Lost Grimoires 2: Shard of Mystery tells the story of a far away kingdom where a love of science and alchemy has over taken the need for magic and myths. This shift has resulted in a witch named Drosera betraying her kingdom, laying siege to the King and his people in what seemed to be an endless war. The king eventually overpowers the wicked Drosera, and locks her away in another dimension with a magical mirror. Despite the victory, the king falls ill and is regularly disturbed by nightmares that even his personal alchemist, Violet, can not alleviate. Upon the king’s passing Violet takes on the responsibility for his young son, prince Fern. Over the next twelve years Violet helps prepare Fern for his future as king while also bestowing her own knowledge of alchemy upon him.
Following this prologue, Lost Grimoires 2 allows players to take the reins for Violet once again the night before Prince Fern is scheduled for his coronation. The prince mysteriously disappears from his chambers in the night, and it is up to play as Violet to track him down using the power of alchemy. Unfortunately for Violet, Fern is tricked by his romantic interest, a mysterious young girl named Rose, who encourages him to show her the mirror where Drosera is contained. Once at the mirror, Rose inserts a shard of glass that frees Drosera from her prison inside. Players will need to use Violet’s quick wit and alchemy skills to solve puzzles and create potions that will help her track down Drosera before the kingdom is destroyed and finally put an end to the witch once and for all.
Lost Grimoires 2 follows the Artifex Mundi formula that fans of the studio will recognize right off the bat, but there are also some glaring differences in this title and others from the Artifex Mundi line up. This is due to Lost Grimoires having been developed by World-Loom and only published by Artifex Mundi. The game’s absolutely gorgeous art style is true to what we expect from an Artifex Mundi game, but the absence of a bonus chapter is disappointing. Most of these hidden object puzzle titles can be completed in a 4-6 hour time span, so there’s a notable shortage of content as a result of the lack of a bonus chapter.
In some other Artifex Mundi series, the games offer an alternative to the Hidden Object Puzzles scattered throughout the world by giving players the choice to play a minigame such as Mahjong or Dominoes in place of the HOP simply by pushing right on the D-Pad. Sadly, Lost Grimoires 2 does not feature an alternative to the hidden object puzzles. Not every change between classic Atifex Mundi games and Lost Grimoires 2 are takeaways, however, as Violet’s ability to conjure up potions on the fly thanks to her alchemy skills will have players crafting powerful potions to do their bidding.
In order to proceed through the kingdom and put a stop to Drosera, players will have to guide Violet through countless puzzles in order to obtain key items. Thankfully, Lost Grimoires 2 sticks with tradition and features puzzles and minigames that are intuitive and self explanatory. Most of the key items for puzzles are self contained, limited to a small selection of scenes that often coincide to each other and the story. Each scene in Lost Grimoires 2 is incredibly detailed, and the art style is again another way that the game follows the classic Artifex Mundi formula. If it’s not broken, don’t fix it!