Play Esteban, Zia and Tao through numerous tricky levels full of puzzles, traps and infiltration phases in a wide variety of diverse gorgeous settings. Explore every nook and cranny of China, and escape Zarès’ hostile men, searching for the local City of Gold.
User reviews:
Mostly Positive (53 reviews) - 73% of the 53 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Nov 21, 2013

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About This Game

Play Esteban, Zia and Tao through numerous tricky levels full of puzzles, traps and infiltration phases in a wide variety of diverse gorgeous settings. Explore every nook and cranny of China, and escape Zarès’ hostile men, searching for the local City of Gold.

Faithful to the story-line and art style of the famous Mysterious Cities of Gold anime cartoon, Secret Paths lets you dig deep in this wonderful cross-media universe. You get to play with all the main characters, and each hero has his own set of qualities that you will need to use smartly when approaching the different challenges. Pick between them wisely - Their personality matters!

Key features

  • Gorgeous graphics completely faithful and loyal to the original Mysterious Cities of Gold art style that we all love.
  • Numerous tricky levels: Expand the Mysterious Cities of Gold cartoon universe by playing the levels that unlock for free at the same pace the episodes air on television.
  • Beautiful settings: Explore various environments, from the deep asian forests, to the heart of the Forbidden City, to the mythic Chinese City of Gold.
  • Collectibles: Unlock high-quality cinematic cut-scenes extracted straight from the Mysterious Cities of Gold cartoon and bunch of exclusive artworks and virtual items.
  • Think before you act: Use the specific skills and attributes of the three friends to your advantage when facing the multiple traps, puzzles and hurdles thrown in your way.
  • Infiltration: Escape arch-enemy Zarès and his men by untangling the riddled paths to discover the secret of the Mysterious Cities of Gold.
  • Made by Fans for Fans: the developers behind the Mysterious Cities of Gold are true fans of the anime, who have grown up watching the first season of the cartoon in their childhood some 30 years ago!

System Requirements

    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / 8
    • Processor: 1.2GHz processor
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Card supporting Pixel Shader 3.0 and Vertex Shader 3.0
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    • OS: Microsoft® Windows® XP / Vista / 8
    • Processor: 1.4 GHz and higher
    • Memory: 2 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Card supporting Pixel Shader 3.0 and Vertex Shader 3.0
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 4 GB available space
Customer reviews
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Mostly Positive (53 reviews)
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28 reviews match the filters above ( Mostly Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
49 of 61 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.9 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
Full 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.
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16 of 20 people (80%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
6.3 hrs on record
Posted: October 15, 2014
Definately a great game for children, nice little puzzles with various environments, following the story of the second series of the programme. Xbox controller supported so it's very easy to play, although mouse and keyboard was quite easy too.

The graphics are lovely and bright, they have managed to capture the look of the series down the pixel.

Also helped teach my boy the basics of stealth gameplay, he'll be playing Dishonored in no time!
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10 of 10 people (100%) found this review helpful
21.5 hrs on record
Posted: January 1
The Mysterious Cities of Gold was probably among the cartoons I was watching when I was a kid. I don't remember well the story in itself but the main song yeah.

So, I'm glad to have that game in my library. Esteban, Zia and Tao learn about a possible City of Gold in China and go there. But once there, between pirates, bandits and several puzzles, how will they manage?

The story is told also with cinematics that gives you the feeling that you're watching an episode of the series, though I must say that some sequences didn't really make sense at all.

The gameplay makes you take control of the three characters, with their own special tricks: Esteban can activate special pillars as the chosen one, Zia can get through small cracks and Tao can read every inscription you'll find so that you can solve the puzzle without forgetting that the parrot, Pichu, that is hanging with Tao, can steal keys.

The game is mainly about that: finding dragon stones, use them either to solve a riddle needing 4 people for plates that are activated when there is a weight on them or to open doors, sneak out areas with enemies (and trying not to get captured), etc.. It's true that for an adult, the game may be seen very very repetitive and very easy to manage (though some puzzles are kinda hard) but the game is pleasant, mainly because of challenges (time, captures, scrolls to collect and even a treasure chest with pictures to unlock).

