9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek
Gameplay 6
Graphics 6
Sound 8

Join a paranormal private investigator as she rushes to the aid of her friend who runs into some trouble in the town of Serpent Creek. The Secrets of Serpent Creek is probably a little too short and easy for veteran players, but casual players or those new to the genre will still find plenty to like. It is not a groundbreaking title in any way, but the story is entertaining and the cast of interesting characters makes it worth a second look.

Gameplay: Quite short and very, very easy, but still offers plenty of entertainment.

Graphics: The usual hand painted scenes, but nothing really memorable.

Sound: The music is good and the voice acting much better than what the genre typically has to offer

Summary 6.7 Good
Gameplay 0
Graphics 0
Sound 0
Summary rating from user's marks. You can set own marks for this article - just click on stars above and press "Accept".
Accept
Summary 0.0 Terrible

9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek

Developer: Tap It Games | Publisher: Artifex Mundi | Release Date: 2013 | Genre: Adventure / Casual / Hidden Object | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

9 Clues: The Secret of Serpent Creek opens with our heroine, a paranormal investigator, receiving a phone call from her reporter friend, Helen Hunter. It seems that Ms Hunter has run into a spot of trouble while visiting the small coastal town of Serpent Creek. Helen was supposed to cover the town’s Snake Festival, but judging by the terror in her voice during the phone call, she stumbled across something far more dangerous. Wasting no time, our heroine rushes to Serpent Creek to find out what trouble Helen has gotten herself into and what secrets Serpent Creek are hiding.

The Secret of Serpent Creek is another hidden object game from Artifex Mundi, but this time they only handled publishing duties while the development was done by Tap It Games. The setting is 1950’s America, which the game fully embraces with some 50’s style noir and plenty of nods to classic horror movies. It doesn’t take long after arriving in tow to discover that all is not well. Firstly, there is no trace of Helen and not only is the town crawling with snakes, but the human inhabitants also appear to be wandering around in a daze. The plot thickens even further thanks to a couple of suspicious characters hanging around, like the out of place British tourist, sinister mayor and Sheriff who is definitely up to something. Although most players will spot the twists a mile away, the game still features an interesting story that remains engaging all the way to the end credits.

Speaking of credits, veteran players will be seeing them all too soon, as TSoSC isn’t a very long game and to make matters worse it is quite easy as well. There are of course a couple of difficulty settings to choose from, but even newcomers to the genre should have little trouble completing the game without making use of any hints. Unlike later titles from Artifex Mundi, there is no bonus chapter after finishing the main game and the only replay value comes from a few achievements that can be missed during your first run. There are also nine “question marks” hidden throughout the game, but even these will quickly be spotted by eagle eyed players.

The game has its fair share of hidden object scenes, but none of these posed any real challenge and all the required items are usually hidden in plain sight. Some of the hitboxes in the hidden object scenes felt a tiny bit off to us and a few items required multiple clicks before registering, which was slightly annoying. There are no fragmented object scenes and all the mini-games are very straightforward to complete.

TSOSC did bring one new innovation to the table in the form of its “Detective Mode” which was pretty unique at the time of its release. In this mode you have to find all the visual clues that are hidden throughout a scene, which then triggers a “Reminiscence.” This is simply a short-cut scene where your character pieces together all the clues to discern what took place in the scene. The lack of interaction beyond clicking on the clues is disappointing, but the Detective Mode at least tried something new, which is great for a genre that can quickly become very stale.

Visually TSoSC is starting to show its age, but it is definitely not a bad looking game. Hand painted images are used to depict the town and its inhabitants and while not as detailed as more recent titles, they still capture the mood of the story nicely. It is also nice that the game automatically supports wide screen resolutions, which is something not all older hidden object games bother with. The game is set mostly in and around the town, so you’ll get to visit locations like the museum, sheriff’s office, lighthouse and the obligatory creepy mansion. Animations are few and far between, but that is about par for the course in this genre. The voice acting is actually fairly decent, which is always a big plus as far as hidden object games are concerned, and the music isn’t bad either. The sound effects, which consists of all kinds of ambient noises like creaking stairs, complements the eerie atmosphere of the game nicely.

