Mystery of Joyville is the first in the dark fantasy Puppet Show digital download gaming series from ERS studio and for those who want a slightly creepy yet imaginative casual gaming experience....this is the series for you.
The basic gameplay is a hybrid of point click elements, puzzle solving and HOGs (Hidden Object). The basic premise is typical of casual games like this which is you are a detective at the turn of the century (1890's to 1900's) that has been called to the town of Joyville to solve the plight of children that have gone missing. However what sets this game(and the series trademark) apart from the others is the former attraction in Joyville plays a very important part in the investigation; the local grand puppet show....a puppet show of steam punk like mechanical, self operating puppets...it is highly suggested through out they have minds of their own....so anyone who has a fear of dolls coming to life run!
The artistic direction and details in this game is gorgeous and I would say very steampunk/ fairytale in style. The art direction is prominently painterly with touches of hand drawn lines. The puppets themselves despite being basically robots resembles clockwork wind up toys from the turn of the century with a touch(or heavily doses depending on the puppet) of ornate china figures and dolls from the turn of the century. The town of Joyville heralds charmy european towns in Western Europe at the turn of the century however Joyville seem to have seen better days as the places you explore, which include the burnt out puppet theatre, exhibits fair amounts of gloom and decay despite the fact Joyville is inhabited by people. The darker elements like the lab heralds thoughts of frankienstein.
The music maybe repetitive to some, HOGs don't change and having to talk to static images of characters with the speech/text looking abit ameteurish below but this is only the first in the series and the gameplay feel/mechanics improves further on into the series.
Here's Bigfish's trailer for your veiwing pleasure
Next time....it number 2....Soul of the Innocents