I have always had a soft spot for full motion video (FMV) games, and
a few of them remain among my all-time favourites (insert relevant
Gabriel Knight and Tex Murphy games here). I liked Yoormujakís Ring
when it came it out, and while this ďsequelĒ suffers a bit under the
weight of some overly convoluted puzzle construction and a few other
foibles, it did deliver a good degree of B-Grade enjoyment.
I put ď Ē round the word sequel for a reason. Itís another
Jonathan Hunt mystery, but apart from that and a few references to the
earlier game, this is a new and stand-alone adventure. Which is a good
thing, whether you played the earlier game or not. Just get stuck in.
Set in Hungary, you donít get to hear Hungarian, which is a shame.
I canít imagine getting a whole new cast to record the dialogue, all
of which is subtitled in English in any event, is easier or more cost
effective than releasing in Hungarian. Presumably though it isnít
about that, and I assume that sale statistics indicate English language
sells better in English speaking locations. It would have been nice
though to have the option to play in Hungarian Ė the actors clearly
arenít speaking English, so the dialogue must exist. And the game
makes a point of telling us that Jonathan speaks the language, so they
arenít all speaking English for his benefit.
And if I am wrong about any of that, mea culpa.
Jonathan is an investigative journalist, paying a friendly visit to
the Atomki Research Facility, when a young man called Balazs goes
missing. He agrees of course to look into it, and spends the rest of the
game moving back and forth between various locations and laboratories,
talking to a range of characters while collecting items and information,
and solving puzzles and conundrums.
Throughout his poking about, there are times where you switch to
playing Balazs. He spends his time trying to get out of a labyrinthine
set of cellars, applying what he gleans from a childrenís physics book
to MacGyver his way from one room to the next.
Whichever character you are playing, make sure to ask everything,
revisit the non-playing characters to see whether they can tell you more
about something you might have learned or found, and revisit hotspots.
There are places (a shelf for instance) where items donít show up as
being able to be taken until you have found a related hotspot or
discovered a particular piece of information.
Conversation topics might also not be available if you havenít come
across a related piece of information, be it from another conversation
or identified in an inventory item. So be prepared to backtrack, and to
talk a lot.
There are quite a few conversations, and while much of it isnít
critical, important information will be provided, including about what
to do next. Helpfully, your journal records all conversations, and you
can go back over them all at any time. This is also helpful when you are
trying to e.g. recall which lab a particular researcher is in so you can
return a book or deliver an invitation. Key characters pretty much stay
put, and you will generally find them where you left them.
The game builds towards a multi-part puzzle that I had some mixed
feelings about. It involves a safe with six separate combinations, and a
serious of items in a box which are the path to identifying each
combination. You will have to show numerous objects to an array of
people, solve six separate puzzles along the way, revisit items and
various displays, and then take what you learn to winkle out each code.
I donít have a problem with any of that as a concept, but to me it was
overly convoluted and unnecessarily complicated.
A simple example of the first involves a clue about a wise man in the
garden. I was convinced I knew where I needed to go, and I was right,
but until I had raised the issue with a seemingly unrelated person, the
capacity to move ahead would not trigger. Perhaps I missed the key
point, but more than once I simply went back to characters in the hope
of triggering a way forward.
An example of the second is a puzzle in which you have to reconstruct
an image you havenít seen. It involves about 20 tiles, delivered one
at a time, and which must be place to construct said image. Put all the
pieces on the board and you can form a general impression about the
relevant image. Tiles might then need to be manipulated in terms of
their orientation, and placed to complete the image. Nothing about that
In this puzzle however, once you place a tile that is that. You canít
move it, or further manipulate it. Any manipulation has to happen before
it is placed. Put it in the wrong place and the puzzle is doomed. The
next shuffling of the tiles will be different as well, further
compounding the challenge.
