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

Pinball FX2 – Star Wars™ Pinball: Heroes Within Pack

Pinball FX2 - Star Wars™ Pinball: Heroes Within Pack

These are not the first Star Wars themed tables by Zen Studios, but they are certainly some of the best. This time you get four tables instead of the usual three and each one of these offers hours of gameplay. With so much variety and great table themes in the set, it is hard to pick a favorite and I found myself bouncing back and forth between tables all the time. If you are a fan of pinball and love Star Wars then this is an essential purchase. Gameplay: Four Star Wars themed tables with great layouts. Graphics: Another excellent use of the license. Sound: Some of the speech snippets sound a bit "off," but overall it is a great effort.

Lucy Got Problems

Lucy Got Problems

Gameplay: It is a visual novel, so gameplay is rather limited, but the story and characters are great. Graphics: Great character designs and the art is really good. Sound: The soundtrack is great, but the game lacks voice acting. The market is flooded by adult visual novels that places style over substance. Lucy Got Problems avoids this trend by delivering a game that not only looks great, but which also has a laugh out loud story that is worth your time. If you can appreciate a story that isn't afraid to indulge in fanservice and humor, then Lucy Got Problems deserves a spot in your library. It is still a very ecchi title, even in its "censored" format, but if you are a fan of the genre, then you will definitely have a blast.

The Room

The Room

Don't let the fact that The Room was originally an iOS title scare you away from this great puzzle adventure. The developers have gone the extra mile to enhance the visuals and tighten the controls for this PC release all while keeping the price very reasonable. The game looks and sounds fantastic and it is only the short time it takes to complete holding it back from a better score. Still, there is very little padding here and the game offers a compelling experience from start to finish. Gameplay: Engrossing puzzle solving from start to finish. Graphics: Superbly detailed. Sound: Atmospheric and fitting.

Nation Red

Nation Red

Nation Red is an arena-based shooter in the mold of Crimson Land where you have to shoot every zombie running in your direction while collecting better weapons and choosing the best perks to aid your survival. It's not bad when played solo, but the real fun begins when you enlist the aid of some friends for either a local or online co-op game. It can become a little repetitive in the long run, but overall it's a great game for fans of the genre. Gameplay: The amount of guns and perks, not to mention the non-stop action, makes for an addictive experience. Graphics: A little bland, but still looks decent. Sound: The music and sound effects are a perfect match for the brutal action.

Devil’s Dare 悪魔の挑戦

Devil's Dare 悪魔の挑戦

Devil’s Dare isn’t afraid to challenge you and mock you for your pitiful skills, but it is also very rewarding and surprisingly addictive. The pixel art visuals are very stylish, although a little on the monochrome side, and packs a lot of charm. The lack of online co-op is obviously a bummer, but understandable for a game like this. To get the most out of Devil’s Dare you are going to have to actually play it enough to become good at it, which is something that can’t be said for many games these days. Graphics: Charming and detailed pixel art visuals, but not a lot of color. Sound: The music sounds like something straight out of the Arcade era. Gameplay. Unforgiving, but very rewarding and addictive.

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily is a hidden object game with some interesting clue hunting scenes and a story that, for once, isn’t steeped in the paranormal. It is however also a very short game and can be completed with ease by anyone familiar with the genre. Provided you don’t mind the lack of challenge there is still fun to be had with the game, but unfortunately there is nothing really remarkable about it. Gameplay: Hunting for clues and not just hidden objects is a nice feature. Graphics: The locations are detailed, but a little limited. Sound: Average music and the voice acting could also have been better in spots.

Leave a comment

six + three =