Casual games are usually relatively easy to get into, easy to control, and easy to play, no matter what your age or experience level concerning videogames. Ancient Secrets: Quest for the Golden Key
does not stray from this formula in any possible way. In fact, the game goes so far as to also be of a pick-up-and-play nature, allowing the user to play for brief periods of time, if so desired.
Ancient Secrets' gameplay boils down to using a point-and-click method on still screens that contain interactive characters and objects, as well as puzzle-style mini-games that range in difficulty from simple object searches to more complex slide-puzzles, among others.
From the start of the game, you are on an adventure to recover the missing pieces of your father's Tekka Key, but your path isn't as simple as asking for what you need. The town that you traverse will have you going back and forth between screens, having quick chats with the locals and trading your services for items of interest. Essentially, as you make your way around town, you will be confronted with puzzles that need to be solved in order to continue on.
One of the most recurring puzzles is the object seek-and-find. Here you will be presented with a list of items that need to be clicked on the screen, and as with any good I-Spy type of game, the objects on the screen will range from obvious to very well-hidden, blending in with the backgrounds to the point of seeing only a silhouette. Another recurring theme for puzzles are those of sliding blocks to allow another block (or maybe a ball) to pass into the exit position. These games are quite fun, as it sometimes takes a decent amount of thought and cunning to get through them and move on in the game. There are other miscellaneous puzzles throughout the game as well, some of which are interesting, and others that don't necessarily take a lot of thought to overcome.
While Ancient Secrets is certainly entertaining, it has to be said that the game just isn't all that long. For the minimal cost that it takes to purchase the game, the lack of length may not be a problem to some. Be warned, however, that hardcore gamers may burn through this one in a single sitting.