Anyway, you can retry a level as you want and with achievements to unlock, you'll have to negociate some levels very very well to earn them. It's not always easy to do a speedrun by collecting all scrolls and avoiding captures when enemies's patterns are letting you only a small frame of time to act.

While the game is set in China, you can see a diversity of background: jungle, monastery, Forbidden City, even a City of Gold and caves too. The soundtrack is sticking also to the series.

The three little downsides I've experienced aren't really breaking but as I keep my finger pressing on the left click button to lead character, I often see them go where I don't want and be captured. Also, during a level, I was captured as Tao and suddenly, I had a close-up. I switched characters and everything was back to normal. Also, I was used to restart at one point and then suddenly, the game threw me back to an earlier phase, meaning that I had to restart it as I was aiming for a perfect level for achievement.

I find the 15 bucks price tag a little too high for the game, but if anything, if in discount or in a bundle, you can go ahead for many childhood memories!
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12 of 15 people (80%) found this review helpful
7.0 hrs on record
Posted: March 30, 2014
This was nostalgia induced buy for me.

However, game itself is very enjoyable. Riddles remind me of Lost Vikings style of game.
There are 5 chapters each with about 1h of play, depending how fast you are solving the challenges.
Levels are not too hard but not too dumb either.
Difficulty should be enough to make it a nice challenge for younger audience and good entertainment for those born in the 80 that remember original series.
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12 of 17 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.4 hrs on record
Posted: November 23, 2013
Time Bought: Pre Ordered
Money Spent: $15
Worth The Price?: No
Position In Game At Time Of Review: the 2nd act in China

YES, the nostalgia kicks in once you see the 3 kids and it won't be long until you start humming the tune lol. BUT even though it may seem to totally represent the early 80s cartoon, this is in fact based upon the NEW MCoG that is currently showing on tv of their adventures in China! So DO NOT expect the same voice overs, show intro, and locations...even though a huge majority is still intact from the 80s cartoon show. Now that that's said, let's get to the actual game. It's a puzzler. Based on 3 kids alternating to solve puzzles. The puzzles are not difficult at all and doesn't take more of an elementary level of knowledge to solve. I would definitely recommend this for kids, but for grown ups I would only recommend it for people who remembered and loved the early 80s show.

Rating: 5/10
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10 of 14 people (71%) found this review helpful
1.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 23, 2014
From what I've seen, this is an interesting puzzler, but I think the experience of tracking down the show and watching it first would be better than a game of spoilers. I have to say I've been a fan of the original since it first aired in the 80's, so hearing the new voices was a bit jarring. For anyone just jumping into the series, lore is irrelevant, as is knowledge of the original series. It stands well on its own. Still, I can't see anyone that isn't already a fan picking this up. It's a boost of nostalgia, but I wouldn't recommend it as an introduction to the series.
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8 of 11 people (73%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
1.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2014
This game had the potential to be really fun to play. It has an interesting art style, amazing cutscenes, puzzle solving with multiple characters and the potential for a great story.

However it suffers from some terrible design decisions. The puzzles are really simple and require next to no thinking to figure out, which makes it obvious that this game is intended for the younger audiences. The stealth system is very simplistic, enemies have no recollection of you and all you have to do is stay out of the line of sight and hide in a bush or a vase or something like that if you are spotted. Managing the playable characters is extremely tedious and it would help a lot if the developers added some simple commands such as follow, as it stands right now you have to move each character individually through the whole map. The levels are short, but they feel extremely long because of the aforementioned difficulty with controlling the playable characters.

And the absolute biggest problem with the game is how the story is presented. Mysterious Cities of Gold is based on a cartoon and also copies the story from it, including the cutscenes which are taken from the cartoon. This makes the game not suitable to play for anyone who isn't familiar with the cartoon, because all you get from the story are gorgeously animated short cutscenes which skip ahead a lot, because the game is trying to present the story of the full run of the cartoon within a small number of short cutscenes..

Do not play this game if you are not either familiar with the story or a preteen. If you are at least one of those, they you will likely enjoy the game. However I am neither one, so I simply got frustrated and bored with it.

