Find the missing woman lost in a mysterious Carnival of Horrors.
User reviews:
Very Positive (178 reviews) - 90% of the 178 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Oct 8, 2012

Sign in to add this item to your wishlist, follow it, or mark it as not interested

Buy Dark Arcana: The Carnival


Recent updates View all (24)

October 6

Revisit the magic world of Slavic legends!

The Sorcerer’s Mirror presents another chapter of the adventures of Mary, a botanist from the first Eventide. This time Mara has to release her niece Jenny from the clutches of Tvardovsky the immortal wizard, who kidnapped the girl during a trip into the mountains. Mary will do everything to rescue this girl – she will venture into an ancient forest filled with a mysterious power and walk along the steep mountain paths and the ruins, where she’ll meet imps, phantoms, and other mystical creatures from Eastern and Central European fairy tales. To defeat the sorcerer, she’ll have to solve the mystery of the enchanted village and make very unusual allies, such as the famous 17th-century outlaw Yanosik. Will she reveal the secrets of Master Tvardovsky before it’s too late?

The game launches with a 40% discount for a limited time.

0 comments Read more

September 12

Help Sarah to escape the time trap!

Beyond Time is the fourth chapter of the enthralling Sarah Pennington saga, which follows the protagonist’s exploits as a member of the Secret Order of the Griffin and the Order's fight against the sinister Dragon Clan. The mysterious journey of Sarah continues as she got trapped in past after her Royal Griffin sunk with a time machine onboard. To return home, the protagonist will need to enlist help of Tesla, Leonardo da Vinci, and other historical figures. Sarah will visit forgotten worlds full of mysterious artifacts to find a way to contact her father and ask for his help. Her little friend will assist her in getting through the uncharted lands. The additional content includes a bonus chapter with even more adventures set in the Realm of the Dead. Will Sarah succeed in her quest? Find out!

The game will become available at a 40% discount for a limited time.

0 comments Read more

About This Game

Investigate two worlds: the one you know and an alternate plane existing behind the Hall of Mirrors. Discover the secret of an ancient being known as the Evil One. Reveal the story of star-crossed lovers and stop the Evil One from breaking its magical chains and invading our world.

While traveling through dimensions, you will solve cleverly designed minigames and find hidden objects or play a special minigame as an alternative. Best of all, you will befriend a cute and clever monkey devoted to aiding you on this adventure.


  • Cute helper monkey
  • Two beautifully designed and crafted worlds
  • Unique option to switch from HO scene to a minigame
  • Wonderful hand-drawn art
  • Breathtaking events and twists
  • Mysterious storyline
  • Clever and unique minigames
  • Hollywood quality animations
  • Special Collector’s Edition version full of exclusive extras
  • Bonus Chapter awarded for completing the game

System Requirements

Mac OS X
SteamOS + Linux
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • DirectX: Version 9.0
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: 10.6.8
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 1.5 GHz
    • Memory: 512 MB RAM
    • Graphics: 128 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
    • OS: Ubuntu 12.04 (32/64bit)
    • Processor: 2 GHz
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 256 MB VRAM
    • Storage: 1 GB available space
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated Sept. 2016! Learn more
Very Positive (178 reviews)
Review Type

Purchase Type


Display As:

(what is this?)
79 reviews match the filters above ( Very Positive)
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
1 of 1 people (100%) found this review helpful
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: October 25
Another Great inhouse Artifex Mundi Point & Click / Hidden Object Game.

The Graphics and the Art are as lovely as always, the story is amazing and the atmosphere is great with it! The Story itself was great and the Puzzles were not to easy but not to hard either.

I finished the Game myself in about 4 hours and got it for cheap in a Bundle. As it stands now the Game itself is about 9€ however if you wait for a while I am sure you get it for cheaper either way from Steam or Bundlestars.

I can recommend this Game ofcourse to any Hidden Object / Point & Click Game Fan and to every Achievement Hunter.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
30 of 36 people (83%) found this review helpful
29 people found this review funny
3.8 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
Look, devs. I like your products. You put together solid narratives, do interesting things with your plots, invest some time in your puzzles, and put out consistently good products. The monkey helper doesn't quite rate against the kitten helper, but this is still a sturdy little adventure. A lot of your games in this line are beautiful to play, but I can see why this one doesn't have the same aesthetic.

But let's talk about something, ok? Flint and steel. The rock shaves off tiny pieces of steel, and the combination of friction and the steel itself cause the steel to briefly burn. So: sparks.

Banging two pieces of flint together just makes more chips of flint. No sparks. You can keep giving me puzzles where I use pieces of flint to start fires if you want, this is a game, not a survival manual, but I want you to know: it does not work.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
19 of 22 people (86%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
5.3 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2015
*DISCLAIMER: A minimum of two (2) playthroughs is required for all achievments.

This game is about a detective who must find a lost mother who was kidnapped by an evil being called the Dark One. The Dark One is using both her and her friend/boyfriend to kill each other to gain their power.

That's basically the whole synapsis, it's pretty vague and not very thought out. Still an enjoyable story as most mystery H-O games are. I completed my first run through in about 2.5-3 hours, since I watched all cutscenes and didn't skip anything ( some puzzles admittedly took me longer than they should have, I got stuck on the head one for about 10-15 minutes). Second run through only took me an hour. Last one (for Monaco achievement that I forgot) took me a half hour.

It's a pretty interesting game, it's always in bundles so you can get it pretty cheap if you're into that sort of thing.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
13 of 14 people (93%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
3.2 hrs on record
Posted: July 23, 2015
Very short and engaging hidden object game done by Artifex Mundi...again.The setting is a bizarre dark carnival this time with a sinister ritual taking place.
Gameplay is traditional hidden-object/point-and-click style. Find this item and use/combine it with that item over there. Just like that.
The graphics are very nice and are all very detailed, especially the mirror world.

Final verdict:
Definitely buy this if you're a fan of the aforementioned genres.You can easily finish this game in around 3 hours, so it's perfect for a rainy afternoon or so.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
10 of 11 people (91%) found this review helpful
5.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 2
Investigating the disappearance of Susan Jones in a fair, you're getting sucked into a world that is a darker version of the place. Jim Gibbons seems to be behind that but why? It's up to you to discover the truth.

The story is well-written and full of twists. While the outcome is expected, the way to attain it is surprising.

Anyway, if you're used to hidden objects games, Dark Arcana isn't a revolution: the hidden objects scenes are really easy, the puzzles aren't too hard. However, the addition of Miles, the little monkey, is nice. He can go grab objects out of your reach for you. And he makes noises when he's needed. However, what is disappointing is the fact that the map isn't used for travelling. After a while, you may be tired to go back and forth between two locations.

As I've said, Dark Arcana is set in a dark world and it's well represented without it being scary. I would have preferred more dark settings as the whole mirror world is yellowish. The soundtrack is also good: while the tune is known to be used in any fair settings, the small remix is enough to show that you're not in a joyful world.

Dark Arcana comes with bonus. I'm not speaking about achievements or trading cards. I'm speaking about the soundtrack you can save, wallpapers, hidden objects scenes, concept art or a bonus chapter, where you're Jim and if I remember well, is a sequel to the events.

Anyway, if Dark Arcana isn't innovative, it's still a very good hidden object from Artifex Mundi. And well, while it has not the quality of Nightmares from the Deep or Grim Legends or even 9 Clues 2: The Ward, it's still better than some other games out there.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
8 of 8 people (100%) found this review helpful
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: November 21, 2015
Right this way! Come, step right up! See the greatest show on Earth (or at least the part projected to the Earthly plane. Then investigate the part that is not.) One of the better off-kilter mystery circus/carnival games I have played. Though Madame Fate and the sequel Fates Carnival is still among my favorite carnivals (most likely due to over the top characters and body count).

Story: Jim Gibbons, a once famous precision knife thrower, has opened a carnival 25 years after the tragic death of his wife and asssistant, Alice. One fine day, after taking her daughter to the House of Terror a woman named Susan Jones gets trapped and disappears in the House of Terror. As a detective, the gamer must find the missing woman and reunite her with her daughter. Any more storyline would spoil to the story and the surprises. Concise fast paced storyline without plot holes that is mystery, action and adventure (with quite a bit of the supernatural thrown in).

Gameplay: Let us start with the Hidden Object aspect. The HO scenes are predominate over the point and click aspect putting it firmly in the HO realm. The find clues are easy to see and match the area they are found in. There are a couple of odd clues like windwill (which is a fan). Unsure if that is a translation error or if windwill is a type of fan. Shrug. The HO scenes I would rate on the top side of easy simply because I could actually find all the clues in less then a minute the first time I saw the scene. (Usually I have to pick up that achievement - Find all clues in less then a minute - during the second playthough and after practicing.) Not that easy HO scenes are a bad thing. Helps keep the gamer's mind on the story more then the finding of clues.

This game is broken up into sections and takes place in two separate realms, the earthly plane and the mirror world. Each section has its own objectives and build and use inventory. This is a progressive game, so each section needs to be completed before the gamer can move on. This gives the game a quasi-open world feel as each section's tasks are completed. There is back and forth movement that occurs within the section, and some sections are larger then others. There is a map, 3 in fact, but they are not fast travel. (Fast travel is unnecessary.) There are penalties for HO word find hints and misclicks when achievement hunting.

Next .... The monkey; your little helper, and what a cute, fuzzy little helper he is. Once the gamer has the monkey he is quite useful not only for reaching those out of reach places but he "screams/chatters" and waves at you when he has a task that he can perform somewhere. He is a big hint when something out of reach needs to be found and retrieved. He is quiet the rest of the time. The animation of the monkey is unique since he crawls out of his little "use" circle then into the story scene. Of course like all monkeys he is a lively character and it shows.

Actual puzzles include logic, music, circles, sliders, simple piece puzzles and cooking a turkey. The basic usual fare with average difficulty.

Last of all there is a required second playthrough for achievement hunters. And with all Artifex Mundi games there is alternate game instead of the HO scene. This time the game is Monaco, a strategy matching game. Here is a hint about the Monaco gameplay for achievement hunters: If the gamer plays the hidden object scene until one or two word finds are left then switches to Monaco and finishes the Monaco game at least two of the achievements regarding Monaco are easy to obtain in that way.

This game comes with extras: wall papers, music, concept art, cut scene replay and a bonus chapter. The bonus chapter is in many ways an epilogue, but is stand alone in its own right since the character changes as well as that character's objectives and motives. (No spoilers.)

Fun and easy to play. Well worth the price.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
11 of 14 people (79%) found this review helpful
4.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 19, 2015
I wouldn't rank this up with Artifex Mundi's top games, but it's still good.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
7 of 7 people (100%) found this review helpful
2.9 hrs on record
Posted: December 20, 2015
Another Artifex Mundi HOPA.

Story: Fairly good. It was actually interesting to uncover.

Hidden Object Scenes: Fairly basic.

Hidden Object Alternative: "Monaco" - Silly option

Mini-Games: Nothing outstanding

Main story and quests: logical. I never got stuck on some arbitrary illogical solution.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
Not Recommended
3.5 hrs on record
Posted: August 12, 2015
I'm not the sort to prejudice games over things like their being hidden object puzzlers; and the Artifex Mundi games are by far the best examples of the genre. Nonetheless A.M. has followed the method of if it isn't broke don't fix it, meaning they reuse their puzzles with cosmetic variations from one game to another. This has the unfortunate result that if you've played one of their games you've played them all.

That's O.K. if you think of the games as more visual novels with bonus puzzle content. Granted the writing isn't amazing; but it isn't bad either. I know I've yet to play an A.M. game I could make myself stop playing before the end. That's, on average, over 3 hours in one sitting. And, most of their games include a bonus chapter that extends gameplay another hour.

They do manage to do this without unnecessarily padding game length that overstays its welcome. I know that doesn't sound like much in an industry with triple AAA titles that boast hundred of hours of gameplay. But, for cheap casual games this is an achievement.

