Enlightenus PC CD
Published by: Focus Multimedia
Developed by: Blue Tea Games
A reclusive children’s author named Edgar Lee has asked you to investigate the bizarre happenings at his mansion. He’s been using an enchanted machine to enter a world called Enlightenus in order to gain some inspiration for his novels. The problem is however, that a burst of energy has come from the machine and scattered the chapters from his novel and rearranged the contents of them too. Edgar Lee wants you to use the remaining power in the enchanted machine to go to Enlightenus and track down his chapters. As you find each one of them you’ll have to rearrange them into their correct order.
Enlightenus is classified as a hidden object game but such a description is not entirely accurate. In fact Enlightenus is a combination of a point and click adventure, a puzzle game and a hidden object game. It’s a unique mix to be sure but it’s also a very refreshing one. You’ll have to solve puzzles to find objects that will help you open certain locks. Sometimes you’ll have to solve a puzzle to open a locked device that will provide you with a useful item. The most intriguing part of the game is when you have to rearrange the chapters. This is done by you having a specific scene into which you’ll have to place the objects at your disposal.
If it were just a simple case of placing items in a scene the game wouldn’t be so interesting but thankfully the game is a little more challenging than that. Sometimes you’ll have to use certain objects to interact with items in the scene before you can place other items there. For example, in one chapter the scene features a pumpkin. Amongst the items you are to place or use in the scene are carving knife, jack-o’-lantern candle and a pumpkin scooper. You can’t use the candle or the knife in the scene until you’ve used the scooper to gouge out the pumpkin. Once you’ve done this you can use the knife on the pumpkin to carve out the face and then, and only then can you use the candle to place it inside the pumpkin. This is a simple example but it illustrates how Enlightenus is more than a simple hidden object game.
If you’re like me there will inevitably come a time when you’re stumped. Enlightenus does have a hint system in place to help when you are stuck. Clicking on the orb in the lower left of the screen will give you a hint. The orb will then recharge over a period of time. You can speed up this process of recharging by using an Enlightenus card. During every scene that you’ll encounter there are two such cards that you can find and add to your deck. I found I had an abundance of these cards so I was never completely stuck when I couldn’t figure out what to do next.
The game’s presentation is generally fine. From an artistic point of view Enlightenus is certainly an interesting game and definitely has a certain charm, but in terms of graphical quality the game is rather disappointing. The game runs at a resolution of just 800x600 and can look quite rough if you’re playing in full screen mode and yet things can look a little too small when playing in windowed mode. The positive side of this however is that the game will run on virtually every PC out there. The game’s dialogue is subtitled. There are no speaker names or portraits but it’s generally clear who is saying what. Tutorial messages are given in text and you’ll always be aware of what needs to be done.
Enlightenus isn’t just a game for fans of the hidden object genre. The game will appeal to those who also enjoy point and click adventures and out-and-out puzzle games. The game manages to combine several elements into the experience and it makes Enlightenus feel like nothing else I’ve ever played which is certainly an achievement. It also helps that the general storyline is interesting and that the puzzles are refreshing and not simple rehashes of what you’ll find in many of the hidden object and puzzle games that have gone before. Enlightenus is a game that simply has to be experienced by those who appreciate point and click adventure, puzzle and hidden object games.