Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials  - Review

Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials
Rating: E-10+ - Everyone 10+

This is the second in a series of premium casual mystery games, following on the heels of Midnight Mysteries: The Edgar Allan Poe Conspiracy. This time, the ghostly author who needs help finding eternal rest is Nathaniel Hawthorne. The game play involves a series of hidden object and logic puzzles, along with a healthy dose of interesting, historically-based narrative.

There are a few features that make playing through more than once appealing, and the puzzles change just enough on subsequent play-throughs to keep things interesting. You can open an unlimited play mode if you collect 50 cleverly hidden clovers, and an Achievements Room offers up a few other goals you might attempt on subsequent plays.

Help and hints are well balanced. You’ll be gently alerted if you’re not yet able to complete a particular puzzle so you don’t waste your time trying to accomplish the impossible. But if you have what you need, a hint is very likely to get you on the right path if you’re stuck, without giving away the answer. You can get access to more hints by collecting ravens, which, like clovers, are hidden throughout the game. If you get thoroughly mired, a helpful but misnamed “Strategy Guide” will show you a walkthrough of the entire game. (Can you really call it “strategy” when you’re just looking up the answers?)

The mix of real and fabricated history adds an intriguing component. Nathaniel Hawthorne led a remarkable life, and while there is no evidence indicating foul play in his real death, many of the characters and events in the game are drawn from his life. You might just find yourself inspired (as I was) to learn more about him.

Fun Factor: Entertaining, worth playing through more than once.
Female Factor: The female characters are all of the damsel-in-distress variety. Then again, so were the real women accused during the Salem Witch trials.
Player Friendly: Hints are well balanced.

Reviewed by: Linda Branagan - Sep/10

  • Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials
  • © Mumbo Jumbo
  • Platform(s): W7 Vista XP
  • To Order: Win http://www.amazon.com/ $19.99