The interface used for TSoSC is fairly straightforward, so your cursor changes depending on how you can interact with your surroundings. For example, when it is a magnifying glass you can take a closer look at an area while the hand icon means you can pick up and collect something. Although the scenes are not as sprawling as in other hidden object games, you still have access to a fast travel map, which makes it easy to get around. A handy journal also stores the character index along with a list of your current tasks. These are handy, but due to the length of the game most players will probably complete it in one sitting.

Although TSoSC won’t win any awards for originality and can be completed without breaking a sweat, it still merits a look if you are a fan of the genre. The story might be predictable, but we still found it to be very enjoyable. Since it is a few years old at this point the game can also be picked up for rather cheap, so if you are looking for an undemanding title with which to while away a couple of hours then this one will do the trick.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space

Related posts

Mythic Wonders: The Philosopher’s Stone

Mythic Wonders: The Philosopher's Stone

Join Emma as she searches for her missing uncle in a couple of elemental based realms while outwitting the guardian that is intent on stopping her. Mythic Wonders: The Philosopher’s Stone features great visuals and entertaining puzzles as well as decent hidden object scenes that make up for the rather generic storyline. Thanks to the robust customization options it is also an adventure that can be enjoyed no matter what your skill level is. Gameplay: The puzzles are enjoyable and the hidden object scenes well done. Graphics: Beautiful hand drawn visuals that show a lot of imagination. Sound: The soundtrack is quite enjoyable, but the voice acting is average at best.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™: Out of the Shadows

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles™: Out of the Shadows

As a big fan of the ninja turtles it pains me to see how much unrealized potential this game has. With a bit more spit and polish it could have been great but as it is the game feels rushed and unfinished. The combat is enjoyable once you get the hang of it but can feel imprecise and sluggish initially. Wait for a sale and hopefully a few patches before diving in. Gameplay: With a bit more polish it could have been great. Graphics: Some nice detail but overall a bit uneven. Sound: The voice acting is great and the tunes fit the game nicely.

MURI

MURI

If you remember the classic DOS era platformers such as Duke Nukem, Commander Keen and Bio Menace then you will love Muri. Everything from the visuals and sound right down to the frame rate is a homage to these early titles. It is rare to see a title embrace these kinds of limitations so faithfully and still manage to deliver an entertaining experience. Gameplay: Perfectly captures the run-and-gun platforming feel of a DOS era title. Graphics: 16-Color EGA at its best. Sound: Faithfully recreates the PC speaker sounds.

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes From Liberty City

If you enjoyed GTA IV then you will love these two new episodes. It might have taken a while to reach the PC, but the wait was definitely worth it and together these two games represents excellent value for money. A must-buy for every Grand Theft Auto fan. Gameplay: Same awesome new additions to an already great game. Graphics: Needs a hefty PC, but is worth it. Sound: Still one of the best soundtracks and voice acting in the business.

Aliens vs. Predator™

Aliens vs. Predator™

An atmospheric human campaign, frantic wall and ceiling crawling Alien campaign and stealthy Predator campaign all combine for an entertaining package. I would have loved to see more variety in the locations but the game was fun to play despite its flaws. Definitely worth it if you spot it at a bargain price. Gameplay: Standard FPS fare as the marine but the Alien and Predator campaigns offer something new. Graphics: Nice graphics and great animations. Sound: Lance Henrikson does a great job but the rest of the voice overs are so so.

AIPD – Artificial Intelligence Police Department

AIPD - Artificial Intelligence Police Department

For an action packed, neon fueled arcade shooter look no further than AIPD. Despite the intriguing title the game does not have a story driven campaign mode, but it does have tons of action. The amount of enemy and arena permutations on offer also gives it a bit more replay value than typical arcade shooters. Best of all it features a four player local coop mode, which is as fun as it is chaotic. Gameplay: Plenty of old school shooting action. Graphics: The 80s style neon glow art style have been done before, but still looks great. Sound: Features a nice electronic soundtrack and solid sound effects.

Leave a comment

1 × 4 =