5 / 10
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14 of 23 people (61%) found this review helpful
9.0 hrs on record
Posted: November 25, 2013
Nostalgia obviously plays a huge role when it comes to such a classic license but this game is good enough to stand out on its own. The basic gameplay is engaging but with a gentle difficulty curve that makes it suitable for younger players. Experienced players can aim for all the optional goals to up the challenge. For the full review check out
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5 of 6 people (83%) found this review helpful
20.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 9, 2014
Cute puzzle game with nice graphics. Only recommended if you're familiar with the animated show (old or new) as there are plenty of cut scenes with no context and there's no introduction to the story and characters.
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11 of 18 people (61%) found this review helpful
0.2 hrs on record
Posted: October 2, 2014
Man this is so RAD!! I am in an 80's daze!! My shell suit is ironed..rave safe kids and keep your shell suit away sources of hot cups of tea or McDonalds Apple pies!! The Mysterious Cities of Gold has it all... the theme music, crazy anime & all the fun of the old cartoon. If you remember this from children's TV series, you will love it!! From the opening sequence to the great cuts scenes you will be back in your childhood. I only hope they remake Ulysses 31 as a film.. Barry Gibb in the lead roll!!!
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Recently Posted
0.4 hrs
Posted: March 18
I so want to love this game as it was my favourite show as a kid, the cut scenes are a fantastic update to the original show and the voices are close enough even if it starts too far into the story, but the controls and lack of full controller support is simply unforgivable. A simple mapping of menu buttons could have address this, instead it smacks of cheaply done mobile port with a high price tag. If you decide to use the controller, you'll have to get off the couch to reach for the keyboard and mouse at the end of each level. Trying to use the default mouse control is worse, as you won't be able to interact with most objects no matter how hard you try. The puzzles seem a bit simple and a little repetitive. All sadly makes for a frustrating, if briefly entertaining, experience.
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0.4 hrs
Posted: December 25, 2015
It's "nice", exactly what it looks to be: A great kids game. Unoffensive, cute, easy. No rough edges. I at least didn't feel i wasted my time too much.
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13.9 hrs
Posted: October 14, 2015
I have fond memories of the original cartoon series in the 80's. This puzzle game is based on the much more recent sequel, which moves the action to the Far East. Nevertheless the artwork and voices are pretty much the same, except the animation is a bit smoother. The plot follows that of the series and features numerous clips from the cartoon inbetween the levels.
The puzzle levels were sometimes challenging, mostly when it came to working out what was wanted. But most of the time its basic logic that just requires methodical thinking. You control three characters, each with a special ability and the game is about guiding them through a maze of locked doors. There is also a simple stealth element as well, avoiding pirates.
This game is bright and cheerful, with good music sampled from the series. It's a good game to relax with, although its a shame there is no save feature.
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1.5 hrs
Posted: August 25, 2015
Unfortunately, the game is too childish. The whole concept comes down to simple puzzles and no variety. There is also no full support for controller. Nevertheless, as a big fan of animation will play to the end, but I expected a lot more.
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27.5 hrs
Posted: April 13, 2015
I purchased this game on Kickstarter having grown up with the original series. After also watching the first series (30 years later) my 4 year old son was super keen to dive straight into this game. He loved it and probably would give it like a billion stars. Here is my slightly more objective review as played through with a 4yr old.

  • A fun game for kids. Starts out quite easy but gets much harder at the end. Nothing a gaming experienced adult could not do fairly easily. The thinking puzzles are probably harder than the timing/movement ones as the former could not all be done without my help.
  • A great game for teaching kids mouse control. To begin my son could hardly use a mouse, by the end he was dodging pirates as well as I could (despite the hit area problems, see below)
  • The story was decent despite not having seen the second series of the show. Cut scenes were good.

  • The hit area on many of the buttons and triggers (PC/Steam version) was really poor. Still playable but the arrow often had to target the ground below the button rather than the button itself. This is clearly an issue of the touch device/console port which does not cater for much finer mouse precision.
  • The puzzles are fairly repetitive basic game mechanics (click this button to open this door to grab this key, etc..) and are not realistic to the storyline in any way, just there to make the game playable.
  • In the final cut scene the ghost of MU says "none the less there is something else you must know..." GAME CREDITS!... what what!? I guess I will have to watch the show :(

Overall good game for kids but probably not for adults even if they are die hard fans off the show.
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Cracktus Jack
20.5 hrs
Posted: March 29, 2015
The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths is a children point & click adventure puzzle game. After the events in South America, you follow Esteban, Zia and Tao as they travel across China in search of the second City of Gold.

Pros: This is a bright and colorful adventure game, the 3D graphical style very respectful of the 2D anime it follows. Each character has a unique ability, and you must swap between them while traveling through labyrinths of jungle, caves and palaces, avoiding capture and solving puzzles to make your way across. The game is easy to pick off, perfect for any kids to learn.

Cons: Obviously meant for a touch screen, the point and clicking doesn't work as well with a mouse pointer's accuracy, often requiring several clicks to press a button, pick up an object or move exactly where you want to move. The clip-montage cinematics don't explain the story, but simply tells you at which point of the show's story you're at, so anyone who hasn't seen the Second Season won't understand most of the story or character development.

Verdict: ★★★☆☆ - It's up to you

Although many of us grew up with the First Season decades ago, the recent Second Season of The Mysterious Cities of Gold was marketed specifically for children, and this game targets that audience. Therefore, I cannot blame this game for being easy or meant for children. If you haven't seen the show, you are unlikely to find any interest in this game. But for what it's trying to do, The Mysterious Cities of Gold: Secret Paths does it justice.

This was just my opinion.

If you found this review helpful, please consider giving it a thumbs up, and feel free to check out more of my (purely opinionated) reviews.
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0.4 hrs
Posted: March 13, 2015
This is an extremely beautiful game, and I highly recommend it for children and fans. The voice and animation are a bit off, however it's notthing too horrible. This is a children's game so the puzzles are simple and charming. Full grown fans like myself will like to play it to see the story unfold as our three brave heros search for another City of Gold in a far-away land, but I did grow bored of the simple puzzles after time. However, they are just the right level for younger fans! Nine stolen cheese wheels out of ten, mainly because the animation, but lovely, is kinda... off.
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11.7 hrs
Posted: March 5, 2015
Simplistic puzzles maybe, but still a good kids game

I haven't heard of the show before and got the game as part of a bundle. Nice game it turned out to be too!

It's a puzzle game where you stand on a pad which will either activate another pad, move a wall, or rotate an elevated pathway. By switching to another character, you advance to another pad or to another room, and repeat. One of your characters can slip through narrow gaps in walls, another can steal keys. Additional challenges are added later by avoiding pirates and other characters that will catch you if they spot you.

While the game is a "kids game", I (in my 40's) still enjoyed it overall despite not having watched the tv show when I grew up.

The Good:
+ Cut-scenes. I like the anime cut-scenes and there are quite a few of them.
+ 30 Levels. There's quite a bit of content in this game. Just over 10 hrs to complete the campaign for me.
+ Animation and Music. Seems like a well-done game overall.

The Eh:
~ Controls. The controls are OK and nearly got caught a few times because of that.
~ Speed runs. To earn the Time badge per level would take an additional speed run. Definitely something you can't earn on your first play through (not after the first few levels anyway).
~ Abbreviated cut-scenes. The cut-scenes, while beautiful, are definitely very fast paced and edited from something longer. They tend to feel like a 1 minute recap of the highlights of a 20min episode, which is possibly exactly what they are.

The Bad:
- Achievement Bugs. Had to play Level 30 twice to get it to register the 2 achievements for completing the Region and also the Game. Only 12.5 minutes as I knew all the puzzles now, but still. That said, even with my racing through it I was still 30 seconds to slow to get the Time badge; I told you those weren't easy.

While this is a kids game, the puzzles certainly got a little tougher near the end. Moreso just because of having to find out which symbols to stand on. So some levels took me quite a bit of trial and error to finally find the combination to move on.

Summary: A decent game, but not great and probably most enjoyable if you're familiar with the series. If you're not, there's probably better puzzlers out there. 7 out of 10.
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7.4 hrs
Posted: February 21, 2015
Buggy interaction. Money grab type of game.
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