Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders
Gameplay 9
Graphics 8
Sound 8

Assist Tara the apothecary, Darius the swordsman and Minu the genie as they try and take on an evil vizier in Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders. This hidden object adventure game might be light on hidden object scenes, but more than makes up for it with the adventuring elements. It features a compelling story, plenty of beautiful locations and more than enough to keep you busy. Although a little on the short side and lacking in any kind of bonus adventures, it is still a great way to spend an afternoon and definitely one of the better Artifex Mundi titles of late.

Gameplay: Hidden object fans might find it a little thin on content, but there are still plenty of inventory based puzzle solving to be done.

Graphics: Everything from the art style to the colors used are a perfect match for the setting.

Sound: Great soundtrack and surprisingly good voice acting

Summary 8.3 Outstanding
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Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders

Developer: Sodigital  | Publisher: Artifex Mundi | Release Date: 2017 | Genre: Hidden Object Puzzle Adventure | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Things are not going too well in Persia, not only is the king mortally ill, but his demonic grand vizier has also decided to run amok. To make matters worse, a shadowy disease is slowly spreading across the land. Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders, opens with a young apothecary named Tara desperately searching for a way to prevent the dreaded plague from spreading even further. Her quest causes her to cross paths with an acrobatic swordsman named Darius and the realization that the vizier, Zaved, might have a hand in the appearance of the plague. Tara and Darius are soon joined by a third companion, a genie by the name of Minu, and together the trio attempt to thwart Zaved and eradicate the plague.

Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders is a hidden object adventure game with the emphasis on adventuring. Although you mostly play as Tara, Darius is usually with her and the story often switches to his perspective when something dexterous needs to be done. While Minu is often present as well, she is unfortunately one of the most useless genies we’ve ever encountered, so don’t expect to wish your way out of any bad situations. Thankfully, the game is good enough that you’ll never wish to skip anything and the presence of companions at least makes the experience a little less lonely than a typical hidden object adventure. Unlike the typical “helpers” often found in the genre, Darius is a full fledged character and you can even talk to him occasionally to gain more information about the situations that you encounter.

The game features more than 41 locations to explore and virtually all of them show a lot of detail and imagination. From dimly lit caves and temples to magical lands and ruined cities, the setting for the game is great and it is backed up by some very nice hand-drawn artwork. It also appears that the Prince of Persia games and movie had some influence on the art direction as Darius bears more than a passing resemblance to Dastan. Although the visuals look great in high resolution, things do become a little fuzzy when scenes zoom in on elements and the animation throughout is also fairly simple. However, none of this detracts from the overall experience. While the game is quite relaxed for the most part, there are also a couple of scenes that are more dynamic to give it an action packed feel. These range from climbing scenes that are in first person as you help Darius navigate some obstacles to combat scenes where you need to use magic to defend yourself and banish sand demons. Of course, none of these scenes are as threatening as they appear, but it is still a nice touch.

The soundtrack is rather limited, but all of the songs are really good and we never tired of hearing them play in the background. The game also features plenty of ambient noises and good sound effects to make the scenes feel even more alive. In other good news, the voice acting for all of the characters is actually pretty good as well, which definitely makes for a more enjoyable experience. Here and there you’ll still hear some lines that sound a little hokey, but overall everyone involved did a solid job. The conversations with Darius are entirely optional, but speaking to him does sometimes reveal interesting information, so it is worth it. The game is also rather short, so talking to Darius can flesh it out a little more.

In terms of gameplay Persian Nights still has hidden object scenes, but not many of them and even fewer of them are of the traditional variety. Instead, you might encounter a few fragmented object scenes or scenes where you are required to find multiples of the same type, like keys or shards. If you really feel like searching for things you’ll be happy to hear that there is a hidden palace symbol concealed in each scene and hunting for these is quite enjoyable. Make sure to find them before leaving a scene though, as you can miss a few because there is no backtracking after certain points. In addition to the hidden object scenes the game also has a few mini-games, but most of these are also rather easy. Thankfully, none of them are of the annoying variety and they all fit with the theme of the story. What the does have in spades is inventory items, which must either be combined with each other to create new items or used somewhere in the gameworld in order to progress. Finally, Tara occasionally has the opportunity to put her apothecary skills to good use by gathering ingredients and combining them in the right order to create spells. Sadly, the game doesn’t feature any type of bonus adventure, so when it is done, it is done. You can however replay hidden object puzzles and mini-games from the “Options” menu if you wish. Here you can also re-watch cut-scenes, check out concept art and wallpapers, and listen to the soundtrack.

Overall, Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders is another high quality hidden object puzzle adventure and certainly one of the better ones published by Artifex Mundi in recent times. It has everything you’d expect from the genre, such as multiple difficulty settings, a map for fast travel, diary for objectives and hint system for those who hate getting stuck. Most importantly, the story is quite compelling and the characters likeable. The fact that it is more of an adventure game than a pure hidden object adventure might disappoint some fans of the genre, but personally we think it works in the game’s favor. A few more scenes and maybe a bonus adventure would have really been appreciated, but as it stands, we can still recommend Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders without reservation.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Processor: 2 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0b
  • Storage: 3 GB available space
  • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0b
  • Storage: 3 GB available space
  • OS: 10.6.8
  • Processor: 2 GHz
  • Memory: 512 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 3 GB available space
  • OS: 10.6.8
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 3 GB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
  • Processor: 2 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 3 GB available space
  • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
  • Processor: 2.5 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512 MB VRAM
  • Storage: 3 GB available space

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