By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on June 6, 2018
Now, I don't have children myself, but I can totally imagine that when your kid goes missing, it is the most terrible and terrifying thing that could ever happen. You would do anything to get your little one back and safe in your arms, am I right?
Darkarta is an upcoming Hidden Object / Adventure game by Tutti Frutti Interactive. It offers you two games in one, judging by the menu. I see two titles in the menu; A Broken Heart's Quest and Rising of the Phoenix. When you start the game, Rising of the Phoenix will still be locked. So, let's start with A Broken Heart's Quest, shall we?
The game starts with an intro video of a family on a boat. A woman called Mary, her husband James and their daughter Sophia are on their way to Mary's grandparents, who she hasn't seen in ages. However, as you might suspect, things go downhill really fast. In this case, a masked man, also known as the Darkarta, flies over the boat on his big bird and kidnaps Sophia. As a result of this heinous attack, Mary and James are stranded on an unknown Island. James is unconscious but luckily for you, this island is not as deserted as Mary thought when they got there. You meet a stranger, who is kind enough to offer you his help. Together, you bring James inside a mansion.
The stranger explains that this is, in fact, the mansion where Mary's grandparents used to live, and he is the caretaker of said mansion. Now, Mary received an invitation to visit her grandparents, but the caretaker tells her that her grandparents died a long time ago, so there's no way that they could have sent this invitation. Now, it's up to Mary to unravel this mystery and, of course, find a way to find and bring back her daughter.
Darkarta combines elements of hidden object games with classic point and click gameplay. You need to find objects, combine them and search for clues. There are many puzzles to solve and even some of the so called "Match 3" games. What really stands out are the characters, because normally in these types of games, while the character's portrait is usually shown during a conversation, it will not move. In Darkarta they developers provided the characters with subtle animation during the conversations. There are also some action moments in the game and I love how the developers made an effort to show you a running scene. It shows how much they care about you having a great experience.
There are three different difficulty modes; The first one is Casual mode, which will recharged the skip and hint buttons faster and the points of interest are highlighted with sparkles. In the Advanced mode, the skip and hint buttons recharge slowly, but points of interest are still highlighted with sparkles. Lastly, in Expert mode the skipping and buttons recharge very slowly and the points of interest won't have sparkles. There is also a fourth option; custom mode, in which you're able to choose which advantages you want to enable or disable.
I enjoyed playing Darkarta so much! You can really see the effort the developers made to create a beautiful game. And not only the look and sound are great; the puzzles are challenging and awesome! The people at Tutti Frutti Interactive took all the ingredients of what we nowadays call a casual game and then took it to the next level!