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Age of Enigma

Score: 78%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: THQ
Developer: Casual Box
Media: CD/1
Players: 1
Genre: Adventure

Graphics & Sound:

In an industry that seems to be producing more adventure/hidden object blends as of late rather than pure adventure titles, Age of Enigma is a breath of fresh air in it's all around point-and-click adventure goodness.

The game's visual style is a mix of almost photorealistic drawings for the backgrounds with characters that are a bit more animated and feel like they would be at home on any number of Saturday morning cartoons (if they even have those any more). I'm not saying the characters in the game are mis-proportioned or goofy looking, they just don't have quite the same treatment as the backdrop they are placed in. What results is a game that is visually appealing in pretty much every aspect.

The game's audio is another good point for Age of Enigma. Not only is the voice acting decent, especially that of the two main characters, Ashley, and her mysterious guide, but the background music is very fitting. Since each of the ghosts the game's heroine will meet is from a different time period, the fact that the musical tone changes when you are in that character's world, is only fitting.


In Age of Enigma, you control a young woman who appears to have some sort of psychic ability. She doesn't really know why, but she is constantly dreaming about an old house. One morning, she receives a strange letter in the mail asking her to visit the very house she has been dreaming about.

Upon entering the derelict building, she finds a mysterious figure clad in black explaining that he needs your help because there are six ghosts in the house that need to move on. It becomes apparent really quickly that, while she was invited to the house by the Fraternity of Mediums, it's this strange man's presence that is egging her on, and he is most definitely not telling our character the whole story.

From that point forward, the game takes on a regular pattern of discovering the new ghosts, proving you can help them, and then taking them into a strange worlds that has some connection to their problems. In the mean time, the puzzles that Age of Enigma throws at you during these various steps are an interesting mix of basic inventory-based puzzles and critical-thinking mini-games.

You will have to do everything from basic combining of objects and applying them to points-of-interest on the screen, to Sudoku-like games and memory-based tasks, to slide-puzzles and more unusual problems like when you are trying to mix up an antidote and you have to determine the right amount of each ingredient. In this case, you are presented with a grid of the items and each row and column has a number. You need to fill in each ingredient type's quantity so that the summation of the rows and columns come out to what the grid wants.


Age of Enigma has two settings, Casual and Adventurer. Basically, the easier one will do a lot more hand-holding and guide you through the game more directly than the Adventurer setting. While I sampled the Casual setting, I played through the game in Adventurer Mode, and I have to say that there are quite a few puzzles in the game that caused me to either go to the in-game guide, or skip the puzzle altogether.

Unfortunately, there were a few occasions when the hardest part of the puzzle was trying to figure out exactly what you were supposed to do. Most of the time, it was obvious, but there were several that simply didn't make any sense to me. Thankfully, the game lets you skip past these mini-games if you want. When you click on the Skip button, it not only asks you if you want to just move to the next task, but it also gives you "Jokers." Basically, these will either do some of the puzzle for you, or reduce the complexity of it.

Game Mechanics:

Age of Enigma fits the standard mold of point-and-click adventures to the tee. The game is very easy to pick up and play, and the puzzles are compelling enough to keep you trying. The only real downfall I found with the game was that it seemed a bit too short.

Given a keen enough mind, or a heavy hand on the Skip button, the game can be beaten in about four hours. While I enjoyed pretty much every bit of the experience, I found that the game was ending faster than I had hoped. With only six ghosts to confront, and only a few puzzles associated with each one, it just doesn't take all that long to finish.

Regardless, Age of Enigma is a fun title, it's just not one that will keep you busy for any real length of time. If nothing else, adventure fans should at least try out the demo on Big Fish Games (linked below).

-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows XP/Vista, 1.0 GHz Processor, 1280 MB RAM, DirectX 9.0, 298 MB Hard Drive Space

Test System:

Windows 7 Ultimate, Intel i7 X980 3.33GHz, 12 GB RAM, Radeon HD 5870 Graphics Card, DirectX 9.0c

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Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated