’s yours to discover.

Gameplay

It’s easy to talk about how you move around in this game, move things around. It also would be easy to talk about how easy it is move things from your inventory to the main screen, working to solve the many different puzzles. This is both a good place to start and completely undersells the work put into this game. The many different items you collect in this game are only the start of solving the many riddles of da Vinci. From levers in multiple parts through to gears and more, everything you find just needs the right perspective, right place to be used.

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Not only that, the gauntlet and it’s two lenses, modes also reveal answers to the puzzles that await you. One allows you to see the inside of machinery, to see what needs to be aligned, shifted, what can and can’t move. The other allows you to see through time, to know what was done and how to interact with some items and devices. Knowing when to use them becomes as much a lesson you will learn as you as you progress.

Now able to move beyond the library and workshop, it’s clear that the house of da Vinci is a large and complex labyrinth. The courtyard and the tomb beyond are just as troublesome for an intruder as the previous rooms. More than that, each of these rooms have their own puzzles and none of them are repeated. Not only this, it was perhaps the first time I welcome the inactive nature of some components. It told me there was no more to do here. That this was solved and no longer of interest.

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As before, there was always an awareness, thought of this strange cloaked figure that followed me. The letters of da Vinci himself drove me forward, of trying to discover what is related to, what device of his was stolen, misused. Was I truly following his plan or not, was there another who was seeking out da Vinci for ill intent and dark purpose? All of those questions I asked and got some answer for, enough to hope for a sequel and enough to keep my interest as I pushed forward. When I found the end of this game, I was thankful to see that this had the ability to replay the chapters.

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Audio and Visuals

Here is a game that for its platform, is easily described as beautiful. Now seeing more of the game, the garden court yard and tomb, not just the library and workshop, it’s clear to see a lot of time went into making sure this game didn’t just look good. Even the items you collect have a time and patience given to them, I could almost make out pitting, on some items. Others had clear grain, texture, rivulets of rain running down them.

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Where there’s a bit of a flaw is that there’s little more discovered in the way of sound. While there’s some stunning effects, that you can know what is going on by sound alone, there’s something that just seems to be repeated to my ears. This is very minor, next to the rest of the work put in to this game. If you’re in the mood, headphones can help take you there and help you explore this wonderful tale.

Multiplayer

No multiplayer features are present and wouldn’t add much in my opinion.

Overall

It’s hard to praise this game enough. There’s plenty here that is just done right. There’s a sense of love given to the locations and to the grand master himself, da Vinci. Not only are these puzzles a challenge, on a whole they are very solvable. The team here has found a balance between complexity, challenge and just needing a change of perspective to find the answer. The gadgets collected work to help if you’re paying attention to the clues. If this is only the first part, I look forward to the follow ups.

95_Rating

Written by

Leon Peters-Malone

Old hat gamer who’s start goes back to the Sega MegaDrive and still remembers seeing the Genesis on store shelves. Mainly a strategy gamer, I dabble in most other genres. There’s a long list of stand out titles I want to see come back, Ground Control, Homeworld, MechCommander, a proper send off to the Tiberium world of Westwood’s creation. Also very partial to most things set in space, especially at the fleet side of things. Current gaming gear include the Xbox 360 and Xbox One, PS3 and PC.

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