GAME NAME: The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths
DEVELOPER(S): Neko Entertainment
PUBLISHER(S): Ynnis Interactive
PLATFORM(S): Wii U
RELEASE DATE(S): Nov. 21, 2013
As a child, I watched this show but through time I had forgotten all about it. In the beginning of The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths the actual cartoon will play, which was great and also jogged my memory, and gets to the plot of the story which is finding the next city of gold in China. You will take control of Esteban, Zia and Tao through this puzzle-adventure in search for hidden treasure chests and locating parchments all while not getting caught by the guards and beating the levels within the time limit. Esteban, the leader, can activate the sun switches with his medallion. Zia can slide through tight cracksof doors and walls that the others can’t. Tao can read ancient writings on the stones that will help the children on their path and also can get his parrot to take the keys of the guards. In solving the puzzles to move on, it will require the use of all three of the children and their special uses, so don’t get to comfortable with one player because you will be switching between the three constantly.
At the start of The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths, you will play as Esteban in search of the other two Zia and Tao, which only took a minute. Once you have found the two of them, the game will proceed with your quest. You will look to reach the end of the level all while trying to find the treasure chest and all the parchments. Some of the parchments can only be picked up by certain characters depending on the color of the item. It seems silly but it is a great way to add a little challenge to finding them all because all three children do get separated quite a bit in solving the puzzles and it makes you have to open more hidden doors to reach those items with the correct player. There is one treasure chest per level in which any of the children can open. I would say be quick to make sure you don’t miss out on the time limit given but it seems like there is too much time to even worry about it. Also be careful of the guards being that you are given a certain amount of times you can be caught by them. The guards aren’t anything too hard to escape as they walk in the same patterns or turn in certain directions. Once they pass you can follow behind or hide in a box, barrel, bushes or whatever else is there for you to help in your sneakiness. If the guards do see you, then be quick to run and hide behind a wall or jump into hiding spot to escape and he will move on his way.
The game play is good but there really is no challenge in it. You can choose to control your characters with the stylus on the touch screen, which is what I chose, or to use the analog stick. The buttons other than the start button don’t do anything. It is a game where you just move with the stylus and think about the puzzles. If you come to a sun switch, any other switch, or anything that needs pressing then all you will do is tap the item with the stylus and your character of choice will walk over to it and press it. Most of the time playing this game will be on the wii pad if your using the stylus, if you go the conventional way then using the t.v. will most likely be easier to use. At first I was a little taken back by the idea of using the stylus but I will say in all honesty it was easy to move around with and as I was getting more into the game it just felt right the way it was done.
The sound of The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths plays through the t.v. great and the picture quality is that of an 80’s cartoon. The sound and picture are exactly the same on the wii pad as it is on the t.v. which is fantastic being that there is no longer a need to keep looking up and down as you play. The levels graphics move fluidly with the characters and their motions. You can tell the graphics were definitely something they tried to focus on while creating this.
At first I thought The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths was going to be game that I would push to the side quickly being that there was no real button pressing other than moving your character. I was wrong, I enjoyed it very much. I got caught up pretty quickly into the game but did start to fade off of it not too long after either. I would say it’s a game you would play in small bursts. I love the fact that I can use just the stylus to move around and do all that I need so now whomever wants to use the t.v. can. I think the game isn’t hard at all but it definitely brings back the fun aspect of playing a game and enjoying it for what it was meant to be. They did a great job incorporating the use of all three characters at once and using their special talents to make using all three kids more needed than just a using one of them here or there. It is a game worth checking out if you are from the 80’s cartoon era or someone that likes solving puzzles that don’t strain your brain too much while enjoying the actual cartoon cut scenes.