City of Secrets reminds us of good and bad aspects of point-and-tap gaming

Apr 14, 2011
Games

Point-and-click (and now on the iPhone, point-and-tap) adventure games can be a mixed bag when it comes to delivering a great gaming experience. On one hand, their hands-off nature means there isn’t a lot of addicting gameplay to admire. Users end up simply taping all over in an attempt to solve one of the game’s […]

Point-and-click (and now on the iPhone, point-and-tap) adventure games can be a mixed bag when it comes to delivering a great gaming experience. On one hand, their hands-off nature means there isn’t a lot of addicting gameplay to admire. Users end up simply taping all over in an attempt to solve one of the game’s many puzzles. On the other hand, the game can function more like a true story because there’s little in the way of choice or failure in the game.

City of Secrets will, no doubt, reignite this same debate one more time because it is a well-made and great-looking experience that doesn’t really feel like an interesting game.

Players tap their way across various screens, attempting to tap the correct item that the game has called for, and, at times, to combine two specific items that are put together to keep the  game going, but you’re not really in control of the action. At one point early in the game, your character has to turn off some pipes that are flooding another character’s home. Even though these pipes are well beyond your reach, there’s no adventure in trying to reach them in order to tap them. You simply tap the screen, and they turn off as if by a magic force.

Those who don’t find the above sequence to be a bit demystifying will find plenty to enjoy in City of Secrets. The animation and voice action is top-notch. The storybook worlds your character romp around in are also a joy to look at. But in the end this feels like an exercise in how long you can avoid tapping the game’s hint button before you grow impatient with the vague nature of your quest. City of Secrets isn’t a bad game, it’s just not really much of a game at all.

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Dan Kricke

Dan Kricke has been playing with electronics and writing about them for years. He loved his Sega Dreamcast and now the PlayStation 3. On the iPhone, he's a fan of sports apps and anything that offers new music.

 

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