Full review: http://www.cublikefoot.com/review/the-mysterious-cities-of-gold-secret-paths-cub-game-review/
I’ll start off by saying, I’ve never seen the original anime that this game is based on. I actually did not know of its existence until I stumbled onto this interesting game. I might actually want to watch the 80′s anime, the game made it seem quite interesting. Because of this, I’ll be unaffected by the “nostalgia factor” that many people had when they saw this game. Anyways, I’ve seen a lot of people purchasing this purely out of nostalgia, and learned about the show because of it; now, onto the review!
I was slightly disappointing by how the game played out. The game essentially combines puzzle elements with some scavenger hunting mechanics. That’s the entire game in a nutshell. The basic concept of the game is not that hard to understand. You’ll find yourself switching between the three main characters, Esteban, Tau, and Zia. Each character has their own special ability used for certain puzzle mechanics found scattered throughout the levels of the game. Each of these skills will have to be used in a certain pattern in order to complete a level. This ultimately results in the player wandering around looking for an object that pertains to a character’s ability, like a crack in a wall, which Zia can slip through.
The levels can easily be traversed with a free-roaming camera, marking each character with an icon and allowing you to figure out the solution to a puzzle from an easier perspective. The problem with this style of gameplay is that switching between the characters feels like a chore. You have to operate all three characters separately, each being used for their ability. Throughout the game, you pick up these “parchments”, which act as collectibles scattered throughout a level. Collecting them all gives you a gold medal at the end of the level for finding them all. The problem with this is that some of the parchments are color-coded, allowing only certain characters to pick them up. This can be a nuisance when you have one character standing on these parchments, unable to pick them up, and the actual character needed to pick them up on the opposite side of the level, awaiting their orders from the player.
The puzzles can be a bit shallow sometimes. There was one instance where a series of pressure plates were laid out in front of me, and three of them had to be activated to open the next door. Above these plates was a plaque that only Tao could read. Reading it tells you what plates to stand on, usually in the form of a riddle, which is nice, but some of them were a little too easy for my tastes. Along with the parchments that can be collected, there is a treasure chest hidden in each level. Finding the chest unlocks an illustration, just another bonus collectible to find.
It’s also worth mentioning that I ran into a game-breaking bug twice. I had to press a button to open a door, and upon pressing the button, it showed the door opening, then immediately closing. I thought I had messed up somewhere, but upon exiting and restarting the game, the door stayed open and I could continue with the game. This happened to me in the first and third worlds. Both occurring near the end of the level, which was quite annoying, having to restart the level.
The game’s graphics were awesome. In-between levels, cutscenes would play with the style of the original anime and leaves me wondering if these cutscenes were actually in the anime themselves. I’m sure fans of the original show would appreciate that. The animation for the characters was smooth, but could be clunky at times, especially when walking across platforms that can be turned with a lever. Overall, the art style was very charming and I really liked it. Although not memorable, the music was great and fit the theme of the game well.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QnKX2H3kBA4