Dark Arcana: The Carnival Review

Dark Arcana: The Carnival is the latest point & click title on Xbox One from Developers Artifex Mundi. You’ll explore two planes of existence while searching for a missing woman lost in a Carnival of Horrors. Check out our review below to see if Dark Arcana: The Carnival should make your games list..

  • Dev: Artifex Mundi
  • Pub: Artifex Mundi
  • Release Date: 17/03/17
  • PEGI Rating: 7
  • Players: 1
  • Size: 699.1 MB
  • Category: Family
  • Price: £7.99
  • Artifex Mundi have brought yet another of their stellar point and click adventure titles to the Xbox One. Dark Arcana: The Carnival begins innocently enough. A young girl and her mother, Susan, are enjoying a day at the carnival together when Susan mysteriously becomes separated from her daughter. Our protagonist, an unnamed lady Detective, arrives at the scene to help solve the case. The carnival is bright and busy with neon lights and people buzzing about, despite appearing a bit dilapidated.

    The carnival’s manager is not in anyway willing to help your investigation, running from the Detective and creating obstacles in her path whenever possible. Solving the puzzles the manager leaves in his wake leads the Detective to uncover an alternative reality known only as the Mirror World, where the brightly lit carnival she arrived at originally is flipped into a version of itself that is even more eroded and disheveled, coated in the green hue of a spooky mist, with writhing black vines snaking throughout.   The Mirror World brings a series of plot twists and turns to Dark Arcana: The Carnival that ultimately culminate into creating one of the best and most intriguing stories Artifex Mundi has brought to the Xbox One to date.

    Dark Arcana: The Carnival by Artifex Mundi on Xbox One

    Dark Arcana: The Carnival by Artifex Mundi releases on Xbox One on March 17th, 2017.

    While the story behind Dark Arcana: The Carnival is intriguing, the hidden object puzzles for this particular Artifex Mundi title pale in comparison to some of its predecessors. The hidden object puzzles are fewer in quantity in Dark Arcana, and often have the player searching for duplicated lists of items repeatedly. This is a step back from what we expect to experience in Artifex Mundi’s HOPs. While having players go back to the same HOP zones is the norm, we usually see an updated list of items to sift through in order to collect the key items that we need to advance. While its a shame that this corner was cut in Dark Arcana, there is the option to replace a hidden object puzzle with a card matching game, called Monaco, instead.  Players do have the ability to switch back and forth between Monaco and hidden object puzzles on the fly, making an already easy to manage puzzle even easier.

    Dark Arcana; The Carnival's Mirror World on Xbox One

    Dark Arcana: The Carnival’s Mirror World adds an element of horror to a point and click adventure.

    Dark Arcana: The Carnival offers 3D animated cut scenes but it is not one of the smoothest experiences, with character models occasionally skewing awkwardly at times. This is most often evident with the helper monkey (Yes, the Detective has a helper monkey!) when he is used to solve a puzzle. Dark Arcana is also fully voice acted, and while the acting is perfectly sufficient, it is obvious that the animation for the character’s mouths do not sync with the audio at times.  Despite its flaws, Dark Arcana: The Carnival is perfectly enjoyable experience that will leave fans of Artifex Mundi games anticipating future adventures into other Mirror Worlds.

    A download code was provided for this review by the developer/publisher
    Gameplay 7.5
    Graphics 8.5
    Audio 9
    Replay Value 5
    Value for Money 9
    Dark Arcana: The Carnival

    Dark Arcana: The Carnival provides one of the most intriguing stories full of supernatural elements and plot twists that wraps up all too soon, leaving fans wanting for more from the Mirror World. Repetitive hidden object puzzles can become boring, but the ability to switch to Monaco breaks up the monotony.

    • Interesting story
    • Puzzles solutions are simple and make sense
    • Art design of the carnival and Mirror World are stunning
    • Hidden Object Puzzles duplicate lists and become repetitive
    • Too Short
    • Character models are awkward at times

    About The Author

    Gamer mom and hobby farmer. Raising kids, chickens, and gamerscore!

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