My recommendation, because of the "if you've played one you've played them all" problem, is pare your selections down to their better games. That would be Enigmatis 2 (but not the mediocre Enigmatis: the Ghosts of Maple Creek) as a top pick, Grim Legends 1 & 2 if you liked that, and the Nightmares from the Deep trilogy if you just can't get enough of these games.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Recently Posted
2.5 hrs
Posted: September 16
I bought this game when it was on sale and thought it was worth a few hours of fun. I liked that it wasn't just "I Spy" mini-games, but that it also involved a few different types of puzzles. If you enjoy immersive point-and-click mystery games, you'll probably like this one. Worth it if you buy it when it's on sale.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Mace Baby
3.6 hrs
Posted: September 12
Product received for free
Really bad point & click adventure / hidden object game
Helpful? Yes No Funny
3.3 hrs
Posted: July 24
Dark Arcana is an adventure game with intermittent hidden object scenes. You go around gathering objects, and use objects on things. Sometimes the objects are rewards from the hidden object scenes. This game is low budget, so don't expect much.

Gameplay-wise, it is well thought-out. There is a casual mode where you are giving an indication on the map on areas that have actions for you to do. In hidden object scenes, you are given a choice of finding hidden objects or playing a minigame, if finding objects is too hard for you. In the hidden object scenes, objects are clear and obvious. There are no cheap placements such as objects being placed in same colors or patterns as with the background. The only thing missing is the silhoutte hint that other Artifex Mundi games have.

For graphics, scenes are of high quality enough to be crisp and clear. Only the cutscenes are a bit pixelated. Graphics overall were better than some other Artifex Mundi games I have played.

Voice acting is decent for a low budget game. The voice actors did not sound like complete amateurs, but they didn't sound like high grade professionals either.

Story is stereotypical. There is a villian, and you must stop him. There is someone held captive, and you must save her. The story felt like it was aimed towards middle-aged women, which meant it was not aimed towards my demographic.

In conclusion, this game is good enough for someone trying an adventure/hidden object game for the first time, or for someone who is a fan of this genre. Hidden objects were well placed and interaction with objects in the world made sense. For most people though, there are better games to spend your time on.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.3 hrs
Posted: July 15
- This review isn't written by a native speaker, thank you for your understanding –

- If you haven't found this review helpful or if you have found a mistake please leave a comment below -

- Note : I got this game in a bundle on Bundlestars, the game alone should be around $0.22 -

Must Play

- Key features below ---- Review after -----------------------------------------------

Play time needed (perfect)
About 4 hours
Gaming level
Achievement level
Game style
Point N’ Click (First person); Hidden-Objects (HO); Puzzle
Game modes
Story mode, Bonus Story mode
2 ( 1 for all HO and 1 for all Monaco mini-games)
Mouse only.
Yes, but missing explanation for the Monaco mini-game.
Unmissable / backtracking content
No. Refer to the (*) point below.
Glitches / bugs
I’m not sure but I think so.
Worth price
It may deserves its full price if you accept the length and the (#) point below.

- Review below ----------------------------------------------------------------------

Dark Arcana: The Carnival relates a short story about a kidnapped woman in amusement park. Only her daughter was spared. You play as a female detective to solve the case. During your investigation you’ll learn more about the amusement park including a tragic event of the past and an even more diabolic plan. The bonus story let you play the events after the Detective saved the mother. You’ll play that time as a male character and he will try everything to stop the evil from destroying the world.

The story and graphics are good. Puzzles and hidden objects scenes are fairly shared but mostly too easy. (Check the (#) point below)

The game features an inventory where you can store items to combine with the environment to go further in the story.

The game has several difficulties and have a guest feature: all the family can play the game and resume it where they left. There is also a map which is useful when you're lost and that may have some hints if you play in an easier mode. Also you can use the Hint/Skip hourglass whenever you want and wait until its refills to use it again. But be warned that you may not skip or use a hint in any puzzle or hidden objects scene if you wish to have some achievements.