You might find this particular puzzle delightfully diabolic, and you
might discover a relevant image that I didnít find through the wiki
feature on your in-game phone. It isnít an unfair image, but I did
find it frustratingly contrived. I was therefore pleased I could choose
the skip option.
At the start of the game you can choose a difficulty level. Easy Mode
gives you the capacity to reveal hotspots, skip puzzles, and
(apparently) get more clues through the narration. I played on this
level and canít imagine why you wouldnít do likewise. You canít
skip conversation conundrums, but the type of puzzle I referred to above
can be avoided.
I thought the brainpower required to discern each combination once
you had all the relevant information was sufficiently challenging to
have eased up a little on some of the bits along the way. But perhaps I
just am getting soft. Having said that, it was an ambitious endgame, and
deserved my attention and perseverance (and the occasional skip!). I
also confess to being rather pleased when I conquered a combination, and
quite enjoyed a few of the related puzzles.
I showed a lot of items to a lot of people, going back and forth and
back again, further required by people telling you to come back later,
and when you do, telling you that they need more time. I was never sure
whether there was a trigger that worked on those occasions, or whether
just doing some other things sufficed, but there were certainly plenty
of other things to do. In that regard, all the items relevant to the
combinations are available from the box, so you can solve them together,
or one at a time. If you do take all the items from the box at once, be
warned that there are a lot, however the inventory identifies which
compartment in the box they came from (so therefore the combination to
which they relate). It also enables you to show all those things that
you think might be relevant to each character during a single visit. It
wonít mean you wonít have to come back, but it assisted my
ponderings and meanderings.
Maps help you get around, and choosing your desired destination will
take you straight there, accompanied by a short video clip of you
arriving at said destination. Just click if you want to skip the video.
You will then be in a static view of the room or wherever you are, that
you explore with your mouse. You donít pilot your character around the
scene, with hotspots and icons indicting something can be done Ė a
speech bubble for talking, a gear for an action for example. There is
almost no other movement in the scene (the characters do wobble about a
bit) although short FMV sequences punctuate events from time to time.
You can highlight all hotspots (at least in Easy), and when nothing
more can be done at that spot, it will no longer be active. Inventory
items also disappear when no longer needed, and while locations open up
as you move through the first half of the game, they close down later
on. All this assists in managing the conundrums.
If you click on a conversation bubble, you get a large close-up of
the character with whom you are conversing. As you chat, the character
is animated via a series of changing still photos. She might lean
forward, lean back, furrow the brow when thinking deeply, laugh at a
joke etc. Its isnít video, but it frames the chosen conversation
topic. If there are multiple topics, you have to choose the speech
bubble again to engage with that character Ė there is no having the
list remain open. They disappear when used up, new ones can pop up as
you converse, and when all have been exhausted the speech bubble icon
will no longer show up. Of course, learning something new elsewhere can
lead to people having something more to say, so as I said earlier check
You can click to end a conversation and still read about it in your
journal, but it kind of defeats the purpose of having the conversation
at all. I did it on occasion, but generally because the particular
response seemed unimportantly chatty.
The inventory ribbon is top of screen and can scroll left and right
as you collect more items. Click and drag to use an item in the game
world, or on another item. Right click to look at or read an item. Be
sure to do this, and with items in display cabinets etc, as there are
triggers dependent on you doing so.
The plot befits the B-Grade tone but ends in a bit of a rush. The
dubbed English voices vary from not too bad to not that good. You can
save at will, and there are plenty of save slots, but starting a new
game will erase the previous saves. I donít know whether loading an
earlier save will do the same to the saves from later in the game; I
only ever had one save point at a time. There is a musical score but I
generally turn them way down, so didnít really notice it. You can
fiddle with the volume of effects, music and dialogue, and turn
subtitles off if you wish.
It clocks in at a goodly length and there really was a lot of
puzzling to enjoy. If Mr Hunt goes round again, I will go with him.
I played on:
OS: Windows 10, 64 Bit
Processor: Intel i7-6700 4GHz