Darkarta: A Broken Heart’s Quest Collector’s Edition
Gameplay 9
Graphics 9
Sound 8

Darkarta: A Broken Heart’s Quest is the story of a mother who has to brave the Netheworld and rescue her daughter from an age old curse. It is definitely an intriguing story and the game also features tons of hidden object scenes as well as mini-games to keep players hooked. Thanks to the beautiful art style and atmospheric music, it is easy to get sucked into the gameworld, and a lot of effort clearly went into polishing the game to perfection. Darkarta has already won numerous awards and after completing it, it is obvious that all of them were deserved. If you are a fan of the genre, then this is a title that should not be missed.

Gameplay: A lengthy adventure with plenty of puzzles and mini-games to enjoy

Graphics: The art style is beautiful and the game is filled with scenic locations.

Sound: Decent voice acting and a the soundtrack isn’t bad either

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Darkarta: A Broken Heart’s Quest Collector’s Edition

Developer: Tuttifrutti Interactive | Publisher: Tuttifrutti Interactive | Release Date: 2017 | Genre: Casual / Adventure / Hidden Object | Website: Official Website | Purchase: Steam

Darkarta: Broken Heart’s Quest opens with the protagonist, Mary, returning to her childhood home in India. Mary was orphaned at a young age when her parents perished in a mysterious fire and her grandparents opted to send her to an orphanage in America for her own protection. However, Mary managed to overcome this troubled start to her life and ended up marrying a fellow archeology student before giving birth to a daughter they named Sophia. Everything was going great for Mary until she received a message from her grandfather urging her to come and visit. Unfortunately, tragedy strikes on to way to their destination as a mysterious figure on a winged buffalo swoops in and kidnaps Sophia while also injuring James in the process. To make matters worse, Mary discovers that her grandparents are long dead and whoever wrote the letter intended to lure her back in order to get their hands on Sophia. This is obviously not something that Mary is going to slide, so as soon as she has her bearings, she sets off to rescue her daughter.

The kidnapped family member trope is something that we have seen in numerous hidden object games, but Darkarta puts an interesting spin on things. It’s not only the tale of a mother in search of her lost daughter, but a love story that originated thousands of years in the past. Progressing through the story reveals why Mary has been caught up in the aftermath of the forbidden love between the Snake Prince Anantha and the Eagle Princess Ameeha. Let’s just say that sometimes the sins of the past can catch up with you, no matter how long ago it has been. The game actually features a fairly large cast of characters, but thankfully there is a journal that provides detailed descriptions of everyone involved and the game even includes a neat digital comic that explains more of the backstory. Overall, we really enjoyed the story and it definitely tugged at our heartstrings, although, those who are not parents might not feel quite as moved by the scenes of Sophia crying for her mother.

Moving on to the gameplay, Darkarta really impressed us with the amount of variety of offer in terms of hidden object scenes and mini-games. If you have played as many hidden object games as we have, it is inevitable that you start to develop a sense of deja vu after a while when you encounter yet another variation on the same puzzle. Surprisingly, Darkarta manages to squeeze in a ton of unique puzzles and mini-games, instead of simply copying and pasting existing ones. None of the mini-games are particularly hard, but they are very enjoyable and there were even a few that we wished were a little longer. The same goes for the hidden object puzzles as all of them actually fit in with the story and scenes, instead of just being a random assortment of junk. In addition, very few of the hidden object scenes are the traditional “find the item on the list” type and instead you’ll be hunting for silhouettes and patterns and more as well. This definitely provides the game with more variety than usual, but players can also opt to play a match-3 mini-game instead as well if hidden object scenes are not their thing. Finally, the game features plenty of objects to add to your inventory and some of them you have to dismantle or combine in order to solve puzzles.

With a lengthy main quest as well as a bonus chapter where you get to play as the Grand Master of the Indus School of Magic, Shukra, this is a game that will keep you busy for a while. If this wasn’t enough, there are also plenty of achievements to aim for and optional extras, such as finding all 30 of “memory” collectibles and morphing objects. These are not vital to completing the game, but unlocks all kinds of cool concept art and more, so they are worth seeking out. You can also replay the mini-games and hidden object games that you have already unlocked. Darkarta can be played in casual, advanced, expert or custom difficulty modes, with the latter allowing you to enable or disable everything from text tips and hints to sparkles on active tasks and sparkles to highlight hidden object puzzles. Depending on the difficulty you choose, you could also skip some puzzles or mini games or make use of hints. This means that no matter how good or bad you are at hidden object games, you should be able to complete this one without too much frustration.

One of the highlights of Darkarta is the visuals as Tuttifrutti Interactive clearly put a ton of effort into them. It’s been a while since the game was released, but it still holds up very well and looks much better than a lot of other recent games in the genre. The overall art style is great and each scene is packed to the brim with detail, but not to the extend that everything feels too cluttered. The artists have also made good use of color to make each scene look vibrant and alive. Some of the most beautiful scenes can be found in the bonus chapter, which is a nice surprise as a lot of games simply recycle existing backgrounds for these. We really liked the character designs and setting for the story, but some of the animations felt a little bit off. In addition, while the game features plenty of dramatic cut-scenes, the visuals tend to become a little blurry when these play, which is something that we have noticed with other older hidden object games as well. It’s a pity, but it doesn’t detract too much from the experience. In terms of graphical options, players can only choose between playing in windowed or full screen mode, and toggling widescreen on or off.

The audio in Darkarta is also much better than average and each scene has a ton of sound effects, which definitely adds to the atmosphere. The background music is also very fitting and atmospheric, so it is great that the soundtrack is included with the collector’s edition of the game. Voice acting is often a weak spot for many hidden object games, but the actors and actresses in Darkarta actually did a fairly decent job. Most mothers would probably sound a little more emotional if their daughter was kidnapped by a monster on a flying buffalo, but at least Mary didn’t sound as bored as some actresses we have heard in this type of role. The only exception would be Sophia, who was clearly voiced by a much older person than her in-game depiction. This makes her sound a little odd and lessons some of the emotional impact during the scenes where she cries for her mother. The user interface for Darkarta is very straightforward and we had no trouble interacting with objects or moving around the gameworld. Conveniences, such as the map for fast traveling, also makes it easy to get around, although there is thankfully not a lot of backtracking required.

There is no doubt that Darkarta: A Broken Heart’s Quest is one of the better titles in the hidden object puzzle adventure genre and definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of these types of games. Exploring the Lost Indus World is a fascinating experience and the setting is a lot more interesting than some the generic locations seen in other games. The story is also very interesting, although we did spot a couple of minor spelling and grammar issues here and there. Seeing as it is quite a lengthy adventure with tons of extras, you’ll definitely be getting value for money too. Overall, we can wholeheartedly recommend Darkarta to fans of the genre and anyone else interested in a gripping adventure.

System Requirements

  • OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • OS: Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows 10
  • Processor: 2.5 Ghz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512
  • DirectX: Version 9.0
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Processor: 2.0 GHz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Storage: 2 GB available space
  • Processor: 2.5 Ghz
  • Memory: 1 GB RAM
  • Graphics: 512
  • Storage: 2 GB available space

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