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

The Binding of Isaac

The Binding of Isaac

Very simple to play, but the difficulty varies greatly depending on your luck. There is reason for multiple playthroughs which, along with the random elements, give this game some longevity. It's a good game, but definitely won't be suited to everyone's tastes. Gameplay: Randomly generated dungeons, tons of enemies and loads of loot gives this a lot of replay value. Graphics: Cute in a sick, twisted kind of way. Sound: Nice soundtrack and disturbing effects.

Bioshock 2

Bioshock 2

A great sequel that makes a lot of improvements over the original but at times feels too much like an expansion pack rather than a full fledged title. It is still a blast to play and has some great insights into the world of Rapture but don't expect the plot to be as mind blowing as the first. Things really pick up towards the end so stick with it. Gameplay: All the tweaks and improvements you could ask for. Graphics: Very nice but its clear to see that the PC version is being held back by the games console roots. Sound: Atmospheric and moody.

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Test Drive Unlimited 2

Test Drive Unlimited 2 is one of those games that start off great but the longer you play it the more the faults become apparent. There are plenty of challenges and races but in the end you are just repeating the same things over and over. The online aspect is nice and overall the game is good but it is certainly not going to appeal to everyone. Gameplay: A huge gameworld with plenty to see and do but very repetitive. Graphics: Lots of rough edges but the scale is admirable. Sound: Terrible radio stations and annoying voice overs.

Empathy: Path of Whispers

Empathy: Path of Whispers

Empathy: Path of Whispers might look like a typical walking simulator, but it isn’t afraid to test the boundaries of the genre. The surreal gameworld isn’t just pretty to look at, but also offers players more freedom to explore than similar titles. It is up to players to piece together the fragmented story by finding and listening to the memories of the missing people who once inhabited the lonely landscapes. This means that some players will love the act of tracking down all the memories and connecting the clues while others will find it needlessly repetitive and obtuse. Gameplay: A mixture of exploration, listening to audio memories, solving minor puzzles and unraveling the story. Graphics: The surreal landscapes look great from a distance, but loses some splendor when viewed up close. Sound: The soundtrack is good and the game features a large cast of diverse character voices.

Defragmented

Defragmented

Defragmented makes the most of its Cyberpunk setting and while the visuals are not exactly cutting edge the gameplay is very addictive. It is a game that is not afraid to challenge players, but prevailing against the overwhelming odds is extremely satisfying. The game also features a synthwave soundtrack so good it is almost worth the price of admission on its own. Gameplay: Fast paced and very challenging, but also very addictive and rewarding. Graphics: Simple, but fitting and the destructible environments are a great touch. Sound: The soundtrack is pure synthwave epicness.

DLC Quest

DLC Quest

While extremely short, DLC Quest offers enough entertainment considering its low asking price. While it is a satirical look at the state of the gaming industry and its obsession with downloadable content there is enough gameplay here to make the game fun in its own right. Gameplay: Not very challenging but quite entertaining. Graphics: Very basic but has a unique charm. Sound: Some nice retro tunes.

Leave a comment

nineteen − 13 =