There is a good choice of puzzles and there are two kind of Hidden objects scenes. The first Hidden objects scene features the name of the objects to find some are found easily (normal one) and some others need you to interact with the environment or to combine two items to found them. The second Hidden objects scene let you find the shape of the objects in the scene.

The game features also a unique feature than its brothers and sisters: the mini game is no longer a domino or a mahjong game. It’s a Monaco game. (which I’ve never heard of, only the cocktail or the city) As I said the game is missing the rules to play it but here it is :
Monaco is like a matching game, you need to match two same and adjacent tiles. The aim is to match the joker tiles in order to get rid of one object to find. Joker are like the normal one but they have white and red stripes on the background. You can shuffle the tiles (but there will be a cool down before using it again) if you wish, but you don’t really need to as the game will shuffle the tiles if there are no moves left. Be warned that one achievement requires to play 3 Monaco in a row without shuffling. The game is also more complex as it seems. If you match 2 tiles in a column the related rows will move to the left to fill the tiles you’ve removed. If you match 2 tiles in a row the related columns will fall to fill the tiles you’ve removed. Then if you match 2 tiles diagonally: one column will fall down and one row will go to the left. Finally some tiles have a border with a specific color, if you match them you’ll fill the related bonus bar. When the bonus bar is full you’ll be able to use the bonus whenever you want. One bonus let you remove an entire row, another an entire column and the last one : one symbol displayed on the screen.

(*) :
The game has some achievements that can be missed which are mostly challenging or difficulty related. One difficulty achievement asks you to play the game in Expert mode. Challenging achievements require you to finish a puzzle under 15 seconds and a hidden objects scene or a Monaco game under one minute. You also need to solve every puzzle and hidden objects scene without skipping or using hints. Another achievement requires you to find 3 objects in 3 seconds or find all objects with only 5 or fewer miskicks in the hidden object scenes. Because of the achievements the game requires you to play two playthroughs of the main story in order to get both Hidden Objects Scenes and Monaco games achievements. Another achievement requires you to play 3 Monaco games in a row without shuffling the game. Also I guess you need to get all achievements on the same player.

Most of the puzzles are easy in a way that you need less than one minute to solve it but some puzzles (a few) are still challenging. To talk about the hidden objects scenes: each scene is replayed twice (or more?) and it may be possible to have almost the same objects you got before… Also most of the scenes are easily finished but a few requires more time to find every object or only the last tricky one.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
11.3 hrs
Posted: July 11
A short HO/puzzle game, but entertaining. Get it on sale since it’s not really worth paying the full price.

Helpful? Yes No Funny
Himalayan Snow Cock
8.8 hrs
Posted: July 9
Biggest problem with this one is the achievements again. Some are for HOSs, some are for "Monaco" and they're mutually exclusive. This means that you'll need to go through the game (a minimum of) 2 times.

In my case, I finished it on casual difficulty and got all non-expert and non-Monaco achievements, then I planned to rush through on Expert with Monaco. Immediately after starting my expert rush, I found all the hidden objects in the first scene with record time, yeah!

Oh wait, that ruined the entire game for monaco achievements.

I tried getting the monaco achievements through the extras menu, no dice.

So I made a new profile, and rushed through on expert that way, thus, the only achievement I'm missing is THE COLLECTOR - "Unlock all the Achievements" which is technically done, but the game/steam doesn't think so - a bit of a paradox.....but ♥♥♥♥ that, I'm not playing through the entire game 2 more times to fix it.

Other than that considerable gripe, it's very very high on the quality scale. Less-♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥-than-usual story, more reasonable hiding places for objects you need, a nice map system (though it lacks fast-travel), and a pet who will help you a total of ~5 times through the entire game. Seems like a bit of a waste haha
Helpful? Yes No Funny
4.8 hrs
Posted: June 26
Ok hog for me. Not much backtracking, sometimes mini-games are frustating because of move one piece made other piece move @_@
Theme is dark, may not suited for children.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
24.2 hrs
Posted: June 22
Helpful? Yes No Funny